Conrad Schnitzler Images

 

 

This picture shows West-Berlin based band "Ton Steine Scherben". It was made during the rehearsals for their first TV-appearance in 1970 shortly after the release of their first 7" "Macht kaputt was Euch kaputt macht" (Destroy, what is going to destroy you). Where's the connection to CON you may ask? The picture shows the band in the same rehearsal room, that has also been used by CON during his time with ERUPTION (after his departure from KLUSTER and before starting his solo-career with "Rot"). This former ballroom had been known as "Ballsaal am Kottbusser Damm", before German singer Drafi Deutscher ("Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht") rented it after his career immediately stopped, because he had being accused of being an exhibitionist; and calling the ballroom "Drafi's Club", he tried to be successful with it - but not so. That was the time around 1969/70, when "Ton Steine Scherben" started to use it as rehearsal room, as well as to record their first 7" there. Recording engineer was Klaus Freudigmann, who also recorded the first "Tangerine Dream" LP "Electronic Meditation"(with Conrad Schnitzler) and the last recording of "Kluster", that was done live early April 1971 at the university of Göttingen/West-Germany and released late April that year in an edition of 100 copies in a plain black cover with a white stamp, "Moebius, Roedelius, Schnitzler + Freudigmann - Kluster-Eruption" on the front. In September 1974 this LP has been re-released as "Schwarz", credited only to Schnitzler, in an edition of 100 copies together with the LP's "Rot" and "Blau" as "Work in Progress", better known as "Block-Box", as it has been released by Edition Block from Berlin.
Klaus Freudigmann, was also a member of an incarnation of CON's ERUPTION project, together with Wolf Sequenza a.k.a. Wolfgang Seidel, former drummer of "Ton Steine Scherben" (to be seen on the photo) after he had left the group and a violin player that left for Poona (and Bhagwan) a bit later. CON had built up a huge tent out of transparent plastic-folies, that, during the cold Berlin winter, was like an island in the black and cold ballroom. It was always thought, that the highly interesting ERUPTION-phase has been undocumented. But not so. Several tapes from 1970-71 of excellent sound-quality have shown up and will hopefully be available around the end of the year as proper CD-releases on PLATE LUNCH. Check our Web-sites from time to time for further information about these releases.



This photo, as well as the other four ones that follow, were taken at the PARAGON-studios in Berlin in 1980, when CON and Wolf Sequenza aka Wolfgang Seidel recorded the tracks "Fabrik" and "Elektroklang" for the 12"-EP "Auf dem Schwarzen Kanal" for RCA; CON's first release on a major label. The title "Auf dem Schwarzen Kanal" (On the black channel") was taken from an anti-capitalistic-propaganda show out of the communistic East-Berlin - when the German Democratic Republic was still in existence - titled "Der schwarze Kanal" (The black channel) that was presented by Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler. Due to the same family-name, although there's no connection, CON used this as title-track for his EP. The spoken line "Auf dem schwarzen Kanal" is still in use as programme-jingle by a big norwegian radio-station.

 

This photo shows sound engineer Will Roper (left) and Wolf Sequenza (right) while mixing the recorded tracks. Roper is a well-known soundman in Berlin, who has worked for a lot of very different artists and still is in business today. Roper also engineered the recordings for the LP "CON", that has been released in 1978 on METRONOME in Germany. "CON" was re-released in 1992 as CD, then titled "Ballet Statique", on the french SPALAX label.

 

This photo shows CON singing the track "Fabrik"(Factory), he still rates as one of his favourite songs. "Auf dem schwarzen Kanal" presented CON as "singer" for the very first time. Some kind of a curious mix between rap, spoken word and chanson, CON's voice fits perfectly to his self-written texts. The LP "CON 3" released on SKY, Germany in 1981 showed more of his lyrical talents. Most of the texts to his songs were very simple, but effective, only the two texts, that flirted with the Berlin-fashion of that time, failed. "Komm nach Berlin"(Come to Berlin) and "Kreuzberger Nächte"(Kreuzberger Nights =Kreuzberg was one of the most interesting corners in 70's and early 80's in Berlin) were nothing more than attempts to jump onto the new-wave train. It is obvious, that the record-company tried to present CON as somekind of unique new-wave artist from Berlin. Luckily enough the other songs and their texts are really good and so CON's first LP, that presented him as singer on all nine tracks, was well received by critics and listeners.

 

Wolf Sequenza, (sadly only his back, but I'm sure he won't mind) playing vibraphone on the track "Coca Cola" that showed up on the LP "CON 3". CON offered Sequenza use of the remaining studio time for some own recordings, that were produced by CON. These 40 minutes of recorded material from 1980 were never released.

 

CON takes a break and a smoke during the recording-sessions

 

This photo from 1990 shows CON (right) and Harry (left) in front of the Berlin wall and the Brandenburger Tor, carrying a EMS Synthi "A", which CON still uses today. The helmet CON wears is the famous megaphone-helmet, that can be seen on the LP "CON 3" released in Germany by "Sky" in 1981. "Harry" is CON's artificial head system (AHS), which allowed him to record sounds with 3-dimensional character. CON used the artificial head fixed onto a long stick to record "sounds of the daily life" in the streets. His first appearances as the "man with helmet and loudspeaker horn" happened in 1977. He used this outfit for a new kind of performance. The loudspeaker on his helmet was also used as an amplifier. In front of his belly he carried two cassette recorders, a small mixer and a battery-powered Synthi. As an art character like this, CON appeared in several exhibitions as well as on streets and in parks. Wherever he walked, he was able to generate new and changing sounds and perform his "concerts" nearly everywhere.

 

This photo was taken in winter 1974 and shows CON on the "Teufelsberg" (=Devil's Mountain) in Berlin. He had worked with cassette-recorders since 1970, but from 1974 on he started to do these cassette- concerts more regulary. This photo shows CON using a battery-powered VOX-amplifier and two cassette-recorders. The performance on the "Teufels- berg" was done together with the now well-known painter Bernd Zimmer, with whom CON did several other performances all over Germany in 1974 and 1975. The "Teufelsberg"-cassette-concert was documented by the german TV-station "SFB" (Sender Freies Berlin), who still has a film about this event in their archives. Probably someone can help us to fix the recording- date or knows more about this film. In that case, please contact us.

 

1977 in Berlin, CON did a lot of "make-up"- actions, mostly at the "Studiogalerie Steiner", where he did several performances; some of them were taped onto video and will be available again soon via our mailorder.

 

This photo shows CON (right) together with Joseph Beuys (left), whose first student CON was way back in 1961 at the "Kunstakademie" in Dusseldorf. In this photo from 1980 both enjoy their life in a Paris restaurant. From June,18th to August, 24th that year the "Art Allemagne ujourd'hui" took place at the "Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville" of Paris. This was a big exhibition where nearly all important artists from Germany participated. To name only a few: Baselitz, Beuys, Immendorf, Kiefer, Luepertz, Penck, Polke and Vostell were among the 44 artists, that presented their works. Amongst these artists CON participated with his "elevator performance". CON installed a "cassette recorder organ" of twelve tape recorders in an elevator to create rich alternating sounds.

 

1974, showing Conrad Schnitzler under a high voltage transmission line. This photo is out of a series of pictures, that were enclosed to the "Work in Progress" box, released by "Edition Block" in an edition of 100 boxes in 1974. These boxes included re-releases of the LP's SCHWARZ, ROT and BLAU, as well as a C-30 cassette with material from CON's 50-hours-concert at the "Gallery Block" in April 1974. Each cassette contained different material. These boxes are extremely expensive today and are traded for about US$1400 and US$1800

 

This picture shows CON during a street action, that was part of the "Ars Electronica" festival in Linz/Austria, in September 1980. Here CON appeared as "Wandelnde Klangwolke aus Berlin" (strolling sound cloud from Berlin). While Klaus Schulze performed his "Stahlsinfonie", where he meditated in front of a video screen, that showed sweating hardworking steelworkers in a broadcast from a steel plant, CON decided to communicate, instead to meditate: he asked "ars electronica" spectators to bring their cassette players to meet with him and to play his cassettes. Together with Schnitzler, who was wearing his loudspeaker helmet and carrying cassette recorders they walked around the city playing bizarre sounds - forming a "strolling sound cloud".

 

Early 1998, CON in his home-studio outside of Berlin, lucidly at work.

 

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