German veteran electronic producer Pantha du Prince, the alter ego of Hamburger Hendrik Weber, just released his next studio album "Conference of Trees" on March 6th, and we were graciously offered to premiere his beautifully shot short documentary about the process. In it, you can experience some of the picturesque settings and scenes that inspire the Pantha Du Prince sound, as he explains at one point, "Before I was 12, it was clear I would become a forest-er, there was nothing more clear in my life".
His appreciation for nature has continued throughout his life and found its way into his music; and in a few minutes we get to quickly see, listen and learn about his new instruments and reasoning for this "Conference of Trees" album. It's not the first time Pantha du Prince has explored new ways to create music, following his experiments with The Bell Laboratory from years ago where he worked alongside different musicians to play different 'bell' parts, like the marimba, xylophone, tubular bells and cymbals. He essentially trades these human interactions for nature in this new process, but the sound remains similar. His love for bells is ever-prominent and his fusion of soft, emotive instrumentals with intricate percussion is as strong as ever.
The first time I saw Hendrik perform in 2010, he was opening for indie rock favourite Blonde Redhead. Even then there was a sense of dualism between the two, having an electronic musician like him perform before the light and loud show of the New York-based Japanese/Milanese indie rock-stars. In this video, there's the clash of surreal imagery within natural settings find him with his eccentric mask standing solo in a forest. The documentary provides an intimate conversation with Pantha exploring his passionate views on the interconnection of nature, tranquility, and music. He wanted to explore how trees communicate with each other, and in doing so has crafted a timeless album that echoes his love of nature.
One previous short documentary he released featured him exploring the ruins of Teufelsberg in Berlin, once again finding himself in surreal environments and using the sounds and acoustics to find something more that what the average person might infer. His interaction with his surroundings and using them for his music has always been a part of Pantha du Prince's M.O., and this latest release is no different. We get to learn about his thought process to go behind the music, allowing a new perspective on listening to him. Check out the wonderful single that's already out from the album, "Pius In Tacet". While it stays true to the mellow bell and pad filled sound that has crafted a dedicated fan following, the use of natural instrumentation is complimented with a video of stunning visual imagery, surreal and strange scenes, and unique, weird creatures.
Hendrik Weber will be performing "Conference of Trees" Live at the end of March in a number of cities including Berlin, Amsterdam, and London, along with a number of other shows across Europe.