We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Wirsig and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I have a feeling that this often is not something you choose consciously, but maybe something that chooses you. Early in my life I was interested in music and arts, and it somehow came naturally to me that I wanted to create my own works, and music is the one art where I’m at least a little better than say drawing comics (something i would love to do but my doodles are mostly just that). Time and time again I’ve wondered why I and many others still write new music, when there’s so much great music already available, and this alone would take forever to listen to. But somehow there’s an inner urge to create new pieces and write new songs. I can’t really explain it, but it’s a very deep feeling for me. So I usually try not to think about it too hard or question it, and just do what feels important to me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I mainly specialise in the dark side of music, but not necessarily bound to certain genres. Somehow the darker, more melancholy or a bit eerie music has always touched me more. Nowadays I write and produce scores for film and TV, and instrumental music for my own and some other music libraries. But my work also includes my Electro Pop band no:carrier, as well as film scores, instrumental electronic and orchestral music. Apart from that I also produce other artists, often co-writing songs with them or helping arranging it. And having said that I specialize in dark music, there’s also the band Glacé with their Power-Pop/Punk track “Story Maker” – definitely not dark, and I always joke that I’m also a band member in a girl punk band 😉 I generally like to mix things up, and create hybrid sounds and music with acoustic and electronic sounds, record strange instruments or use them in unusual ways. One journalist once called it “taking the soul of sound and using it as a weapon” – I liked that description, as I’m at first more interested in the emotion of a sound or an instrument, and to use that to its full effect. I think that’s not only great for film scores, but also can help a song to make it more interesting to listen to. You can always just add some little highlights or a counterpoint that set it apart in its genre.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
When friends and family visit, I usually have some “not-too-touristy” tourist spots. Often starting with the Hollywood sign, but not at the parking lot where everyone goes, but from the side of Lake Hollywood. You can’t get completely up to the sign from there, but it’s a great spot for photos, as you look at the sign from a really good angle. Then I bring them to the tourist corner of Hollywood Blvd – a quick stroll along the Walk of Fame, of course checking out the Chinese Theater (their VIP tour is quite interesting), maybe the Wax Museum, then having a delicious flat bread in the picturesque lobby bar of the Roosevelt hotel, one of the classic Hollywood places. Then it could go on to Melrose Ave (especially the smaller punk and second hand boutiques), Griffith Park (I love walking around the old LA zoo and its empty cages), and (if people are ok with the more morbid) the Museum of Death.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give a shout out to two organizations that helped me along the way. When I moved from Germany to San Francisco in 2012, West Coast Songwriters was the first association I joined, and I met so many great new friends there with whom I still collaborate on songs and releases. Their annual conference was a really good starting point to build a network and learn about the music business and entertainment industry here in the US. www.westcoastsongwriters.org The second one is the Society of Composers and Lyricists, that I joined after moving to Los Angeles in 2015. This is the premier organization for composers and songwriters who mainly write for movies, TV and games. I soon started volunteering for them and was also working as their LA Administrator for nearly two years. Once again I met so many great folks and collaborators at SCL events, and had awesome experiences like listening to legendary songwriter Charles Fox sing his hit “Killing Me Softly” at the piano in a very intimate setting. www.thescl.com
Other: www.counter-communications.com (my company and music library website)
Jürgen Schöberl Marion Wirsig Chris Wirsig