Composer Torsten Rasch grew up in Dresden, Germany, where he was born in 1965. He joined the Dresden Kreuz Choir in 1974 and was a member until 1982. He studied piano and composition at the Carl-Maria von Weber Academy of Music. In 1990, he moved to Japan, where he composed music for animated films and television. He joined the Japanese artists' group Hikashu in 1992. In 1998, the Dresden Symphony Orchestra gave him his first commission, to write the score for the film Völuspa. The orchestra next commissioned him to write a song cycle based on the music of the German rock band Rammstein, resulting in Mein Herz Brennt (My Heart Burns), which was performed in Dresden and Berlin in November 2003 with the bass singer René Pape and the actress Katharina Thalbach handling the spoken parts. The cycle was recorded for an album by Deutsche Grammophon that was released in February 2004.