Johannes Schmoelling was born in November 1950 in Lohne, Oldenburg. At the age of eight he started to take piano
lessons and at the age of twelve he took his first steps at playing on a church organ. The fantastic sound of
this majestic instrument shaped him more during the following years, moreso than playing the piano. At the age
of fourteen he was already organist in a Catholic church in Delmenhorst.
After completing his school leaving examination in 1970 in Wilhelmshaven, he became very interested in the job of
sound engineer, which would allow for the perfect combination of his musical education together with the technical
knowledge associated with that discipline.
But before starting to study sound engineering at the "Hochschule der Künste" (college of arts) in Berlin, he had
to do his military service; musically, at the "Marine - Musikkorps Nordsee" (Marine Music Corps North Sea) in Wilhelmshaven.
After his study in 1977 he kept busy with electronics. A logical step complimented also by his intensive work on the organ.
A job as sound engineer for theatre at the "Schaubühne am Halleschen Ufer" in Berlin followed. There he learned to
handle noises, sounds, room installations and lighting. He still uses this knowledge in his music.
In the middle of 1979 he was engaged by Edgar Froese directly at the theatre. Edgar Froese – founder of the electronic
band TANGERINE DREAM – endeavoured to reform the band again in the classic lineup of three keyboard players.
Schmoelling stayed with TANGERINE DREAM until 1985.
Apart from tours around the globe, several studio- and live-albums developed, as well as soundtracks for movies from
American studios (e.g. Thief – directed by Michael Mann, Legend – directed by Ridley Scott) and German TV stations
With the album "Wuivend Riet" on the Erdenklang label, Schmoelling started his solo carrier in 1986.
In 1988 his second album "The Zoo Of Tranquillity" was released on Theta/ Polygram in London. In 1990 his third album
"White Out" followed on Polydor in Hamburg.
Besides the studio works in his own "Riet-Studio" in Berlin-Kreuzberg, several radio-plays for the German ARD-radio
stations came into being, mostly together with the author Martin Burckhardt.
In 1990 Schmoelling composed the first of three works for the "Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz" for the play
"Mütter und Söhne" (mothers and sons) written by Javier Tomeo. In 1992 followed the music for the play
"Der Ohrenmaschinist" (the ear mechanic) by Gerd Jonke and in 1995 the music for the play "Kunst" (art) by Jasmina Reza.
This successful play documents the prolific cooperation between the director Felix Prader and Johannes Schmoelling.
Since 1993 compositions for TV-movies by the director Konrad Sabrautzky came into being, among others "Zu Treuen
Händen" (to loyal hands) by the ZDF (second German TV-station) which got the "Grimme Preis 1996" and the
ZDF-crime series "Ein starkes Team" (a strong team) with Maja Maranow and Florian Martens.
In 1995 the fourth studio album "Lieder Ohne Worte - Songs No Words" was released, again on the Erdenklang label and
in 1998 the album "The Zoo Of Tranquillity", which was deleted for a long time, followed in an edited version.
In 2000 the cooperation with the director Felix Prader continued in the production of "Das Atelier" by Jean-Claude
Grumberg at the "Renaissance-Theater" in Berlin. In 2001 the music for Jasmina Reza’s "Drei Mal Leben"
(three times life) came into being at the same theatre, again produced by Felix Prader.
In the year 2000, Johannes Schmoelling succeeded in founding his own record label, a long time ambition, which came true.
For the initial release on Viktoriapark Records (the name of this new label) the album "White Out", which had been
deleted for 10 years, was released. Added as a bonus track to the 1990-version was a remix by the young artists
Ulrich Schnauss and Robert Wässer.
In December 2002 the second album on Johannes’s own label followed: the radio play "Laufen" (walking) by author Dirk Josczok,
with music by Johannes Schmoelling.
During 2003 the album "Recycle Or Die" evolved, and was released exactly on Johannes’s birthday, November 9th, again on
In 2004 the attempt to release radio-plays in addition to standard album music, led to the double-CD-production
"Weltmärchen - Weltmusik" (world fairies – world music), a collaboration with the author and artist Hubertus
In autumn 2005, Schmoelling started to work on a new, highly anticipated album, which, although it was considered to
be overdue, was much sought after following the success of the "Recycle Or Die" album. In August 2006, the fifth
release on Viktoriapark Records was released under the name "Instant City".
In 2007 the anthology "Images and Memory" followed, a compilation of tracks from 20 years of solo-works (1986 – 2006).
With "Early Beginnings" (2008) another anthology followed, spanning Schmoelling's time with TANGERINE DREAM.
During that same year, 2008, it happened that Johannes Schmoelling met with Jerome Froese (himself a former member of TANGERINE DREAM and
son of TD-mastermind Edgar Froese), resulting in the idea of a musical cooperation.
This idea was refined during the following years until the project LOOM took shape in early 2010.
In the meantime further solo-releases followed: "A Thousand Times" (2009)
and the rerelease of the 1988-version of "The Zoo Of Tranquillity" (2010), both on Schmoelling's own label.
The album "A Thousand Times" included for the first time a composition by Schmoelling's son Jonas Behrens (a track called "Footsteps"),
who would also appear on future albums.
Meanwhile the lineup of LOOM stood firm, in which Jerome Froese and Johannes Schmoelling would be accompanied by Robert Waters, who already was responsible for a remix on the
Viktoriapark Records-album "White Out".
2011 was a year of many activities: in September Schmoelling's 13th album, "Time and Tide", was released,
LOOM played their first joint performance at the E-Live festival in Oirschot, The Netherlands and a first LOOM-EP "100001"
was released just in time for the debut-concert on October 15th, 2011.
The concert, which was a big success, was recorded live and released as a double-CD on Viktoriapark Records in the beginning of 2012, titled "Scored".
As a result of the concert and the success of Schmoelling newest solo-album "Time And Tide" Schallwende e.V., a community of friends and patrons of electronic music,
decided to award Johannes Schmoelling with their annual special prize.
On March 10 Schmoelling was able to accept the Schallwende-prize from his laudator Winfried Trenkler.
In April 2012 LOOM was able to announce two more live-gigs for September 28 and 29 in Budapest, Hungary on the old Ukranian transport ship A38, which was modified into an event venue.
Both performances have already become highlights in LOOM’s career.
Encouraged by the very positive feedback of their audience Jerome Froese, Johannes Schmoelling and Robert Waters met right after their return from Budapest
in Riet-Studio Berlin to start working on their first studio-album, which was released in December 2013 under the title The Tree Hates The Forest.
For the year 2014 further live-gigs are planned.
(to be continued...)
English translation: Andreas Hedler
lecturer: Conrad Gibbons, M.I.C. (Member of the Inner Circle)