Rosa Anschütz: Many artists I listen to have this beautiful way of distorting English by using it incorrectly, but in the most beautiful poetic way. It’s like they reinvent the language and it’s not really wrong. It just becomes another kind of poetry, one that is based on the misuse of words. And I totally agree with you, that you can’t really go wrong with poetry. When you combine words with music, the music offsets the hidden meanings in the text and transports something that maybe isn’t accessible otherwise. Music doesn’t necessarily want to be explained fully. It doesn’t need to be.

There are a lot of people who don’t make music themselves, but they want it to be fully legible, which of course can’t be. They have this need to categorize it. Whenever I find myself in a conversation with somebody who is like this, I don’t want to say that I get a cringe reaction, but I can’t relate to them at all. When it comes to music, I can only tell from my emotional reaction if I want to listen to it or not.

Lukasz PolowczykI had the privilege of working with this one artist who plays the guitar but specializes in microtonal playing. He figured out how to transpose Middle Eastern and Indian techniques to an acoustic guitar. He told me once that for him, music is like this vast palace. What we think of as culturally specific inflections of music are like chambers in this infinite structure. He said that our job, as musicians, is to continue exploring this beautiful, endless space. Arguably, if not for the industry and the need to label music for the sake of marketing, things would be way more fluid.

Lukasz Polowczyk

“Sometimes I think that if we didn’t have all these ways to classify music, music would be much more innovative. If you make music with the intent to fit into some box, or a genre, you limit what’s possible compositionally, in terms of instrumentation, etc. You are sacrificing the freedom that music can offer in exchange for an algorithmic approach. With all these new AI tools on the market, if you pair them with this formulaic thinking, we will go into hyper-accelerated copy-and-paste production – a deluge of “same same, but mildly different.” – Lukasz Polowczyk


Rosa Anschütz: You can see this when you look at what happened in the 70s, for example. When I think of punk, I think of it in relation to the commercial music of the time. There is something exhilarating about something so small being in conversation with the establishment, being in vocal opposition to it. Of course, the mainstream eventually took advantage of this underground movement, but even that had a symbolic charge about it. Every genre and every movement acts on the world in a symbolic way. I love this meta-language that comes through fashion and the culture that arises around a particular genre, or at least used to. Nowadays everything is so hybridized, and everything is happening simultaneously.

Lukasz Polowczyk: You’re right, everything is a melange of ideas right now. Most things are this matrix of hyperlinks. Personally, I don’t think that we can go back to where we were in the past. I can’t imagine an entire movement built around a single genre because that’s not how things work anymore. Arguably the role of music has changed, or how it’s deployed in culture and how people perceive its potential to influence culture is not what it used to be. But that’s a whole other conversation. What I look for in music these days, but also in other artistic expressions, is a singular vision, a point of view, one that feels authentic, but is also unique.

Interdisciplinary Samples

Lukasz Polowczyk: In regards to your process, when you told me that you sample phrases, parts of conversations, and things you’ve read somewhere – how do you go about stitching these things together into finished pieces?

Rosa Anschütz: I read a lot of books. Recently I read something about painting and then religion, but then also a poetry book. I find words and ideas that inspire me. Sometimes I pick them up without even noticing. When I’m writing, my subconscious creates all these strange combinations from these “samples.” I also get a lot from the digital world. The more we see, the more images get stored in our heads and the more options the subconscious has as far as combining things.

Photo by Anna Breit

I just had this really profound experience watching a movie called ‘The Whale’ in the cinema. Afterward, I quit all my movie streaming accounts and got a yearly membership for this little cinema. I had so much more access to my feelings there because I had the space for it. The cinema gave me the keys to this work; it facilitated this experience. Afterward, I told my booking agency to make sure to book me in spaces that in some way enhance the music. My new album “Interior” is very specific, so it wouldn’t make sense, for example, to perform it in a standard techno club. I think the environment is very important in this case. Otherwise, the music might not be understood.

Lukasz Polowczyk: I’ve been thinking a lot about how the space for contemplation gets disrupted when we consume things in the digital realm. To your point, watching a movie in a cinema; you’re not only left with your feelings and your thoughts but also have the time to process or sit with them. If you watched the same movie on a streaming platform, chances are the service would automatically cue up the next movie for you. It robs you of this moment of contemplation.

When you go to a cinema, it’s a ritual, and the time before and after the movie is a part of the experience. If you’re with somebody, the conversation afterward is a part of it. It’s almost like a coda to the movie. When I go to the cinema by myself, on the way out, I eavesdrop on other people’s conversations just to see what they got from it. There is something to be said about the fragmentation of consciousness that we undergo while doing that non-linear multi-tabbing thing that we do when we’re online. I would argue that our continuity of self and the experience of the continuity of time is compromised.

Natural Phenomena 

Lukasz Polowczyk: To your point about space as a context and conduit for a specific experience. I really want to curate performances where the highlight of the experience is the natural phenomena that frame the performance. It could just be the natural backdrop. You know how old amphitheaters were sometimes built into a beautiful vista? A type of performance that reconnects the participants with nature, where the art is just there to point at the greater beauty that surrounds us.

“In the past, when a lot of disruptive change was happening in the world, people would refer to nature because it was a way for us to reconnect with reality, to find our roots, and with that connection, stability. But now, the presence of the natural world is in decline, so this relationship has been destabilized.” – Rosa Anschütz

Rosa Anschütz: When I started to work on this new material, this became apparent to me, which is why this work became rather abstract because it was hard for me to paint this concrete picture. But all the while I was thinking about folk songs and how they were handed down from generation to generation, with the same references, often to nature, a type of imagery that is accessible to everyone.

Lukasz Polowczyk: Nature is supreme! I’m not worried about her; she’ll be fine. But if we don’t get it together and find a harmonious way to coexist with her, we will eventually be edited out of the sequence.

Rosa Anschütz: We only have five minutes left! I just wanted to say that I really enjoy the time spent with you; it’s good for my soul. You remind me of things that matter, and I wouldn’t think about half of these things if not for these conversations. So let’s continue…

Rosa Anschütz will release her new record “Interior” in February via Klangbad. Lukasz Polowczyk’s new single e “Glacier Gospel” (with artist Prairie) and his full length “Indigo Sine Wave” (as Aint About Me) are out now. Stay up to date with Rosa and Lukasz via Instagram.