Matthias Muche of T.ON got the WDR Jazzpreis 2021


Tromboneplayer Matthias Muche of T.ON got the WDR Jazzpreis 2021 for Improvisation! We will play a small concert with T.ON at WDR that will be broadcasted on January 30th 2021 as part of the price ceremony!

More info on the broadcast as soon as a link is available!

Check out our album ‘T.ON plays Matthias Muche’ with Matthias on trombone, Constantin Herzog on double bass and myself on extended snare drum.

This is what the jury had to say about Matthias (in German only):

Ein Mann in seinem Labor, in seiner Werkstatt, dort wo die Posaune steht, sein Instrument. Matthias Muche ist ein Forscher, ein ausgewiesener Virtuose der Improvisation, der beharrlich daran arbeitet, neue Türen aufzuschließen und sein instrumentales Können aus wechselnden Perspektiven zu reflektieren.

Ein Posaunist, der in immer wieder neuen Begegnungen mit Fachkollegen den Fokus seiner Forschungsarbeit auf die vielfältigen Potentiale dieses Instruments richtet, das der menschlichen Stimme möglicherweise näher kommt als andere. Sei es in der zarten Intimität eines Posaunen-Duos oder auf der großen Leinwand von Bonecrusher, wo drei Posaunisten als Solisten sich auf einem Klanggrund bewegen, den 3 x 3 = 9 Posaunisten im Zusammenspiel mit zwei Perkussionisten legen: Matthias Muche versteht es, die Posaune in Szene zu setzen. Und damit auch sich selbst und die Wandlungsfähigkeit und Innovationshöhe seiner musikalischen Intuition.—wdr-jazzpreistraeger-improvisation-100.html

1972 ist Matthias Muche in Bielefeld geboren, er studierte sein Instrument am Conservatorium van Amsterdam, am Rotterdams Conservatorium und an der Hochschule für Musik und Tanz und an der Kunsthochschule für Medien in Köln. Dort war er schon bald gefragt als ein Improvisator, der auf der Basis virtuosen Könnens und einer enorm physischen Bühnenpräsenz die Grenzen konventioneller Jazzperformance durchbricht und jenseits eingetretener Pfade immer wieder neue Forschungsabenteuer in Sachen Klang sucht.

Ein Meilenstein dieser Suche war die Gründung von Zeitkunst, einer Plattform zur „Förderung und Vermittlung audiovisueller Kunst“ und des Festivals „Frischzelle“ im Jahr 2004, bei dem die Trennung zwischen klassischen und elektronischen Instrumenten aufgelöst ist.

Our Hearts as Thieves: What the Wildflower Witnessed (release January 3rd 2021)

Cover art by Jeffrey Lipsky: “Demon of Thieves” (Mixed Media on 3 x 3 ft. Canvas)


Eliot Cardinaux: pianos, voice, poetry
Jonas Engel: alto saxophone, clarinet, modified pTrumpet
Etienne Nillesen: extended snare drum
Asger Thomsen: double bass, objects

Album will be released on January 3rd 2021 and available here:

Liner Notes:

Poet & theorist Cathy Park Hong, in her essay “Against Witness,” writes, in the context of the work of Doris Salcedo, that “installation art is an immersive somatic experience, engaging all our perceptual planes — the spatial, the aural — and not just the optical.” Poetry, if I may say, lies within the same realm to me, in that my poetry is installed, more often than not, as the one and only “formal” component, within the framework of a shared practice of improvisation, rather than existing solely on the page. The experience, I hope, is immersive in a similar sense.

The poetry on this recording is based in great part on the work of two poets, one of whose phrases scatter the titles of Doris Salcedo’s works, & whom Cathy Park Hong writes about, rightly, in the same essay. 

The first, aforementioned, is Paul Celan, a poet who survived both his parents and the holocaust in which both of their lives were taken, who wrote in German; not only in the language his mother spoke to him as a child, but also in the language of her & his father’s killers.

The second is Osip Mandelstam, a Russian poet who lived & died under Stalin — whose work survived in great part — astonishingly, as the poems alone number roughly 400 — in he & his wife’s long-term memory, due to the fact that any written manuscript of the work was subject to confiscation by authorities, & therefore endangered both Mandelstam & his wife by its very presence.

There is a third poet, however, whose poems have left an indelible mark on this music: the Syrian poet Adonis, whose exile & virtual invention of modern Arabic poetry have still not been fully recognized throughout the Western world. His influence on my poetry is clear, mostly in our second set (“A Present History of Air”).

I recently brought the poems I’ve mentioned — which are collected alongside others under the title Around the Faded Sun (Bodily Press, 2020) — into the midst of this recorded improvisation, which you are reading about now — with a group of musicians I am lucky to be a part of, going by the name Our Hearts as Thieves. 

Jonas, Asger, Etienne, & I met for a day of recording & a concert in January of 2020, shortly before the Coronavirus took hold. It was only the second time we had met as a full ensemble. The result was captured on recording by Stefan Deistler, & I was able to render & produce an album out of the raw material. I hope it brings out, in relative detail, a semblance of the energy of these 70+ minutes of music. 

With the exception of the two shorter tracks, which were the only things kept out of several hours of music recorded privately during the day, this album was recorded live, uninterrupted, in two sets, in front of a small & attentive audience at Loft in Cologne.

Bringing any of my poetry into the midst of improvisation has always been, to me — & in this case, I personally feel, quite happily, if you can say that nowadays — a genuine, experimental risk. Any reward I have taken from the experience, as I always hope will be the case, is due to the skill & dedication of the musicians on the gig. 

—Eliot Cardinaux

September/ Oktober/ November 2020


Some very exciting concerts coming up!

September 20th: SOLO + w/ Elsa M’Bala, Paul Hübner, Hannes Siedl, Christoph Ogiermann, Oxana Omelchuk, Liz Kosack, Kamilya Jubran, Naoki Kikuchi and David Helbich in Frankfurt am Main (GER) at You Are Here!/ Palmgarten.[%7B%22mechanism%22%3A%22surface%22%2C%22surface%22%3A%22permalink%22%7D]%2C%22ref_notif_type%22%3Anull%7D

September 24th: w/ Maria Portugal (drums) and Sebastian Gramss (double bass) in Moers (GER)


October 8th: w/ Matthias Muche (trombone), Matthias Müller (trombone), Daniel Riegler (trombone), Rie Watanabe (grand casa) in Köln (GER) at Kunst-Station St. Peter.

October 10th: SOLO in Köln (GER), Beethoven Festival (due to covid-19 to be confirmed)

October 11th: SOLO in Eindhoven (NL) at Paviljoen Ongehoorde Muziek

October 16th: T.ON cd-release concert in Köln (GER) at Stadtgarten

October 17th: EMISZATETT in Wuppertal (GER) at Loch

October 28th: w/ Jonas Gerigk (double bass) and Elisabeth Coudoux (cello)

October 30th: w/ Frank Gratkowski (sax), Sebastian Müller (guitar) and Reza Askari (double bass) in Tilburg (NL) at Paradox

October 31st: w/ Frank Gratkowski (sax), Sebastian Müller (guitar) and Reza Askari (double bass) in Köln (GER) at Loft


November 2nd: Sebsatian Gramss’ STATES OF PLAY in Krefeld (w/ Valentin Garvie (Trumpet), Hayden Chisholm (Alt Sax), Shannon Barnet (Trombone), Miyama McQueen-Tokita (Microtonal Koto), Nicola Hein (Guitar, analog FX), Philip Zoubek (Prepared Piano, Moog), Sebastian Gramss (Double bass / Composition), Christian Lorenzen (Analog electronics, Moog, Wurlitzer), Dominik Mahnig (Schlagzeug , Percussion), Etienne Nillesen (Extended Snare Drum)

November 3rd: SOP in Mannheim

November 4th: SOP in Dortmund

November 5th: SOP in Saarbrücken

November 6th: SOP in Düsseldorf

November 7th: SOP in Köln

November 8th: SOP in Berlin

November 9th: SOP in Frankfurt am Main

November 25th: Cajlan/ Wissel/ Nillesen in München at Offene Ohren

T.ON plays Matthias Muche


Very excited about this record that will be released September 17th 2020 on IMPAKT records !!

T.ON plays Matthias Muche

T.ON is Matthias Muche – trombone, Constantin Herzog – double bass and myself -extended snare drum. The album has three pieces by Matthias Muche and was recorded april last year. Being part of this ensemble and recording this great music with two of my favorite musicians was absolutely amazing! This project means a lot to me and fortunately we are planning a lot more for the future! For example, there are several concerts coming up with T.ON this fall and we will record at least 4 of those concerts where we play all new material! More on that soon…

T.ON coverT.ON cover back

July 12th, 20h Koncertkirken Copenhagen


Really happy to travel to one of my favorite cities again to play a concert as part of the Copenhagen Jazz Festival!

VARI presents: KøKö (DE/DK)

KøKö is an exciting collaboration between the creative music scenes of Cologne and Copenhagen with several more concerts coming up in both cities. KøKö is initiated by VARI.

I am playing the first set that evening in a trio with Matthias Muche and Zoe Efstathiou. Playing with Matthias is always such a pleasure and he is just one of my favorite players to play with! With Zoe I will play together for the first time and I am really looking forward to that!

Line up:

  • First set:
  • Zoe Efstathiou – prepared piano
  • Etienne Nillesen – extended snare drum
  • Matthias Muche – trombone
  • ——————————
  • Second set:
  • Elisabeth Coudoux – cello
  • Nana Pi Aabo Larsen – saxophone
  • Asger Thomsen – double bass