World-renowned Swiss cellist and film composer, Martin Tillman, has recently released a beautiful new album entitled, Superhuman, which is dedicated to his wife Eva who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis nine years ago. AXS spoke to the accomplished artist about his incredible career working on great films such as the Dark Knight Trilogy, the upcoming “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “Hannibal”, “Black Hawk Down” and “The Ring”, as well as about what went into his latest creation.
What proves Tillman’s work to be so distinguishable is his unique genre-blending capabilities which have enabled him to master his own distinct sound. With over 120 film soundtracks under his belt as well as countless tours and collaborations with artists such as Sting, Elton John, B.B. King and Elvis Costello, this classical turned electric cellist found his method of expression with the help of his ZETA cello and ever since then has been integrating symphonic sounds with an EDM flair to deliver the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll vibe.
He discussed with AXS.com the moment when he first realized that he wanted to be a musician, “I decided to enter the conservatory of music. I was 17… and at the same time I had a vision that I would end up in Los Angeles one day performing and recording”. He explained about his transition going from classical cellist to electric cellist, “The classical cello taught me to learn the craft. The electric let me invent my own sound. It’s the best instrument in the world. Everything is possible”.
Tillman talked about some of his favorite moments as a performer. From Elton John’s 60th birthday in New York at Madison Square Garden, to performing with Sting at the Oscars, to recording with B.B. King, to jamming with Chaka Khan at the Montreux Jazz Festival, to when he got the very first call from acclaimed film composer Hans Zimmer. “I remember I was very excited”, he said. “I was on tour in Sydney. I got a message from Hans. ‘Please call me’. I did. He asked me if I had a little time to come to visit his studio. There was this film ‘Face/Off’ which needed some new sound. We ended up figuring out how to come up with a concept. It really shaped my sound on the electric cello in all consecutive movies for the rest of my career”.
Now, along with some of the best musicians of this world, Martin Tillman has done something extraordinary with his newest album, Superhuman. A tribute to his wife Eva, he expressed to AXS.com, “Eva is the strongest, most wonderful, smart and challenging love of my life. She inspired me to write two albums. She is my partner in life. I wrote Superhuman for her to celebrate her spirit and all others that combat everyday innumerable challenges”.
You can hear the work of other magnificent musicians who have collaborated on Superhuman such as Michael Landau (Michael Jackson, Joni Mitchell), Davey Johnstone (Elton John), Graham Russell (Air Supply), Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting, Frank Zappa), Leland Sklar (James Taylor, Phil Collins), Dee Lewis Clay (Peter Gabriel, Jamiroquai), David Paich (Toto), and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Martin is currently preparing for his upcoming live shows. “I can’t wait to bring it to the next level”, he said. “There will be some surprises as well when you come see Superhuman ". This album is a true testament to love and the power of the spirit. Tillman shared with AXS, “If you can touch people’s heart, you got it right”.