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We all know the stories of how creative people get into the business of creating for a living, but how did they start using their imaginations in the first place? On the Beginnings podcast, writer and performer Andy Beckerman asks well-known and up-and-coming comedians, musicians, writers and artists about their earliest creative acts and about other formative childhood experiences.

Mar 26, 2021

On today's episode I talk to musician Hans-Joachim Roedelius. A pioneer in the field of electronic music, Hans-Joachim Roedelius is considered one of the founders of contemporary popular electronic music. Born in Berlin in 1934, Hans-Joachim starred as a child in a number of UFA films, and during the war was an unwilling member of the German Youngsters in the Hitler Youth, membership being mandatory for all boys from the age of ten. During this time, he also appeared in several propaganda films. He fled Berlin in 1943, moving from one place to another before being conscripted into the National People's Army of East Germany. Again he took flight, only to end up in prison. WHen he got out, he trained as a male nurse, then as a hospice orderly. Having relocated from East to West Berlin, he went on to meander through Europe (as a thatcher, detective, masseur, bartender, janitor and many other things), before finally becoming a freelance artist, with avant-garde music his prime focus. In 1968, Hans-Joachim co-founded the music commune known as "Human Being" and co-formed Zodiak Free Arts Lab, the center of Berlin's underground culture at the time, with conceptual artist Conrad Schnitzler. He formed Cluster a year later, and then Harmonia with Neu! guitarist Michael Rother. In the decades since then, he recorded dozens upon dozens of albums, both solo and in collaboration with everyone from Brian Eno to Tim Story (their album Lunz 3 from 2019 is spectacular), and his latest album Drauf Und Dran, an album of piano compositions, was released late last year.

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