The focus of the concerts of Liquid Soul is the water.
Water – the symbol of life – owes Liquid Soul the musical inspirations that the duo expresses in its concerts.
In performance, the overtone well whistles are joined by wind instruments such as the saxophone and sheng (Chinese mouth organ), while percussion is supplied by such instruments as the hang (a tuned steel drum played with the hands) and cajon.
All compositions are our own, and consist of multiple layers of sound, intricate rhythm sequences, lively musical dialogues and improvisation. The resulting soundscape mirrors the various cultures of the places that we have studied and worked, and that have inspired our work: India, Japan, China, Africa and America.
Some performances, where the appropriate stage is available, include theatrical and choreographic elements using dance, percussion and masks. For large events, we perform as Trio Liquid Soul, together with percussionist Uli Moritz. With drums from every corner of the globe, this eclectic and popular percussionist is the only artist up to the challenge of integrating so many different beats into one harmonious musical whole.
The centerpiece of our program is a strange and unique instrument: the overtone well whistle. We adapted this instrument ourselves from work by Swiss sculptor Martin Spüler. It consists of four tuned plastic tubes (played by two people) that are submerged in water-filled buckets, lakes or pools. To play them, we use the water pressure itself to produce flute-like overtones and rhythmic patterns.
Water is one of the elements that accompanies us, in its many forms, on our life journey. Days of endless rain during a monsoon, a water bottle as emergency supply, flooding in a narrow street, a sudden end to a shower, ocean waves, the hot water of a temple bath, watery soup as appetizer, a pleasant evening by the pool ... This everyday symbol of life is our musical inspiration, and that which we attempt to bring to life in performance.
2010 we became acquainted with Karin Nakagawa, the wonderful koto player from Yokohama. The first concerts in Germany were very successful and that is how it came to be that we wanted her to join us on our next CD and to go on tour with her together in 2011.
The 150th anniversary of the signing of the German-Japanese Peace Treaty was also being celebrated in this year and was the right opportunity to present our „Dialogue of Sounds”. Shortly before the start of our concert tour in March, 2011, the horrible natural catastrophes in Japan took place, as well as the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima.
We had many conversations with Karin while recording the CD about the ways in which we deal with ourselves and with nature. Karin then shared an ancient Japanese legend with us: the individual who was able to fold 1000 paper cranes, was granted a wish from the Gods. In Japan, the crane is the symbol for happiness, hope and a long life. Throughout her stay in Germany, she used every available minute to fold paper cranes in every possible size and color, which she then gave away to members of the audience as gifts. She wanted to share the hopefulness with each person she met, that everyone will come to know what is really important in life for them.
Photos in text 1, 2 & 5: Stephan Gast
The Berlin musician and composer Gert Anklam developed his iconic playing technique while experimenting with the possibilities of his baritone sax. The resulting sound is distinctive: minimalist but uninterrupted (through circular breathing) sequences create a full and polyphonic texture.
Anklam's interest in non-European musical cultures and non-traditional approaches to sound, have enriched and broadened the spectrum of his musical talents and projects. One of his most important sources of inspiration has been the fascinating musical world of Asia. He has played and studied the sheng, the Chinese mouth organ, for a number of years. In addition to live performances on such grand international stages as the Blue Note in Osaka, Columbia University and the U.N. in New York, the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Grahamstown Theatre Festival in South Africa, the „Estival Santa Cruz” in Spain, and the Jazzfest in Berlin, he has also composed for radio and theatre productions and received numerous awards and bursaries.
Berliner Beate Gatscha is a freelance dancer, choreographer and musician. After her studies in painting (Fine Arts University of Berlin) and ethnomusicology (University of Berlin), she devoted her education to the study of classical Indian kathak dancing at the Academy of Kathak Dance. She also studied a variety of percussion instruments (hang, Indian and Japanese drums), as well as various modern and ethnic dance styles and martial arts.
Gatscha has developed and choreographed several unique forms of movement: shadow dance theatre, dancing percussion, masked dance, and performances using martial arts. She has worked closely with saxophonist and composer Gert Anklam for a number of years developing a variety of intercultural and interdisciplinary projects. She has performed her own projects and as guest performer all over the world, including in India, Japan, Italy, Spain, France and the USA. She also teaches, choreographs and coaches for dance and theatre productions.
Karin Nakagawa lives in Yokohama/Japan. Her parents are professional musicians. In the age of 12 years she started to learn the extended 25 string Koto developed by her teacher Nosaka Keiko. In 2001 she gratuated from the Music Conservatory of Tokyo, where she studied the traditional 13 string Koto in the style of Ikuta school.
Since then she gives concerts in Japan and abroad with tours sponsored by Japan Foundation. Not only an instrumental expert she is also a gifted singer and accompanies her voice with the Koto. Her musical repertoire is a wide range of traditional Japanese and own modern fusion compositions, influenced by collaboration works with artist from all over the world.
Fusion music doesn#t normally conjure up images of plastic buckets. But had you caught the experimental
German Duo Gert Anklam and Beata Gatscha, in performance
at FUSIC Festival held at the Amethyst last Friday, all
that would have changed. This band, their other musical
skills aside, is „bucketing the melody” ... Gert was quite
brilliant on the soprano saxophone, as Beata, a trained
Kathak dancer, was on her feet, accompanying his solos
with the rhythmic jangling of her anklets „The audience,
seated cross-legged on cosy mattresses, watched mesmerised
as one ensemble succeeded another, pampering their senses
with the tasteful reverberations of global music”.
(MadrasPlus, January 2006)
An adventure in sound!
(The Times of India, March 2000)
Cutting across divisions
(The Indian Express, March 2000)
Please send us an email. We will then send you the password for the video section of our homepage. There you can see a compilation of different live performances.
For questions we are always available (by phone or e-mail). Thank you for your interest in our music.
© by Liquid Soul