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I interviewed this artist a while back, but the translation took a little bit for my friend to complete, since she’s very busy. Thanks Natalie! Anywho, this artist is a true marvel: a classically trained artist who brings directly that sense of Wagnerian and Strausse influence into his ethereal-laced works. The vocals are of the highest caliber, and the instrumentation is clearly flawless,smooth and melancholy. And from the mind of this great and talented artistic mastermind,Olaf,comes this interview (haha and my last good excercise in using my German in full conversation! I really need to hit the books after all this time). Enjoy!

Chain D.L.K.: Tell us about how Stoa started and why you chose the name?
Stoa: The stoic philosophy had a huge impact on my life. In the philosophy there are thoughts that seemed familiar to me, even though reading them in the stoic’s writings was the first time I read them as being thoughts of somebody else. there’s a lot of wisdom inside; which probably explains the name Stoa.

Chain D.L.K.: I understand you come from a very complex classical trainng background in the “Stadtsingechor Halle”, the oldest choir in the world. Tell us a bit about it.
Stoa: In the meantime I even studied music sciences (and philosophy); but that doesn’t mean anything. While studying I met many people who were having a gigantic theoretical knowledge of music. Often the soul of music was lost for them, though. The time in the town’s choir definitely had an impact on me, but that was just one influence out of many. I was also kicked out of the choir, which had reasons lying in the affection for punk I had back then; and that didn’t go well with my choir life.

Chain D.L.K.: How is a Stoa record formed, note by note in the classical sense or just improvising with emotion?
Stoa: There are many different ways…Primarily I work with the computer and the connected equipment. Some songs also were born on the piano, though, or in the basic idea on note-paper alone. most of the time I play around with sounds; improvise and try to catch the momentous and eternal moods.

Chain D.L.K.: Why the cover of Back Tape For a Blue Girl’s “I Wish You Could Smile”?
Stoa: Sam asked me if I could do a song for the CD “of those reminders” and I was interested in it. I picked the song “I Wish You Could Smile” and Stoacized it. Since the CD is hard to get; and since I had a few other ideas for arranging it as well; it made it on our new album in an overviewed version.

Chain D.L.K.: How did the new vocalist, Mandy Bernhardt, become a member?
Stoa: Coincidence- or maybe not. We had a class reunion and an ex-classmate was jokingly asking me if I needed a new singer. Mandy and I met and that’s how it started.

Chain D.L.K.: Tell us about the name of the new CD’, Zal’.
Stoa: The word’s got Polish roots and I found it in a biography of Chopin. It’s hard to explain; since it describes a certain feeling. It’s the combination of deepest sadness and highest luck. . That’s what I feel when it comes to our music; which is why the CD’s got that title.

Chain D.L.K.: What era of classical would you say inspired you most?
Stoa: there’s no certain. each epoche hat its geniuses. startig from perotinus; going on to gesualdo, vivaldo, j. s. bach; beethoven, chopin, rachmaninoff going uo to steve reich and arvo pärt in the present. every composer who knows how to touch the soul is a neverending treasure and inspiration. that also includes popular musician’s like goldfrapp and loreena mc kennit

Chain D.L.K.: What era of classical would you say inspired you most?

Chain D.L.K.: Tell us about how “Ariel’s Song” came to be. Who is Ariel?
Stoa: Ariel is the air ghost in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. This play is also mentioned in the movie by Peter Greenway. In this scene Ariel whispers to a person that this person’s father died and lied on the ocean’s ground; which is not true.

Chain D.L.K.: What instruments do you play on the CD?
Stoa: All except for cello and obo.

Chain D.L.K.: What are all the instruments you can play?
Stoa: None, at least not in the way I wish I could.

Chain D.L.K.: Any plans to tour America?
Stoa: We hope to make it to America; but there are no precise plans so far.

Chain D.L.K.: Would you ever do an opera again?
Stoa: did i in the past? ; -)

Visit Stoa on the web at:

[interviewed by Shaun Hamilton] [proofreading by Erica Breyer]


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