STRING THEORY

STRING THEORY

Project with guests:

Bassem Hawar / Zuzana Leharovà (substitute for Carolin Pook)

Events:

28.10.2023 – Wuppertal, LOCH

29.10.2023 – Köln, Stadtgarten

The upcoming SONIQ project STRING THEORY focuses on outstanding string instrumentalists whose horizons go far beyond traditional ways of thinking and playing.

The project was conceptually inspired by the scientific theories of string theory. Like a magic sphere of physics, these theories look into the innermost nature of matter. In these theories, the most elementary building blocks of the universe are referred to as “strings,” essentially the “threads of reality” that construct the cosmos.

The string theories aim to explain the fundamental nature of existence. They postulate the theory that the world is more than just three-dimensional. In the models, ten or more dimensions are envisioned.

Inspired by the idea of multidimensionality, the STRING THEORY project proposes the hypothesis that through the encounter of extremely different and unconventional “global string players” with the strong personalities of the SONIQ artists, new musical dimensions will be opened up.

 

SONIQ invites the German violinist, composer, improviser, conductor and percussionist Carolin Pook and the Iraqi djoze innovator Bassem Hawar.

The versatile and impulsive artist Carolin Pook founded her own orchestra (“Pookestra”) during a ten-year stay in New York, where she explored new paths between composition and arrangement on one hand, and free or conducted improvisation (“conduction”) on the other hand. The press describes Carolin’s composition style as “postmodern sound architecture of sometimes magical intensity.” She is equally sought-after in contemporary classical music and jazz, and since 2021, she has been serving as the concertmaster of the EOS Chamber Orchestra Cologne.

Bassem Hawar, who has been living in Germany since 2000, builds his own instruments and has revolutionized the Iraqi knee violin, the djoze, enabling him to play all forms of Arabic and European music on it, not limited to traditional Arabic music. Bassem performs in numerous groups of various musical genres, ranging from classical Maqam to European medieval music, flamenco, contemporary music, and experimental jazz. In 2018, he founded the Nouruz Ensemble, where contemporary oriental art music is further developed.

The creative impulses of Carolin Pook and Bassem Hawar are integrated into STRING THEORY as elemental “building blocks,” the “threads of reality,” with which the SONIQ Trio creates a unique, multidimensional musical reality for the eleventh time. Jarry Singla, Ramesh Shotham, and Christina Fuchs see themselves as “intercultural conductors” on the one hand. On the other hand, they also shape the emerging sonic cosmos significantly through their compositional and improvisational contributions, drawing from a rich, cross-cultural, and genre-transcending repertoire.

Supported by:

NUCLEUS

NUCLEUS - a Soniq Project

NUCLEUS

Project with guests:

Christian Ramond (bass) & Florian Stadler (accordion)

From a galactic point of view, a nucleus is a core of a galaxy. In a metaphorical sense, it is the musicians’ collective SONIQ, in whose orbit some stars have been orbiting since 2016, such as the trio Eastern Flowers and the duo Flux.
While their orbits cross here and there, occasionally it happens that the three of them actually merge to form a quite extraordinary constellation of stars. A unique event that can only be seen across the night sky of some special venues.

SONIQ Nucleus – Ramesh Shotham-perc, Christian Ramond-bass, Christina Fuchs- reeds, Florian Stadler-acc, Jarry Singla- pno, harm.

Soniq is for me the wonderful mixture of wonderful musicality and warm humanity in dealing with each other. The result? Warmth, great soundscapes, lively rhythms, iridescent music with incredible depth, gratitude.

Florian Stadler

Akkordeon @ Soniq_Nucleus

Press says:

„Deliberate and soulful, vigorous and full of ideas.“

Bernadette Brutscheid, Westdeutsche Zeitung 2.11.2022 (-> full article)

ARCHIPELAGO

ARCHIPELAGO

Project with guests:

Dates

27.10.2022 – Dortmund, Domicil

28.10.2022 – Köln / Stadtgarten

 

The collaboration with the Soniq collective was horizon-expanding on several levels. The artistic exploration of the diversity of sounds from the Archipel network required great openness and sensitivity from all of us. In all phases of the collaboration with Soniq, one could sense this cautiousness and respect in dealing with the material entrusted to us. At the same time, the creative process was characterized by a joy of playing and a desire to experiment. Combining the musicians’ different creative approaches and artistic approaches in one project and finally bringing it to the stage was an inspiring experience for us.

Janko Hanushevsky & Eva Pöpplein

Bass/Elektronik @ Soniq_Archipelago

In the course of the past few years, during the Corona pandemic, the world suddenly became very small. Travelling was no longer possible and the world slipped through a fibre glass cable and behind a screen. You could listen to concerts live from all over the world in the digital space. One felt connected to colleagues everywhere who, like oneself, were stuck in their living rooms – each a bit like Robinson Crusoe on his island. The picture of the archipelago symbolizes the experienced paradox of being separate and being connected in an appropriate way.

Soniq Archipelago Live-Trailer Stadtgarten Cologne Oct 28, 2022 (9:00 min)

To be able to deal as creative as possible along with these new realities of life and work and the uncertainties which have arisen also in regard to the future, SONIQ has thought about how, in spite of limited performance and production conditions, the projects, which have been carried out in annual rotation since 2016, could be continued.
The objective is to continue a lively exchange with as many international musicians as possible and yet not to ignore the (presumably continuing) limited travel opportunities. The result of these considerations is the project ARCHIPELAGO, as presented here.

The combination of gathering digitally with a global selection of musicians on one hand and a very local cooperation with artists from different genres on the other (Duo Merzouga: sound art / Uli Sigg: video art) will allow the collective to continue developing its artistic work between (musical) worlds, a process that has been going on for more than four years now. This will also guarantee – regardless of contact and travel restrictions – the broadest possible visibility of the project, since music will be audible both in the digital space and in concerts on site.

 

Soniq Archipelago Video Teaser (1:34 min)

Protagonists of the Cologne collective are connected and linked to hundreds of musicians around the world. The worldwide archipelago of SONIQ friends will be invited to make short audio recordings and send them to Cologne. These artists are invited to send in fragments that reflect their current, very personal emotional state in a time between isolation and networking.

SONIQ, Merzouga & Sigg will create an artistically condensed resonance to the digitally transmitted sounds of the world and reflect them back into the digital space.

However, the protagonists are not satisfied with a digital presence only: the individual members of the collective will develop elaborate compositions for a live performance on the basis of the musical material created from the fragments. The sound composition becomes the nucleus of an experimental artistic process. This lab-like process is part of the experience and will finally result in a sensual, playful, grooving full-length concert at its best SONIQ style. SONIQ will invite the sound-art duo Merzouga – as well as the media artist Uli Sigg as an equivalent performer on-stage.

Supported by:

ORIENTAL STRINGS

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.

Project supported by:

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.

sponsored by:

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.

 

My collaboration with SONIQ in October 2020 was a thoroughly inspiring experience! In addition to the already wonderful collaboration with such individualistic musicians as Ramesh Shotham, Christina Fuchs and Jarry Singla, who had also integrated their own interesting pieces and concepts into this basic trio, the brilliant percussionist Rhani Krija was invited as a further guest. All in all, a high-level line-up, which we did justice to with a varied and yet homogeneous program (at least the feedback at our concerts testified to this). The thoughtful and respectful organization of the rehearsals, the concerts and the necessary ‘trappings’ helped to make the whole thing both a highly interesting and enjoyable affair . . . Thanks to SONIQ for a fulfilling moment!

Stefan Bauer

Vibraphon/Marimbaphon @ Soniq_Percussion

„…..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

sponsored by: