DAS KAPITAL plays HANNS EISLER
EDWARD PERRAUD drums
DANIEL ERDMANN saxophones
HASSE POULSEN guitar
Hanns Eisler is primarily known for being the second composer working closely together with Berthold Brecht. Early in his life he had been the favourite pupil of Arnold Schönberg and studied the possibilities of a-tonal music. He was very dissatisfied by the fact that this new musical avant-garde had no connection with the larger audiences. He felt it necessary to create a music with popular appeal. This idea made him write hundreds of songs that seem simple and normal but which are all coloured by his mastery of the composing techniques of his time.
Late in his life this musical and political idealist became the official composer of the DDR and wrote songs for propaganda purposes (today we call it communication) and even wrote the national anthem of this short-lived totalitarian utopia.
Das Kapital which basically is an improvising trio has for a long time felt attracted to the music of Eisler. The mix of cabaret, folk song and strange tonalities seems the ideal vehicle for our first project with a fixed repertoire.
We feel that the songs of Eisler invites us to use a large palette of our musical background while forcing us to be very selective and direct.
Actually we have chosen to concentrate on a rather dry European jazz sound throughout this repertoire, not using the electronic effects that are a prominent feature of our improvised concerts.
To finish of: Hanns Eisler had a two dreams: that he could make new, artistic music that could be shared and loved by everyone – and that people together could make a better world.
Das Kapital thinks that these dreams are eternal, at least we share them and are doing our best make these dreams come true.
contact: Hasse Poulsen: +33 663 24 54 76, firstname.lastname@example.org
LENIN ON TOUR, DAS KAPITAL, JAZZDOR IN BERLIN 2008
Nobody could have guessed that on the very day of the reunification of Germany, an “ostalgic” demonstration under heavy police surveillance, would start right next to “Babylon”, where at the very same time Hasse Poulsen, Edward Perraud and Daniel Erdmann began their concert “Lenin on Tour, A Road Show”, a performance that everyone agreed was the major event of the festival. Using images shot by Rudolf Herz, who has materialized the concept of a project consisting of driving enormous statues of Lenin and two comrades around Europe from Berlin to Berlin via the alps, Rome and Prague on a huge Lorry. From these images Nicolas Humbert and Martin Otter have cut a one hour film to which the musicians from “Das Kapital” were invited to improvise. Deeply moving and engaged in the best sense of the term, lyrical, strong, precise, this performance is vowed to be shown only one more time (because strict copyrights) the 7th of november in Strasbourg Do not waste this opportunity if you have the possibility of being there. This is exactly what you could wish to hear today, as a musical evolution of jazz, with among the others a Daniel Erdmann takes inspiration from the life and music of a Ellery Eskelin for example, and who from the first beat lets you hear a deep subterranean chant of the highest beauty. But also the images, the iconic material is strongly treated and superbly made to fit the music. All this is a bit of a miracle, a series of fortunate meetings, and at the same time, of course, the result of a long span of work. Das Kapital is a real group. A rarity.
CONCERT AT BANLIEUES BLEUES 2008
Under the sign of a liberty that is still to be invented, an idea of free-jazz centred on contrast and the use of chance and accidents. Or how to forget in order to better remember! The diversity displayed by the trio Das Kapital, opening on a paroxysmal blast declined into a non-stop concert like a formidable sequence of action-playing using all the instrumental resources and extensions, from extreme violence to infinite softness, from the instrumental fundamentals out to superb elsewheres sculpted with subtlety. That this breathtaking chase was punctuated by a bonus in the pertinent form of Internationale beautifully turned wasn’t the smallest joy this evening. (According to other spectators that have assisted at other concerts with the three, the force of such a trio could well be it’s confidence in chance and accident, the perfect illustration that “the unpredictable is the only certainty”)
It is true that after such an explosion, manifestation the second concert’s revisiting by Dave Douglas and Roy Campbell of Don Cherry’s Symphony for improvisers seemed almost polite à force de respect.
Philippe Carles, Jazzmagazine may 2008.
CONCERT AT MULHOUSE JAZZ FESTIVAL 2006
The Problem with completely new music is that you have no vocabulary to describe it….I could say that it is completely improvised music, that it isn’t even free music, that the energy is palpable even on record, that Poulsen sweats rock, funk, and jazz at once, that Perraud has never been as much Perraud, meaning amazingly modern, and that Erdmann traces his sharp lines through a musical magma of highest precision, oscillating between acoustic noise, dense free, and all sorts of contemporarities….and on top of it they are having a great time.
All there is left is to recommend listening to this group live or on record.
Joël Pagier, Improjazz, february 2006