Author: Sophie (page 1 of 2)

Zooming in on the details

Water responds intuitively, follows its path even when there are obstacles and immediately afterwards regains its original state. When you improvise, alone or with others, music will take you places. When you respond intuitively, great things can happen. I wrote something along those lines in my last blog post on finalizing our upcoming album, called Mind Like Water.


This is what making music feels like to me. There is a sort of trust – trust in the universe, in music, or in “the flow” – that will take you to this state of mind. But how do you establish trust in the universe, you might say? After all, we are cruising at high speed around a burning ball of hydrogen and helium, in the middle of freaking nowhere, on this tiny planet, which we are ready to destroy at any time.

Honestly, I don’t have an answer to that. There is no recipe and no How-To. What I can say is that, trust in yourself is a first step. Trusting your sound, your breathing, the physical side of playing an instrument, and hearing the music coming out of your horn an instant before you play it. Trusting the people in you band to move along with you. Or to take the music elsewhere and come back later. Focus. Mind Like Water.

A lot has happened in the last week, zooming in to tweak the details: the title order is finished, we have a cover draft and we are making some minor changes in the mix at Feedback Studio Vienna. Finally all tunes have a title! Gasp! References are Shakespeare (The Tempest), Zen analogies and human communication. Pretty cool mixture, I must say.


Oğuz made the beautiful cover draft. He is one of those highly skilled people, who can play an instrument at the highest perfection and be a graphical artist at the same time. Oğuz does most of the artwork for his projects himself, which I find very cool. You can find him on Instagram. If you are into Instagram.

The cover is still a draft, so I can not share it here, but the top picture will be on it! Michel Marang took the photos. Not only is he a great photographer, he is also an amazing classical clarinettist. All those gifted people involved in this production!

We had a lot of fun during the photo shoot. Our location happened to be the building in which the Conservatory of Amsterdam was located back in the day. I used to attend theory classes there. What a flashback.

I am sharing one more piece. It is quite different from Mind Like Water, our title tune. This one is called Wild Waves Whist.

Sophie Hassfurther: tenor sax
Oğuz Büyükberber: bass clarinet

#workinprogress #mindlikewater #music #jazz #mywork #zen #Shakespeare #communication

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Mind Like Water

Sophie Hassfurther, Oguz Büyükberber: Mind Like Water


My next album entitled Mind Like Water will be released in March. Mind like water refers to a zen analogy. To me it boils down to: water responds intuitively, follows its path even when there are obstacles and immediately afterwards regains its original state.

I would love to say that I live this much in the present, but as life has it, this state of mind is rather rare. I find it great however to get back to the analogy, when there is distraction and too much noise from my various obligations. Deal with whatever is there, and move on.

Mastering will always be very a delicate part of finishing a recording. It is a process of listening, fine-tuning and listening again. But only when you are in the Now, the outcome will matter. Ollmann of Feedback Studios did a super nice job. His input was and is invaluable to this production. I keep listening back to the recording. Is there something to improve about the song order? Do i hear every note clearly? Is the room live? Is there something in the mastering that needs more adjusting?


As little as mind like water applies to my everyday life, the analogy is very much applicable for my life in music especially for improvised music. When you improvise, alone or with others, there will always be musical and nonmusical distraction. Non musical distractions are self explanatory, I would think. Musical distraction is when the music takes you places you did not expect. When you respond intuitively, when you are "in the zone", great things can happen.

Some tunes still need a title. Interesting to note that the great majority of musician friends I have, find it hard to give their instrumental pieces a title. Then again, it is no wonder, that for centuries composers used mainly terms that refer to the form and often overall character of the piece. Take Sonata, a specific form of a composition, meaning a piece played – as opposed to sung – or Passacaglia, originally a Spanish folk dance, later used as musical form of a serious character in triple meter, or Air, a song form going back to the Italian vocal composition called aria.

#workinprogress #mindlikewater #music #jazz #mywork
Mind like water. Well, sometimes.

Hassfurther / Büyükberber: Mind Like Water


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This post and all comments will also appear on my personal blog.

Spirals and stacked triads

Just got the first draft of a book my dear friend and musical partner Oğuz Büyükberber is writing. Triads and scales are spiraling in my head!

Heute Abend im Blue Tomato!

@Mario Vavti , Hannes Enzlberger und ich heute Abend um 20:30 im Blue Tomato


SophieSophie wrote the following post Mon, 22 Oct 2018 13:26:05 +0200
t.o.n. in Vienna
Nach mehrjähriger Schaffenspause tritt das Trio Hassfurther/Vavti/Enzlberger, alias t.o.n. (Telefonzellenorchester Nonntal, Trio ohne Namen, Tricentric organized nerds, Tiramisu ohne Nussfülle…), wieder in Aktion. Viele neue Songs sind inzwischen entstanden, und so präsentieren die drei ein funkelnagelneues Programm in bewährt lässiger Manier – Ausflüge in die französische Filmmusik nicht ausgeschlossen. Chill-out-chamber-music im Geiste der Großen Ungereiztheit.

Sophie Hassfurther – Sax
Mario Vavti – Posaune
Hannes Enzlberger – Bass

22. November, 20:30
Blue Tomato
Wurmsergasse 21, 1150 Wien

Aeolian Chord

Researching extended techniques for harp to write a piece for harp and recorder with the Greek myth of Aeolus/Odysseus in mind. Guess what, there is a technique called Aeolian Chord on the harp! 😉

This Friday in Salzburg

Take The A-Train Festival
Hotel Hohenstaufen
2018-09-14 18:30

Hassfurther Büyükberber Duo
by Sophie Hassfurther on Vimeo

Greetings world!

Greetings from my favorite work space




The summer cafeteria

I have to say is quite ok to have your lunch break from rehearsing in the refreshingly cool cafeteria of Landestheater Salzburg…


Das Instrumentarium / The Instruments

Alte Schmiede Hallein
Premiere am Sonntag 27. Mai


2018 – 25 Jahre Theater bodi end sole in Hallein Eine Geschichte, über 4.000 Jahre alt. Spielt sie im Heute, spielt sie im Morgen? Zeit und Raum scheinen aufgelöst. Bühne und Figuren verschmelzen in Reflexionen und Projektionen, tauchen ein in Musik und formen sich immer wieder neu. Auf der Suche nach Selbsterkenntnis, nach dem Kern des Mensch…

Favorite Duo Records, Day 5

!Anima Jazz

This is day five of five. My last recommendation for the dear fediverse community.

Gil Evans Steve Lacy Paris Blues
Gil Evans piano, electric piano
Steve Lacy sax
Recorded 1987, released 1988 on Owl Records.

The record was rated 1,5 on AllMusic, user rating is at 4,5 of five stars.

Gil Evans & Steve Lacy – Paris Blues


From the eponymous album

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