Informations on Musicians and Composers

Informations on Musicians and Composers

JEFF ARNAL (drums, percussion, composer, b. 1971) studied at Bennington College with percussionist Milford Graves receiving an MFA in 2000. A native of Georgia, he moved to Baltimore, MD in 1991 to attend the Peabody Conservatory, and later study with composer Stuart Saunders Smith. Since 1997 Jeff has dedicated his energy to working as an improviser. His vocabulary is a synthesis of new-music ideas and structures informed by an understanding of diverse musical styles. Actively performing and collaborating with a wide range of musicians, and choreographers in the U.S. and Europe he contributes a unique approach towards sculpting the form, focus, intensity and dynamic qualities of the music. The broad spectre of his capacity as an improviser may be underlined by the fact that he frequently shares the stage in a duet setting with one of the most spontaneous saxophonists of our time, Charles Gayle, and, on the other hand, with European avant-garde composer, Dietrich Eichmann.
In collaboration with Chris Forsyth, and Estelle Woodward, he organizes the annual festival Improvised and Otherwise, in Brooklyn, N.Y., since 2002.

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CDs: Badlands ; top floor encounter ; bodies of water ; Spy Satellite ; tripwire ; RARA AVIS ; the temperature dropped again


WERNER DICKEL (viola, violin) was a longtime member of Ensemble Modern, one of the worldwide leading groups for contemporary music, and played many years with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He studied with Rainer Moog, Cologne, Nobuko Imai, Utrecht and Sandor Végh at the Mozarteum of Salzburg. He also worked as a member and soloist of the Camerata Academica Salzburg, directed by Sandor Végh. Since 1995, he holds a professorship for viola and chamber music at Musikhochschule Wuppertal, a branch of the Cologne Music Academy. He continues pursuing an international career as chamber musician and soloist. He is equally interested in traditional and new music and his CD productions reflect this span of activities. He often performs with Ensemble Prometheus, Brussels, and, since 1999, he is artistic director of the chamber music concert series "Musik auf dem CronenBerg".
CDs: hole in the bird


DIETRICH EICHMANN (composer, piano, born 1966) is one of the most versatile personalities in contemporary avant-garde music. His compositions have been performed on international festivals by renowned ensembles, as a pianist and improviser he is actively involved in many international collaborations, and he has been organizing the oaksmus studio concert series in Berlin and the attached CD label for several years. He believes that all creative artistic effort springs from the socio-political context and in so far necessarily and always is a reflexion of contemporary political issues.
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hole in the bird ; frühe sammlung einiger nacht portionen ; Game and Earnest ; tripwire ; Entre deux guerres ; the temperature dropped again


WOLFGANG FUCHS (contrabass clarinet, bass clarinet, sopranino saxophone) was born in 1949 in Landau/Palatine. He studied clarinet at the Music Academy of Karlsruhe. In 1974 he moved to Berlin where he began to work regularly with the FMP (Free Music Production). In 1983, Fuchs founded the King Übü Örchestrü which he leads until today. Since 1986, he also conducts the workshop ensemble berlin factory. He performs worldwide with Fred Van Hove and Paul Lytton, (trio ‘Berliner Begegnung’), with Peter van Bergen and Hans Koch (trio ‘Holz für Europa’), and with Thomas Lehn and Fabrizio Spera (trio ‘Lingua’). Fuchs also collaborates frequently with musicians like Cecil Taylor, Tony Oxley, Evan Parker, and Georg Katzer.
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CDs: Lingua (see also:


CHRISTOPH GRUND (piano, composer) was born in 1961 in Baden-Baden. Today, he lives and works in Berlin. A regular solo and ensemble performer at all the major New Music festivals, he has appeared at Carnegie Hall and the Berlin Philharmonie with such eminent groups as ensemble recherche, Ensemble 13, as well as with Deutsches Sinfonieorchester, Sinfonieorchester des Südwestrundfunks, and Sinfonieorchester des Saarländischen Rundfunks. His performances have been documented in numerous radio broadcasts and on CD. His work as a composer concentrates on developing new forms of contemporary opera from within the interdisciplinary range of audio-visual art. He regularly produces music for audio plays on German radio, usually in partnership with director Christiane Ohaus.
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CDs: hole in the bird ; Farbtonstücke ; Game and Earnest ; Entre deux guerres


JOHN HUGHES (double bass) was born in Rochester, New York, USA, in 1972. After musical studies at the Montgomery Community College he studied bass with Vattel Cherry. In Baltimore he joined the John Dierker Ensemble where he already met Jeff Arnal, and played with such musicians as Toshi Makihara, Will Redman, and Jonathan Vincent. Since 1999 he lives as a freelance musician in Hamburg, Germany. In the U.S. Hughes perform with various Ensembles in many festivals. With guitarist Jerry Lim, he recorded a duo for Mass Particles record label in 1997.
CDs: top floor encounter ; tripwire


ALEKSANDER KOLKOWSKI (violin, Stroh Violin, composer) was born in London (1959). He studied music at London University, violin with Clarence Myerscough at the Royal Academy of Music and electronic music with Hugh Davis and Michael Graubart. Active both as an improvising musician and composer, he formed several groups which toured in Europe to critical acclaim. He also composed for dance, film and theatre, played live to silent films, worked as a session musician and as an actor and scriptwriter. In 1995 he moved to Berlin and continues there to pursue an international career as an improviser, interpreter, composer and performer of absurd music-theatre pieces. His previous solo stage works "Stage Fright" (1992) and "Violin Gymnastics" (1998) are an amalgam of music, film, text and choreography. As an improviser he has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Tony Oxley, Evan Parker, Tristan Honsinger, Phil Minton, Louis Moholo, Aki Takase, Jon Rose and Sainkho Namchylak, on numerous CD releases and has appeared in major festivals world-wide. As an interpreter he has worked closely with the composers John Cage, Christian Wolff, John Tilbury, Hermann Keller, Klaus Lang and Peter Ablinger. He currently plays with the groups Wireless (with tubist Robin Hayward), Aki Takase’s Dempa and the contemporary music ensemble SPOK.
CDs: Portrait in Shellac


UWE KREMP (composer, acoustic and electric guitars) was born in 1964 in Karlsruhe. He studied at the Karlsruhe Music Academy, firstly guitar with Wilhelm Bruck, then composition with Mathias Spahlinger and Wolfgang Rihm. Kremp works as a freelance composer, guitarist, educator, and critic. He received numerous prizes for his compositions which have been performed by many renowned soloists and ensembles, among others the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Aventure and soloists of the Symphony Orchestra of the SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg. Since 1993, he teaches at the Karlsruhe Music Academy. His work catalogue also contains theatre music works which toured internationally.
CDs: Game and Earnest


THOMAS LEHN (analogue synthesizer) lives in Cologne since 1980 and studied sound engineer and piano at the Music Academies of Cologne and Detmold. As a pianist, he performed in numerous chamber music ensembles like Trio Dario, Mengano Quartett and Nova Ensemble Wuppertal. Since 1989, he uses analogue synthesizer systems which enable direct action and reaction in live concerts through immediate access to the separate elements of electronic sound synthesis. He performs regularly with musicians like Radu Malfatti, Erhard Hirt, and Martin Theurer, as well as with trio Lingua, with Wolfgang Fuchs and Fabrizio Spera.
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CDs: Lingua (see also:


CHICO MELLO (composer, guitar, vocals, clarinet, euphonium) was born in 1957 in Curitiba, Brazil. He studied guitar and composition in Parana and Berlin with, among others, Dieter Schnebel and Witold Szalonek. Since 1987, Mello lives in Berlin where he works as composer, guitarist, and singer. His compositions have been performed at festivals like Donaueschinger Musiktage, Inventionen (Berlin), Pro Musica Nova (Bremen), Musica Viva (Munich), and Neue Musik Rümlingen.
CDs: violao de dois ; Do lado da voz


PHIL MINTON (vocals) was born in 1940 in Torquay, U.K. He started his musical career as a trumpeter. On moving to London he played trumpet and sang with the Mike Westbrook Orchestra with whom he toured worldwide. In 1974 Phil Minton began working with experimental theatre groups and formed the vocal group Voice with Maggie Nicols and Julie Tippett in 1975, and from 1976 through the early 1980s he worked solo and in a number of improvising duos with Fred Frith, Roger Turner, Peter Brötzmann, and others. Solo and duo improvised music was mixed with more ‘multi-media’ work. Veryan Weston and Phil Minton began their collaboration in 1987 which led to many different projects.
In 1988 Phil Minton was voted best Male Singer in Europe by International Jazz Forum.
In 1994, Phil Minton began the 'Feral Choir' project in Stockholm and Berlin and the 'Giving Voice' Festival in Cardiff, a series of workshops and rehearsals of compositions specially written for participating performers. In the same year he also toured the US with Bob Ostertag's electronic piece, Say no more.
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LIUDAS MOCKŪNAS, Lithuanian clarinet and saxophone player, band leader and composer, born in 1976 in Panevezys, Lithuania. Mockūnas began studying and playing music at the age of eight. He studied classical clarinet with A. Doveika at the Vilnius M. K. Ciurlionis Art Gymnasium and saxophone at Lithuanian Musical Academy with V. Chekasin and received his Master Degree in the year 2002. Since 1999 he studies at Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Mockūnas  won many international prizes for jazz. With his former teacher V.Chekasin he played at many European festivals since 1988. He played with nearly all Lithuanian jazz musicians, sometimes with symphony orchestras,  with "Sv.Kristoforas" chamber orchestra and "Gaida" ensemble. His regular duo partner in Lithuania is Arkady Gotesman. They also from a trio with Estonian guitar player Jaak Sooaar.
After the turn of the millennium Mockūnas  has gradually made a name in Denmark as a co-leader of Mockūnas -Pasborg sextet, trio "M.A.P" (with Jacob Anderskov - piano, and Stefan Pasborg - drums), "Revolver" and "Red Planet", and as a member of Copenhagen Art Ensemble. He also wrote theater and film scores.
Mockūnas , who is part of an up-and-coming new generation of performers, is a representative of a young Lithuanian jazz generation, he is a mature and experienced musician who has played in many parts of Europe, the USA and China. This reed player works with highly unorthodox mixtures, with sounds ranging from expressive instrumental burnouts over filmic horror to apocalypse-hymns and transcendent bells. His music may be unpredictable with an energized mixture of free jazz, lyricism and mid-European expressionism.
CDs: Mockūnas/Pasborg Project ; ¬rød planet ; TOXIKUM ; revolver


ALEX NOWITZ (composer, vocalist, whistler) was born in 1968 in Buch am Erlbach, Bavaria. Today he lives in Potsdam.


SILVIA OCOUGNE(guitar, vocals, euphonium, composer) was born in 1957 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She studied guitar and composition at the University of Sao Paulo. In 1986 she received a ‘Master of Music’ in ‘Third Stream’ from the New England Conservatory of Boston. Since 1987, she lives in Berlin where she works as composer and guitarist, among others with groups like 13th Tribe, or Arnold Dreyblatt’s Orchestra of Excited Strings. With these projects and as a soloist, Silvia tours worldwide.
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CDs: violao de dois


was born in 1964 in Karlsruhe. Studies with Eugen Werner Velte, then with Wolfgang Rihm, occasionally with Luigi Nono and Morton Feldman. On the side studies in mathematics. Member in Velte’s "Gruppe kreative Musik" for experimental and free improvisation, from which later emerged the duet "chrisandre pur" with Christoph Grund.
Research in acoustics (Zeit tones and phantom tones, see booklet of CD "Farbtonstücke" for details), musicology (reverse combination tones) and computer architecture. Numerous scholarships and awards. He worked many years on high precision metrology, focussing on Rauschtheorie and spectral and heuristic metrology.
After 1993 he withdrew from the New-Music-Business and composed about 100 jazz ballads in standard notation, which are still unpublished except for the arrangement of "winter blue" for piano solo (as "winterblue piano" included in the Farbtonstücke). Currently he builds up a studio for electronic music.
The world première of Raseghi’s Dylan Thomas Songbook took place at oaksmus concerts in February, 2002.
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CDs: Farbtonstücke


LARS SCHERZBERG (alto saxophone, guitar) was born in Hamburg in 1972. He studied classical guitar in Bremen. At the same time he discovered the saxophone as his main instrument. Since early 2000 he lives in Berlin and studies saxophone with Wolfgang Fuchs. He was a founding member of the Bremen ensemble X-POL, where he played with Christoph Ogiermann, Torsten Müller and Dror Feiler. From X-POL the electro-acoustic quartet ilin-x also emerged, with Scherzberg, Serge Baghdassarians, Boris Baltschun, and Jacob Thein. Eventually, this quartet performed at the Total Music Meeting 2000 in Berlin. With Dietrich Eichmann and Astrid Weins he forms The Straight Trio, since 2001. This trio did their first USA tour in April/May 2002.
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CDs: top floor encounter ; tripwire, Nordzucker


MARIT SCHLECHTE (composer, improviser: piano, electronics)
Born in 1970, she grew up in Berlin. Autodidactically dedicated to piano and improvisation since 1976. Active member of East Berlin’s alternative music community. Studied composition at Hochschule der Künste Berlin. Rhythmic studies at Musikhochschule Stuttgart. In Stuttgart she founded the ensemble for experimental and improvised music, u n t e r t o n, with Anja Füsti, percussion, and Oliver Prechtl, electronics. She initiated and organized the series momentmusik at Theater Rampe Stuttgart, and organized concerts for Gedok e.V. Stuttgart. She moved back to Berlin in 2005.
Marit won several grants and fellowships, she is an internationally active musician as a soloist and in many ensembles, she appeared in festivals like CAMP 03: International Festival for experimental music and visual arts, Kirchentellinsfurt 2003, Klangraum-Festival Stuttgart 2004, Setmana de la Música Experimental a Metrònom, Barcelona 2005. She performed with Jo Ambros (Stuttgart/Berlin), Alban Bailly (Nancy), Boris Baltschun (Berlin), Alessandro Bosetti, (Berlin), Michel Doneda (Toulouse), Axel Hanfreich (Stuttgart), Chris Heenan (Los Angeles, Stuttgart), Günter Heinz (Dresden), Volker Illi (Reutlingen), Jörg Kallinich (Tübingen), Thomas Maos (Tübingen), Alfredo Costa Monteiro (Barcelona), Carsten Netz (Stuttgart), Christian Reiner (Berlin/Wien), Bernd Settelmeyer (Stuttgart), Laurenz Theinert (Stuttgart), vestige vertical (Lothar Fiedler, Michael Vorfeld, Michael Walz, Berlin), Liba Villaveccia (Barcelona), Maciej Walczak (Stuttgart/Lodz) and others.
CDs: piano solo



FABRIZIO SPERA (drums, electronics) is involved in experimental music since the end of the 1980’s, as performer as well as organizer, and focusses on free improvisation. He performed with musicians like Peter Kowald, Jon Rose, Dagmar Krause, Tom Cora, Conrad Bauer, Tristan Honsinger, Phil Minton, and Barre Phillips, on many international festivals – for instance Controindicazioni (Rome), London Musician’s Collective, Musique Actuelle (Victoriaville), Jazzhaus Festival (Cologne), Alternativa (Prague), Total Music Meeting (Berlin). His work also embraces radio works and theatre music.
CDs: Lingua


REIMAR VOLKER (alto and baritone saxophones) was born in 1967 in Berlin. He studied saxophone at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin with Detlef Bensmann and Christof Griese. Since 1984 an active musician in Jazz, Classical and Avantgarde Chamber Music, and in orchestras, he did many radio and CD recordings, among others at the SWR, with Sony Music Germany, and, also as composer, at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin. He has performed in many ensembles and orchestras at international festivals, for instance with Ensemble Modern, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and Philharmonie Frankfurt/Oder.
CDs: Game and Earnest


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