Shamanic breath vibrations
Classic, Blues, Minimal, Rock & Roll and Techno
Sören Birke, Gerd Conradt, Olaf Garbow
The three virtuosos breathe – loud, quiet, rhythmic, choral – breathing vibrations as a dialogue.
With their Jew’s harps they improvise “free snout” and create an electronically vibrating, rhythmically fascinating sound cosmos through the khomus playing of Yakut shamans, harmonica, duduk, shruti box. Overtones and undertones complete the program. Made of metal or wood, the overtone instrument with 4000 years of musical tradition has the amazing effect of connecting cosmos and being. The body as a resonance space, the breathing column that amplifies the vibrations of the struck instrument tongue – this is a dimension that extends into the universe.
With their sophisticated playing techniques, they create vibrating tones that calm and relieve tension, that regulate the flow of breathing, whose hypnotic effect creates harmonious images and lets cloudy thoughts float away. The “magnetic magic”, the “explosive fire” of Sören and Gerd’s music is shaped by their deep connection to their hometown of Berlin.
In 1998 Gerd Conradt & Sören Birke founded the duo “preussischblau” and played at the “Zungenschlag-Festival”. 2009 with MNO at the 6th International Jew’s Harp Festival in Hungary with Sören Birke, Gerd Conradt, Lutz Glandien. 2011 Concert at the 7th International Jew’s Harp Festival in Republic of Yakutia, the country with the coldest point on earth (-70°). Many more concerts at international jaw harp festivals followed.
In 2022 they produced the 9th International Jew’s Harp Festival & Congress in Berlinhttps://jewsharpsociety.org/blog-detail/save-date-9th-international-jews-harp-festival-congress-2022.
„preussisch blau“, 1998, Sören Birke, Gerd Conradt
„spiridon shishigin meets preussisch blau“, 2006, Spiridon Shishigin, Sören Birke, Gerd Conradt
“MNO: Aus der Mitte des Alphabets”, 2007, Sören Birke, Gerd Conradt, Lutz Glandien
As a small boy, the well-known filmmaker and author (born 1941) got to know the Jew’s harp from shepherds. The beginning of a fascinating nation that never lets go of him and takes him around the world. In 1986 the small, inconspicuous instrument came back into his life, since his overtone singing teacher Sangit Waldner also played the Jew’s harp and learned “circular breathing” for the didjeridoo. In 1996 musicians from Tuva invited him to shoot a film at the music festival in southern Siberia. The film “Dyngyldai” was shown the following year at the Berlinale Film Festival, to which Spiridon Schischigin, the world’s most famous Jew’s harp player, came and gave him a khomus, a Yakutian Jew’s harp.
Gerd Conradt couldn’t let go of his new passion. The Yakut jaw harp became his constant accompaniment. Sometimes he is out and about with a whole suitcase full of jaw harps.
In 1999 he founded the first Berlin jaw harp regulars’ table. He just can’t stop. “It’s addictive, this constant deep inhalation and exhalation: After ten minutes you have so much oxygen in your blood, you’re high!”
2000 film “Vodka, Jew’s Harps and Shamans: The Sound of Siberia”. In 2008 he was Jew’s harp soloist “Steel and Music” in the Neue Elbland Philharmonie Riesa, conducted by Christian Voss. Composition Karsten Gundermann. An indescribable experience: with the diverse power of the orchestra behind him, the listening, curiously amazed audience in front of him, he brought the different moods together with drum, voice and Jew’s harp.
The musician, cultural and theater scholar, cultural manager and managing partner of the Consense Society for the Promotion of Culture mbH in the Kulturbrauerei Berlin began in 1982 as a self-taught blues harmonica player, learned the cello, jaw harp, the Indian shruti box and the Armenian national instrument duduk, which is made from the wood of the apricot tree.
Since 1983 he has been touring in Germany, the USA, Australia, Poland and Armenia at major festivals with well-known musicians such as Gerd Conradt, Spiridon Schischigin, Dirk Michaelis, the 17 Hippies, Magda Piskorczy, Hu-Lu-Si, Lutz Glandien and Robin Hemingway .
He has published books and CDs and is a co-initiator of the Music 2020 Berlin campaign and Musicboard Berlin.
“Gerd and I are curious people who keep asking ourselves what can be done better in and for everyday life. We create events where questions are transformed into inspirations for ourselves and others and we make music together.
Born in 1966, the musician and music therapist was given a Jew’s harp in the 1st grade of the school for the blind, then a piano and in the 1980s he went to the theater group in Hamburg.
He accompanies musically poems, fairy tales, plays. plays the Jew’s harp from Yakucia, the Indian frame drum, the gong, various flutes, the six-string guitalele, self-made musical instruments and whistles.
He is also a masseur and is interested in the connections between music and massage. Making music and massaging feels very similar. When you improvise while making music, you feel it much more than when you play from sheet music. When making music together, you get closer or there is mutual resistance that you have to deal with.
Together with Gerd Conradt and others, he organized the “Day of the White Cane: Blind in Steglitz. Seeing with sticks”, organized events with the Blind Aid Organization Berlin, ABSV – General Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired Berlin & Handiclapped-Kultur Barrierefrei e.V., Exploratorium-Berlin, Legislatives Theater Berlin, LINGULINO Children’s Theater and protagonist in the film “FACE_It!” by Gerd Conradt.
He is also a member of the Berlin bands “Lautmaler”, “Lyrik & Laute”, “Lebensgeister” and the radio play “Mephisto und die weise Frau”.
4 CDs have been released with him by UniSono Records, the book & CD with Anni Kaufhold: “Die bestialischen Verse”, u.v.a.