Interview with the austrian composer, multi-instrumentalist, and artist who has recently released his latest album "Chapter One". Anna Phoebe, Margaret Hermant, Ben Frost and Anne Müller among his artistic influences.
An original artist who soon began studying and producing music in various genres and styles.
In my parents' house, music was not really an important part of daily life. I was mostly on my own when I started this journey. There was no one to guide me and I had to figure out a path on my own.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
In my parents' house, music was not really an important part of daily life. I was mostly on my own when I started this journey. There was no one to guide me and I had to figure out a path on my own. I don't remember the moment when I decided that music should be more than a hobby, I remember only that it was quite an easy decision.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
Actually, I did do something else. In parallel to music, I also studied mathematics at the university and absolutely loved it. But music just has a certain magic and without music, my life would not be fulfilled. However, the music business can be quite rough and stressful if you want to make a living. I took a break some years ago and did completely something else as a day job.
Raimund reveals us ...
The inspiration was a story that I vaguely plotted in my mind and that was also inspired by what was going on in my life at that time.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
Most of what happened in my career was not something that happened as a surprise, rather something I was hoping for.
I think the biggest surprise was when I was nominated at the Austrian Film Awards for Best Original Score. I was a total newbie in this business and had no idea that this award existed, although it is THE national film award ceremony in my home country.
However, I love the small surprises way more. For example, when I go through my messages in the morning and see that someone that I don't know and never met wrote to me to say that they discovered my music and liked it a lot.
Let’s talk about your brand new project. What was the inspiration for this album? How do you think it prepares listeners for more music from you?
The inspiration was a story that I vaguely plotted in my mind and that was also inspired by what was going on in my life at that time. The music on the album is the soundtrack to this story. Mostly the inspiration came from the overall mood of the narrative.
I have to admit that I used social media only for private purposes until maybe a year ago. I love to create content, I wish I had more time and I have to push myself to take the time and tell myself that it is okay to take that time. I'm still learning.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now? What has social media done for your career?
I have to admit that I used social media only for private purposes until maybe a year ago. I love to create content, I wish I had more time and I have to push myself to take the time and tell myself that it is okay to take that time. I'm still learning. When I was new on Instagram, I would sometime miss adjusting the cover image of a video or forget to tag someone because I thought that I have to do this in a different step.
I think it is too early to say what social media will do for my career. I have to say that I'm very thankful for the support of Blue Spiral Records.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I'm constantly discovering new artists and new music. If you ask me in a couple of months I might give a different answer.
Of course I like to listen to Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds, and Joep Bevling. I get why they are so successful and have so many fans.
I appreciate Nils Frahm a lot. I would say that I would love to work with him, but this is from the perspective of a fan and I would probably feel quite intimidated...at least at the beginning, therefore I'm not sure if this would work out so great.
But there are a lot of artists that I love, admire, and who I would also love to work with.
Anna Phoebe, Margaret Hermant, Aho Ssan, Ben Frost, Anne Müller, Fiona Glenn come to my mind...but I'm sure I could extend this list if I think for a couple more minutes. There are also a bunch of unknown musicians that I happen to know personally and with whom I’d love to work with in future.
One musician that I appreciate a lot is Alan Holdsworth. His music is totally different from the music on my album and I would guess that most people who like my music wouldn't care for his at all. I can hear so many melodic and beautiful lines in his music although he played "outside" most of the time, which is a jazz thing and means that you play lines outside of the key center and harmonically distant from the given chord. I would not say that his music directly inspired my to do what I'm doing right now, however when one occasionally hears a note in my music that they perceive as dissonant, it is probably because his music has impacted my judgment about dissonance.
Last questions for Raimund:
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
A desire to listen to it again because they either had a good time, or my music made them forget bad times.
What are some goals that you have for yourself this year? How close are you to reaching them?
I have some film music projects lined up, either as main composer or as synth programmer or orchestrator, and I hope I will find enough time to gather ideas for a follow-up album to Chapter One. I would love to create visuals or short movies for some of my tracks, but right now I can't see when I will have time for this, and that’s more of a nice-to-have and not a priority. But for sure I a have a lot of things lined up that will challenge my creativity every day, which is a good thing, because I think once you have a good flow, it feels like a well-trained muscle.
Raimund Mathias Hepp is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and artist from Austria, currently based in both Vienna and Los Angeles. His roots are in film music where he honed his craft of expressing emotions through expansive soundscapes and storytelling melodies. Additionally, he has been part of the music team for the renowned Hollywood in Vienna gala, provided additional orchestrations for a well-known ABC TV-series, and contributed as synth programmer to Hollywood blockbusters like Roland Emmerich’s Second World War drama, Midway (2019). As a solo artist outside of the film world, Raimund composes minimalist, instrumental, and experimental music, with influences ranging from neo-classic, classical minimalism, to contemporary electronic music. In this case, he is his own director, creating music for the films in his mind to lead the listener through a unique inward visual journey. Raimund enjoys musical simplicity as a backdrop for more out-of-the-box and complex sounds by employing an assortment of sonic colors, weaving in traditional dissonance so skillfully as to bring it all the way back to assonance in the listener’s ear. His solo albums frequently include contributions by some of the finest musicians from the world of film music and classical music. For example, the solo musicians on the current album are also frequently featured in the work of film music composers Hans Zimmer or Christopher Young. When not composing, Raimund perpetually seeks new inspiration from walks in the rain.