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Short visit to Salzburg. It is clearly Fall now.

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After playing the pre-opening of #ttat #jazz #festival I payed a short visit to the most beautiful beer garden and brewery. *After* playing old #swing standards for happy listeners.

On the train back to Vienna now…

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It is great to be back making music with other people again.

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We work under very special conditions, wearing masks as much as we can, getting tested every week. I feel privileged to be able to do what I do. Apologies for the rotated phots, somehow I could not figure out why they look this way :rolling_eyes:

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The Salzburg Festival is taking precautions to distance the audience from each other and us crew from the audience. As annoying as this is, at least it makes for a safe work environment.

It feels weird though, to play for half the audience:

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We ended up playing the opening night inside. Moved at the last moment. Never mind the stress at the last instance. It turned out to be a very concentrated and energetic performance.

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

EP release on May 1st

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It has been an intense six weeks, to say the least.

I went through my archives several times in the last one and a half months, in reminiscence of times that seem out of reach at the moment. Music is interaction, even more so improvised music. I felt a strong longing to interact with fellow musicians.

I love what some musical groups are putting together now under exceptional conditions. Some recordings are done really really well. Orchestra or band productions might sound so convincing, you would not believe they were recorded in seperate rooms at seperate times of the day etc. Musicians are very good at reproducing performances.

In fact, my arts teacher at school used to bitch about how musicians only reproduce and don’t dare to just play. He had a point in a way, unfortunately his personality and his love for liquor did not make him a very compassionate human being, let alone receptive to criticism.

Where was I?

Musicians are good at reproducing. In particular reproducing as a manual act of craftsmanship. Take the blending of a good orchestra or band: over time, the musicians will learn what their neighbours do, how they tune in, how exactly the attack of the people around them starts, so that it sounds as if one person is playing a chord, even though two, three, eight, ten, twenty or fifty people are. Or take the timing of a good band: musicians will learn what articulation works best when playing in rhythmic or melodic unison with certain instruments, which parts of the piece are to be played laid back, which parts on or in front of the beat. How to glory in the climax. Which notes to bend or play broader, which ones to anticipate.

We all learn these crafts in our daily work, fitting ourselves into a giant mosaic of musical fractions compiled of the information we and our fellow musicians create. Sometimes making space for the voice of others, sometimes making ourselves heard.

Does this limit the capacity to interpret and create? I would say it might. But in the best of circumstances, it allows us to zoom in, only to find yet another universe of fractions within a piece. Kind of like The Sierpinski Triangle. And right now, this skill is what makes it possible for recordings to sound live, alive even, because people are reproducing what they have worked on, over and over and over again.

Despite the amazing end product and the fun process, there is something missing, beyond musical terms. Just like a video-conference or a phone call is not the same thing as having a conversation, recording music to a pilot track is not the same thing as developing music together. Nothing tops the intimacy of human connection.

As I was digging through my archives, I rediscovered a live recording of a concert from last fall, the last public concert Oğuz and I played at the radio station in Vienna. There it was: the spark of immediate, instantaneous interaction.

With the generous support of Ö1 Musikredaktion, and in celebration of the intimacy of live improvisation, we will be releasing the EP "live at RadioKulturhaus" on May 1st. We chose to make it pay as you wish, in recognition of the economic difficulties some of us are experiencing. If you feel like you can give more, please do. In any case, enjoy the music! Along with the release of this EP, we will release some video footage from a concert in 2018, so lots of good things coming your way!

#jazz #mywork #improvisation #chambermusic #intimacy #instantcomposing #contemporarymusic

Two more reviews!

Two pretty cool reviews for Mind Like Water. So if you have not purchased my CD yet, below are excerpts from the articles to support the decision-making. Also great as a Christmas present 😉

Rinus van der Heijden for jazznu.com (in Dutch)

"It is clear in all of the pieces, that fluidity as well as unpredictability of water underlies the playing of both musicians. There is always an element which challenges both performers, yet ultimately lifts the music to a higher level where the musicians "collide". Nowhere do Sophie Hassfurther and Oguz Büyükberber get into trouble with each other, the elusive nature of water does indeed characterize their unity."

Michael Ternai for the mica-music austria magazine (in German)

"Sophie Hassfurther and Oguz Buyukberber leave the familiar paths to engage in a dialogue which blends various styles. Expanding on Contemporary Music through Jazz, they create picturesque sound sculptures, that resonate both skillfully and powerfully"

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