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Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch is an extremely thrilling individual and composer. His ritualistic approach to music making is nourished by his concepts of reduction and repetition as well as his fascination with Japanese culture. Here textures from jazz, funk, new music, minimal as well as ritual and sacred music are organically interwoven.

 

Born in Zurich, Nik Bärtsch started learning piano and drums at the age of 8. During his career, he has played everything from fusion to free-funk, and all kinds of extroverted jazz. At one point, he discovered the ideas behind the compositions of Nick Cage and Morton Feldman, from which he drew inspiration from.

 

Bärtsch works simultaneously with three bands. First of them is the acoustic project formed in 1997, Mobile which has played concerts of marathon durations – up to 36 hours – in which music, lighting and performance space design, video arts and swordsmanship have been brought together. With the main line-up of Mobile, which features instruments in addition to piano like bass and contrabass clarinet, percussion and tuned percussion, Bärtsch recorded his most recent album “Continuum” (2016). Mobile meditative polyrhythmic music is with powerful force, on which the musical drama grows and develops.

 

Pianists second band is a zen-funk quartet Ronin, which is freer in its sound architectonics. Ronin has released 3 albums under ECM label “Stoc” (2006), “Holon” (2008), “Llyria” (2010) plus a live album from 2012. 10 years ago, the quartet was in Tallinn at festival “Perfect silence”.

 

Bärtsch is also a valued solo artist. In his concerts, he used prepared piano and percussion. No matter which band he is performing with, his musical DNA is clearly recognisable from the first sounds. Critics have said that his music is a totally new conception, where hypnotically pulsating dynamics and simple starts grow into rhythmical scenes from our imagination, which will haunt the listeners long after the concert.

 

Nik Bärtsch’s suggestive, powerful and unique music will be heard at the 29th Jazzkaar’s last day on April 29 at Vaba Lava.

 

We thank: Pro Helvetia

Members:

Nik Bärtsch
piano
Sha
bass clarinet, double bass clarinet
Kaspar Rast
drums, percussion
Nicolas Stocker
drums