Michael Cretu answering questions from the fans
In 2007 Michael Cretu, for the first time ever, agreed to answer interview questions from fans all over the world. The interview was organised in collaboration with Enigma’s web community. Questions were sent in from Argentina to Brazil, France to India, and New Zealand to USA.
Below is a selection of the most interesting questions:
Have you ever considered incorporating more live instruments into Enigma, or do you see it mainly within the scope of electronically engineered sound? By Samuel A. Warmack, USA
Not really… I believe that the “Enigma Sound” is only possible within the electronic environment I am using. However, in every Enigma record there are lots of acoustic (digitized) instruments. To add to this, 70% of the music is recorded in one take without being edited afterwards. This is due to the fact that I am the only musician, except the guitars, of course.
A Posteriori was recorded on your new mobile studio concept - The Alchemist. Could you please share us your technical experiences with it? Are there strange places where you created/recorded songs or do you plan to benefit from this mobile structure? And also, what happened to the A.R.T Studios? Is it the time to phase out? By Denis Ferry, France - Jonathan McDowell, New Zealand - Petar Sakic, Croatia - Johan Ten Pas, The Netherlands
A.R.T. Studios still exist to this date. But I don't use it anymore. In about six month you will have more information about "The Alchemist" and what it is capable of. If I really have to give one sentence explanation now, without getting into musical and technical details, it will be something like: “It is a fully professional transportable recording studio, which includes all state of the art features and has the size of a couch.” I am sure that with the time ahead of us, many fans will come to understand why I opted for the use of The Alchemist, rather than A.R.T. Studios.
From "MCMXC a.D" to "A Posteriori", What are your favourite Enigma tracks from each album and remixes from the current great catalogue? By James Evans, UK - Sounak Biswas, India - Polly Seip, USA
It is hard to choose, as I love them all. I have put so much work on them and I did that with a lot of love and persistence. However, there are some that really clicked with the fans and myself. These below are what we both, me as a musician and the fans as the appreciators of Enigma’s music, found to be a great mixture of musical sound and innovation.
MCMXC a.D : Mea Culpa
The Cross Of Changes: Return to Innocence
Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!: Morphing Thru Time
The Screen Behind The Mirror: Gravity of Love
Voyageur: Following the Sun
A Posteriori: Goodbye Milky Way
… and my personal favourite remix would be: Eppur Si Muove [Tocadisco Remix]
You have stated in the EPK Interview of E7 [Seven Lives Many Faces] that “I am a tiny tiny microscopic asteroid which is rotating around the universe in a very elliptic orbit. So sometimes, like it was in the 1990 it’s near the collision, sometimes I am very far and I am not fitting at all to the social life or to the needs of humanity. Let’s hope there’ll be a collision again”. Does that mean that there might be a return to the well-known obscure & mystic characteristics of Enigma, sound/theme-wise someday? Could we ever expect an album similar to E1, E2 or E3 in terms of trademark sound packages, samples? Martyn Woolley, USA - Sumon Zaman, Bangladesh
The world is changing and I am changing too, so you can expect the same vibrations, but not the same sound. I am always trying to experiment with the incorporation of sounds from the different ends of our planet. It is not only inspiring to me, but also enriching. This is indeed something that I look for every time when I am in my studio and I do want to pass it on to the fans with each album Enigma releases. Life is a journey and as such one moves forward with each step and with meeting and overcoming each challenge. It is really a matter of evolution and this is how I see it.
Every Enigma record is the result of how you feel in the period of your life when you do it. Be it social, emotional or cultural climate as explained by saying ‘’Zeitgeist’’. Could you please be so kind to give hints to the zeitgeist of Enigma today? Or let’s put it simple; what kind of music style can we expect from Enigma 7? By Nicolaj Stengaard Jensen, Denmark - Justin Phillips, UK - Jose Antonio Riachi, Colombia
Wait and you’ll hear... I am working on E7, but before it’s finished, even my record company has no idea about what I am exactly doing. Sorry, it always was and always will be like this. I simply work this way. For me it is very important not only to pay attention to every single detail in the sound, but also to look at the picture, evaluate and naturally change things already done. A record has to sound perfect to me first and then I turn it to the rest of the team.
Even though you’re a pure perfectionist, would you consider releasing tracks that you felt didn't meet your expectations, but perhaps the fans would enjoy or have known about but have not yet heard? Is there an Enigma "B-Sides Archive" hidden away never to be heard? By Roshan Gandhi, Canada - Stephen Windle, UK - James Evans, UK - Piotr Filipow, Poland - Nicola Migliore, Italy - Matías Castro, Argentina - David Marbot, Australia - Luiz Gustavo de Paula, Brazil
I will never release a song, I am not happy with. If it is not good enough for me, how can I expect that others could possibly like it? I have always worked this way and this is something I firmly believe in. First a record has to make perfect sense to me and sound exactly as I want it to, before anyone else gets the chance to hear it.
When you sing, "Rescue me, oh rescue me… My invisible love" and "Where are you, I am sitting on the moon," It feels a certain messianic/greater power hint to your music. Is this "Invisible Love" the only and unique creator of life? By Drew Gardner, USA - Arash Mashhady, Iran
It could be. What do you think? It is really up to the listener to decide for him/herself. I speak with music. Others speak with words. It is just a different medium, but the one I have chosen for myself long time ago.
If money and "star attitude" was not a problem who would you ask as a guest vocalist for Enigma? And also, do you consider new vocalist(s) for the next album(s)? By Eynav Goldbach, The Netherlands - Marius Krause, Belgium
For sure somebody you don’t know, cause I love experiments and not necessarily joint ventures with already famous artists. I am always looking for the unknown and I am trying to find new ways to express my ideas. Vocals are natural part of Enigma’s music and as such, I am trying to bring something new to the table with every record.
You collaboration on “Enigmatic Encounter” in 2000 on André Tanneberger’s (ATB) album “Two Worlds” was apparently very influential on him and he released many chill out, laid back tracks after this “encounter” Do you see any collaboration with ATB again anytime in the near future? By Nise Smith, USA
André is a big fan of Enigma, since the very first day. I have really enjoyed the work we did together. Actually, we just had dinner a few days ago, while he was visiting Ibiza. We didn’t speak about work stuff, but a new collaboration is in the range of possibility.
We know, you do not plan concerts, live shows, etc. under the title Enigma. However, your music is very versatile and thus would fit absolutely well on "art pieces" like movies, soundtracks or other cinematographic audio/visual appearances. Do you or your management think about some more "advertisement" for your music in this area? By Tamás Szabó, Hungary - Salvatore Sconzo, Italy
Yes, cause it was and still is used in movies, documentations, commercials etc. - worldwide, actually. Whatever makes sense and fits, really.
How would you describe your 6 main albums in one word, for each of them? By Jean-Pierre Héon, Canada
1st CD // 2nd CD // 3rd CD etc... No seriously, I never thought about it, cause I am making music straight from my heart. It will take hours to find an answer, if there is actually one. I create music based on what I feel makes sense to me. And as it is with emotions, sometimes it is really difficult to pin down the right words to explain them.
Probably every Enigma fan thought this year was finally the Enigma time for Grammy Awards. How did you feel not been given the award in the end? By Marina Katsarioti, Greece
Not sad at all, cause I am a smoker and in the US they will put me in “jail”. Joking aside, I prefer to have fans instead of awards. They are way more important to me than material subjects representing recognition. There is more to life than awards. Way more.
The Enigma project introduced a unique musical experience to the world that continues to touch people’s lives even today. The world has changed a lot since Enigma first began. Do you feel any inspiration once again to introduce something radically new onto the music scene of today? Something different from any of your previous work, even Enigma? By Jason Edward Dudley, Canada - Will & Anne Lücken, Germany
Yes. I am working at the moment on E7, but as soon as it is finished, I will start to work on a completely different dream, which is in my mind since years. Maybe you will like it. See, Enigma is all about reaching the limit and even moving forward from the already known. Experiments are a big part of my work and with every record Enigma has released there is something new.
Why "Out From The Deep" - one of the best Enigma videos - was not included on "Remember the Future" DVD? By Nicola Migliore, Italy - Marcos Weber, Brazil - Marius Krause, Belgium
Because it’s the only computer animation video of Enigma and I had the feeling that it is not fitting to the rest. It is important to me to have the sense of wholeness. And it just didn’t feel right.
As many fans think, you respect the musical creations of Vangelis Papathanassiou. Just to mention samples from 666, 1492 Conquest of Paradise or Albedo 0.39. and also a cover of Pulstar in “The Energy of Sound” under TAAW title. What would you say about your impressions on him? Maybe influences? By Ilias Kirimlidis, Greece
For me “Vangelis” is a genius and the best keyboard player of all times. It is as simple as that. It is always a pleasure to listen to him.
Do you ever feel like going back to alter or re-do some of your previous songs or albums, either because you have developed new skills or simply feel like tweaking them? If so, which Enigma albums would you go back to adjust? By Rory Mackay, Scotland
None of them. Experiences and history are a big part of everyone’s life. However, I always release a record only after being completely satisfied with it. And if I were sure that I have given the best I could, why would I be taking another run at it? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
Credits: Onur Tezgeldi (Executive Producer), Martyn Woolley (Advisor)
An exclusive interview conducted by EnigmaMusic.com News Team and Enigma Fans around the world