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Ensemble Nikel – mINUS oNE

(First performance – Darmstadt Ferienkurse 2014) ​

A day with ensemble Nikel hosting young performer’s of the Nikel instrumentation who will, each in his turn, take the chair of one ensemble member, for rehearsing and then performing a piece with the group.

Ensemble Nikel offers in its mINUS oNE project a 5 day experience allowing young performers to explore and experience the challenges rising from playing contemporary chamber music in a quartet formation. In this case the quartet does not only invite the performer to deal with typical aspects related with musical coordination, unified sonority, mutual phrasing and breathing, score analysis among others but also involve the challenge of fusing electric and acoustic sound sources into a unified organism that rise from the unique quartet formation based on saxophone, electric guitar, percussion, piano and often added electronics.

As being active for some years the quartet has worked through vast new repertoire written for the group by numerous composers and from this repertoire we invite participants to choose from and prepare for the concrete medium we offer in the Ensemble Nikel – mINUS oNE platform. Within this, each day will be invited the class  of performers related with one of the ensemble’s instruments, for instance electric guitar students, and then on the given day each of the e-guitar students will sit in with the ensemble to play the part of one or two pieces that were prepared for the occasion. During the student’s session with the ensemble he will be guided both by his direct teacher at the course andthe e-guitar player).

Even more important will be the other three ensemble members who will serve as the student’s guide’s for playing through the piece, learning how to follow and prepare a score part within the context of a chamber group, marking cues, leading tempos, conducting while playing, develop the consciousness to the resulting global sound and basically aim for touching as much as possible diverse challenges rising from the reality of playing. The same will be followed through the other days with the rest of the relevant instrumentalists while at the last day, we aim to form an alter group made of students that will be performing or playing through pieces or sections of pieces that were worked on during the first four session days.

Among the repertoire available by the ensemble will be pieces by Chaya Czernowin, Clemens Gadenstaetter, Stefan Prins, Marco Momi, Jose Maria Sanchez Verdu and Michael Wertmueller, all offering rich aesthetic possibilities and variants of challenging musical experiences rising from the stylistic differences existing between the above mentioned composers.


Repertoire in detail:

Chaya Czernowin – “Sahaf” for sax, egtr, perc & pno (2008)

Clemens Gadenstaetter – “Sad Songs” for sax, egtr, perc & pno (2012)

Marco Momi – “Ludica II” for sax, egtr, perc, pno & electronics (2009)

Stefan Prins – “Fremdkorper #2” for sax, egtr, perc, pno & electronics (2010)

José María SÁNCHEZ-VERDÚ – “Oxide” for sax, egtr, perc & pno (2011)

Michael Wertmueller – “Skip A Beat” for sax, egtr, perc & pno (2012)


Scores and parts are naturally be available in advance along side with an open line of email communication where the ensemble members will propose answers to prior possible performance questions.