Tom Blankenberg

composer, producer and sounddesigner

Deutschland, Germany



"Genre bending!" - „As if Bill Evans were communing with Arvo Pärt“ - „Exceptional, minimal solo piano" - "A new breeze in the neoclassical genre" Foto Credit: Andreas Henk




What does music mean to you personally?

This has changed a couple of times in my life. I listen to music a lot of when I was a child and a teenager and I had this energy to compose. But as a young adult I started working in sound studios, especially directing and recording voices for ads, television and cinema and doing sound design. So I stepped back a little to listen to music... when you thoroughly listen the whole day your ears needs to get some rest after work... And I learned to work with voices and sounds in a musical way and I also did some music for ads and movies. So music was connected to „being at work“ for years. But the desire for a genuine music, for my own musical identity struck me a decade ago and I started composing piano music. And now... I can´t imagine being without it.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Yes, I tend to say imagination. I like to tell stories with music and I like to listen to music that takes me on a journey, an imaginative journey.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

Director of documentaries or author?

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

No, I´m not worried. Pop and indie music are my origins and those has changed ever since. Now I try to merge the audiences and see what happens.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

Yes… there´s music everywhere and anytime… and often it has to fulfill purposes. There a playlists for “Piano Dinner” or “Happy trough the night”… This is kind of strange. You don´t listen to artists or albums anymore, you listen to moods. We have to be aware of that fact. Personally I don´t want to move to that role and make mood-music. So my position could be described as “I don´t give you what you ask for, but you can choose from what I have to offer.” So, listen to an entire album or the go to a concert and take risk to get out of the mood you’re in. That´s the challenge.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

I can´t separate it. Making music is per se an act of creation, composing and performing. But we´re all very creative, every one of us, every day and we all should rely on that. It´s harder to stay creative nowadays, we´re all so distracted. Speaking of musicians and artists we are also maybe in charge of promoting records or booking concerts… this might be time consuming. But hold on from time to time and focus on where you´re coming from – music and art in general. And additionally maybe live your creativity in other fields of art too.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

It could be a matter of collaborations with different artists and genres and getting out of the concert halls. There are a few festivals that stand out doing so, the Approximation Festival here in Düsseldorf for example.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

Uuuuu, my favorite piece…? It´s always the one I´m currently working on Maybe “Tori” is one of my favorite pieces. I wanted to do a piece with just white keys, but on the other hand it should be harmonically complex. But… on the next, third hand the complexity should be concealed… it should sound “accessible”. So I start with a mini cluster… and let if flow.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

I noticed many of them fell in love with classical cinema soundtracks or classical music in movies. If you like it in that movie just go and dig… you probably like more of this composer. That´s one way to attract an audience that is not familiar with classical music. And of course get your hand on an instrument and learn how to play.

Do you think about the audience when composing?


What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I’ll do a music-for-film-for-music experiment, that should be finished 2022. But before that my next album „et“ will be released on April 16. I´m pretty exited.