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Q 3 A M B I E N T F E S T • P O T S D A M

UNA CORDA
instrument feature
by David Klavins

The Klavins Piano Manufaktúra Kft. was established by David Klavins in January 2017. The main activity of the company is building acoustic pianos of special design, invented by David Klavins, as well as building special design-pianos commissioned by third parties. David Klavins accomplished his degree of a master piano builder in January 1980, in Stuttgart, Germany, after having founded his first piano company in 1976 in Bonn, Germany. While initially specializing on the rebuilding of old pianos, in the course of his work he was studying the factors that mainly determine the acoustic characteristics of a piano. This lead him to understand that the development of these instruments had obviously been artificially halted more than 100 years ago, and he began to contemplate building new pianos by his own findings and principles.
In November 1987 Klavins presented to the public his first design of a vertical concert grand piano, the Klavins Model 370.
In 2014 Klavins introduced a new small-size piano, the Una Corda, a 64-key piano with an open design, a new concept of soundboard, with only one string per note, and a stainless steel frame instead of cast iron, the building of which was initiated by Nils Frahm.
Both, the M370 and the Una Corda Piano, have been sampled and are distributed as sound libraries by Native Instruments, Berlin.
After four decades of active work as a piano builder, technician, and concert tuner, having been involved in various companies and projects, Klavins has now settled in Hungary, to exclusively focus on the building of innovative acoustic pianos.
In December 2017 the Klavins M450i was completed, marking the next step in the process to establish the Vertical Concert Grand (VCG) as the ultimate option for concert halls, pianists and composers.
Handcrafting Una Corda Pianos and Vertical Concert Grands on demand, the Klavins Piano Manufaktúra Kft. represents the number one manufacturer of  non-traditional, avant-garde acoustic pianos.

AMANDA BLOOM

Amanda Bloom is a neoclassical pianist, composer and fusion vocalist based between Bangkok and Berlin who is fast gaining a steady following within the European Neo-classical piano world due for her fusion piano works. Her live performances, which are often just herself at the piano, are known to leave audiences breathless, doused with the overwhelming passion that bleeds from her voice and fingers that command her black and white muse- the Pianoforte. As of June 2018 she became the first official Globally Endorsed Artist of famed Klavins Piano Manufaktúra in Hungary. Klavins is famous for the invention of the Una Corda and the World’s first vertical concert grand piano, the M450i.

Bloom’s debut album The History of Things to Come (2013) was self-written, arranged and self-produced in Sydney, Australia and finished in Amman, Jordan in the Middle East with members of the Amman Symphony Orchestra. Her second album Atlas (2016) was written in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with contributions from some of Asia’s top musicians including Lewis Pragasam and Conrad Keely across studios In Thailand and Malaysia. In 2016 her improvisation After Theory was chosen by Nils Frahm for the official Piano Day playlist. This lead to the official release of subsequent improvisations on Sweden-based Neo-Classical label 1631 Recordings. Her upcoming third album is a collection of 9 piano pieces supported by fusion layers of ethereal vocals. The album is thematic, intensely melodic and haunting, showcasing her natural mastery of timeless melodies inspired by her primary piano influences Michael Nyman, Chopin and Yann Tiersen.

CHRISTOPHER SKY

Christopher Sky is an American composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer based in Los Angeles. His first EP, Cotton Dream, featuring contributions from Paul Espinoza on guitar, was released in 2011 through his own label, Sejatski Ltd. This was followed by Audio Memory, with a stronger emphasis on guitar-based loops and sound design.

After taking some time off to focus on his Let’s Drive to Alaska project – releasing In the Fifth House in 2016 – Sky returned in 2018 with By the Ocean, his first solo work in seven years, featuring five brand new songs, plus remixes by Mirror, Jubilant Ecstasy Dream and HEARTMIND. Two-track EP Orpheus and Eurydice, an ode to the classic tale of love and loss, was released on Valentine’s Day 2018.

Vastness was released on Aagoo Records and Hidden Shoal Recordings November 9th 2018 which was followed by a UK and European Tour December 2018 and California Tour January-October 2019.

CHANTAL ACDA

Chantal Acda is one of those singer/songwriters that since the begining of her career with the moniker Sleepingdog, “grows” on everyone that listens to her music. Seed by seed, we all have been rooted by her lyrics and music. But, fortunately, this happened also with fellow musicians that fell in love with her music and, wanted to be a part of it also: Nils Frahm, Bill Frisell or Peter Broderick are some of them.

Chantal Acda released her first solo album Let Your Hands Be My Guide in 2013, followed by the evenly beautiful The Sparkle In Our Flaws in 2015. Past collaborators and musical soul mates include a.o. Nils Frahm, Peter Broderick, Heather Woods Broderick, Valgeir Sigurdsson, Gyda Valtysdottir and Adam Wiltzie. Her last album Bounce Back (2017) was recorded by producer Phill Brown, known from his work for artists like Talk Talk, Mark Hollis and Bob Marley. As Chantal is always looking for new musical adventures, she created a trio called Distance, Light and Sky with Chris Eckman and Eric Thielemans, and released two records, Casting Nets and Gold Coast.

The most recent adventure of Chantal Acda is called Pūwawau.

RESINA

Resina is Karolina Rec’s solo project. The Polish cellist and composer is known by her fellow Poles from collaborations with an eclectic list of artists from Maciej Cieślak through Hubert Zemler to Zamilska, but since 2016 she’s been carving a solo path with her own project.
Her second album Traces sees her expanding the sound palette, employing not only otherworldly soundscapes created from heavily looped and processed cello, but also wordless vocals and rhythms. These take inspiration from an obsession with damaged sacral objects, memory, survivors of violence and the ravages of time. In May 2019, the Traces Remixes EP was released by 130701 / Fat Cat Records with remixes by Lotic, Ben Frost, Abul Mogard and Ian William Craig.

Island Songs
by ÓLAFUR ARNALDS

7 weeks: 7 towns: 7 collaborations: 7 songs
A portrait of Icelandic people through music and film

From the remotest northern village, to the beautiful and desolate Westfjords, via the buzzing bars of Reykjavik, Icelanders make up one of the most musical nations on earth. But why do these people, who have one of the highest rates of ensembles per capita in the world, choose to live in such difficult conditions? How does it affect their music-making? In Island Songs, the innovative and brilliant composer Ólafur Arnalds (BAFTA Award winner for Broadchurch) explores the vibrant artistic life of his fellow countrymen and women in a fascinating music/film portrait.

Over the course of seven weeks in the summer, Arnalds travelled to seven very different locations to collaborate with seven diverse music-makers, including the organist of a tiny and remote church, a well-known pop star, a successful Hollywood film composer, and a village teacher. Acclaimed director Baldvin Z (BBC 4’s Trapped and Life Through a Fish Bowl) filmed each performance live and created a feature-length music film that tackles the themes of community, geography and creativity. Audio tracks and short videos were released via online streaming services, while the feature length music-film Island Songs was released in 2017 on Mercury Classics.

GYROKINESIS YOGA
by Chizu Kimura
with Hoshiko Yamane

Chizu Kimura was born in Japan in 1981 and started dancing at the tender age of five. She trained in England at the Legat School of Dance and London Studio Centre before joining the Vienna Ballet Festival in London in 2002. In 2005 she moved to Berlin and worked as a freelance dancer with numerous choreographers such as Trisha Brown, SETanztheater , Micheal Rooney , RØRSTRØMSK , Angus Balbernie , Norman Douglas , Flying Steps , Yui Kawaguchi and U.T.P (Tokyo) . She also used her talent for commercials such as “Sony Ericsson” and “Wackelpudding”. In 2008 she started to create her own piece. One of her projects TANSIK is an attempt to combine contemporary dance and live music with the Berlin Japanese violinist Hoshiko Yamane. Since December 2009 she teaches classical dance for beginners and professionals. She is also a certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® trainer.
Hoshiko Yamane is a classically trained violinist and a member of the legendary band Tangerine Dream. 
She’s also an accomplished composer, and whether releasing and playing under her own name or as Tukico, her unique sound features looped strings together with Moog synths and effects.
Under Hoshiko Yamane would released some solo Albums from Swedish Label 1631 Recordings and She is working with Decca Publishing for Film music.
 She is collaborating with many musicians and dancers,which are like contemporary dance performances.

ANNE MÜLLER

Anne Müller is versatile cellist who participates in a variety of different musical worlds. Born and raised in Berlin, she studied classical performance with Prof. Michael Sanderling at the ‘Hanns Eisler’ Academy and completed her Masters degree at the Frankfurt University of Music.
 Though she is an accomplished orchestral performer and chamber musician, Anne is also active in the realm of popular, contemporary, and experimental music. Equipped with an arsenal of loop and effect pedals, she creates her special cello sound with absorbing soundscapes, a vortex of feedback, drone and glitches.
Anne Müller is also a frequent contributor to recordings on the UK-based neo-classical label Erased Tapes; here she can be found in collaboration with German Pianist Nils Frahm (7Fingers,2011) and Ólafur Arnalds (Stare, 2012). She also creates her own compositons as a solo artist, the first collection of which will be released on Erased Tapes.

2009-2014 she collaborated with Danish Singer/Pianist Agnes Obel, can be found on the records Philharmonics/Aventine and performed concerts across Europe and around the world.
Anne Müller was a featured artist on Nils Frahm Music for the Motion Picture “Victoria” (Erased Tapes / German Film Awards: Best Film Score ).
 Her last collaboration work was just released in Summer 2016; there she lends musician Markus Sieber’s solo project Aukai her special cello sound on his self titeld new record “Aukai”.

LAU NAU

Lau Nau, aka Laura Naukkarinen, is one of the more interesting names in the contemporary music scene in Finland. Her songs are imbued with a cinematic breadth of vision and her idiosyncratic, finely honed sound world builds on fragile, spectral otherness. She works using both acoustic and electronic instruments, from field recordings to analogue synthesisers, from vocal music and traditional instruments to musique concrete and field recordings. She also composes, produces and performs music for new films, silent films, theatre, dance and sound installations. Her works have been nominated to various music prizes as Teosto-, Emma-, Jussi- and Femma prizes. She has held lectures and workshops on film music in Colorado College and Moscow Film School.

Lau Nau’s first solo albums were released in the US (Locust music 2005 & 2008). The debut album, ‘Kuutarha’, won acclaim from the likes of Pitchfork and Dusted, with The Wire naming the LP in their top 50 albums of 2005, and citing her Philadelphia show of that year amongst “60 concerts that shook the world”. In 2017 Lau Nau’s 5th album ‘Poseidon’ was released in three continents (Europe, USA, Japan). The album has garnered a wide acclaim across media and fans, won the main Femma prize. ‘Poseidon’ is a suite of luminous, melancholic, world-weary songs that exist in a world of all their own, treading the line between chamber folk and experimental pop. Centred around Laura’s voice and piano, the album also includes a small cast of guest musicians, including Helena Espvall, Matti Bye, Pekko Käppi, Antti Tolvi and Samuli Kosminen. Kosminen has mixed and co-produced the album. Each song is a gem of its own, with lustrous melodies spun from the web of seasons, by turns ghostly and earthy.
Besides of Lau Nau, Laura Naukkarinen plays also in Bye/Fredriksson/Kosminen/Naukkarinen and has a solo synth/violin project Subatlantti. She has been playing in various improv bands as IAX, Maailma, Hertta Lussu Ässä, Kiila, Avarus, the Anaksimandros, Päivänsäde, Kemialliset Ystävät, Chamellows and others.

RAUELSSON

Rauelsson is the musical alias of Raúl Pastor Medall. Originally from Spain, he moved to Portland, OR, where he mainly resided for a decade. His first releases for Hush Records (home imprint for early works of artists such as Laura Gibson and Peter Broderick) revealed a slow transition from lo-fi, intimate compositions of delicate folk to a more contemplative, experimental and dense sound. The whispery drones and instrumental passages revealed in Réplica (2011; a collaboration album with Peter Broderick) paved a path that, together with a more electronic feel, blossomed in 2013 with the release of Vora, his first full-length for Berlin-based label Sonic Pieces. With Vora (2013), Rauelsson also intensified his presence on stage, with numerous shows in Europe, USA and Japan. In 2018, Rauelsson released Mirall, his most recent work and his second album for Sonic Pieces. In Mirall, Rauelsson presents an eclectic collection of compositions that celebrate sonic venture and electronic exploration without abandoning a focus on organic sound and classical instrumentation. The lush landscapes introduced in Vora are here expanded genre- and instrumentation-wise and the general sound moves into a myriad of organic beats and textural dynamism. Mirall includes regular collaborators that have participated in previous Rauelsson recordings or live performances, such as Anne Müller and Christoph Berg (cello and violin, respectively), as well as new collaborations: German clarinetist Claudio Puntin (Ambiq) and Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö (Efterklang, Liima). Mirall also features an a cappella contribution by Heather Woods Broderick. In addition to his main discography, Rauelsson has also released music for film, documentary and photography projects, including From River to Sea (Hush Records, 2012), Ekō (Beacon Sound, 2016), the recent A Score for Darling (Sonic Pieces, 2018; a soundtrack written in collaboration with Erik K. Skodvin) and an appearance on the Print/Track Series (Thesis Project, 2019) curated by illustrator Gregory Euclide.

CEEYS

CEEYS– are the multitalented instrumentalists and musicians Sebastian and Daniel Selke. Combining a shared passion for music and an impressive resume working alongside fellow  luminaries Ólafur Arnalds and Peter Broderick, they just released their latest album HIDDENSEE in 2019. Their 4th duo production again quickly amassed an organic following of listeners and got acclaim from tastemakers like Mary Anne Hobbs and BBC Radio 6:

“It’s an extraordinary piece of music. It’s the work of two brothers, Sebastian on cello and Daniel on piano, and together they play as CEEYS. I saw them premiere tracks from their new album at a gig that I went to very recently in Berlin. This is a project which is written about the buildings that surrounded them in their childhood, growing up on the streets of East Berlin.”

They already started planning the 4th edition of their up and coming Q3Ambientfest – a music happening for contemporary music, 2020 with a mesmerizing collaboration from CEEYS w/ Peter Brodericks and Daniel O’ Sullivans latest duo project CONSTANT PRESENCE. Live on stage, this performance follows their ambient album on Thesis Project released in the form of a 10 inch vinyl with handmade artwork by Gregory Euclide.

CONSTANT PRESENCE
Peter Broderick & Daniel O’Sullivan

CONSTANT PRESENCE is the joint project of Daniel O’Sullivan and Peter Broderick. Both musicians are serial collaborators with diverse musical backgrounds.

O’Sullivan has spent the last year touring with the iconic This Is Not This Heat, while spring 2019 saw the release of his second solo album, the avant-pop opus ‘Folly’, on O Genesis Records, the label of Tim Burgess. Broderick has released his last few solo records with the East London based Erased Tapes label and is regularly commissioned to write music for film and dance. With both artists being experienced multi-instrumentalists and well-connected to a smattering of great musicians around the globe, CONSTANT PRESENCE is a vibrant exploration of song and sound.

 

GYROKINESIS YOGA
by Chizu Kimura
with CEEYS

Chizu Kimura was born in Japan in 1981 and started dancing at the tender age of five. She trained in England at the Legat School of Dance and London Studio Centre before joining the Vienna Ballet Festival in London in 2002. In 2005 she moved to Berlin and worked as a freelance dancer with numerous choreographers such as Trisha Brown, SETanztheater, Micheal Rooney, RØRSTRØMSK, Angus Balbernie, Norman Douglas, Flying Steps, Yui Kawaguchi and U.T.P (Tokyo). Since 2009 she teaches classical dance for beginners and professionals. She is also a certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® trainer.

The work of Sebastian and Daniel – “an extraordinary piece of music” according to BBC’s Mary Anne Hobbs – is marked by contrasts as well the idea of crossing musical barriers: in search of a shared language, their project CEEYS was born in East-Berlin. The brothers studied classical music at academies in Berlin and Leipzig. Both have been featured on numerous releases. Sebastian has collaborated with Ólafur Arnalds and Viktor Orri Árnason on a virtual instrument for Spitfire Audio, he is part of Erased Tapes’ I+I=X and Masayoshi Fujita’s BOOK OF LIFE with whom he only recently toured Germany.

MARIE AWADIS

Marie Awadis, the Armenian pianist and composer based in Germany, is known for her sensitive sound. Intimate and poetic, Marie’s music aims at communicating the depth of human emotions. Always centered around her instrument, the piano, she draws influences from the life
experiences that have shaped her as a human, from deep roots in classical traditions to recurrent folkloristic harmonic elements of her native Armenia.
Born into a musical family, she stood on stage for the first time at the age of five, singing with her father’s band. As she started piano lessons, she focused on the classical repertoire and became active in performing solo concerts, with pieces from Bach to Rachmaninov and Schönberg, beside chamber music, choir accompaniments and studio projects.
Marie received her Bachelor degree in Lebanon and her studies in Germany at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover. During her stuies, she performed with the Lebanese National symphonic orchestra and also established the duo Karma with Armenian cellis Karolin Scholz, performing classical as well as traditional repertoires. Marie started to compose and wrote her first cello duo waltz. In 2015 she released her debut solo album Echoes, followed by Searching two years later.
Since 2018 Marie is actively playing concerts in Germany and Europe, and collaborating with different artists for studio recordings and live performances. Recently, she wrote an album especially for the unique Klavins M189 Concert Una Corda, which she just finished recording and will release in 2020.

TOBIAS LICHTMANN

Tobias Lichtmann is an electronic musician, DJ and curator. His ongoing project The ∆-Tunes (The Delta-Tunes) describes the music he makes and loves to listen to:

“It is the difference between what you’re wishing for vs. what you get. Mathematically spoken, the ∆ (say: DELTA) was a thing that has always inspired me the most. Happiness and fulfillment have never been sources of creativity to me. Instead, failing (better and quicker) and doubts have always been the path for growth and progress. This is why I decided to celebrate this state of unrest by focusing on music that perfectly depicts and triggers what it means to feel: ∆.”

Lichtmann is the creative mind behind the events Traurig und Untanzbar (Kantine am Berghain, 2019) which celebrated the joy of sad music by transitioning from Drone to Industrial in the course of just four live concerts. He also put together events that celebrated Germany’s electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk during the Rhine Main summer festival in 2008. Lichtmann regularly organises an evening in the Liquidroom pool dedicated to ballads, instrumentals and B-sides from the extensive discography of Depeche Mode. Framed by excursions in beatless – but no less intense wave, synthpop, industrial and spoken word tracks, this unique event is a must for lovers of dark, undanceable electronics. Ever since the very first “Float With Depeche Mode” in 2016, the event returns every ten (or so) weeks. 

KHYAAM HAQUE

Khyaam A. Haque is a pianist and composer based out of Chicago, Illinois and primarily composes classical, new age, and electronic music.
His inspiration transpired from the cinematic moments of his own life experiences. From his memories and relationships to his loneliness and solitude, Khyaam discovered a foundation of creativity that transcended into his own conglomerate of storytelling stemming from his life obstacles. A composer that works with variation, repetition along with a reoccurring melody, his albums evoke an environment of musical themes that are incredibly cohesive and invite the listener into his world.

 Khyaam began learning classical guitar while growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico.
That later transitioned into playing electric guitar and playing anything from Alternative, Post-rock, Jazz, Metal, to other styles of music. The instrument shaped him as an artist and led him to pursue an education in Audio Production at Columbia College Chicago, where he received his Bachelor’s degree. During this time, Khyaam began experimenting with piano, synthesizers, and recording. Today, piano is the primary instrument used in the music he composes. In 2016, Khyaam released his first album Sonorous Laments For A Future Past. This album, with its minimalist arrangements and elegance – firmly established his musical identity as a pianist.

ELL KENDALL

”Occasionally, I’ll get lost for a morning. Thinking about sounds that fascinate me, and their quality. If you take a leaf from a tree, any tree will do, and look at it, I mean really look at it, over maybe 10-15 minutes. Perhaps this is the type of quality which really gets to me in sound.”

VAGHY

vaghy (Tamás Vághy) is a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is newly entering the contemporary and modern classical music scene. His musical life has many faces because he loves immersing himself in a lot of musical genres.

He grew up with a piano in his room when he was a child so he met his main instrument quite early and started learning it at the age of 5. Later he realized that his strength lay in improvisation because he didn’t like bounds – so he rather chose to learn from private teachers and practiced a lot on his own. Ever since he’s been fighting the bounds and trying to break out of the conventional.

A few years ago he saw a Nils Frahm video and realized what he had been doing in his bedroom studio was a good way to express himself. Frahm gave him a confirmation about anything that he thought and created in music before and that he is on the right way. His compositions were in the drawer and in his head so after that moment he felt it was time to take them out and finish them. These days he is experimenting a lot within the modern classical style, from chamber music to solo piano music and piano sounds with electronic essentials.

His first official release can be heard on Blue Spiral Records’ The Minimal Piano Series Vol. 2 selection. ‘Invisible Touch’ – which was composed for the occasion of this composer contest – not only made it to this record but also opened the whole album that features minimal piano compositions.

vaghy is currently working on his first solo album called Minimalism. He plans to use only piano sounds and minimal electronica with vintage instruments. This debut record is scheduled to be released in 2020.

 

MARA SIMPSON

Mara Simpson is a British musician and story-teller, currently based in Brighton. Through her songs and collaborations with artists (Poppy Ackroyd, Jools Owen), visual artist (Becky Lu, Gudrun Olsen) and local communities, she draws together the sublime and ridiculous from our everyday.
“I see music in shapes and colours, I write because I’m alive. I fervently believe in magic, in the moments of transcendence when everything makes sense. Through this I stay awake, I stay alive.”
Growing up on a Hertfordshire cul-de-sac then flying back ‘home’ to Kenya where her parents were born, shaped in Mara the traveller, the outsider and the romantic, that have become hallmarks of her music. Mara is classically trained in composition, piano and guitar as well as fine art. She has performed over 300 shows, both on festival stages and intimate concerts, most recent stages include Fusion (Germany), Kaltern Pop (Italy), Together the People (UK) and Sazavafest (Czech Republic). She’s become known for captivating audiences with her soulful melodies, rich lyricism, captivating voice, unassuming charm and wicked laugh. Mara paints a beautifully rich soundscape, setting the scene as she takes her audience on a journey with her, through the beauty of every day to the magic of remarkable.

SIMEON WALKER

Following a decade working as a musician, UK-based pianist & composer Simeon Walker has quickly emerged as a leading light in the burgeoning Modern Classical scene in his own right, following the release of his EP Preface (2016) and his debut full length album Mono (2017). On the back of this, he has completed a successful 8-date European Tour, been featured with airplay across BBC Radio 3, 6 Music & the World Service, and performed at Latitude Festival, all whilst collaborating with other musicians and artists and working on a follow up album.

With three consecutive official Piano Day playlist features and numerous glowing reviews from across the music world, Walker’s calm, introspective piano instrumentals invite the listener to find stillness and beauty as much in the spaces between the notes as the notes themselves, as musical stories are woven with each tender, intimate performance.

“A tender-hearted collection of thoughtfully composed pieces in slow bloom and wrapped in hushed intimacy” – Stationary Travels

DIANE BARBÉ

Diane is a sound artist and researcher based in Berlin. With a classical training in traverse flute and violin in French conservatories, she soon began to experiment with electronic instruments and field recordings to widen the narrative possibilities of her practice. The key, for her, is to delve deeper into the realm of sound –beyond our hearing range, beyond acoustic waves– to create music as a meditative, environmental  experience.

Diane currently works as a recordist for documentaries and is finished a degree in Sound Studies at the University of Arts in Berlin (UdK). Until its closure in 2019, she hosted the feminist music and political talk show Hystereo on Berlin Community Radio. Diane has performed live in festivals and sleep concerts across Europe and the US, with a particular predilection for outdoor settings where “sound trap” microphones complement her setup. She released a cassette of live performances called The River by the Tree with the experimental label Jungle Gym in early 2019.