04.Oktober.2015 / Birgit Ulher / Radio Silence No More / Mazen Kerbaj / Trumpet

Air goes into the trumpet. Then what? Hamburg-based Ulher and Beirut-based DAAD fellow Kerbaj give us guided tours of their unique trumpet soundworlds made possible through preparations, extensions, and distortions with objects of all kinds.

Birgit Ulher studied the visual arts, which still have an important influence on her music. Since moving to Hamburg in 1982 she has been involved in free improvisation and experimental music. Since then she has developed an individual musical language. She works mainly on extending the sounding possiblities of the trumpet and has developed her own extended techniques and preparations for producing these sounds. Besides this material research she is especially interested in the relation between sound and silence.

She performs solo and with her working ensembles, collaborations with dancers, visual artists, composers and one-time collaborations with musicians from around the world. Collaborations with Ute Wassermann, Lucio Capece, Gino Robair, Bill Hsu, Leonel Kaplan, Christoph Schiller, Heddy Boubaker, Chris Heenan, Gregory Büttner, Forbes Graham and the Stark Bewölkt Quartet (with Michael Maierhof, Heiner Metzger and Gregory Büttner) amongst others.


Mazen Kerbaj, born in 1975, lives and works in Beirut. His main activities are comics, paintings and music.

Kerbaj has published more than 15 books and many short stories and drawings in anthologies, newspapers and magazines in Lebanon, Europe, and the USA, and exhibited his work both in solo and in collective exhibitions in Lebanon, France, England, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Dubai, Malaysia and the USA.

Mazen Kerbaj is also one of the founders of the Lebanese free improvisation scene, both as a trumpet player and as an active member in the MILL association that organizes the annual Irtijal festival (www.irtijal.org) in Beirut since 2001. In 2005 he launched Al Maslakh, the first label for this music in the region (www.almaslakh.org). In 2009, after collaborations with Lebanese cult punk rock band Scrambled Eggs he launched a new sub-label, Johnny Kafta’s Kids Menu (www.johnnykafta.com) to produce alternative and experimental rock music from Lebanon.

Between 2000 and 2014, Mazen Kerbaj played in solo and with various groups in the Middle East, Europe and the USA. Regular and occasional partners includes: Sharif Sehnaoui, Christine Abdelnour, Raed Yassin, Franz Hautzinger, Lê Quan Ninh, Stéphane Rives, Mats Gustaffson, The Scrambled Eggs, Guillermo Gregorio, Gene Coleman, Michael Zerang, Jim Baker, Jack Wright, Michael Bullock, Vic Rawlings, David Stäckenas, Martin Küchen, Axel Dörner, Ricardo Arias, Jason Khan, The Ex, Thomas Lehn, Joe McPhee, Raymond Boni, John Butcher, Martin Blume, Tony Buck, Magda Mayas, Peter Evans, and Nate Wooley.