Foto © 1995 Raymond Mallentjer
Born Hagen, Germany, 10 May 1949; guitar, daxophone; composer; inventor and luthier; designer.
Hans Reichel taught himself violin from the age of 7 and then played in the school orchestra for about 9 years. At 15 he became interested early rock music and began to play guitar, being initially influenced by Donovan, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones and later Frank Zappa, Cream, Jimi Hendrix and many blues players. In moving between different groups, Reichel played bass guitar for a time and even for a brief period worked in a duo with a musician who played the Renaissance instrument, the crumhorn. He gave up making music for a number of years while studying graphic arts and working as a typesetter but in 1970 came to record a collage tape of guitar music that, when sent to the jury of the German Jazz Festival in Frankfurt, led to his appearance at a special concert for newcomers. This led to discussions with Jost Gebers and the release of music on FMP.
Reichel is particularly recognised as a solo performer, as evidenced by his discography, below. But in recent years he has played more group than solo concerts, with established partners such as Rüdiger Carl and Sven-Åke Johansson, in the September Band with Carl, Shelley Hirsch and Paul Lovens, in duos such as those recorded with Tom Cora and Fred Frith, and in ad-hoc groupings such as with Lê Quan Ninh and Dominque Repecaud. Various all- daxophone groups have also appeared, sometimes mixed in with treated cellos. He told Chris Blackford, tongue in cheek: 'My favourite format is the trio, and quite often I played a duo because I was lacking an idea for who the third person could be'.
Hans Reichel is known as much as an instrument inventor as a player. One of his guitars is described in the notes to Lower lurum : 'although I don't like doublenecks too much, I've made this one for easy transportation. The part on the top is what I once called a 'pick-behind-the-bridge' guitar, designed to be picked on the 'wrong' side. Apart from this feature it is a normal solidbody electric. The strings are mounted in reverse, left-hand style. The bottom part of the doubleneck is a kind of hollowbody acoustic designed for finger tapping on both sides of the bridge. Besides a normal pick-up, it has a (piezo) contact microphone inside. Its strings are mounted right-hand style. On both guitars I use the thickest available strings. The tuning is regular but lower - starting on C or C#.'
Reichel is particularly known for his instrument the daxophone. Another facet of his activities is designing typefaces, some of which are used professionally worldwide, such as FF Dax, FF Dax Condensed, FF Dax Wide, FF Schmalhans and FF Sari; these are distributed by FontShop International, Berlin.
Foto © Hans Reichel
In recording terms, the daxophone first saw the light of day in 1987 on the LP (and re-issued CD) The dawn of Dachsmann. Reichel has provided detailed information about the instrument, particularly in the notes to FMP CD 46, while it has also been the subject of various intrigued commentaries such as that found in Gravikords, whirlies & pyrophones. Put simply, the instrument comprises a narrow flat strip of wood anchored at one end and which can be bowed, scraped, tapped or otherwise vibrated and whose frequency of vibration can be varied by the application of a mobile wooden block anywhere along the length. The flat strips are approximately 330 mm in length, 30 mm wide and 5mm deep; they are shaped from different woods and with different contours to provide a variety of sound generators .
These 'daxophone sticks' are anchored at one end. Initially, any firm anchor was used, for example, by clamping to a table top, but more recently a tripod stand has been developed which not only holds the sticks in a more controllable environment but also provides a base for a small contact.
The degree of vibration of the strip - and thus it's sonic capabilities - can be varied by pressing a rounded wooden wedge of approximately 150 mm by 50 mm wide backwards and forwards along its length. This is the 'Dax'. Reichel has also produced a range of daxes, one being notched to take guitar-like frets on one side and which enables a scale of distinct notes to be created, in comparison to the slide notes on its other side.
With regard to the name of the instrument, Reichel states that he had a Swedish LP called Mammal voices of Northern Europe, vol. 1 which featured wolves, rats, bats, fieldmice and also a badger (German: Dachs). Being impressed by the badger's great sonic range, the instrument was then given its name, with echoes of Adolphe Sax and then the 'chs' was changed to 'x', 'because I got fed up with having to keep on repeating the story'.
Born 1948 in Lisbon, Portugal; violin, electronics.
Carlos Zingaro undertook classical music studies at the Lisbon Music Conservatory from 1953 to 1965, and during the two years 1967/68 he studied church organ at the High School of Sacred Music. Also, during the 1960s, Zingaro was a member of the Lisbon University Chamber Orchestra. In 1967 he formed Plexus, the only Portuguese group at the time to have developed a new musical approach based on contemporary music, improvisation and rock; the group recorded a 45rpm single for RCA-Victor in 1968.
From 1975 onwards Carlos Zingaro has performed with a wide variety of improvising musicians, including: Barre Phillips, Daunik Lazro, Derek Bailey, Joëlle Léandre, Jon Rose, Kent Carter, Ned Rothenberg, Peter Kowald, Roger Turner, Rüdiger Carl, Dominique Regef, Evan Parker, Günter Müller, Andres Bosshard, Jean-marc Montera, and Paul Lovens. In 1978 he was invited by Wroclaw Technical University in Poland to participate in the 1st Instrumental Theatre Meeting, and in 1979 he won a Fulbright Grant and was invited by the Creative Music Foundation in Woodstock, New York to participate in meetings, classes and performances with such composers as Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, George Lewis, Leo Smith, Tom Cora and Richard Teitelbaum (a regular collaborator). He also gave lectures on New Notation Concepts, Movement and Sound, and the inter-relationship of Improvisation and Body Attitude. As a soloist, or with other musicians and composers, Carlos Zingaro has performed at many of the most important new music and improvising festivals in Europe, Asia and America.
A substantial level of Carlos Zingaro's musical activities are associated with theatre, film and dance. In 1975 he completed Stage Design studies at the Lisbon Theatre High School and later served on the board of directors of the School. From 1974 to 1980 he was musical director for the Lisbon-based theatre group Comicos, being responsible for most of the original music scores performed during the period. In 1981 Carlos Zingaro received the Portuguese Critics Award for best theatre music and in 1988 he worked with the Italian theatre director Giorgio Barberio Corsetti on his Kafka Trilogy. He has also been stage and costume designer for several other theatre productions. He has produced several film scores and worked extensively with dancers and dance companies such as the Gulbenkian Dance Company, the Opéra de Genève Dance Company, Michala Marcus, Aparte, and Olga Roriz.
Carlos Zingaro was a founding member of the Lisbon-based art gallery Comicos, his work has been exhibited, and he has received several prizes for his cartoons, comics and illustrations, samples of which can be seen on a number of CD sleeves, for example, Musiques de scène.
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