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Swiss Electronic Music interviews Klemens Niklaus Trenkle


Smem - Swiss Museum for Electronic Music Instruments. 



What do you think of digital computer music?

All digital computer music is a nice way to compose; and if the system works well its funtastic and there is no limits

What are your favorite synths and if you have to decide what is your very favorite, the best for you?

Many Yamaha Korg Moog Elka Kurzweil etc. pp. a long list favorite Yamaha CS-80 




We are very honored to have a talk with Klemens Niklaus Trenkle! He created SMEM (Swiss Museum for Electronic Music Instruments) and is a great man with lot of passion and knowledge, a true piece of history for the electronic music tradition in Switzerland (and a great actor too!). 

Whats your name and where you live? 

Klemens Niklaus Trenkle Basel Schweiz 

How and when you started collecting instruments?

Ca. 1980 when I started to buy second hand stuff when people wanted digital synths instead of analog ones


Is it possible to come and visit the museum?

On appointment the museum offers tours

Do you have a guide that help tour the museum?

We have several guides and I do tours sometimes myself.

And is it possible use instruments there for a check?

Most of the instruments are playable; if you need something special to check out , we need to prepare if necessary.


And maybe use the museum as a kind of studio and record some music with your instruments?

In the playroom you can record and play ca. 50 instruments ! Soecial gear on demand


Do you work with Fribourg university? What kind of relationship do you have?

Our people work with the Fribourg University... we collaborate with many schools and universities and other museums worldwide ZHDK Vitra Museum etc

Do you like any electronic artist from Switzerland and do you think we have a tradition and then a future in this music?

Of course we have a tradition in electronic and experimental music... Yello is a world leading act in electro pop there are more like Stefan Eicher, Lunik, Taboo, Young Gods, Irrwisch,, Flame Dream etc pp Bruno Spoerri, Sophie Hunger  The future will be very interesting since younger musicians find out about old forgotten instruments; that‘s why I made the Smem for too... to combine old and new knowlege in electronic gear... even software too... music is an open language without limits.

You are also an actor! Can you say somehting about your involvement with movies and acting and the main films you are in?

I do a lot of commercials and I am well known for my bearded look. I worked in a few Hollywood and Bollywood movies too. Since i work often behind the camera as UPM or in other departments,  I sometimes get a part as a SA too. I did Star Wars "Solo“ and "Mausam“ and some other movies in Switzerland and international.

Do you have any electronic music producers of movie soundtracks that you love?

Movie soundtrack composers I like most are Vangelis and Morricone and many others... there are so many good movie soundtracks around

Did i answer everything you wanted to know?

You would like to say something that I don't ask?

The collection of the Smem is huge; but we are still looking for special and rare itemsso if you have any collectable items or infos about electronic music making... we are always very interested.

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