Christopher Franke Biography (Short)

Born in Berlin, Germany in April, 1953, Christopher Franke studied classical music and composition at the Berlin Conservatory. At that time he was influenced by such composers as Krzysztof Penderecki, John Cage and Karl-Heinz Stockhausen and was actively involved in rock and jazz music.

Together with his composition teacher, Franke set up a sound studio within a Berlin music school. The experimental excursions resulted in a project that evolved into the Berlin School of Electronic Music. It was there that Christopher Franke met Edgar Froese and became a member of the group Tangerine Dream. He pioneered the fascinating soundscapes of the Moog Synthesizer and explored the Moog Sequencer creating driving, hypnotic rhythm patterns. One year later, Franke brought Peter Baumann into the band. Between 1970 and 1988, Tangerine Dream released 37 albums and composed scores for more than 30 feature films, including "Legend", "Sorcerer", "Thief", "Firestarter", and "Risky Business".

After leaving the Group in 1988, he released his first solo album, "Pacific Coast Highway" in 1991. That same year he founded the Berlin Symphonic Film Orchestra and opened a new, much needed recording studio in Hollywood as he became a successful film music composer on his own. In 1993, Christopher started the record label, "Sonic Images Records", and subsequently released numerous studio recordings and soundtracks. He has composed the music for feature films, such as the blockbuster "Universal Soldier", as well as for television, including the cult Sci-Fi series "Babylon 5". 1997 witnessed the release of Franke's critically acclaimed "The Celestine Prophecy - A Musical Voyage", a companion CD to James Redfield's best selling book "The Celestine Prophecy".

More recently, Franke completed the score to the epic "Tarzan and the Lost City", the influential documentary "What the Bleep do we know?", the hit-movie "Hooligans" starring Elijah Wood and the new Sci-Fi movie "Babylon 5 - The Lost Tales".

Christopher Franke Biography (Extended)

Born in Berlin, Germany on April 6, 1953, Christopher Franke studied classical music and composition at the Berlin Conservatory. During this time he was influenced by composers such as John Cage and Karl-Heinz Stockhausen and was actively involved in rock and jazz music with the group Agitation Free.

Along with his teacher, a Swiss avant-garde composer, Christopher set up a sound studio in a music school which became a haven for young musicians dedicated to experimental music. The improvisation courses they later conducted became known as The Berlin School of Electronic Music. Here Christopher met Edgar Froese and Peter Baumann, thus founding Tangerine Dream.

A 1930's ballroom and cinema converted by Christopher into one of the most atmospheric recording studios in Berlin became the scene of many Tangerine Dream album and soundtrack recording sessions. Between 1970 and 1988, Christopher Franke with Tangerine Dream released 36 studio, live and soundtrack albums, seven of which became gold records. They composed the music for more than 30 American feature films including "Firestarter," "Legend" and "Risky Business."

Among the first to use electronic synthesizers, Christopher carved out his reputation as a pioneer of electronic music. Through innovative use of a sequencer as a percussion instrument, live concerts became ground breaking events. Tangerine Dream's world tours brought them to the US, Japan, Australia and much of Eastern and Western Europe. Concert highlights included the Philharmonic in Berlin, the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Fisher Hall in New York and the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Laser light shows and projected images were hallmarks of these concerts.

In 1988, Christopher Franke left Tangerine Dream. After eighteen years of grueling recording and touring schedules, he spent time in Spain recouping and developing his own musical ideas. An abundance of composing work in Hollywood's bustling film and television industry brought Christopher to Los Angeles in 1990 where he settled and opened a second studio. A Synclavier music computer, a Waveframe work station and digital recording became his tools of the trade.

In 1991, Christopher founded the Berlin Symphonic Film Orchestra (BSFO) with which he achieved an ideal balance of electronic and acoustic instrumentation. In addition to composing scores for two feature films and a television movie of the week, he released his first solo album, "Pacific Coast Highway," that same year. The dramatic California coastline influenced this work's ambient melodies and sound collages.

Christopher held his first solo concert on October 16, 1991, at London's Royal Apollo Theater. "The London Concert," the live recording of this performance, was released in February 1993. This release stayed on the Billboard charts throughout the summer of '93 and peaked at #7.

In 1993, Christopher founded his own record label, "Sonic Images." He released "New Music for Films, Vol. 1," a compilation of music including his original scores for "McBain," "Eye of the Storm" and "She Woke up." As a tribute to KLEM, the annual electronic music festival held in the Netherlands, Christopher issued the album "Klemania," an excursion into world/ambient and techno/trance music.

Christopher went on to compose the score for the blockbuster action film "Universal Soldier," starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, and the CBS television series "Raven" for which the soundtrack was released in 1994. Also in 1994, Christopher responded to an increased interest in nature, healing and spiritual awareness with the ambient compilation "Enchanting Nature" featuring original tracks and remixes.

1997 witnessed the release of "The Celestine Prophecy - A Musical Voyage," the companion CD to James Redfield's best seller "The Celestine Prophecy." More recently, Franke completed the score to the epic "Tarzan and the Lost City", the influential documentary "What the Bleep do we know?", the hit-movie "Hooligans" starring Elijah Wood and the new Sci-Fi movie "Babylon 5 - The Lost Tales".