SXSW Music Interview: Moritz Simon Geist

German musician creates robotic electronic music


Moritz Simon Geist imagined an 808 that played itself. Then he got to work. The result resembles a kalimba with slapping metal tongs and a contact mic.

"My ultimate goal is to make the performer obsolete, so only robots on stage," writes Geist, a German engineer and musician who can back that up. "Six years ago, I quit everything and dedicated my life to robotic electronic music."

“My ultimate goal is to make the performer obsolete, so only robots on stage.”

For his debut LP, Robotic Electronic Music, he only used robots he built, 3-D printed, or salvaged and engineered back to life. The Dresden-born visionary built a pneumatic hi-hat that looks like a medical device and doubles – with the other music robots that click, cut, hum, and whir – as an art installation. His 2018 bow sounds like the Swedish Chef using his kitchen for techno before the popcorn explodes.

"If I need a synthesized sound, I imagine how to make it in real life. I test out a lot of metals and woods, then I build a robotic sound machine around that," he explains. "In playing techno and electronic music with synthesizers and computers, there was always something missing. So I decided I will give a physical body back to electronic music."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Patty Griffin on Her Battle With Breast Cancer and New Album
Patty Griffin on Her Battle With Breast Cancer and New Album
Local songwriter rises through the fire

Doug Freeman, March 29, 2019

Nardwuar Gifts Quin NFN a Copy of the <i>Chronicle</i> in New Video
Nardwuar Gifts Quin NFN a Copy of the Chronicle in New Video
“They had it everywhere. My momma was loving it.”

Kevin Curtin, March 26, 2019

More by Christina Garcia
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Die Spitz, Red Axes, Fiddlehead, Albert Lee, Elsa Cross, and more recommended shows

July 8, 2022

Pretty in Pink: A Gabriela Bucio Story
Pretty in Pink: A Gabriela Bucio Story
A millennial Midas brings reggaeton and Mexican regional to Sixth Street and beyond

July 8, 2022

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

SXSW Music 2019, Moritz Simon Geist

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle