For over eight decades, Hans-Joachim Roedelius has explored, documented and presented the results of his inward and outward exploration of the human spirit. His creative output, always both artistic and personal, has found expression in numerous disciplines including as a composer, musician, poet, sculptor, painter and singer with results that have influenced a generation of musicians and artists.
Roedelius was born in 1934 in Berlin. His first public appearances were as a child actor in several UFA films. While still in his early teens, he was conscripted into the Hitler Youth as a pimpfen. His rebellion from this assignment resulted in a period of imprisonment. At the conclusion of WWII, Roedelius embarked on an extended period wandering and exploration, gathering knowledge if not expertise in numerous capacities including as a cook, masseuse, hospice nurse, and in other fields with varying degrees of success.
In 1968, Roedelius took his first steps into the arts as a co-founder of the Zodiak Free Arts Lab with Conrad Schnitzler and Boris Schaack. While in existence for only a few months, the Zodiak, quickly became the center of Berlin's free jazz, avant-garde and experimental music scenes. Nebulous versions of groups such as Tangerine Dream and Ashra Temple took their tentative first creative steps at the Zodiak. During this period, Roedelius and Schnitzler invited pastry cook and student of Josef Bueys, Dieter Moebius, to form Kluster.
The trio's performances where characterized by lengthy, sometimes chaotic, improvisations combining the "intentional misuse" of instruments of cello and guitar with noises from everyday items such as alarm clocks and car batteries. The group toured extensively for over two years culminating in an eight hour improvisation "opening" for Jimi Hendrix. The group release three albums of their improvisations after which Schnitzler left. Moebius and Roedelius continued under the anglicized name of Cluster.
Cluster toured and recorded extensively throughout the 70s slowly progressing from an improvisational towards a more structured often melodic approach. Music that in its own quieter way, was no less radical or experimental than their early work. During this period Cluster joined with NEU! guitarist Michael Rother as Harmonia, touring and recording two highly influential albums Musik von Harmonia and Deluxe. Brian Eno, attracted by Cluster's idiosyncratic nature, recorded two albums with them at the fame Conny's Studio near Cologne. Cluster and Eno were also joined by Michael Rother for informal sessions that were eventually released, in part, as Tracks and Traces in 1997.
Roedelius released his first solo album, Durch die Wuste, in 1976. This proved to be the first of many solo and collaborative works that has grown to number almost 200 albums. Roedelius continues to give performances worldwide and release several albums per year in addition to working in theater, dance, painting and poetry.
Roedelius lives near Vienna, Austria.
Curious Music is releasing a limited edition vinyl package of Inlandish, Roedelius' collaboration with Tim Story in January 2017. The label will also release Nordlicht, his collaboration with Carl Michael von Hausswolff in Spring 2017. More to come.
Roedelius, Lunz am See
Brian Eno & Harmonia, Weserhof, West Germany
Christopher Mueller & Roedelius