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NEW FOLK SONGS 2020/21

Folk songs are authentic testimonials of language, culture and tradition. They are so called because they are sung by countless human beings across the world. The simplicity and honesty of this music and the way in which tales are told, is moving. In earlier times folk songs were spread orally: somebody would sing a song and an another would learn it. They were not associated with a particular musician or singer.

The majority of folk songs that we know are around 150 to 250 years old. Many of these songs originated during social upheavals, some through revolutions. When the question is asked, as to who created the lyrics and the melodies of folk songs, there is often no definitive answer. Cultural and regional articulation could be diverse.

Because folk music was passed on by ear and through imitation, it was in a constant process of variation and creation. Variation, new creation, playing by ear, imitation, change, creativity are core elements not only of folk music, but also of jazz and improvised music. So, it is logical that the musicians of the SONIQ Collective, all of them rooted in the cosmopolitan jazz of the 21st century, wish to take up, revive and reinvent folk music traditions in their current project.

At a time when Europe is growing together on the one hand, and nation-state thinking proliferates on the other, it is important to SONIQ that inner-European cultures communicate intensively, exchange ideas in a multilayered manner, speak with one another, sing with one another. To learn another language, or learn songs in another language, means showing empathy and being open to other traditions.

As the most direct means of musical and verbal forms of communication, Soniq and their guests chose the oral tradition for New Folk Songs: selected Norwegian and German folk songs will be learned, memorized, developed further, improvisationally changed and rearranged during rehearsals.

The emotional and content-related messages of the other culture conveyed by the songs are communicated instantly, because the cognitive “obstacles”, usually associated with reading music, are no longer present.

Rehearsals and concerts are planned in Germany during December 2021. In the spring of 2022, more concerts will follow as part of a tour through Norway, probably at the following venues: Victoria, National Jazzscene, Oslo / Cosmopolite, Oslo / Nattjazz Festival, Bergen / Dokkhuset Scene, Trondheim.

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PERCUSSION 2019/20

It is ancient. It reaches back into mythology and is simultaneosly an object of itself. It is universal. Whether in Asia, Africa, Europe, North or South America: the drum existed and still exists on every continent. Percussion connects different  parts of the world and at the same time separates them through the various uses and infinitely diverse forms of the instruments. To drum means nothing other than to imprint a division on the flow of time. No matter where someone is born or where one listens to music, percussion instruments are omnipresent.

Percussion! In this project, the musicians of the Collective SONIQ  – Christina Fuchs, Jarry Singla and Ramesh Shotham – paid homage to the elemental force of rhythms and drums of this earth, to the origins of music.

SONIQ invited two outstanding musicians: The Moroccan Rhani Krija, one of the most sought-after international percussionists (world stars like Sting, Dominic Miller or Al Di Meola invite him regularly), and Stefan Bauer, a vibraphonist and marimba player from North Rhine-Westphalia, who has lived in New York City for a long time. He is active in a broad field between tradition and avant-garde. He has collaborated with jazz greats such as Kenny Wheeler, Adam Nussbaum and Charlie Mariano.

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„…..limitless curiosity….unbridled and spirited playing….. on the stage a lot of adventurous playing between equals…..genuine world-class musicians.“ (Stefan Pieper / Journalist)

 

Stefan Pieper

Jazzzeitung

Photos Stefan Bauer Volker Beushausen und Jürgen Bindrim

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AFRICA 2020

Cuisine Acoustique: the German-Indian musicians’ Collective SONIQ invited the audience to cook together with the spectacular African musicians, Balafon player Aly Keita and the Kora player and singer Prince Moussa Cissokho.
Intuitively, and with mutual admiration, the SONIQ Collective and its African guests built soundscapes to bridge their diverse musical cultures. Acoustic delicacies were on the menu. Ingredients from the individual cultures were processed and traditional aromas shined through.

The aim was to create something not experienced before: something independent, fresh, authentic and beyond all stereotypes. SONIQ: Africa – haute cuisine to spread the spirit of cosmopolitan coexistence, which is impervious to all current trends of increasing nationalism and the exclusion of people.

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VOICES 2019

In the project “Voices” the encounter with diverse musical cultures served as an inspirational “breeding ground”. The artists who took part in this SONIQ project undertook the role of travellers who get inspired by new cultural surroundings, unlike tourists, who just scratch the surface of another culture.

SONIQ invited the avant-garde vocalist Mariana Sadovska, who is rooted in the Ukrainian tradition, the Moroccan singer and multi-instrumentalist Majid Bekkas and the Indian vocalist Sandhya Sanjana as guests for this exciting project “Voices”.

 

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Photos by Uwe Bräutigam

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DANCE 2019/20

In order to broaden the artistic horizon of their projects and to reach out to audiences other than the typical concert audience, SONIQ developed a multi-disciplinary concept for the first time, titled  “Dance”. For this project SONIQ invited the South Indian Bharatanatyam dancer Meera Varghese and the contemporary dancer Benedetta Reuter, whose original style spans modern dance and improvisation.

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Photos by Andreas Bartels

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ORIENTAL STRINGS 2018/19

Photos by Andreas Schlottmann

Type “Oriental Strings” into Google and you’ll be deluged with links to the popular app “Oriental Strings for iPad, iPhone and similar devices!”. It is a virtual sound module app for “oriental” keyboard players and other musicians who simply want to integrate the sound of the East into their music.

But the Collective SONIQ’s third project Oriental Strings was not an App and it was anything but virtual. It was real. It was acoustic. And it was handmade music! Two fine virtuosos, one from Iran, Kioomars Musayyebi, and the other from India, Hindol Deb, playing string instruments such as the Santoor and the Sitar, collaborated with SONIQ: Christina Fuchs (saxophone and clarinets), Jarry Singla (piano and harmonium) and Ramesh Shotham (percussion).

One of the challenges these artists faced during the project was finding ways to bridge the musical worlds spanning the tempered tuning of the piano, which is designed for Western harmonic music and the quarter tones of the santoor coupled with the microtones of the sitar, both instruments designed for playing modal music. Saxophones and clarinets are capable of traversing both genres of music. The percussion laid a rhythmic foundation.

With this edition, SONIQ continued on its visionary path, and brought together elements from disparate cultures to create a contemporary, authentic music. The artists participating were on a musical treasure hunt, they opened soundscapes, took risks, and widened their horizons.

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