Listen to a revealing new playlist by Wolfgang Tillmans

The photographer shares a desert island disc selection of his all-time favourite music.

by Frankie Dunn
29 July 2020, 5:45pm

Photography Wolfgang Tillmans for i-D's The Faith In Chaos Issue

After discovering a whole lot more about both his Berlin neighbourhood and himself during lockdown, multidisciplinary artist Wolfgang Tilmans -- whose collage of photographs celebrating touch and intimacy for i-D's The Faith In Chaos Issue was a real tease during a global pandemic -- is feeling kind of ok about the future of the world.

“I don’t like all this talk of how everything will change from here on,” he tells i-D. “It helps to look at paintings of a village fair from the 15th century to understand that people also wanted to be close to each other in past centuries. There were pandemics then too, but life continues afterwards. We will be close to each other again. It is the lifeblood of civilization. That inspires me.”

Talking of inspiration, if you’re searching for some, look no further than Wolfgang’s latest single “Growing”. Originally part of his 2017 Tate Modern exhibition of sound, light and video called ‘South Tank’, the track is a collaboration with LA duo Wreck and Reference who sample Wolfgang’s vocals (and a jangling set of house keys) over a droning techno beat. “I always thought it was really special,” he says, “but hadn’t quite found a place for it independently -- now I feel it is the right moment to put it out.”

“Growing” features in an eclectic new playlist, made by Wolfgang Tillmans for i-D, that sits at 1 hour 46 minutes and takes listeners on a journey through some of the artist’s all-time favourite pieces of music.

“It’s maybe the most revealing playlist I have ever put out,” he says. “Besides some very recent music that I came to notice, and a couple of my own tunes, it contains many of my lifetime favourites, spanning chants from Taizé that I’ve listened to since I was thirteen, to South African-based producer Oskid’s track “Disappear” that I can’t stop coming back to since bringing it home from Johannesburg two years ago. Then there are the 'synth carpets’ of FPU’s “Crockett’s Theme” that have touched me deeply since I first heard them almost twenty years ago, and Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane (live)”, which is my desert island chart topper. There is a thread of trust running through this.”

“Growing” will be released on vinyl on 22 August, paired with new track “Life Guarding”.

wolfgang tillmans