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Profile Spotlight: Sebastian Stuertz-Wolff

One Day on Earth is proud to present inventor, musician, and motion desinger Sebastian Stuertz-Wolff. See more of Sebastian, Matze and STUBENHACKER's work at:

STUBENHACKER: ohne Ohne kein Kein (first time robot mask testing) from cadadas on Vimeo.

Who are you and what is your profession?

My name is Sebastian Stuertz-Wolff, I live in the north of Germany (in Hamburg). I am a 36 year old 3D motion designer and music producer, happily married and father of two sons. I earn my money doing motion graphics (which I love) but my true passion is writing songs and producing music.

My motion design alias is CADADAS, which is short for "click and drag and drop and scroll".
I created a robot mask/an alter ego for my electronic music project STUBENHACKER. I will portrait him (and me, making music for him) with the help of my friend Matthias Mach of KLICKAFFEN.TV. Matze is an interaction/motion designer and film maker, and we have been working together on this project for almost 2 years now without having released anything to the public yet.

Can you tell us a little about your background and upbringing?
I grew up in Steinhude, a little village close to a small lake in northern Germany. We didn't have a TV at home, because my father thought that television was evil. And he was right! :) Anyway, when I was 12 he changed his mind and bought a TV and a Commodore 64 computer the same day. So I started composing "music" at the age of 13 on that commodere with the tracker software Soundmonitor (by Chris Hülsbeck). A year later my brother and I formed a band with a friend (The Last Generation) and soon after that I bought a 4-track taperecorder to record the pop songs that wouldn't fit in my punk rock band. To be in control of every single sound fascinated me and I've been recording song after song and experimenting with sounds, samples and styles of all kinds since then.

What inspired you to be a robot maker/musician/filmmaker?
On the German version of Sesame Street we have the Plonsters, a clay animation series which I loved and still love the most. (We sometimes watched Sesame Street in kindergarden!) They are three little clay guys who can transform into anything, always playing tricks on each other but always playing together at the end of each 3-minute long episode. And I always really liked it when they showed building sites in time lapse, so I wanted to do stop motion/animation/time lapse movies since I knew it was possible!

I had to wait a long time, before the first movie camera was brought into my life: My soon to be wife Tara, a photographer, had an old 8mm camera with slow motion-, timelapse- and single shot option and we shot loads of those 3 minute long rolls. Later I became a flash designer, today I am animating with Cinema 4D and After Effects.

I had the idea for the Stubenhacker mask when the first iPhone came out in 2007. I saw a video of somebody moving his iPhone over his hand, demonstrating an x-ray-app (a fake x-ray video of some hand bones). My first thought was: I need three of those and put movies of my eyes and mouth on their screens. Two years later I finally had three video phones together. Well, not three iPhones, just one iPod touch and two smaller ones for the eyes, which even looks better.

At the same time I was experimenting with Melodyne (a plugin similar to Autotune) and realized how the artificial voice gave me freedom - the possibillity to sing completely different lyrics than I used to before. I am more the singer/songwriter kind of guy, my german lyrics tend to be melancholic - but with this vocal effect I could be somebody else!

So I just combined these two playgrounds and made it an amusement park: STUBENHACKER!

Then I asked my friend Matze if he would like to be part of this project - and he didn't have to think twice! We worked together on several projects as flash designers already and he directed, filmed and edited a music video for my band STUERTZ (where I just am myself) as well.

The production of the debut album is almost done, we already have shot material for two STUBENHACKER-videos, but are still in the process of editing and programming, for the first one will be a little interactive ...

Who are your heroes?
I don't like the idea of heroes too much but I do adore some artists for what they have done or still do. In my case it is quite obviously: I love a good hookline, I love creating soundscapes by multitrack-recording, I love robots and artificial voices. So it's definitly the (late) Beatles and Kraftwerk. Robot performances and german vocoder voices are just a perfect combination! Even if you do it with Kraftwerk's lack of humor... I am fan of Pharell's and Kanye's beats and I really like Chiddy Bang’s Producer Xaphoon.

What story do you want to tell on 10.10.10?
I want to show how I work on my Stubenhacker project, the singing robot. It's quite a lot of work to do, before he can sing a song: I got to produce the song, record the lyrics, process them note by note to make it sound Stubenhacker-like, mix down the song. Then we film my mouth singing the song, film my eyes, edit the videos and export them in the right format for each phone. Finally I put on the mask, start all three videos on the phones simultanously and Matthias films the Stubenhacker performing!

Why is this important to you?
I have no idea. I think we just want to play!

Birth of Stubenhacker from cadadas on Vimeo.

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Comment by Laura Victore on November 5, 2010 at 10:00pm


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