Edgar Froese, Sculptor and Electronic Music Pioneer, Dead at 70

The seminal electronic music artist Edgar Froese of the band Tangerine Dream is dead at 70 years old, AFP reports. The announcement was made by the musician’s son Jerome Froese, also once a member of Tangerine Dream. He revealed that his father had died unexpectedly of a pulmonary embolism during a trip to Vienna on Tuesday.

A statement from Froese’s band mates read, “Edgar once said, ‘There is no death, there is just a change in our cosmic address.’ Edgar, this is a little comfort to us.”

Froese was born in the Russian city of Sovetsk on June 6, 1944 but grew up in Germany. He studied art in West Berlin, where he trained as a sculptor. An encounter with the surrealist artist Salvador Dali in 1967 inspired him to configure his music in a similarly surreal way.

He later told the online music magazine Quietus that Dali taught him that “nearly everything is possible in art as long as you have a strong belief in what you’re doing.” He admitted that Dali’s “philosophy of being as original and authentic as possible had touched me very intensively at that time.”

Impressed by their fresh sound, British radio host John Peel gave Tangerine Dream their first airplay. Shortly thereafter, Richard Branson signed the band to his newly founded Virgin Records. The label gave Tangerine Dream the artistic freedom to record the seminal 1974 album, Phaedra. Although the album received a lukewarm reception at the time, the sound influenced the bands such as Kraftwerk, and helped brand Berlin as the capital of electronic music.

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