German-born musician Irmin Schmidt began his musical career studying under modern composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and György Ligeti before ditching classical concepts to help begin the revolutionary experimental rock act Can in 1968. Schmidt served as keyboardist, organist, and synth player for the band and remained with them until their dissolution in 1978. To make a living after Can he would compose and record music for film and television, often aided by other ex-Can players and sometimes releasing his own music on the Spoon label. In 1988 Schmidt reunited with the other members of his former band for the album Rite Time, as well as participating in a second reunion in 1991. Throughout the '90s and 2000s Schmidt focused on scoring for television and film and also was commissioned to compose a three-act opera based on Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast
trilogy. In 2013 Villa Wunderbar, a lengthy compilation of Schmidt's music, was released on the Mute label.