Montag, 20. Dezember 2010

Kargyraa Krew Video Clip

This video clip was produced as a promo for a gig in Odonien. We recorded the voices in about half an hour, then acted to it in front of the camera for about the same time. Editing the sound and video took about two evenings.
The basis for this is my composition "Gogokokoroko". This version demonstrates the power you can achieve with Kargyraa voices in combination with percussion and drums. I like this power, polyrhythmic ambiguity and polyphone voices are still to be added for the whole thing to be complete.

Mittwoch, 15. Dezember 2010

Proto Hybrid & Kargyraa Krew live in Odonien

Proto Hybrid & Kargyraa Krew rockin´ live in Odonien - photo by Anaid Namohl.
The crowd loved us, and we loved the crowd.

Thanks to the nice people of Gruppenkläranlage who organized this gig.

Mittwoch, 17. November 2010

Mascara Study Version third edit

The third version of the Mascara video. I added details in the foreground of the imaginary landscape. The video has some kind of dreamlike quality which I like. Still, I would like to add some shots of a dancer during the overtone singing section and then the video needs tasteful titles and credits.

Dienstag, 16. November 2010

Mascara Study Version second edit

Second version of the Mascara video with added shots of me. It´s not finished yet, some more other stuff has to be added, it needs more little details.

Samstag, 6. November 2010

Mascara Study Version

This is a study version for the video I´m working on for my composition "Mascara".
I shot some footage then did a rough edit to make it fit to the music. In the middle section I added some shots showing my working process. I think in the end, I will mix some footage of the paper figure shown here with shots of me in costume.

While the video stuff is still work in progress, the music is like it is meant to be - although I like the idea of art as an open process and there will be other versions of Mascara.

Dienstag, 21. September 2010

Proto Hybrid & Kargyraa Krew live photos

Anaid Namohl ( has done some cool shots of Robodonien Festival 2010. Here are some amazing shot of the gig Proto Hybrid & Kargyraa Krew.

Dienstag, 3. August 2010

Kalimba! Spryh and Mascara with Lothar Berger

Lothar Berger and me trying out combinations of guitar, kalimba and 2 voices on the patterns of Spryh. Lothar is a teacher of the ta-ke-ti-na method and overtone singer. Unlike me, he often changes the fundamental note while singing overtones. The pattern he sings here reminds me of the xhosa women´s overtone singing.

A cozy evening version of Mascara - it´s full of mistakes, I am messing up chords, the intonation is sloppy but still it conveys a certain warmth. I guess I am more after such qualities than to achieve a perfect performance. In the end, Lothar tries a pattern that overlaps my overtone pattern. It still has to be worked out, but the idea is already there.

Freitag, 30. Juli 2010

Proto Hybrid & Kargyraa Krew live at Robodonien 2010

The video shows impressions of Robodonien 2009 where we played with my band blotch - you hear my voice from our concert. The band is shown only briefly but you can watch the dancer who supported our sounds.

2010 Robodonien will be the place for the first gig of the project presented in this blog:

Proto Hybrid & Kargyraa Krew

I think this is exactly the right place for the premier of this project and I´m looking forward to it!

Freitag, 2. Juli 2010

Kargyraa Krew - Afrodonia Jam

Three jams based on parts of my Fake African Memories compositions Gogokokoroko, Spryh and Mascara - on stage at the Afrodonia Festival in Cologne.

The Kargyraa Krew: Kolja Simon, Martin Pässler & me, cajon played by Peter Halves. While the polyphonic subtleties I have in mind for the choir versions of my songs will take more time to be realized on stage, these singers instantly add power and liveliness with their performance which is great.

Our outfit was absolutely suitable to the weather.

In the process of forming on ensemble to play my compositions I noticed two paradoxical tendencies of mine:

- a strong interest in collective improvisation and a very collaborative approach towards the music - the whole ensemble pushing the music forward as one body, no ego trips, no vanity

- a strong interest in embodying some kind of freak diva, an alien being that stands out from everybody else

I guess a freak troup were everybody stands out from the others is the solution to this contradiction, and looking at us in these videos I think I´m on the right way...

Dienstag, 22. Juni 2010

Gogokokoroko and Mascara with looper and percussion

A rehearsal of my composition Gogokokoroko, the looper of Ableton live substitutes the other singers. It´s not as lively but you get an impression of the sound. I´m looking forward to doing this with three singers and drums and percussion next week.

Another rehearsal of Mascara, this time combining the solo version and the choir version. Ableton live´s looper substitutes the other singers. I´m looking forward to doing this with three singers and drums and percussion next week!

Sonntag, 13. Juni 2010

Mascara with two Kargyraa voices

This is the first step to building a "Kargyraa Krew" to sing the compositions of my "Fake African Memories". Martin Pässler is doing a fascinatingly deep bass figure while I am singing two melody parts, which will be sung simultaniously as soon as we are three singers.

Different combinations of "Void"-material

Here we are working on my composition Void, this is also taken from the first rehearsal with Peter Halves (percussion) and Florian Dietz (drums). At 1:06 you can watch me losing the beat for a few seconds. I guess that was due to Florian shiftung the accents towards a binary feel. Can be tricky, still, I love this ambiguity. At 2:42 starts another version of Transit. While in the first version you see here, the guitar and singing part share the accents of the drums and percussion, in the second version, my parts are superimposed in a 3:2 relation to the drums/perc. parts. I think it will be interesting to mix both ways of playing Void.

Donnerstag, 10. Juni 2010

Polyrhythmic rehearsals

Since I´ve fallen in love with the tension of polyrhythmic ambiguity I was looking forward to performing my compositions from the"Fake African Memories" with more than one drummer/percussionist. I am happy that this has finally happened and turned out to be just as great as I imagined it to be.

This version of Mascara is taken from the first rehearsal with Peter Halves on percussion and Florian Dietz on drums, it´s the first time the two play together. I wanted the rhythmic feel to be shifting between a 12/8 and a 4/4 and I think it works out fine.

Another composition of the "Fake African Memories", Transit:

Mittwoch, 9. Juni 2010

Mascara with flowers in the foreground

A study of the effect of flowers in the foreground for the Mascara video. I simply placed the laptop in different places in a garden and filmed it while the Mascara video was playing. The bad quality of the video and reflections on the monitor have strange effects.

Dienstag, 1. Juni 2010

Gogokokoroko choir version

This is a short sketch for a choir version of my composition Gogokokoroko, part of the Fake African Memories.

Guitar patterns in two layers in 2:3 ratio

Here is an example of varying a tune by layering it´s pattern in two different tempos in the ratio of 2:3. I play them succesively into the looper of ableton live. The looper is set to record 12 bars. When the pattern is played slowly, it is 4 bars long, so I play it 3 times. Played fast, it is two bars long and thus played 4 times until the looper repeats both.
I love the floating quality created by these layers with their differing accents.

Here is a mash up of two patterns of different compositions of the Fake African Memories - Mascara and Void. Like in the example before, their tempos are in a 2:3 ratio.

My goal is to build an ensemble that is capable to play different layers like this simultaniously. To me, this totally kicks ass.

Montag, 31. Mai 2010

Greenscreen Test for Mascara

This is a first test of the greenscreen technique I´ll probably use for the video for my song Mascara. I´m planning to use a mixture of different techniques and try to find out, what works for me.

Freitag, 28. Mai 2010

Experimenting on the Mascara Choir Version

Here you see me trying different techniques for the 4-5 voices of the choir-version of Mascara. I´m playing around with different combinations of kargyraa, khöömi and jodeling.

The score for this version can be found here:

Donnerstag, 27. Mai 2010

Flower Carp

Here are some sketches for the Mascara video, mixing a human singer with a carp, a flower and skateboards.

Mittwoch, 26. Mai 2010

Mascara visual Test

This is a first video sketch for the Mascara music video, just to get a broad impression how the background works on video and how I look before it and so on. In the end, the video will still look ridiculous, but in a more sophisticated way.

Disco Head

This is a sketch for a clip that is in my mind for quiet a long time. The mask was manufactured for me by wonderful artist Agata Schubert.

It´s hard to tell but my head is really inside and I am singing, although the sound you hear is overdubbed of course. This clip is only a study to see how it looks on video, up to now I have only been wearing it on stage with Blotch as you can see below.

Montag, 24. Mai 2010


This is a demo version of my composition Mascara, that is also part of the Fake African Memories. Just like the other tunes belonging to this category, I am also working on a choir version of this tune, replacing the guitar accompaniment with jodeling. This is the first try:

The Mascara Demo is also the reference for a music-video-clip of Mascara I´m conceptualising at the moment. The leading idea for this is the japanese concept of kawaii, cuteness, so I´m researching related imagery, stylings and outfits.

Dienstag, 18. Mai 2010

Scores with Tuxguitar

I did some Scores of my compositions with the Tuxguitar Editor:

This editor is not specialized on writing vocal music and overtone singing, but it´s open source and I think the results are ok. If you have suggestions for a better suited editor or thoughts on the scores, please comment.

Transcending song

Some of my compositions share the same rhythmic feel, which is inspired by african music. I´ve never been to africa so I label these compositions as my "Fake African Memories".

I´ve performed them live with guitar and voice (and sometimes a percussionist) as songs without words: the different parts of a given composition are played successively, just like verse, bridge and chorus in the conventional structure of songs usually are.

Now, I take my Fake African Memories to make something new, that transcends their boundaries in three different ways:

- rhythmical structure

- song structure

- combining material from different songs

Rhythmical structure:
All the Fake African Memories are based on the triplet feel of a 12/8 measure.

Now I combine the 12/8 ternary feel with a binary 4/4 feel by adding a second drum part that superimposes a simple 4/4 beat on the 12/8.

The result is an ambiguity, the patterns can now be perceived from the ternary and the binary perspective, each with a different set of stressed and unstressed notes. This ambiguity adds tension to any of the parts of the Fake African Memories.
I found this mechanism by myself but by now I learned that this is a central feature of central african music (Simha Arom: African Polyphony and Polyrythm).
I love how this procedure broadens the possible interpretations of a single figure and I´m looking forward to play with two drummers, after working on it with ableton live.

Song structure:
Songs usually feature one main voice providing the centre of attention. This voice is usually structured in successive events: either you have the verse, or the chorus. One main focus of attention, one thing at a time - this structure provides that the song can be perceived easily, and it is also the structure I use for the individual tunes of the Fake African Memories.

I wish to create a music that offers a wider perspective to any listener and the means to transform my existing songs is simple: instead of a succession of different parts by one voice, these different parts are to be sung simultaneously by different voices. Now It´s the listener´s choice which voice he considers the most important at a given moment. Instead of a succession of discriminable events this structure implies that everything happens simultaneously all the time - it´s up to the listener to go through different phases of perceiving the music and concentrate on different parts.

I was inspired to try out this way of structuring my Fake African Memories song material by listening to and reading on Pygmy music and I am delighted how perfectly this method fits the material.

There are different possibilities to perform such versions of the material. At the moment I´m experimenting with electronics e.g. the Looper in Ableton live and also video clip-loops, and I´m planning performances with instrumentalists and/or a group of vocalists. If you are intereted in taking part in performing this stuff, live or via video or audio clip please contact me!

Combining material from different songs will follow in the next post.

Working on new stuff Video

Fake Afro-mongolian Fusion

I´m currently working on a combination of overtone singing and central african polyphony. I discovered Pygmy music on a CD my brother gave me and where it is combined with works of György Ligeti and Steve Reich. What fascinates me is the high complexity of rythm - the voices seem so free, so independend, still they are connected. And secondly the collective nature of this music, the co-existence of many interdependent(does this word exist?) voices.

I bought "African Polyphony & Polyrythm" by Simha Arom and apply the principles he describes - well, those principles I consider interesting - to my musical background.
At the moment I am recording demo-versions of my ideas of this fusion in Ableton live and I´m rehearsing with percussion player Peter Halves. The next step will be to bring in drummer Florian Dietz (those who know my youtube videos have seen him play) - to emphasize rythmic ambiguity and the tension this builds.

This is the starting point to build an ensemble that is capable to bring this music to life on stage and make a real show of it - including costumes, electronics and projected interactive video - and I´m quiet enthusiastic about this new project.