Theatre-maker, Musician and Coffee lover, Currently from Berlin/Halle, Germany. Björn Leese is this month's SoundGym Hero!
My name is Björn Leese. I’m a theatre-maker and musician, based in Berlin and Halle, Germany.
In 1997, I joined the Mask Theatre Company, "Familie Flöz“, and have been working with them as an actor, author and musician, I love this work. As our shows are without words, we have the opportunity to cross-linguistic borders and play in countries across Europe, as well as in Asia, Australia, Africa, North- and South America.
Of course, that all changed in February of 2020 when all our shows were cancelled due to the Corona pandemic, but the good thing is now I have much more time for my family, music and SoundGym. Maybe that’s why I FINALLY got that Diamond Ears Award, after a year-and-a-half of exercising!
I got my first guitar from my father when I was four. Unfortunately, I poured a bottle of milk over it. But my love for guitars did not go away!
At the age of seven, I had to learn all kinds and sizes of flutes. That was inevitable in my family, and together with my sister, my two little brothers and my parents, we used to play "Die kleine Nachtmusik“ on flutes. Can you imagine how that sounded?
Later I learned Drums, Classical Guitar and Jazz Guitar, after my theatre studies, I played Guitar in the Music/Comedy show „Olinka Orphea & Band“ and started recording with a Tascam Portastudio 414 4-Track Recorder (I think I recorded „Die kleine Nachtmusik“.)
Finally, seven years ago, I decided to take a 12-month course on "Audio Engineer Professional“ at audiocation.de, It turns out that was a very good choice, and I really fell in love with recording and mixing music.
I like to drink good coffee. I am a father of a 4-year-old son and whenever there is a little bit of "me-time“ I really enjoy sitting outside, with a cup of coffee and a fresh croissant. Also on a playground, if I am with my son.
I can pretend to run against a street lamp and bang my head into it. That's pretty useless, I think. My son loves it though!
Inspiration sometimes comes to me when I’m just open to the things which are right in front of my eyes (and ears). A little gesture, a silly game, a song, or two chords on a guitar. If I want to repeat that game or these two chords - and add another chord - then maybe something is in it. Joy is often a good compass I can follow.
When I feel joy in doing something, I will for sure keep doing it., and with Music, having a guitar in my hand, it happens quite often to me.
Django Reinhard, but I think I’m too late... I enjoy his recordings so muchת the sound of his guitar and the way he plays.
Hm... I think it’s the coffee again. How boring is that? But I enjoy very much preparing a coffee at home and meanwhile start thinking about the song I’m about to record or mix.
Over the last few months, I have been recording and mixing the crazy summer song "Stilles Gewässer“ from Rüdiger Janeiro, which can be seen on YouTube, Besides that, I’m composing and producing an album with twelve songs for children. Of course, my son Finn was THE inspiration for that!
Together with our partner Nubel Musik/Newbel Records, we will publish this Album called „Löwenmut“ next spring.
That is not so easy - and of course, changes from time to time, when I was 19 the song of my life was "19 forever“ from Joe Jackson (I still think that is a great song).
In the last few years, I heard a lot of folk music and I really like the song "Hopeless Wanderer“ from Mumford and Sons. Of course also the hilarious video with the actors Jason Bateman, Ed Helms, Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis, I’m not much a listener to song texts, but I can connect strongly to the atmosphere and words of that song. Maybe I was a hopeless wanderer until Corona stopped it.
That is probably my old Fender Vibrolux Reverb Amp from 1968. It really makes noises and sometimes crackles, but if I plug in my ES-175 or a Strat, it starts singing...
Bass Detective, I really like this game and what it makes with my ears over time. I really can identify almost all frequencies now, yeah! I also really like the game EQ Mirror. I still need to get better at it, though.
I want to work more and more as a music producer and mixer in my studio, with my theatre background, I hope to compose and produce music for theatre plays. And also to make live music in theatre shows with a whole bunch of instruments.
On the other hand, I would like to go on making music Albums for children and to perform live with my wife Lara, at least until my son is 14 and absolutely embarrassed by what we are doing on stage.
Photography: Magoo Sophie Meyer
Audio Ear Training for Music Producers and Sound Engineers