Horst Nonnenmacher – Bass
Alison Blunt – Violin
Niko Meinhold – Piano
Anna Kaluza – Alto Saxophone
Manuel Miethe – Soprano Saxophone
The five musicians first performed in the spring of 2011 at a concert in the „Fincan“ in Neukölln. The performance was musically so successful that HANAM Quintet took form. Shortly after, the ensemble made a small London tour performing at Lumen Church, in the experimental series „Mopomoso“ at the prestigious Vortex club and also at Servant Jazz Quarters venue. The band decided to publish a CD with live performances from 2013 – including recordings from a concert with special guest Tristan Honsinger. The new label „AUT Records“ released the CD in July 2013:
Numerous successful concerts outside Berlin and London followed, including new music festival „Surroundings“ in Düsseldorf. In March 2014 HANAM performed with Tristan Honsinger as a guest at the renowned ARTACTS Festival in St. Johann, Austria. In September 2013 there was another concert at the Vortex Club as well as recordings for the second CD. Further festivals: “Schnittpunke der Musik” in Austria, „Jazz and More“ in Sibiu, Romania (2014, 2015). The CD was released by AUT – Records in spring 2015: Hanam at Piggotts. As a „nucleus“ of the TMCO – Orchestra founded by Horst Nonnenmacher, the musicians at the Nikodemus-church in Berlin Neukoelln in February 2016 played a concert with the choir in Mitte. In April 2107 HANAM recorded a concert in this church which is out now (march 2019): HANAM Quintet live at Nikodemus Church on AUT records
The ensemble represents a cultural exchange between Berlin and London, two metropolises for contemporary, freely improvised music. HANAM’s music is based on immediate sound, fast response and communication. Aesthetically, the ensemble is rooted in various European and American musical traditions, passages might remind of the listener of Alban Berg, Helmut Lachenmann, Olivier Messiaen or Györgi Ligeti, in addition to sounds more associated with Jazz music. HANAM Quintet draws energy from the immediate, the music is composed in the moment, created with the audience and the space. The discovery and referencing of certain styles can be referred to as associations with the past – shared collective memories, but the music created is a direct communication between the musicians and the audience.
Here is a link to some audio and video material:
latest: a summary of our latest CD „HANAM Quintet live at Nikodemus church“ (AUT records)
reviews to the CD „Hanam at Piggots“:
Alessandro Bertinetto on Kathodik
„Recorded at Piggots (but where is it?) On September 7, 2013, the album keeps the freshness of a live performance of improvised music. This English-speaking group (double bass, supersonic sax, soprano sax, violin, piano and toy piano), also linked to the London Improvisers Orchestra, and the Berlin Improvisers Orchestra, continues the practice of free improvisation, often here in minimalist style. His guardian numbers are, among others, Alex Schlippenbach, Sam Rivers and Paul Bley, but consciousness is also crossed by the „new“ atonal and noir music, tracing the tracks for example Nono, Scelsi and Lachenmann“……„All tracks are characterized by an intense and sensitive interplay, loaded with tension and dynamism, and by the improvisational virtuosity of the performers. The free improvisation today.“
John Book on This is Book’s Music….“Hanam At Piggotts is a set of music where the unknown is a place or non-place, but getting there is part of the fun and unpredictability of hearing it.“
reviews to the CD „Hanam Quintet feat. Tristan Honsinger“:
John Book on This is Book’s Music…“You can hear them as being oddly freaky or sensually beautiful, a bit like watching the origins of something being creative at high speed“
Ettore Garzia on Percorsi Musicali – August 2013, Translation by Gianni Mimmo….“In the other performance at the Collegium Hungaricum in Berlin, a two set concert, guest artist Tristan Honsinger, the premises are confirmed: great expression of this group, able to set a quality standard of the highest kind and to play a captivating chaos improvised music, thanks to a wise contrast/fragmentation playing, able to cause that neural involvement that only free improvisation can give“…..“Highest level“.
Gianmaria Aprile on Sodapop
….“and it is a tight quintet, alive and capable of risking, not least in the field of improvisation.Each element gives its fundamental contribution, but not as a single instrument, but as a development of a choral idea….“….“there is a vitality and freshness that comes to life from the earliest notes to go away only at the end without ever having moments Of particular fatigue. And at moments when the pieces are collected in rhythmic phrases, they give us examples of polyrhythms….“„…Not forgetting the great respect that these good musicians have of silence and of alternating with each other, without ever being fooled: in today’s exterminated production, especially in the field of improvisation, this record emerges from so many … „
“Intelligent broad canvas free improvisation to delight the imagination.”
An enthusiastic review of the last Berlin gig in June 2011:
“I heard the band the first time at Fincan and I was amazed by the expressive but fine developed music. At first it appears to be introverted to a certain point. It is somewhat different to ’normal‘ free jazz. Fine lines maybe inspired from composers like Nono or Scelsi merge into delicate soundscapes with the subtle use of a large vocabulary of extended techniques a la Lachenmann or Ligeti. But the sound ideal is not at all limited to music of the 20th century, their sound is both playful and sophisticated. The communication is on a high level due to quick reactions, good empathy and a similar understanding of taste in the band. But then again it might happen, that Niko bangs a rude cluster on the toypiano..
I have never heard a better ensemble at Fincan!”
Alessandro Bertinetto on Kathodik
On „Hanam Quintet live at Nikodemus church“ (2019):
„Ho ascoltato e riascoltato questo nuovo album della Aut Records che continua la sua esplorazione delle vie della Echtzeitmusik. I cinque musicisti coinvolti sono Alison Blunt al violino, Manuel Miethe al sax soprano, Anna Kaluza al sax contralto, Niko Meinhold al piano, Horst Nonnenmacher al contrabbasso. Ci offrono 60 minuti di riuscita improvvisazione musicale. Il primo brano Dreamhouse disegna le atmosfere che ci accompagneranno per tutto l’ascolto: momenti di sospesa attesa e di timidi inviti al dialogo si alternano a prese di posizione insistite (assai pregnanti, in tal senso, le ripetizioni ostinate del piano). L’acustica della chiesa di Neukölln contribuisce ai riverberi che i cinque musicisti sanno generare. Se alcune improvvisazioni si richiamano più alla “Neue Musik” che al Free jazz (5 Miniaturen ne è un esempio), altri brani ricordano le sonorità di Giacinto Scelsi (le dinamiche all’unisono di 5 Q vanno sicuramente in questa direzione). Via via che il disco procede i suoni si fanno più astratti (senza escludere un forte elemento di fisicità corporea), rumoristici e spesso rarefatti, evocando anche una sorta di jazz destrutturato o idee compositive che ricordano la musica da camera. Finché a un certo punto irrompe la declamazione vocale a produrre una dimensione teatrale che non stona con l’idea, affermata nei titoli di due brani Free transition 1 & 2 , di una transizione libera tra i suoni, e probabilmente oltre di essi.“
„Ich habe mir dieses neue Album von Aut Records angehört und angehört, das seine Erforschung der Echtzeitmusik-Routen fortsetzt. Die fünf beteiligten Musiker sind Alison Blunt an der Violine, Manuel Mite am Sopransaxophon, Anna Kaluza am Altsaxophon, Niko Meinhold am Klavier, Horst Nonnenmacher am Kontrabass. Sie bieten uns 60 Minuten erfolgreiche musikalische Improvisation. Das erste Lied Dreamhouse zeichnet die Atmosphären, die uns während des gesamten Hörens begleiten werden: Momente des schwebenden Wartens und der schüchternen Aufforderung zum Dialog wechseln sich mit beharrlichen Positionen ab (sehr bedeutsam in diesem Sinne die hartnäckigen Wiederholungen des Plans). Die Akustik der Neuköllner Kirche trägt zu dem Nachhall bei, den die fünf Musiker erzeugen können. Wenn sich einige Improvisationen eher auf die „Neue Musik“ als auf den Free Jazz beziehen (5 Miniaturen sind ein Beispiel), erinnern andere Stücke an den Sound von Giacinto Scelsi (die Dynamik von 5 Q geht sicherlich in diese Richtung). Mit fortschreitender CD werden die Klänge abstrakter (ohne ein starkes körperliches Element auszuschließen), laut und oft verdünnt, was auch eine Art unstrukturierten Jazz oder kompositorische Ideen hervorruft, die an Kammermusik erinnern. Bis irgendwann die vokale Deklamation in eine theatralische Dimension übergeht, die nicht mit der Idee kollidiert, die in den Titeln der beiden Tracks Free Transition 1 & 2 von einem freien Übergang zwischen Klängen und wahrscheinlich darüber hinaus bekräftigt wird.“
Horst Nonnenmacher studied classical contrabass at the HdK Berlin and has since become a revered member of the German jazz scene. He was a member of the legendary Association Urbanétique as well as the group FRIGG and Interzone (with Adam Pieronczyk) and achieved an outstanding reputation as a starkly creative musician with his own highly accomplished and inimitable style through collaborations on countless CD-productions, tours, and concerts with other well-known Jazz musicians (such as Sam Rivers, Aki Takase, Paul Bley, John Tchicai, Jim Black, Alexander v. Schlippenbach, Marc Ducret, Misha Mengelberg, Andreas Willers, Phil Minton and Elliott Sharp).Today his highly diverse musical activities span Brazillian Forró (with Eutalia de Carvalho), neo-Klezmer interpretations, avant-garde experiments, and contemporary Jazz. Further collaborations: Renée Baker, Susanna Hood, Andreas Willers, Tristan Honsinger, Berlin Composers Orchestra, Adrian Sheriff, Sabir Mateen, Gilad Atzmon….
In 2016 he was guest bassist with the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra at the Alien Disco festival in Munich. Actually he performs with HANAM Quintet, Hannes Zerbe Jazz Orchestra, Balkanova, Ensemble Olivinn, Eutalia de Carvalho, Berlin Improvisers Orchestra, Schippa’s Kiosk and many more. In 2016 he realized a performance with Improv Orchestra and Choir (TMCO Orchestra and „der Chor in Mitte“ supported by a scholarship of the Berlin Senate of Cultural Affairs.
He composes for a big diversity of ensembles and teaches in Music study preparing program in Berlin.
Alison Blunt – violin
Since a classical violin training, Alison Blunt has been creating and performing new work utilising or consisting of improvisation. She has performed throughout Europe, Scandinavia, US, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand with a wide array of artists including Avreeayl Ra Amen, Renee Baker, Annette Giesriegl, Vinny Golia, Elisabeth Harnik, Tristan Honsinger, Audrey Lauro, Hannah Marshall, Gianni Mimmo, Evan Parker, Gino Robair, Mark Sanders, Ute Wassermann and Trevor Watts; and ensembles BARREL, Barcode Quartet, Berlin Improvisers Orchestra, Ensemble Progresivo, HANAM Quintet, Lode, London Improvisers Orchestra, Pierette Ensemble, Reciprocal Uncles & Aunt; and occasionally as a soloist.
Amongst broader performance and research activities, Blunt was a member of collective ASITIS and companies ‘Experiments in Spontaneous Performance’ and Apocryphal Theatre, and her collaborators include writer/playwright/director Julia Lee Barclay-Morton (US), installation artist Allan Giddy (NZ), Butoh dancer Florencia Guerberof (UK), visual artist Birthe Jorgensen (DK/UK) , visual artist/film maker Kate McMillan (AU) and theatre creator/director/thinker Guy Dartnell (UK). An occasional writer of articles and voice on radio and podcasts, she is also a highly experienced workshop leader exploring music-making with people of all ages and abilities.
Alison refuses to be pigeon-holed. Blunt herself has the same spontaneous attitude for superb control of timbre and sound, while remaining utterly free in her inventiveness. Steff Gijssels, FREE JAZZ BLOGAlison Blunt’s playing is unique. Eerie, gut-ripping rattles and chokes from hell are interrupted by ringing notes of heavenly hope. I have never heard anything like it… Jeffery Taylor, SUNDAY EXPRESS
Niko Meinhold – piano, objects
Masterstudent of David Friedman and Dietrich Eichmann (student of Wolfgang Riehm). Graduated Masters of Music (Jazz) at Jazz Institute Berlin 2009. Workshops with George Crump, Michael Gibbs, Connie Crothers, John Taylor, Ken Vandermark, Ray Anderson, Dave Liebman, Adam Nussbaum, Jeff T. Watts, Phil Markowitz, Lee Konitz and many more.
Wrote compositions and arrangements for solo instruments, ensembles, also for film, TV, and radio, like compositions for Rias Bigband and NDR Bigband as well as for theatre- and cd productions. First symphonic piece recorded in Stockholm by the Linchöpinger Symphoniker. Won Awards such as the Karl- Hofer- Award, the Berlin Senat Composers Grant, Award for best German University Jazz Band for his band Tritorn, Nordiska Kulturfondet Tourgrant for his Scandinavian band Northern Alliance for a Scandinavia tour accompanied by dancers, Second and Third Price of Jazz&Blues Award Berlin.
Toured and played on Festivals in Japan, the USA, UK, Colombia, Rumania, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, South Korea, Senegal, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and of course Germany with international known Musicians such as Rudi Mahall, Samuel Torres, John Schröder, Pepe Berns, Peter Weniger, Steve Nobel, Mark Sanders, Jan Roder, Taiko Saito, Anton Jimenez, Henrik Wahlsdorff, Michael Griener, Silke Eberhard, Frank Möbus, Christian Weidner, Kalle Kalima, Yelena K, Tico Arnedo, Brian Adler, Michael Rodriges, Ernesto Simpson, Dominic Lash, Ricardo Tejero, Satoko Fukuda, Guillaume Viltard, Robert Reynisson, and many more.
Member of Ber.IO (Berlin Improvisors Orchestra), London Improvisors Orchestra, and C.O.B (Composors Orchestra Berlin)
Current projects: Solopiano Improvisation on composed material of the 20th Century, the Niko Meinhold Ensemble with own compositions, the Niko Meinhold Quartett „Lessing Project“ with Literatur from Doris Lessing, the contemporary dance piece „Episodes“ developed with Frauke Requard & Company for which he composed the music, feat. vocalist Andrew Plummer premiered at „The Place“ in London in June 2010, marimba-, bassclarinet-, piano trio „Kokotob“, several projects with Improvisors from the Londoner Scene like „Haman Quintet“ with Alison Blunt.
Frequent guest professor at the music faculty of Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá/ Colombia, Pianoteacher at Music Faculty of University of Applied Sience Lausitz near Berlin.
CD – selection: Niko Meinhold/Noel Taylor: „Border Patrol“ (CD-Baby) Niko Meinhold/ Ulrich Nöthen: „Die Wilden Schwäne“ (www.Megaeinsverlag.de) Northern Alliance (www.Phonector.de) Koko (www.Pirouet.de) Tritorn: „Sonne, Mond und Sterne“ (NRW-Vertrieb) Silke Eberhard Quartett: „Mohn Marzipan“ (www.Intuition.de)
Anna Kaluza studied jazz saxophone in Cologne, Vienna and London. She joined Big Bands as the Freiburger Schüler Jazzorchester and the Landesjazzorchester Berlin.
She was a member of Simon Rummel’s Fantasmofonika, which was awarded the jazz art prize NRW in 2004. With the German Band Futür she released the album “Kein Schnee” in 2007 (Jazzhausmusik). She played on festivals in Essen, Idstein, Leipzig, London, Hamburg, Köln, Düsseldorf.
From 2008 to 09, she lived in London, pursued a Master’s degree at City University/Guildhall School of Music and Drama (funded by the German Academic Exchange Service). During this year she became a member of the London Improvisers Orchestra (L.I.O.) and the group Splatter and payed with musicians from the not applicable network and label.
Since returning to live in Berlin she has been establishing the Berlin Improvisers Orchestra, which includes musicians from the L.I.O. and regularly plays with international guest musicians.
She is a member of the Hanam Quintet (with Alison Blunt, Niko Meinhold, Manuel Miethe, Horst Nonnenmacher), the Kaluza Quartet (with Christof Thewes, Jan Roder, Kay Lübke), the trio Baustelle No 5 (with Julian Keßler and Johannes Held) and a Polish-German quartet with Artur Majewski, Kuba Suchar and Rafal Mazur.
Manuel Miethe (born 1972 in Berlin) works as a saxophonist/performer and photographer in Berlin.
As a saxophonist he collaborated with musicians such as Alexander v. Schlippenbach (The Levitation w/ Horst Nonnenmacher + Lucìa Martìnez), Tristan Honsinger, saxophonists Anna Kaluza (hanam quintet w/Alison Blunt, Horst Nonnenmacher and Niko Meinhold), Silke Eberhard (DIE SACHE), accordionist Franka Lampe (Out Of Oro), Marzena Lis/Rafal Mazur/Tomek Choloniewski (in Cracow/Poland) and founded the ensemble The Alliteration with Antonis Anissegos (p), Akira Ando (b), Boris Bell/Maurice de Martin (dr), Gerhard Gschlößl (tb), Floros Floridis (reeds) an Nikolaus Neuser (tp).
He is a member of the Berlin Improvisers Orchestra (BerIO).
In recent works he performs with various different dancers and focuses on vocal improvisations based on his own writings.