A Cosmic Trail is a fully instrumental band hailing from Germany, exploring the vast and unknown within the variety of different genres including metal, jazz, folk, soundtracks, prog… The band is a brainchild of Lanfear’s guitarist Markus Ullrich and they put out two studio albums so far, 2010′s The Outer Planes and 2013′s II: Minstral.
A Cosmic Trail appeared on our Progstravaganza XIV: Timeshift sampler. We conducted a standard Progstravaganza Questionnaire feature with Markus and here is what he had to say.
How did you come to do what you do?
I play with my main band Lanfear for 20 years now. A Cosmic Trail was something I always wanted to do. Instrumental music without any boundaries and with lots of influences from all kinds of music.
What is your first musical memory?
Sitting in front of my parents’ turntable and playing their old singles from the 60s and 70s. Most of the stuff was horrible but I somehow liked it.
What does progress in music represent to you?
It definitely doesn’t mean complex. It’s the freedom to do everything you want to do.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Everything. Movies, music, books, landscapes, thoughts….
What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?
What message can an instrumental piece carry? The title is something I had in my head while writing it. Really impossible to describe.
Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?
When writing for my main band Lanfear yes. When writing for A Cosmic Trail definitely no. I try to create an arc of suspense and I try to find the perfect balance for each track. That’s all.
What is your method of songwriting?
It’s a mixture between what goes on in my head, jamming and coincidences.
How do you see your music evolving?
Music to me is always evolution and expectations never come true.
What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?
The most important thing is to actually listen to different kinds of music. But even then inspiration is of course nothing you can enforce. You cannot learn to write good music. You can learn to write more efficiently but if you’re not inspired your music will sound ordinary and boring.
What are you looking forward to?
To my next projects.
A Cosmic Trail on the web: