based on questions of language and communication. Refraining from any use of notation,
rules and strategies developed out of poetry, card games, alphabets and other sources
of inspiration form the grammar for the hochstaplerish discourse.
The main source for these concepts lies in the discovery of the writings of one exceptional
musician and linguist from Chicago: Alvin P. Buckley
. Buckley played french horn in Sun
Ra's Arkestra for a brief period in the mid 50's, did research on communication among
great apes and was a regular visitor at Muhal Richard Abram's early Experimental Band
meetings. He left all this behind, when he took off for Europe in 1961, where he spent a
year in Paris before he found work as an assistent sound engineer at the Studio für
Elektronische Musik in Cologne. Here he met Stockhausen - according to his journal a
meeting that changed his entire vision of music and life. Buckley retired from active
music making in 1962, but kept writing down ideas for musical games, structures and
strategies for collective composition, as well as melodic fragments and short philosophic
aphorisms, in his journal.
Die Hochstapler in residency in Mulhouse, La Filature, May 2014 © Pierre Chinellato
san francisco blues (fragments)
When in 2009 the historical archive building of the city of Cologne collapsed, Pierre Borel
(then a philosophy student at the university of Paris) volunteered in helping to rescue the
manuscripts of Vilém Flusser from the ruins, when he accidently found the handwritten
journal of the musician and theorist from Chicago. Thus, 50 years after his untimely death
in a tram accident on June 15th, 1964, Buckley's pioneering ideas came to life in the music
of Die Hochstapler: Four independent voices, free to suggest, pretend, agree, disagree or
ignore at any time of the game, collectively build up a rhetoric, full of hints and references,
playful and ever changing.
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Video: Die Hochstapler live at Festival Météo, August 2014
Next to their remarkable instrumental competence, the four members of "Die Hochstapler"
are also incredible card players. On their long tours they like to indulge in various central
European card games, which they practice in order to improve their reaction and strategy
skills. They even developed a game on their own called "Hochstaplerei"
, which they pre-
sented at the Umlaut Festival Berlin 2014.
Playing cards for "Hochstaplerei" © Die Hochstapler
THE BRAXTORNETTE PROJECT
Die Hochstapler's previous project "The Braxtornette Project"
, a work on the musics
and philosophies of both Anthony Braxton and Ornette Coleman, has been performed at
various festivals and venues in Europe between 2011 and 2014. A recording in four parts
has been released as a double CD on Umlaut Records
to much critical acclaim.
Die Hochstapler - "The Braxtornette Project" (2CD, Umlaut Records 2013)
"sensationell gut gelungen"
Curt Cusine, skug
"Excellent projet, vivement conseillé."
Julien Héraud, Improv-Sphere
Franpi Barriaux, Citizen Jazz
"Anyone with more than a passing interest in either composer, or simply interested in the
current European jazz scene, should snatch this baby up."
Brian Olewneck, Just Outside
"Allt sprudlar som glad kolsyra."
Leif Carlsson, Lira
Excerpt from live recording at Sowieso, Berlin, March 2013