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Interview: CTM – To me music mostly for the body and the senses


Robert Helbig February 22, 2013

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Photo by Luca Berti / Edited by Aske Zidore and Caecilie Trier


Of course passion makes you think of a lot of things, crime of passion, lust, desire, intellectual and sexual passion, reason.
All very interesting things. (CTM)

Cæcilie Trier, who is also part of CHOIR OF YOUNG BELIEVERS and CHIMES & BELLS, just released “Variations”, the first EP of her solo project CTM. With this she wants to make people dance. “Might be a slow dance, cheek to cheek with somebody sweet. To me, this music is mostly for the body and the senses. It’s a pleasure ride, with some lament and aggressions to it. Just music from the school of life.” So NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION talked to Cæcilie to find out a bit more about her and CTM.

Since CTM is pretty unknown for most of our readers by now: please introduce yourself and your musical project.
My name is Cæcilie Trier, I write the music for CTM. There’s an ep out on the Danish label Tambourhinoceros, it’s called Variations and consists of five songs in different tempos.
And there’s a band, we’ve just started out and have played a couple of shows, this weekend we went to By:Larm in Oslo. Next week we are going to play in a church very close to where I live, at Nørrebro in Copenhagen.

I could easily spend
all my time at home
wandering round the apartment
and doing something
close to nothing,
I love that,
and it would be enough for me
for years probably. (CTM)

CTM is your very own musical project. What brought you to the decision? Are CHOIR OF YOUNG BELIEVERS and CHIMES & BELLS not enough? Or did you just have other things in mind that you wanted to do?
I really don’t think it has to do with having enough, or not having enough. I could easily spend all my time at home wandering round the apartment and doing something close to nothing, I love that, and it would be enough for me for years probably. But I like to play the keyboard at home, I do that a lot. For a period I had been doing and then I started to make these songs, that sounded different from what I had been doing before. It was something very private to me, or personal, I didn’t even present it to my boyfriend before the time I was going to the studio. This music is not a compromise between several people, like it is in a band where everybody has a voice. That’s great too, no doubt, most of the time it’s the best, but I wanted to try something completely new, and I had been working a lot with other people all the time.
The music sounded like something new to me when we went to the studio. The process was fast; we had 13 days of recording and mixing altogether.
The band is awesome I think, we just started playing, and have played a couple of shows now. It is Laura Ratschau (she also plays in Snake and Jet’s amazing bullet band), Tobias Mynborg (Fjernsyn Fjernsyn, Lily Electric) and Rasmus Valldorf (Lily Electric, 4 guys from the future etc), I am in love with all three of them.

No doubt: CTM reminds of the 1980s and makes the listener feel like being in the 80s while listening to your music. How do you create this atmosphere and who influenced you in which way?
I was never making 80s music, really, it might sound foolish because many people says that when hearing the music, but I didn’t look at it that way while in the making. Just doing the things I thought sounded good, ha, that’s very simple. And then adding a lot of phaser, flanger and chorus to the elements, and it turned up with this sound.
Last year I was playing this keyboard that I had fallen in love with, and it plays a major role on the recordings too so I guess it kinda dictated a nod to this era. The keyboard is from 1982, I think. It has great pan flute sounds, human voice, space pads and percussion sounds. And it has a rhythm box, and you can add bass and strings and piano with it, so I was playing a whole band all alone at home. That was great, I love the social part of playing music, but I needed to work on my own, isolated, at that time.
I also like a lot of music made in the period from 1977 to 1985. I also like a lot of music that hasn’t got that sound, from other periods, I haven’t got an 80s theme myself especially.


Cæcilie Trier aka. CTM
recommends great music

But now you are asking about that sound, I can recommend:
LAURIE ANDERSON (Big Science/Mister Heartbreak), JOHN LENNON / YOKO ONO (Double Fantasy/ Milk and Honey), YOKO ONO (It’s alright/I see rainbows, JOHN CALE (Artificial Intelligence), NICO (CAMERA OBSCURA), SERGE GAINBOURG (L’homme à tête de chou/Aux armes et cætera/Mauvaises nouvelle des étoiles/Love on the beat), ARTHUR RUSSELL (world of echo/Calling out of context). Andd about everything that PRINCE made between 1978 and 1989.Also LEONHARD COHEN’s Various Potitions, and The Walker Brothers Niteflights, the three songs that Scott Walker wrote, I love that.

Ooh and MICHAEL JACKSON, yes I adore him. My first love. MICHAEL JACKSON dressed up in leather and metal, with Bubbles on his arm. Dangerous isn’t from that period of time but that’s my favorite of his. And BAD, Liberian Girl and Diana are diamonds, well what’s not to love about that album.
I also know some people that make brilliant mixtapes, I’ve been listening a lot to, Thai pop from the 60s and Ethiopian music from then. Mostly that’s how I discover music, friends’ recommendations, most of my friends know so much more music and have way better taste than I, I am very lucky to have them around.
Right now I am listening to DIRE STRAITS’ Brothers in Arms recommended by a friend some months ago, you almost forgot about that record right? Just that record that ALL your friends’ parents had when you were growing up and you remember the blue cover and the guitars somehow, but try to revisit it, really it’s a trip, so intense.

There’s a lot of influences, that’s not from that period, and some that I’m not really aware of, you’re this something standing on the shoulders of all the music and all the people you’ve learnt from. Guess my first cello teacher when I was seven years old still plays a role, he was very important to my musical development.
I’m largely influenced by the people with whom I play, in different constellations.
There are so many good bands in Copenhagen at the moment, The Late Great Fitzcarraldos, Choir of Young Believers, Valby Vokalgruppe, Andreas Führer and the New Brown, Dinner, Synd og Skam, Vitamin J, Nikolas, Thulebasen, Skammens Vogn, 4 Guys From the Future, Girlseeker among many many others that I have been trippin about lately.

Do you want to make people dance or dream with CTM?
Definitely dance. Might be a slow dance, cheek to cheek with somebody sweet. To me, this music is mostly for the body and the senses. It’s a pleasure ride, with some lament and aggressions to it. Just music from the school of life, hahaha.

 Interview: CTM   To me music mostly for the body and the senses

Is “Variations” a variation of Cæcilie Trier?
No, it’s not about me, but it is made by me of course there’s some resemblance in terms of themes. It is a lot about things I’ve seen and felt, but its all mixed up chronologically, and made into new stories, that mean something different to me. And hopefully to somebody else as well.
The title: I was making the songs, all on the same keyboard at home in Nørrebro Copenhagen. In music, and perhaps especially classical music, it is a formal technique where the melody or tonal material, is repeated in altered forms. You variate a theme for example.
From the baroque era it was common for the musicians to do solos in the pieces, improvise a variation on the theme and then return. It is said that for example Beethoven and Mozart and Chopin, all from different periods, did killer variations at the salons at nighttime, improvisations that made their compositions faint.
So this title is used in tons of records, it can take different shapes.
I really wanna recommend another Variation album, that is one of my all time favorites: The Goldberg Variations by Glen Gould.
My “Variations” EP is variations on the same keyboard, and kind of the same theme, so the title was obvious.

When it comes to non-musical things: what would you like to see variated in which way?
Do you believe in the revolution?

Last one: what do “hope” and “passion” mean to you?
As for hope, a friend just told me the story of Pandoras box yesterday. Pandora was the first woman on earth, she was created by water and earth. She was given a nice container, and she was instructed not to open it under any circumstance. But the gods also gave her the gift of curiosity, so she ended up opening the container of course. All evil escaped from the box and spread over the earth, but she hurried to close the box and the one thing that did not escape was hope, the spirit of hope.
She was not punished for opening the box, though, Zeus already knew she would do it.

The passion fruit
grows in frost-free areas.
(CTM)

Ok, well the passion fruit grows in frost-free areas. It’s oval and dark purple at maturity and it has a soft juicy interior with seeds in it, and it comes in many different variations. I also read it can lower your blood pressure. It also has a biblical reference, the Spanish missionaries that came to South America named it Passiflora, relating to the torture of Christ prior to his crucifixion. For example the petals resembles to the Apostles, the three stigmas reflect the three nails in Jesus’s hands and feet, and the threads of the fruit resemble to the crown of thorns. Exciting right?

Of course passion makes you think of a lot of things, crime of passion, lust, desire, intellectual and sexual passion, reason. All very interesting things.
IGGY POP keeps turning up in my mind as well, because of Lust and because he seems like a very motivated guy, ha ha. And because I feel very passionate about The Idiot, I adore that record.


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CTM

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