German synth-rock pioneers Tangerine Dream’s career has spanned 45 years, seven Grammy nominations and more than 100 albums, and they’re still going strong. The band’s sole surviving original member, conceptualist-multi-instrumentalist Edgar Froese, has assembled a new lineup playing two Northern California shows on its “Electric Mandarine” tour, which includes surprise selections from the group’s entire catalog.
You’re also a sculptor. How did you get into it, and how big are your works? I was a big fan of the British sculptor Henry Moore, as well as the Italian sculptor Marino Marini. They are quite opposite to each other and that’s what I liked very much — to have the extreme in my work. Therefore, I was doing huge stone objects as well as smaller sculptures in various stony materials. Some were cast in bronze and are still shown in some public galleries.
You also work in graphics and film. Is there a genre you haven’t conquered? I started doing graphic ads and logos at a public relations firm in my early 20s, including Coca-Cola, Mercedes and Volkswagen. And I also did quite a few short films, because I was very much inspired by the Spanish cinematographer [Luis] Buñuel. I’ve also been working simultaneously on two writing projects — a huge project about the history and philosophy of Tangerine Dream since 1967, my autobiography. And there’s also a science project that defines a few unknown mysteries about quantum philosophy and quantum gravity.
It’s amazing you met Salavdor Dali. What did you learn from him? I met Dali a few times at his house in Spain, and I met [Andy] Warhol in a few strange situations in New York, and I met my greatest idol [Pablo] Picasso on the beach near the Cote D’Azur. What I took from these geniuses in arts is something they all combined — trying to find a subjective description of the world seen through your own eyes, and, while doing it, putting your cup upside-down before drinking your coffee, which has never been brewed. If you understand such different reality, you have a chance to create new perspectives that others will follow.
Tangerine Dream used to perform behind a bank of keyboards. Has technology helped or hindered you? Technology never had any life of its own. What I said in 1975, by hooking up the biggest synthesizers in the world in London’s Royal Albert Hall, I can repeat today: If you can’t express your music by blowing on a comb, you can’t express it on multimillion-dollar electronic equipment.
IF YOU GO
Where: Uptown Theatre, 1350 Third St., Napa
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Tickets: $48.25 to $53.40
Contact: (800) 745-3000; www.ticketmaster.com
Where: Mountain Winery, 14831 Pierce Road, Saratoga
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $35 to $75
Contact: (888) 929-7849; www.axs.com