Inspiration and thoughts behind the making of 'Process' by Tobias Karlehag
Prior studies and touring as a percussionist
A huge section of my musical career was just that: making a musical career through a more set path through music studies. I’ve spent 10 years studying across the world from Sweden to New Delhi. I’ve developed a musical repertoire in Swedish traditional music as well as Middle Eastern meditation and percussion. My education gave me a sense of a secure career path, but throughout it I felt like I was shutting off a part of myself creatively. Over the years I had the opportunity to dip into electronic music, electroacoustic composition, and sound design while playing with friends, doing a few film jobs, and working within performance art. These moments playing brought out deep feelings that I had been missing artistically in my normal work. Through more and more consideration over my school years, I was more inspired to do something with this other side of my musicality.
Then came a breaking point when I was set to begin my master’s education in Spain. It was a dream set up. Perfect teachers, perfect school, everything that I needed logically to continue my classical education career. I decided to take a jump in a new direction; to leap into something unknown: this creative part of me that had been growing all of these years.
The following autumn after leaving my masters program, I found myself with all this time that I previously gave to school and to helping other artists realize their dream projects. I started to look for inspiration. Eventually I stumbled across ambient music through this amazing podcast called, “Sound and Process” by Dan Dirks. This flame, or better said, forest fire, sparked within me. All of this new music. All of these new artists. I had never heard of any of it but it felt like home. That fall, I got deep into modular synths, algorithmic composition, and generative music. This combination grew up into my own approach to ambient music. I would love to give a shout out to a special few that opened this new world to me: Marcus Fischer, Federico Durand, Elaine Radigue, and Emily A. Sprague. Thank you for your music. Also Dan Dirks, thank you for your amazing work on your podcast, as well as everyone involved and creating the lines forum.
I would also love to mention a really special memory right within this musical and personal change for me. In September 2018 I attended an artist residency for ten days in Alsace, France. With six other artists branching over several artistic disciplines, we stayed in this beautiful wooden house on the mountainside outside of a small village called Metzeral. The residency was artist-run and lacked any specific agenda. Nothing waited to be presented or reviewed which I think was crucial to the experience and atmosphere. We started each morning with an exercise, game, or activity, led by one of us to start the day.This gave us a chance to get a glimpse into someone else's world and expression. The rest of the day consisted of individual artistic work, conversations, walks along the mountain sides, and meals among friends.
The Change, PROCESS
With all this, the album has come to represent a transformative process for me both creatively and personally. It’s been an adventure, discovering new creative depths within me, as well as taking scary steps in exciting directions that left my comfortable career path.
It’s been a humbling process. Though I dedicated years to classical and traditional music, it feels like I have started back at the beginning in some ways. I’m still grabbing all the past parts of me and now composing my own music. It’s such an exciting process, as now all artistic decisions and the outcome are on me. I think that this realization in unison with my change of artistic direction humbled me greatly and really changed who I am today. I would say that this period of time was the start of PROCESS.
Behind the Music, A Spotify Playlist
Limited LP / Digital
Tobias Karlehag is a multi-instrumentalist and sound artist from Gothenburg, Sweden. With his solo project he creates spacious ambient and drone music through algorithmic compositions and improvisation.
In his debut album 'Process' he shapes a still and meditative state with modular synths, electric guitar and various electronics with underlying narratives. The music is the result of a shift where the inspiration for his work comes, partially from field recordings, chance and his own reflections on flow and break-up.creditsreleases January 24, 2021
Artistic idea, composition, recording and mixing by Tobias Karlehag
Mastering by Linus Andersson
Photography by Anton Alvin
Graphic design by Julius åsling
This release is possible through funding by KulturRadet
Vinyl pressed at Spinroad Vinyl, Gothenburg, Sweden
Thanks to Zach Frizzell & PITP, Jacob Snavely, Rasmus Persson, Anton Alvin, the community at Vrångsholmen and Statens Kulturråd. Special thanks to my friends and family from near and far, you know who you are, both for what has been and for what is to come.
© Past Inside the Present
This is PITP-V029 | MMXXI