Interview: Five Minutes with Philipp Rumsch

Meet Philipp Rumsch, a composer, pianist, and sound designer who is currently based in Leipzig, Germany. He has previously studied jazz piano and has written music for theatre and live performances. At the moment, he is currently heading the Philipp Rumsch Ensemble, an orchestral ensemble consisting of 12 artists who have just released their new album μ: of anxiety x discernment. The album blurs the line between ambient, minimal music and avant-pop, and aims to present a multi-dimensional picture of the complex emotional state of anxiety. 

What are some of your earliest memories of music?

Listening to the radio play ‘Traumzauberbaum’ with amazing music by Reinhard Lakomy. Once in a while, I listen to the songs in that play and I’m still amazed how great they are.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

It really depends on the project. But mostly the core idea of a piece must come through inspiration. Once I have the basic idea or concept for a composition I’m progressing in a quite structured way trying to find as many possibilities to solve the compositional task.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

Definitely the mixture of both.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

In the last weeks, I got a couple of messages in which people wrote that the music moved them so much that they had to cry. For me, crying is a very honest, direct way of letting your emotions out and relief yourself. It’s very moving for me that my music can do this, because I know these moments from listening to the music I like – those moments can be really strong.

If you could put together a radio show, what kind of music would you play?

There is so much music that influenced me. I put together a playlist on Spotify with music that influenced the writing process for the new ensemble album so basically that’s the music I would put in the show.

Name five artists and their albums who would appear on your radio show

Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians

Bon Iver – 22, A Million

John Frusciante – The Empyrean

Nico Muhly – Drones

James Blake – s/t

What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?

Exactly what I did with the last album: To examine themes, make them into music and give something to people which they can hopefully connect with and use it for their own live and experiences.

One last thought to leave your fans with?

Take care of yourself and each other, and stay safe!

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