Alexander Frangenheim, bass
Joachim Zoepf, clarinets
The two musicians Alexander Frangenheim and Joachim Zoepf got to know each other during their collaboration with Günter Christmann and have been developing their own duo music since 2014.
They have a distinctive personal style and a wide range of instrumental expressions, not least because of their different musical socializations. Alexander Frangenheim's roots can be found in classical music, while the roots of Joachim Zoepf are in African-American music.
Both profound experiences in the cooperation with different musicians of the free Improvisations scene, as well as the discussion and co-operation with other art forms guarantee exciting and diversified concerts on the highest musical level.
Regular visitors can remember the both musicians very well:
In 2017 Joachim Zoepf was part of WinckelBOX, in 2014 Alexander Frangenheim played in the quartet WTTF with Phil Wachsmann, Pat Thomas, Roger Turner.
Tiziana Bertoncini, violin
Soizic Lebrat, cello
Benoît Cancoin, bass
Vincent Royer, viola
In Quatuor BRAC, four virtuoso string instrumentalists have joined forces: the Italian Tiziana Bertoncini, as well as Soizic Lebrat (the new A in BRAC – in the original line-up Martine Altenburger was there), Vincent Royer and Benoît Cancoin from France.
Improvisation is both, the core competence and desired repertoire of BRAC. The instruments are plucked, stroked, rubbed, beated, and in addition to their bodies, the voice is used.
‘In the Quatuor Brac, we continue our musical and sound explorations and feel the great pleasure to share them with all the public [...] Improvisation stays our main domain of exploration. It is also for that reason that we wish to live new confrontations. Indeed, the musical improvisation means the absence of score and the less or the absence of "pre-agreement" about what is going to be played. This double absence is going to give a major importance to the listening.’
The willingness to take risks seems to be so great because of the confidence to find each other at any given moment a new musical path. This gives the quartet's interplay a wonderful scratchy clarity.
Reinhold Friedl, piano
The pianist, interpreter and composer Reinhold Friedl is probably associated by most people with the ensemble Zeitkratzer. Visitors to the concerts of Offene Ohren e.V. may remember his duo Tobel with electronic sound artist Franck Vigroux and their performance two years ago at MUG.
Other important musical partners include Keiji Haino, Phill Niblock, Masami Akita (better known as Merzbow), Mario Bertoncini (nuova consonanza), Lou Reed.
The main focus of Reinhold Friedl's work is the inside-piano. He has played any and all compositions using inside-piano techniques and released several articles in this field.
Olaf Rupp, guitar
Frank Paul Schubert, soprano saxophone
Paul Rogers, bass
A unique merging of free improvisation and chamber jazz, the trio of UK bassist Paul Rogers, German guitarist Olaf Rupp and German soprano saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert use stunning techniques in sensible ways as they present three extended works, energetic yet never frenetic, stretching their concepts in a tight and enthralling dialog of great luster.
Paul Rogers' bowing work, especially in the high register, provides an intense counterpoint to Frank Paul Schubert's playing, ranging from pointillistic to squealing and scattering runs. Olaf Rupp alternates from chordal work to rapid fire clusters that are never overbearing.
The trio are a cauldron of sound that never boils over, constant in spirited playing that meshes so well that it creates a texture you can listen to repeatedly without catching all of the detail.
There are introspective moments and great dynamics, but overall the enthusiasm of their interaction carries the day, making for a profoundly masterful and infectious musical live performance.
Andreas Røysum, clarinet
Axel Dörner, trumpet
As a duo, Dörner and Røysum meet through a mutual understanding of form and technique. Drawing on a broad stylistic range, they manage to create abstract soundscapes of stupendous variety.
Axel Dörner has redefined the sound of the trumpet over the last twenty years using alternative techniques to realize its potential.
He plays classic Cool Jazz with Sven Åke Johannson with the same confidence as he does using an experimental approach such as in Contest of Pleasures with John Butcher and Xavier Charles.
Oslo-based clarinetist Andreas Røysum has worked with everything from pure abstraction to Jazz, Norwegian folk music and Indian classical music. He spent the past years touring with his groups Miman and Målbrott, and also performed with people like Elliott Sharp, Jasper Stadhouders and Rhys Chatham.
Pierre Borel, saxophone
Joel Grip, double bass
Their music undergoes a constant change - continuous development.
Simultaneously: starting, stopping.
Interacting intuitive energy / intense contemplation.
A dotted silence questioning the ongoing.
Hits the guts, at the same time welds wounds.
Takes all under consideration.
Then erupts again.
Moves on at the moment it stops, and starts all over again.
Since 2003 Joel Grip has been one of the main organisers of Hagenfesten in Dala-Floda, Sweden. He is the founder of Umlaut Records. In 2014 he established the film production company Umlicht with other filmmakers.
Pierre Borel lived in Berlin for several years. In 2008, he attained a master's degree in jazz at the Jazz Institute in Berlin and continues questioning music and life through his studies in philosophy in Paris.
Jordina Millà - Andreas Willers in a duo
The Catalan pianist Jordina Millà represents the next generation of piano playing after Agustí Fernández, who discovered and promoted her.
She graduated as a classical pianist in Codarts University of Arts in Rotterdam and obtained the Master in piano performance. Nowadays free improvised music and contemporary language are her main interests.
In addition, she works in interdisciplinary projects, with theatre companies and dancers as Teresa Santos and Sónia Sànchez and Iris Heitzinger. Jordina Millà is member of Improject, Col·lectiu Free't and Trio Stalzim.
At the beginning of 2018 her first solo album "Males Herbes" was released. About this CD Agustí Fernández writes:
"A first album is always an open door, a new path being offered, a way of understanding and making music that (until that moment) did not exist.
[...] Over the course of the tracks that make up this album and that squeeze out all of the possible registers of the instrument, we find extreme concentration, focused listening (internal and external) and very feminine delicacy and determination, if one can say this.
We also find a deep restless calm, a kind of relentless path carving, a way of saying something without becoming overwhelming, but without truce. Intensity is not at odds with softness, and this album is the proof. [...]
At Jordinas hands the piano is alive!"
Andreas Willers is considered an exceptional guitarist. His stylistic background is enormous, the technical and tonal possibilities, which are supported by a secure sense of form and emotional power, are very broad.
He collaborated with outstanding musicians such as Paul Bley, Urs Leimgruber, Alvin Curran and many important musicians of the Berlin scene such as Johannes Bauer, Axel Dörner and Achim Kaufmann. As a composer and interpreter, he is active in various areas – including jazz and new music.
In the solo performance "Drowning Migrant" Andreas Willers refers to the material of his eponymous CD, which appeared in 2009 on the English label Leo Records. Here Willers' direct sound, focused on the early days of the electric guitar, combines with abstractly used electronics to form a unique meta-stylistic music.
A reference to refugee policy in Europe is not unintentional and has not lost any of its relevance since the CD release:
"Some years before the by now pervasive debate, the idea of drowning refugees made me think of a highly artificial but not destructive sound for the electric guitar that I tried to realize by means of digital effect algorithms (mainly reverb and parallel delays). This setup dubbed ‘Time Lag Accumulator 21’ by myself in reference to Terry Riley, was later reduced for concert purposes and is supposed to convey the disturbing insight, that mere ignorance does not make us innocent."
Werner Dafeldecker, double bass
Lucio Capece, bass clarinet
Lucio Capece and Werner Dafeldecker explore the overtone world of the two instruments as part of repetitive improvisation patterns. Symmetry, repetition and the resulting structures, as well as their manifestations are theme of the duo founded in 2010.
Minimal, often barely noticeable transformation of solitary material through subtle sonic changes illuminate the monolithic form of the acoustic pieces. Material changes show smooth transitions without being precisely marked out.
Werner Dafeldecker is an Austrian improvisation musician (guitar, double bass, electronics) and composer. He studied double bass at the Vienna Conservatory. Today he lives in Berlin. Werner Dafeldecker performed at the Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik, the Salzburg Festival, the Styrian Autumn Graz, the Total Music Meeting and the Berliner Festspiele as well as at festivals in North America, France and Australia.
Lucio Capece is an Argentinian-born musician based in Berlin since 2004. His installations include the use of noises and pitched sounds, with the intention of drawing attention to surrounding space and the perceptual experience. In groups, Capece plays electro-acoustically improvised music, with instruments of choice including the soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, and the Shruti Box.
During his younger years in Buenos Aires, Lucio Capece was classically trained in guitar and jazz, later coming to favour reed instruments and compose with groups like Avion Negro and Casual. His unconventional solo performance tools now include helium balloons, pendulums, synthesizers/ noise-generators, and Ultra-Violet Lights.
As proclaimed in his interviews, he conceptualizes sound as “a living creature”, and his work tends to dig into the stages of its vibrational production, to spatial travel, and to perception.
Lucio Capece’s investigative spirit has led to longer-term projects: collaborating with Mika Vainio on the Trahnie release off Editions Mego, and a solo CD by the label Potlatch, called Zero plus Zero, which was four years in the making. He has performed with artists such as Radu Malfatti, Toshimaru Nakamura, Axel Dörner, Kevin Drumm, Rhodri Davies, Julia Eckhardt, Phill Niblock, Pauline Oliveros, and with the Q-O2 Ensemble, and tours internationally with invitations at festivals like Todays Art (The Hague), Dis-Patch (Belgrade), Experimenta (Buenos Aires), All Ears (Oslo, Norway), and more.
Hilary Jeffery, trombone
Friedrich Glorian, percussion
Robin Hayward, tuba
Elena M. Kakaliagou, horn
Zinc & Copper was founded by tuba player Robin Hayward in 2005. A trio of horn (Elena Margarita Kakaliagou), trombone (Hilary Jefferey) and tuba forms the basis for a variable ensemble of brass instruments, distinguished by its innovative and pioneering approach.
The development of microtonal valve systems enables unprecedented exploration of tuning systems on brass instruments, connecting both to western experimental music traditions and non-western traditions such as Maqam. Using distorted embouchure and experimental valve-techniques, the instruments may be transformed into acoustic noise generators. Half-valve and muting techniques allow for an acoustic filtering of the tone, opening up a wide colour spectrum.
In the time of Giovanni Gabrieli, long before modern valved brass instruments were invented, the brass ensemble had equal standing to other chamber music ensembles. By researching alternative approaches towards playing, Zinc & Copper is exploring the potential of the medium in the 21st century.
Zinc & Copper likes to invite local musicians as guests. In the second set they will perform together with Friedrich Glorian:
It was in the late 1960´s when Friedrich Glorian started his career as a professional musician in the city of Ulm in southern Germany, playing the lead guitar with the krautrock band Prof. Wolfff, one of the first rock bands to use German lyrics.
After a two-year training at Joe Haider´s jazz school in Munich in the late seventies, he spent a lot of time in India to study North Indian vocal music and percussion.
In 2004 he founded the world music project setu.bandh, featuring musicians from India, Georgia, Hungary and Israel. Currently, he is busy composing new / experimental / electronic music for dance and multimedia productions and art installations.
Above all, we are celebrating an evolution that made it all possible: Owing to these 200 concerts, a community of enthusiasts has evolved that is into improvised music – and everything else connected with it: freedom, expressive power, love of experimentation, spontaneity as well as openness for dialog, focus and a sense of structure.
Curiosity and a passion for improvisation in music are what distinguishes also today's guests. Beyond the purely acoustic side, our jubilee event is proud to present improvised music in all its visual glory:
Since the 90's, Slovenian photograper Žiga Koritnik has been around wherever this music is made and heard. He has a knack for capturing the process of origination in its decisive moments. He will present his recently published volume of photographs entitled Cloud Arrangers and tell us some interesting details about how it all came about.
Before drinking with our audience in the adjoining hall to the first 200 concerts and everything that might still follow, we will enjoy our jubilee concert featuring:
Paal Nilssen-Love, drums
Joe McPhee, reeds and brass
Rarely if ever has a wind/drums duo been documented so carefully and extensively on recordings as trumpeter/saxophonist Joe McPhee and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, including a 7 CD box called Candy.
A review on freejazzblog.org concludes with: "This music is beyond beauty, beyond sadness, beyond words. Beyond! Nothing you could write about it would live up to this music."
Accordingly, we think this the best possible way to celebrate our 200th concert.
Joe McPhee is a multi-instrumentalist, improviser, composer and conceptualist. After his start on trumpet at age eight, he was inspired by Albert Ayler to turn to the saxophone as well and began an intense study of acoustic and electronic music. On Clifford Thornton's Freedom and Unity he was documented as a sideman for the first time, soon to be followed by numerous recordings as a leader.
Pauline Oliveros's "Deep Listening" and Edward De Bono's "Lateral Thinking" were defining influences on the evoluton of his own musical theories. The strategy of looking for solutions by the deliberate use of new perspectives is reflected in his own approach to creative improvisation.
One result of this lateral thinking was his concept of PO Music: "It is a hypothesis of the POsitive, the POetic and the POssible to abandon fixed, traditional ideas in order to find new ones."
According to Dan Quelette writing in downbeat in 2002, Paal Nilssen-Love "is one of the most innovative, dynamic and verstatile drummers on the current scene."
To a large extent, this can be attributed to the fact that he works in a large number of bands and projects, whose common denominator is a high level of energy and dynamics. As a representative selection we might name The Thing, Territory Band, Atomic, Sten Sandell Trio and particularly the Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, as well as duos with Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson or Lasse Marhaug.
The foundation was laid in his youth already. He grew up in Stavanger, Norway, as the son of a drummer and jazz club owner and came into contact with saxophone player Frode Gjerstad very early on.
Lori Freedman, bass clarinette
Nicolas Caloia, bass
Mercury is a product of a long-time collaboration between two key figures of the improvisation scene of Montreal: Lori Freedman, clarinets, and Nicolas Caloia, doublebass.
After some 15 years of playing, recording, writing and talking together Mercury decided to develop a concert repertoire that reflects the ideas of “open form” composition specific to the current approach in Montreal. With seamless welding of both written and improvised parts this singular sound comes from music that is dynamic and conversational in structure, rich with polyphonic and gestural elements. Each piece has its own particular playful quality and is animated by these two veteran musicians.
Performances of the duo include compositions by Earle Brown, John Cage, Cornelius Cardew, Christian Wolff, Malcolm Goldstein as well as own pieces and free improvisation.
Lori Freedman is one of the most important avant-garde musicians of her generation and her bass clarinet playing is unprecedented. Highlighted among her performances she has played wth Steve Lacy, Roscoe Mitchell, Misha Mengelberg, Joe McPhee, Toshimaru Nakamura, Rohan de Saram, John Butcher, Joëlle Léandre, George Lewis, Axel Dörner, Phil Minton, Frances-Marie Uitti and Richard Barrett. In 2006, with "Queen Mab" she was guest of Offene Ohren e.V. for the first time.
Nicolas Caloia, with his surprising and unique musical voice is an unparalleled force in the creative music scene. As bass player, composer, and bandleader Caloia’s music can be heard in ongoing collaborations with Tristan Honsinger, Joe McPhee, Matana Roberts, Malcolm Goldstein, Sam Shalabi, Jean Derome, Joshua Zubot, and Yves Charuest, and in past projects with Roscoe Mitchell, Marshall Allen, Steve Lacy, Hassan Hakmoun, William Parker, and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.
An evening of discoveries! Both soloists have been active for decades, but international recognition has not been given them as much as they deserve. Experience with us two hidden treasures of European improvisation art!
Stephen Grew and Guillaume Gargaud – they also fit perfectly as a duo
Stephen Grew about Stephen Grew: "My music is made out of the vital need to play the piano. The music is put together through thousands of hours of playing, performing in an improvised manner, gathering and developing many varied patterns, moods and mysterious colours.“
The Brit Stephen Grew is still one of the best kept secrets of European improvised piano music. After his duo concert with his brother Nicholas eight years ago, he will now visit Offene Ohren e.V. as a soloist.
Guillaume Gargaud is a composer and improvisational guitarist. He lives in Le Havre in France where he also teaches music.
His expressive playing lives from harsh contrasts: droning nois-rock-attacks suddenly transform into psychedelic dreamscapes, only to give way to a melody in the best American guitar style the next moment. His stupendous technique is reminiscent of Steffen Basho-Junghans or Nick Drake.
Michel Doneda, soprano saxophone
Adrian Myhr, bass
Adrian Fiskum Myhr is a bassist from Oslo working in groups like Oker, Damana and Bansal Band. In 2016 he played with Oker at the MUG.
Hailing from France, Michel Doneda has been active on the European improv scene for decades. Among his preferred musical partners are John Zorn and Fred Frith as well as French percussionist Ninh Lê Quan, with whom he performed at Offene Ohren e.V. in 2017.
The duo Doneda-Myhr plays acoustic free improvised music. In recent years they were frequently on the road together: in a trio with Norwegian drummer Tore Sandbakken or in a quartet adding video artist Xavier Querel on diverse tours through Norway, Denmark, France and Switzerland.
In winter 2016, they played their first concerts as a duo. In this constellation their common focus is on exploring the sonic possibilities of their instruments. With the soprano saxophone and the double bass, they are able to cover a broad spectrum ranging from shrill eruptions in high frequencies to brooding, low-pitched drones.
Both performers use unconventional playing techniques and preparations for their instruments aiming at unexpected and multifaceted musical results. A highlight not to be missed!
Achim Kaufmann, piano / D
Harri Sjöström, soprano saxophone / SF
Ignaz Schick, turntables, electronics / D
Alison Blunt, violin / GB
Veli Kujala / accordion / SF
Gianni Mimmo, soprano saxophone / I
The Sestetto Internazionale is a group with a very unusual lineup. It was Finnish sax player Harri Sjöström who brought together this sextet for a tour of Finland in 2015. His European colleagues are the Finnish accordionist Veli Kujala, the Italian soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo, the British violinist Alison Blunt as well as Achim Kaufmann and Ignaz Schick from Berlin on piano and turntables respectively.
Brilliant interplay, astounding voice progressions and declinations of timbres are the hallmarks of this ensemble forging together some of the most innovative protagonists on the current improv scene.
We can look forward to a thrilling performance boasting inventive instant compositions, vibrant sophistication, contemporary impressions, ingenious tales and detailed soundscapes.
The Bayerische Rundfunk has recorded the concert live and will probably broadcast it on 14. June, 11:05 p.m. on BR-Klassik in the program Jazztime.
Nate Wooley, trumpet
Lotte Anker, alto saxophone
Felix Henkelhausen, bass/ D
Dré Hočevar, drums
After the critical success of knknighgh's first CD Minimalist Poetry, Nate Wooley is back with a concept that expands not only the minimalist/maximalist compositional technique of the first recording, but does so with a new cast of characters: Lotte Anker on saxophone, Felix Henkelhausen on bass, and Dré Hočevar returning on drums.
The Brecht Series takes the previous concerns of group interplay and and the tension therein to a different place altogether; pushing the new set of musicians to throw themselves off of musical cliffs repeatedly to find the newness in risk.
The new music takes on the hierarchy of the free jazz quartet by gently directing the musicians away from the typical jazz soloing and toward a new collective sound. The result is a surprisingly raucous and wonderfully inventive new music.
As one stop on this recently formed ensemble's first tour, we will be able once again to witness the instantaneous evolution of a new group sound.
PS: knknighgh is pronounced as knife.
Jan Klare, alto and bass saxophones
Julius Gabriel, soprano and baritone saxophones
The final concert in 2018 is taken care of by a duo combination of musicians that would normally rather be associated with a big band – Jan Klare as the leader and Julius Gabriel as a member of the notorious large ensemble The Dorf, that has already descended on several European festivals.
In this intimate but at the same time expressive and explosive double saxophone setting, the players will tell us stories "about angels and animals" – expect the unexpected!
Frank Gratkowski, saxophone
Sebi Tramontana, trombone
The last concert in November is also a déjà vu: Frank Gratkowski and Sebi Tramontana return with their ”Instant Songs“,that they already presented in 2005 at the Seidlvilla - ”stories from the magic forest“ ranging from the lyrical and melodious to the expressive and eruptive.
Both have successfully contributed to numerous groups since. This project, however, is especially dear to them, because it is completely different from all their other activities. After thirteen years we look forward to what has been brewing in the magic forest!
Erhard Hirt, guitar, electronics
Michael Vorfeld, percussion, stringed instruments
Florian Walter, alto saxophone, contrabass saxophone
Behind the cryptic abbreviation ”rts“ are guitar and electronics player Erhard Hirt, drummer Michael Vorfeld, who is also an inventor of percussive string instruments and a lightbulb artist, as well as saxophonist Florian Walter.
Hirt and Vorfeld have already visited Offene Ohren in different groups, and this new trio will bring us a generation-spanning amalgam of experimental sounds.
Ståle Liavik Solberg, drums / N
Barre Phillips, bass solo / USA
John Butcher, tenor and soprano saxophone / GB
3. Set: Barre Phillips + John Butcher & Ståle Liavik Solberg Duo
This concert date offers a unique opportunity of experiencing two grandmasters of improvisation on one evening in the intimate setting of the MUG: On the one hand, Barre Phillips, in an exclusive solo recital, his only performance after a festival appearance in Salzburg, on the other hand, John Butcher, one of our earliest companions, who brings along Ståle Liavik Solberg, a young, adventurous drummer from Norway.
concert cooperation with ECM Records
End to End is Barre Phillips’ most recent solo work, recorded in Southern France and published by the Munich label ECM Records.
Whether playing pizzicato or arco, Barre Phillips shows impressive determination: every tone, every timbre, every sound and every form is deliberate, carefully structured and at the same time full of eruptive power and emotional energy. This is the most recent stage of an inner musical journey that began fifty years ago with Journal Violone, the first bass solo record to be released worldwide.
This is Barre Phillips' fifth visit at Offene Ohren already – twice he appeared in the trio dlp with Urs Leimgruber and Jacques Demierre, once in a duo with Canadian violinist Malcolm Goldstein and once with co-bassists Tetsu Saitoh and Sebastian Gramss. Still, this concert is a premiere: for the first time, he performs as a soloist at the MUG, "our old bunker friend of Munich", as Barre lovingly describes the venue. (Listening, Lenka Lente 2016.)
John Butcher, tenor and soprano saxophones / GB
Ståle Liavik Solberg, drums / N
John Butcher's Duo with Ståle Liavik Solberg came about in 2015 at the renowned Café OTO in London, followed by tours in Scandinavia and England.
The approach to playing and musical material is as unorthodox as the instrumentation – Solberg's kit is a collection of snare drums of various sizes.
The duo performances oscillate between relaxed drive and challenging confrontation. Do the two of them have something new to tell? Of course, invariably and invariably changing. Not necessarily through a new mode of expression, but by means of subtle details in the numerous microstructures and dialogs. Yet again, they bear witness to the vitality and continuous self-renewal of improvisation without boundaries.
Ab Baars, tenor saxophone, clarinet, shakuhachi
Joe Williamson, bass
Kaja Draksler, piano
Fish-Scale Sunrise, Ab Baars' new trio, was named after a poem by the American poet and essayist Wallace Stevens (1879-1955).
For the first time in a group led by Ab Baars, a piano appears, marvelously played by Kaja Draksler from Slovenia, who in turn has invited Ab Baars to several of her own projects. The piano expands Baars' possibilities of composition and improvisation, allowing for a new stress on timbre and dynamics and competing with an orchestra's harmonic richness.
The drummerless lineup removes the music from the Jazz idiom, lending the bass a unique position within the overall sound, put to excellent use by Joe Williamsons owing to his enormous stylistic diversity and profound technique.
The trio's playing ranges from modern classical to complete freedom of expression and style. Ab Baars' unique approach is highlighted in an entirely new context; the trio appears confident and enthusiastic as well as questing and exploring, offering an experience at once intellectual, intimate and full of emotion. The concert was made possible by the APPLAUS-Preis der Initiative Musik.
Alan ”Gunga“ Purves and Mark Alban Lotz invite us for an imaginary rollercoaster ride full of emotion, ghastly and funny, thrilling, unpredictable, between stardust and chicken shack, classical and slapstick, dream and nightmare.
Both drummer and squeakologist Purves and multi-flutist Lotz are well-known for devising their own musical universes and populating them with all kinds of weird characters and yarns.
As a combined force, they are a sure bet for a unique musical and visual adventure: two modernists with freshly invented sounds joining for a journey into buried old and unheard of new worlds. Together they will provide us with new insights into sounds, melodies and rhythms and along the way tell an outrageous cock-and-bull story.
Magda Mayas, piano
Mazen Kerbaj, trumpet, objects
Mike Majkowski, bass
Tony Buck, drums
Mazen Kerbaj, improvising trumpet player and comic book artist from Lebanon and co-instigator of the country's improv scene, currently lives in Berlin.
Following his improv ensemble A Trio that has been around for 13 years, in 2015 he formed Das B in Berlin. Besides himself, the quartet consists of the Duo Spill – with Magda Mayas and Tony Buck – as well as Mike Majkowski,three musicians from the internationally vibrant Berlin scene.
Already at the beginning of 2015, three quarters of Das B performed in Munich, when Offene Ohren member Colin Gilder organized a concert featuring Mazen, Magda and Tony at the Villa Stuck.
All four musicians have developed highly individual and sophisticated approaches to their instruments. As a quartet, they produce a canopy of naturally unfolding and organically evolving sonic worlds with a high degree of differentiation.
Jan Roder, bass
Olaf Rupp, guitar
Olaf Rupp and Jan Roder have known each other for a long time. They play in
a duo setting as well as in a trio with Rudi Mahall, called JR3, having just
released a new CD on the New York label Relative-Pitch-Records.
Jan Roder has played with various well-known representatives of progressive
jazz in Germany, such as Alexander von Schlippenbach, Axel Dörner or Ulrich
Guitar player Olaf Rupp explores on his instrument in uncompromising radicallity the field of free improvisation. The extreme virtuosic playing techniques which he has developed by himself are the result of a unique artistic discipline far away from the usual standards and conventions. He is always expanding the sonic range of his instrument evermore. In his subtle, pointillistic soundworld every single note appears as a colour-dot inside of a larger matrix.
We are to experience a technically savvy, focused and playful duo of
acoustic guitar and double bass. Open ears!
John Tilbury, piano / GB
Ken Vandermark, saxophones / US
Eddie Prevost, drums / GB
It is an encounter of two musical worlds which despite their differences share a mindset of radical innovation.
Pianist John Tilbury and drummer Eddie Prevost, both from Britain, are the current nucleus of the epoch-making improv ensemble AMM.
AMM was founded as early as 1965 by saxophonist Lou Gare, guitarist Keith Rowe and Eddie Prevost. In 1980 John Tilbury joined the group. The musicians participating in AMM developed a language and and performance attitude, that went well beyond anything possible at that time in New Music and Free Jazz.
As a consequence, the group became a paragon for improvisors of diverse backgrounds, ranging from Rock to Classical, and for the emergence of a unique form of free improvisation, comparable maybe only with the improv ensemble Musica Elettronica Viva formed around the same time by Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski and Richard Teitelbaum.
AMM is always acting as a collective. Despite the importance of individual voices for the process of interactive music making, the result remains strictly focused on collective improvisation and not on a series of solo contributions.
US Jazz saxophonist und clarinetist Ken Vandermark manages to conform to this approach, while at the same time substantially adding to the proceedings due to his multi-stylistic interests, his openness for new sounds and his tendency for breaking down conventions.
There is a long list of musicians who have recorded albums with him, including Hal Russell, Paul Lytton, Joe Morris, Peter Brötzmann and Paul Lovens. Many ensembles came together under his leadership, for instance Free Fall, Free Music Ensemble, Territory Band (a large orchestra with chaning lineup), Rara Avis and – probably best known - the Vandermark 5.
Paal Nilssen-Love, drums / NO
Johan Berthling, bass / SE
Akira Sakata, saxophone / JP
Arashi means «storm» in Japanese, and this word is indeed apt to describe the ultra-powerful music of the trio put together by the legendary saxophonist and clarinettist Akira Sakata. Akira Sakata is still remembered as vital part of the Yosuke Yamashita trio from the seventies.
Accompanied here by a diabolical, Nordic rhythm, Akira Sakata is capable of unleashing free sparkling illuminations or more intimate, but always personal, atmospheres. Arashi alternates thunderstorms in the form of rapid and intense free assaults, with moments of pure contemplation (the calm after the storm ?) where Akira Sakata uses a warm and moving clarinet, or some powerful throat singing, by which we are instantly transported. An exceptional trio.
Johan Berthling is a bassist oscillating between European free jazz and experimental rock and has played together with pretty much all the northern European stalwarts of these genres, such as Sten Sandell, Christer Bothén, David Stackenäs and Raymond Strid. He is co-founder of energy-oriented groups such as Fire!, Nacka Forum and Tape, and is therefore a logical completion to Paal Nilsson-Love and Akira Sakata in power trio Arashi.
According to downbeat (Dan Quelette), Paal Nilssen-Love is "one of the most innovative, dynamic and versatile drummers in the current scene". To a good extent, this is due to his way of working: he is active in a variety of bands and projects simultaneously, but their common denominator always is a high level of energy and dynamics.
Band names like The Thing, Territory Band, Atomic, Sten Sandell Trio and especially the Brötzmann Chicago Tentet come into mind, but also duos with Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson or Lasse Marhaug. The base was already laid in his youth: Paal grew up as the son of a drummer and jazz club operator in Norwegian Stavanger, and made musical contact rather early with the Norwegian saxophonist Frode Gjerstad.
This concert, like the one by Free Jazz icon Peter Brötzmann eighteen months ago, promises to be an event full of energy and power. It is not by chance, that in 2011 Brötzmann insisted on inviting Akira Sakata for his anniversary festival in Wels as one of a number of prominent Japanese guests that he had encountered during his many tours through Japan.
Hildegard Kleeb, piano
Fine Grafenhorst, dance
Christian Wolfarth, percussion
Roland Dahinden, trombone
Three musicians and a dancer encountering an unknown room.
Who are they? What kind of room is it that encloses them? Does it provide shelter? Does it create space for other rooms?
Four different journeys and biographies, four performers meeting and opening for insights (Einblicke) into their individual perspectives and perceptions.
Specifically for this concert, Fine Grafenhorst (née Kwiatkowski) has developed this project in collaboration with her Swiss colleagues.
Fine Grafenhorst: "Frequently I get together with artists from the fields of contemporary dance, music, visual arts and acting. These encounters reflect a moment full of intensity and excitement, attraction and repulsion, entailing to a large extent the risk of failure but also the possibility of exhilarating ecstasy or silence. A kind of conversation able to grasp very directly and deeply the essence of what cannot be said in words."
Fine Grafenhorst was a guest of Offene Ohren in 2011 with her multimedia-project Cri du Coeur, and Christian Wolfarth visited us late last year with Der Verboten. It is the first time we can welcome pianist Hildegard Kleeb and trombonist Roland Dahinden.
Roland Dahinden studied trombone and composition at Musikhochschule Graz with Erich Kleinschuster and Georg Friedrich Haas and at Scuola di Musica di Fiesole in Florence with Vinko Globokar. From 1992-95 he was assistant to Alvin Lucier and Anthony Braxton at the Wesleyan University, Connecticut. In 2002, he completed a PhD program with Vic Hoylund at Birmingham University (GB) with the Doctor of Philosophy in Music.
As a trombonist he is at home in improvised music and Jazz as well as New Music. He has performed in a duo with his wife, the pianist Hildegard Kleeb, since 1987..
Hildegard Kleeb studied piano at the Zurich Music School and later with Eric Gaudibert in Geneva and Jürg Wyttenbach at the City of Basel Music Academy. She is an improvisor and performer of New Music. She stayed at Wesleyan University from 1992-1995 together with Roland Dahinden and worked with Anthony Braxton, Alvin Lucier and Christian Wolff.
Roland Dahinden and Hildegard Kleeb have been on concert tours throughout Europe as well as in America, Africa and Asia.
They share a fondness for visual arts. Among Roland Dahinden's compositions there are sound installations and sound sculptures.
In an article for Zentralschweiz am Sonntag, Hildegard Kleeb has described her approach: "I imagine the grand piano as standing and sounding in space. The piano as a kind of sonic mass on which I work like a sculptor."
We are looking forward to new insights!
Henrik Pultz Melbye, reeds
Adam Pultz Melbye, bass
This double feature is a kind of family enterprise by the Pultz Melbye brothers from Denmark. Adam the bassist has already impressed us back in 2015 as part of the Lotte Anker Trio with his intensity, accuracy and zest.
Adam Pultz Melbye, who has lived in Berlin since 2013, comes back as a soloist with his project Measures. His diligently built up musical structures are informed by an appreciation of precision and small details as well as a jaunty playfulness and an adventurous search for new sounds – whether bowed, plucked or percussive.
Eyal Hareuveni, on allaboutjazz.com, wrote about his second solo album Measures (Dez. 2017): „Melbye, gifted with masterful and highly creative command of the double bass, uncovers the insides of this massive instrument in a series of nine concise improvisations. […] “That” is a wise and playful improvisation that employs the resonating wooden characteristics of the bass and on “Zossener” it sounds as if the bow is the main instrument and the double bass is employing various extended techniques on the bow. “Knee Left” returns to the opening improvisation, applying similar methods and reaching a satisfying closure in this arresting journey. Highly impressive.”
His younger brother Henrik lives in Copenhagen and is also working in the experimental and improvised vein. His first activities included the direction of an avant-garde rock band.
In 2011 he graduated from The Academy of Music in Esbjerg with a Master in Music. In 2017 he continued studies at the Advanced Postgraduate Diploma programme at the Rythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen.
In his solo program Frogs/Toads he plays mainly acoustic tenor saxophone, focusing on spatial interactions and the acoustic conditions in spaces of the most diverse dimensions.
Short and precise improvisations are played in a highly intense and disciplined way. They document Henri Melbye's complex and rich vocabulary as well as his mastery of the instrument, at times even achieving multiharmonics by the use of breathing techniqe and feedback.
"He’s exploring the possibilities of the saxophone with minimalistic tonepaintings and sound-wrenching tensions. It’s challenging, varied and exciting." Niels Overgård, Jazznyt.com
Emil Gross, drums
Anupriya Deotale, violin
Paul Rogers, bass
The Mukt trio is, by their own account, a project dreamed up by the cosmopolitan Udo Preis from Southern Burgenland, who acts as an enterprising organiser for the improv/Jazz festival Limmitationes at Rudersdorf. The rhythm section, also known as Peal duo, has been a stable fixture there for years. At one of the workshops they met Anupriya Deotale and formed this trio that manages to merge in a perfect way elements of classical violin playing and traditional improvising methods from India with European free improvisation.
Anupriya Deotale has done her M.A.(Master of Arts) and M.Mus.(Master of Music) both in Violin with a gold medal from Khairagarh University and Vikram University Ujjain. She has founded Ameer Khusro Centre For Music to promote the awareness,the knowledge and the cultural value of Indian Classical Music among the youth of India.
She has a unique style of her own, on the lines of fusion in which she blends the elements of "Gayaki" i.e. vocal rendering and "Tantarakari" i.e. instrumental rhythmic patterns. Anupriya Deotales Violinimprovisationen lassen klar ihre Wurzeln in der reichen indischen Musiktradition erkennen.
At the same time, she is always looking for challenging musical experiments. In the trio with British bassist Paul Rogers and Viennese drummer Emil Gross, she succeeds in creating a unique amalgamation of experimental harshness and spiritual depth.
Paul Rogers has been on the wish list of Offene Ohren for a long time. He is mostly known for his long-standing tenure in the free improv quartet Mujician of Keith Tippett. A player of finesse and feeling, he has appeared on dozens of albums, performing also with Mike Westbrook, Elton Dean, Paul Dunmall, John Stevens, Michel Doneda, Tony Levin, Alan Skidmore, Gerry Hemingway, Don Byron, Tom Cora, Louis Sclavis, Evan Parker and Ivo Perelman, to name a few.
Emil Gross is an extraordinary drummer of the younger generation who has played in his own groups alongside Jazz luminaries like Oliver Lake and Joe Fonda and has also instigated multiple cross-over projects with promising young musicians and dancers.
Torstein Lavik Larsen, trumpet / NO
Fredrik Rasten, guitar / NO
Torstein Lavik Larsen, trumpet, and Fredrik Rasten, guitar, already visited Offene Ohren in 2016 as part of the Norwegian OKER quartet.
Pip is a Norwegian acoustic duo based in Oslo. They started playing togheter in 2006 and have since then explored a variety of different musical directions. The duo is currently working with free improvisation. They explore the possibilities of the acoustics of trumpet and guitar with a focused sense of intonation and timbre as a point of departure. They create gradually developing textures in an intermediate state between static and organic.
After the limited edition CD Pip on the record label ØS in 2015, they released their official debut album Pip on the portuguese label Creative Sources in 2016 (CS 348). Just listen in: Pip2 or Pip on soundcloud. This Is Jazz Today wrote: „[…] the simple quality of the compositions/improvisations and the control in the delivery are absolutely excellent. It’s amazing what you can do with two acoustic instruments.“
The duo has played a large number of concerts in Europe.
Torstein and Fredrik also play together in the band Oker, and in the quartet Volumes with Magda Mayas on prepared piano and Isak Hedtjärn playing clarinet and sax. They have both many other musical projects as well, bands such as Skadedyr, Gismervik/Rasten/Garner, Torstein Ekspress, View from Nowhere and Torg, to name a few and are involved in projects with non-music artists, currently for example a live visual project with the danish duo Manuals.
Achim Kaufmann, piano
Tobias Delius, reeds
Dieter Manderscheid, bass
Martin Blume, drums
After a concert of the quartet in 2016 at the Kunstmuseum Bochum, Nina Schröder wrote in the WAZ: "The musicians managed to craft transitions of the most diverse sonic qualities ranging from percussive noise or dashing powerplay to a subtle, minimalist pianissimo. The players' broad array of sounds is a testament to their astounding mastery!"
Well-traveled British/German saxophone and clarinet player Tobias Delius, recipient of the Dutch Boy Edgar Prize in 2004, has lived in Amsterdam for an extended period and is strongly affiliated with musicians of the local improv scene like Han Bennink, Tristan Honsinger, Wilbert de Joode and the ICP. In recent years he has been living in Berlin.
With playfulness and charm as well as technical prowess, Tobias Delius has excelled in multiple projects, whether in his own quartet or as a partner of Georg Graewe, Steve Lacy, Bill Frisell, Louis Moholo, Cor Fuller and Ray Anderson.
Achim Kaufmann has counted among the most exhilarating and inspiring personalities of the European Jazz and improv scene for many years. His music shows harmonic subtlety and structural depth. By way of reflected examination of the tradition he has evolved, as a pianist and as a composer, a finely nuanced, contemporary musical language consisting in equal parts of poetry, energy and abstraction. This earned him the renowned Albert Mangelsdorff Prize from Germany.
Dieter Manderscheid achieved his first success with the Wittek-Kaiser-Manderscheid Trio. He has since gone beyond the circle of the Cologne Jazzhaus and become one of the most sought-after freelance bassists. He collaborated with a broad range of musicians, including Harry Beckett, John Betsch, Peter Brötzmann, Phil Minton, Radu Malfatti, Michael Moore, Barre Phillips, Frank Samba, Günther Sommer, Georg Graewe, Klaus König, Kenny Wheeler and Dirk Raulf. "His playing is addictive," enthused Ekkehard Jost.
Drummer Martin Blume "is among the leading representatives of European improvised music, commanding a virtually compositional sensibility that shows a close association with New Music." US Magazin Signal to Noise.
Since the early 80's he has collaborated in an international avant-garde context of Jazz, improv and New Music in diverse formations with the likes of Peter Brötzmann, Peter Kowald, Johannes Bauer, Phil Minton, Lol Coxhill, Georg Gräwe, Jim Denley, Luc Houtkamp, Phil Wachsmann, John Butcher, Thomas Lehn, Xu Feng Xia, Ken Vandermark and Kent Kessler.
Rudi Mahall, bass clarinet
Flo Stoffner, guitar
Paul Lovens, drums
"There are combinations with a peculiar character which often in itself arouses interest." Fitting as this comment may seem for this trio, this quote is how the ducal personal cook F. G. Zenker introduced a recipe for a bread cake ....
Mein Freund der Baum (My Friend the Tree) brings together three generations of improvisors. Musically and personally, the three members are on friendly terms. Paul Lovens and Rudi Mahall know each other from groups like Globe Unity Orchestra or Aki Takase's band. Paul Lovens and Flo Stoffner have been affiliated for ten years by their work in a trio with Martin Schütz as well as the trio Die Öfen that invited Rudi Mahall as a guest for last year's tour.
Mein Freund der Baum is a group with a unique sound revealing new aspects of improvisation.
Taken from recordings made at two 2016 concerts in Zurich and Lisbon, the CD Mein Freund der Baum was published by the Zurich-based label WideEarRecords as WER032. The tracks are called "Mein," "Freund," "Der," and "Baum." In concluding his review on freejazzblog.org Martin Schray writes: "The album resembles a chamber-music-like update of the Evan Parker/Derek Bailey/Han Bennink album The Topography of the Lungs, reflecting this cutting edge free improv classic’s ultra-concentrated force and controlled energy. It’s full of excellent musicianship and unexpected twists and turns. Really recommended."
Elisabeth Coudoux, cello
Pascal Niggenkemper, bass
Ricardo Jacinto, cello
Félicie Bazelaire, bass
"Beat the odds“ a double dialog of two cellos and two basses arranged in a square. Strings struck by a variably controlled propeller driven by an engine. An organic interaction of pulsing organisms (beats), stationary sound planes (drones) and personal playing techniques eliciting a fascinating sonic cosmos.
German-French bassist and composer Pascal Niggenkemper, "one of the most adventurous double bassists of the current music scene" according to New York City Jazz Records and a "genius for sound exploration" according to the Chicago Reader, creates his music between the poles of improvisation and composition using his own language. His work includes solo playing (changing the instrument's acoustics by means of preparation) and the use of engines exploring the interaction between man and machine. He already performed at Offene Ohren with the Trio BaLoNi.
French bassist and cellist Félicie Bazelaire is a member of Onceim, of the Ensemble Intercontemporain and the Hodos Ensemble and has been performing works by composers like Cage, Feldman and Scelsi as well as by composers/improvisers like P. Badaroux, P. Bosshard, B. Denzler and D'incise. She has received the cello award of Reims Conservatory, has a master's degree for double bass and education from the Paris Conservatory and holds a Certificat d'Aptitude. She is currently teaching at the Conservatories of Aubervilliers-La Courneuve and Orsay.
Elisabeth Coudoux is a cellist working at the interface of different genres: free improvisation, experimental, New Music and Jazz. Building on her classical education, she studied Jazz with Frank Gratkowski and Dieter Manderscheid in Cologne. Apart from her own projects (including Emissatett that could be heard at Offene Ohren in 2016), she plays in many ensembles and in interdisciplinary collaborations with dancers, visual artists and writers. She is an initiator and a member of IMPAKT, a newly founded collective for free improvisation in Cologne.
Lisbon-based artist and musician Ricardo Jacinto has a strong focus on the relationshipe beween sound and space. He is currently gaining his doctorate at the Sonic Arts Research Center in Belfast. He frequently collaborates in interdisciplinary projects with other artists, musicians and architects and has founded the cultural organization OSSO, a collective of musicians, dancers, graphic artists, writers, filmmakers and performers.
Ricardo Jacinto has a degree in architecture from the Lisbon University and has attended graduate courses at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Additionally, he has enjoyed a musical education at the Hot Clube de Portugal and the Academia de Amadores de Música in Lisbon.
Jacques Demierre, piano / CH
Dorothea Schürch, singing saw, voice / CH
Urs Leimgruber, saxophone / CH
Roger Turner, drums / GB
Hannah Marshall, cello / GB
Thomas Lehn, analog synthesizer / DE
It is nine years ago that 6ix has visited Offene Ohren for the last time, then still under the name SIX. Now, thanks to receiving the APPLAUS award (Initiative Musik) for the third time for our concert program, we can bring them back.
Since then, there have been two lineup changes: instead of Charlotte Hug (viola and voice) and Anne Gillot (bassoon and recorders) it is cellist Hannah Marshall and percussionist Roger Turner who help fashion the fragile acoustics of this experimental sextet, that for ten years has been reinventing itself consistently for every performance.
Full of reflection, the music of 6ix is pushing the limits and at the same time building on the energetic, acoustic and architectonic characteristics of the concert room. Evolving with the room's dynamics, sounds, noises and silences emerge and interact.
6ix is made up of six musicians who rank among the leading protagonists of the free improv scene in Europe:
Jacques Demierre's website offers various audio samples (Uncool 2011).
The tour of 6ix is supported by the Swiss Arts Council and the Fondation Suisa .
On October 25, 2017, the Federal Prize APPLAUS was awarded for the fifth time in Dresden by the Minister of State for Culture and the Media, Prof. Monika Grütters, to independent music clubs and organisers for their excellent live music programs. We were in attendance.
For its "outstanding live program", Offene Ohren e.V. has received this award for the third time after 2014 and 2016. We are highly honored and encouraged to continue in our course. With the prize money, we will continue to offer you exciting concert experiences in 2018.
The Venue Programme Award APPLAUS – Auszeichnung der Programmplanung unabhängiger Spielstätten - is realised by the Initiative Musik, with the collaboration of the Bundeskonferenz Jazz (BK Jazz) and the LiveMusikKommission, Verband der Musikspielstätten in Deutschland e.V. (LiveKomm). The bulk of the project’s funding is provided by the German Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media.
The friends of improvised music of the Offene Ohren e.V. would like to thank the Kulturreferat München for its continuous help allowing to present these fantastic concerts!