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ECM Record

Trickster Orchestra Album Release 2021

“Global orchestral music without exoticism: This music is a sonic Utopia. Synthesizers, Asian flutes, and Western violins are equals.”

Die Tageszeitung, 2021

On April 23, 2021, the Trickster Orchestra released its first album recording “Trickster Orchestra” with the Munich-based label ECM.


Order or stream the album here.


With this album, we let go of our traditions to a certain extent, to be able to create new expressions of our entangled present moment. The question that lies at the heart of our music is this: How can we sustain musical knowledge and skills embedded in our traditions as living meaning instead of preserving shells of the past?

We want this recording to relocate different legacies of rhythms, scales, and textures into our interconnected global now that we find right in front of our doorsteps. We are curious what the sheng’s or drum set’s answer is when electronics or the kanun ask a question. Not only through improvisation, these instruments can connect with each other. The album’s tans-traditional lineup and scores searches for new similarities. We find this place of coalescence in sonic landscapes that merge groove with lyrical, spherical, and abstract sounds.


In many places of the world, music and poetry were never strictly separated. On this album, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew poetic traditions contribute another sonic color. Their ambiguous shades articulate that which cannot necessarily be made explicit. Both, music and poetry, condense cultural, historical, or spiritual truths that reach beyond their times and places of making. What it needs to incorporate them with renewed meaning, is to let these traditions become new articulations of themselves.

The poetic pieces of this album all reflect our shared human condition. Their themes remind us that our own experience mirrors another’s and that we are not solitary beings. They all share an emotional terrain. They all “enable us to look at a thing and identify with it, strengthening in that way its being,” as poet Czeslaw Milosz once wrote. To us, this ability to shapeshift into different forms of being, to celebrate the ambiguity of life, and to disrupt tidied separations is what the Trickster embodies.



> “Und jetzt alle!”, DIE ZEIT

> “Transkulturelle Avantgarde”, DLF Atelier Neuer Musik

> “Die Auflösung des Selbst”, die taz

MDR Klassik Gespräch

> RBB Kultur Gespräch

> “Diversität in der zeitgenössischen Musik”, Deutschlandfunk

> “Das mach ich nur aus Liebe”, Tagesspiegel

> NDR Kultur à la carte Gespräch

> Aufnahmeprüfung, BR Klassik

> “Postmigrantische Musik”, VAN Outernational

> “Die Suche nach einer kollektiven musikalischen Sprache”, JazzEcho

> “Trickster Orchestra: Post-Exotik”, RONDO

> “Many accents, one voice”, The Blue Moment

> “Klassik: ‘Wir träumen von einer Riesen-Bubble'”, tip Berlin

> “Differenz als Kraftstoff”, Jazzthing




Vocals Rabih Lahoud
Vocals Sveta Kundish
Vocals, Conductor Cymin Samawatie
Nay, Kawala Mohamad Fityan
Paetzold Recorders Susanne Fröhlich
Contrabass Flute Tilmann Dehnhard
Clarinet Mona Matbou-Riahi
Sheng Wu Wei
Bass Clarinet, Electronics Milian Vogel
Trombone Florian Juncker
Koto Naoko Kikuchi
Kanun Bassem Alkhouri
Guitar, Oud Mahan Mirarab
Piano Niko Meinhold
Marimba, Vibraphone Sabrina Ma
Marimba, Vibraphone Taiko Saito
Percussion, Electronics Joss Turnbull
Drums Ketan Bhatti
Violin Biliana Voutchkova
Viola Martin Stegner
Violoncello Anil Eraslan
Double Bass Ralf Schwarz
Electronics Korhan Erel
Sound Martin Ruch
Dramaturg Philip Geisler