Part of our Sounds of Nature programme
Ulrich Schnauss + Richard Norris + live visuals from Innerstrings
At once uplifting and otherworldly, the music of Ulrich Schnauss combines multi-layered synthesizers with beats and ethereal vocals, serving as an aural escape route from the trappings of reality. As Schnauss explains, “I’ve always used making and listening to music as a way to escape – putting on headphones is a great way to leave reality behind for a while, reminding yourself why it still makes sense to carry on.”
The German electronic composer debuted under his own name in 2001 with ‘Far Away Trains Passing By’. The album seemingly came from nowhere and wound up on several journalists’ year-end favourites lists, impressing many with a beguiling level of charm that referenced the shimmer of the Cocteau Twins and the beat mining of the Black Dog. ‘A Strangely Isolated Place’ followed in 2003, and third album ‘Goodbye’ in 2007. The following years would be filled with a multitude of smaller projects, including multiple EP releases and remixes, as well as collaborations with A Shoreline Dream and All in the Golden Afternoon.
His tendency toward collaboration continued into the 2010s with full-length works ‘Ulrich Schnauss and Jonas Munk’ in 2011 and ‘Underrated Silence’, a collaborative effort with Mark Peters released in 2012. Schnauss has also had his hands in a number of other projects, including Hexaquart (minimal techno-house) and Ethereal 77 (drum’n’bass), in addition to engineering work for a number of other artists. His 2013 album, ‘A Long Way to Fall’, was a return to working without collaborators and featured his most new age-inspired sound to date. Later that year, however, he and Peters re-teamed for ‘Tomorrow Is Another Day’, which blended their aesthetics even more seamlessly than before.
As a member of dream pop group Engineers, Schnauss contributed to their 2014 release, ‘Always Returning’’, and by year’s end, he had also joined legendary electronic group Tangerine Dream as a full-time member. His next release as a solo artist would come in 2016 with No Further Ahead Than Today’, which appeared on his own Scripted Realities label. In 2020 Schnauss released ‘Now Is A Timeless Present’, a career-spanning collection of his work to date.