Joachim Bohnes

musician (piano, live-electronic, percussion), studio-operator

My biases are improvisation and electro-acoustic music.

Research and absorption into the "new medium" computer characterized my last quarter-century. Apart from general digitalization - interactivity, bio-feedback, acoustic illusions, artificial intelligence or algorhythms from chaos-theory, architecture, psychology, sociology or the integration of light - played a big role alike. Interface design is the big theme. My current interest is in the construction of a hybrid, electronic instrument.

Making music can be a spiritual experience.


Musikwoche der Akademie der Künste, Berlin/D; Musik der Jahrhunderte, Stuttgart/D; RamTamTam, Cologne/D; New Jazz Festival, Moers/D; Electromonty, Antwerpen/B; Muzik3, San Diego/USA; Klangart, Osnabrück/D; Drei Tage Musik, Bern/CH; Sampling Rage, Berlin/D; VCF-Festival, Cologne/D; VorEcho, Freiburg/D; Unforeseen, München/D and more festivals for Contemporary Musik in Amsterdam/NL, Paris/F, Wien/A, Basel/CH, Zürich/CH, Rümligen/CH, Luzern/CH, Berlin/D, Cologne/D, Stuttgart/D, Saarbrücken/D, Dresden/D, Giessen/D, Freiburg/D...

Umberto Arlati, Adrian Brendel, Hayden Chisholm, Robert Dick, Axel Dörner, Bill Douglass, David Elias, Karlheinz Essl, Muneer Abdul Fatah, Christian Fennesz, Domenico Ferrari, Hardy Fischötter, Gunnar Geisse, Vinko Globokar, Frank Gratkowski, Doug Hammond, Jonas Hellborg, Anna Lindblom, Lars Lindvall, Gareth Lubbe, Delia Mayer, JoJo Mayer, Bob Moses, Sylvia Nopper, Eric Peter, Dave Peterson, Norbert Pfammatter, Michel Poffet, James Reynolds, Jochen Rückert, Conrad Steinmann, John Voirol, Tim Wells, Nils Wogram, Jimmy Woode, Alfred Zimmerlin, the Trio Accanto, Arosa String Quartet, the Basel Sinfonietta (Dir.: Arturo Tamayo) and the Symphonieorchester des Saarländischen Rundfunks (Dir.: Diego Masson).

Software-development for Peter Ablinger, Luciano Berio, Thomas Kessler, Rolf Riehm, Karheinz Stockhausen, Giorgio Tedde, Jacques Wildberger a.o..

Soundtechnic for Electric Phoenix/Dir.: Terry Edwards and for Alvin Curran.

Commitments with universities in Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands and the USA.

Workshops and lectures in Basel, Berlin, Bern, Cologne, Luzern, Osnabrück, Munich, San Diego, Stuttgart, Zürich.

Broadcast productions for BBC, Radio Suisse Romande, DRS, WDR, SWF, SDR and others.


* 1959

Classical piano lessons since early childhood, also drum- and flute lessons.

Boarding school (Hermann Lietz Schule) - 1969-72, Buchenau, Hessen, 1972-75, Spiekeroog, Lower Saxony.

1975: Early school leaving after ouster. First flat. Acquisition of a Fender Rhodes electric piano.

Bremen 1975/77: Active in the anti-nuclear movement. There are also the remarkable nuclear-physicist Jens Scheer and the later known "DJ Can-Deposit" (Jürgen Trittin). Classical piano lessons (preliminary course) at the Hamburg conservatory. Shorttime roadie with the "Frank Zappa Band".

After a Paul Motian and Charles Brackeen concert, the decision is becoming a jazzmusician. Jazz-lessions with Ed Kröger, Sigi Busch, Uli Beckerhoff and Heinz Wendel. Work at the cash desk of the jazz club (in the concert room). Also Indian music and Tabla Bayan lessons.

1977: Passed entrance examination for the course "Painting and Sculpture" at the "Kunsthochschule Hamburg Lerchenfeld". Study not started because detention in Grohnde (anti-nuclear village). Political lawsuit at the Landgericht Hannover. Traumatic experiences with "Verfassungsschutz" (secret police) in Germany (this period is named "Deutscher Herbst").

1978: Abscondence and move from EEC to EFTA states as an aftermath of political criminalization (peaceful nuclear power opponent). Finland: First experiences as a pianist in pubs with a tanked audience, in the country of prohibition. Entrance exam at the Swiss Jazz School in Berne/CH (EFTA).p>

1979-86: Berne/CH. music studies (piano concert diploma, additional instruments trombone and bass) at the "Swiss Jazz School" with Fritz Pauer, Joe Haider, Axel Jungbluth, Mladen Gutesha, Umberto Arlati and Billy Brooks. Courses with Paul Motian, Joe Zawinul, Roland Hanna, Joanne Brackeen and others. This time is characterized by a lot of jazz "gigs" (concerts) and the personal relationship with the teachers (and directors of the SJS), Fritz Pauer and Joe Haider.

Very active in many bands and even more styles: Bebop, Straight Ahead Jazz, Bigband (also as a trombonist), Salsa, Tango, Free-Jazz and several Percussion-Bands.

1983: First Synthesizer: Rhodes Chroma (ARP).

1984: First Band with Synthesizer: Axolotl - with Lars Rudolph-tp, Michel Poffet-b and David Elias-dr.

1987-89: Cologne. Exploration of contemporary music and computer/electronics in New Music. Concerts as pianist with computer and band - occasionally tumult-accompanied. From the collaboration with Frank Gratkowski, C.A.M.R. originates - Computer Aided Musical Research, for experiments with computer-controlled, electronic and acoustic instruments. Live sampling.

1989: Move to Freiburg im Breisgau/D. Work as piano teacher at the Conservatory of Bienne/CH. Jazz starts to feel strange.

Only CD release as a pianist under own name (rec @ Radio Suisse Romande, Lausanne) - with Norbert Scholly-git, Thomas Dürst-b und Norbert Pfammatter-dr.

1990: Staufen im Breisgau/D. Work with the MIDI-Programming-Environment Max (IRCAM). Teaching activities in Switzerland (Jazz-Piano). Second residence in Berlin. Work in the "free scene" - concerts with Axel Dörner, Rudi Mahall, Antonis Artissegos, Wolfgang Fuchs, Paul Lovens a.o.. Contact with the old GDR "Studio of the Academy of Arts", Luisenstrasse (Georg Katzer, Andreas Krieger, Hans Tutschku).

1991/92: Second apartment in Amsterdam/NL. Free scene and contacts to the electronic studios in the Swelling Conservatorium and in Utrecht and Den Haag.

1993-95 Studies with Thomas Kessler in the "Studio for Electronic Music of the Academy of Music", Basel/CH and at the "Biozentrum" of the University of Basel (C-Programming). Regular collaboration with the studio until 1999.

During this time: working with digital music electronics in connection with M.A.R.S. (Musical Audio Research Station) and IRIS Studio in Paliano (Rome). Together with Wolfgang Heiniger, the European Powerbook Ensemble and the World Powerbook Orchestra with the soloists Günter Heinz (tb) and Robert Dick (fl) will be created in the "Studio for electronic music of the Academy of Music", Basel. Encounters with many great composers through the very active studios in Basel and Freiburg (SWF). Software programming and participation (sound engineering, sound control, computer instrument) in various performances New music with composers Thomas Kessler, Jacques Wildberger, Luciano Berio, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Andrè Richard, Rolf Riehm, Alvin Curran and others.

Occasional work for the "Experimentalstudio des SWF" (Strobel Foundation) under André Richard - also for the festival in Donaueschingen. André Richard and Rudi Strauss are, in addition to Thomas Kessler and Wolfgang Heiniger, two other, central personalities during the 90s.

1995-2001 Stayed in Berlin, London, Rome and Staufen/Breisgau. Theater-music production for the "Deutsches Schauspielhaus" in Hamburg/D. Work as an "external expert" in final examinations, among others, at the University of Music in Lucerne/CH. Live electronic concerts at many festivals, in various occupations and solo.

1997: "Artist in Residence" at the Moers Festival and casual meeting with Hayden Chisholm. It was followed by Hayden's WDR-Live-Project "Stanzas of Dzyan", with mezzo-soprano Liesel Babette Jürgens. The beginning of a 5-year, very close collaboration.

1998: WDR-Live recording of the piece "Massenbach", later released as "NGC 2997" on the first Subultra CD.

1999-2001: London/GB. Various contacts in the club scene. Broken beats and free improvisation

1999-2003: Subultra - with Hayden Chisholm and Gareth Lubbe. During a stay in La Jolla, San Diego/USA, Hayden Chisholm/Jochen Bohnes and Jonas Hellborg/Bob Moses. Hellborg also plays bass in the Subultra Ensemble during a stay in Plush Manor/GB with Adrian Brendel, the cellist of the ensemble.

In one roof concert with Hayden Chisholm in La Jolla/USA the duo created a piece that is published as "Hill" on the second Subultra CD.

Altogether Subultra produces two CDs and four live recordings - a quartet studio concerto with the cellist Adrian Brendel (in Studio 1 in London!) and three for the WDR - two of them in large ensembles.

Since 1990 software development also for others, since 2004 especially for the Sardinian composer Giorgio Tedde. Own work with the self-developed live video synthesizer CLUTI (computer light and sound instrument).

2003: Basel/CH. Concert for the return to Switzerland: Remixed-Decomposed-Recomposed. Based on a radio show from the Negativland group. It is about rights, awareness, drugs and humanism (- a greeting to the Hoffmann-Roche family in Basel). Retreat from the universities.

2004: Collaboration with the Metal Band Umount.

2005: Head of a recording studio in Basel. Recording, editing and mastering for different artists, mainly from the field of jazz. Live visualizations for TechHouse events (DJ´s Goran-N, Manon, Pascal Feos).

2006: Move to Wildeshausen/D. Exploration of historical, analog electronics. Working on the development of a hybrid, electronic instrument.

Individual solo concerts in a small setting in Holland and Germany with historical ARP synthesizers and Max/MSP expansion.

Since 2007 beginning of the technical development for a separate studio. In-depth analysis of studio technology and historical studio equipment. (The variable Telefunken amplifier cassettes V672 were developed 1958 in Bremen/D, 35 km away.)

Seit 2010: Working as a mobile sound engineer for sound reinforcement and live recordings (2012 also in the wonderful Sendesaal Bremen). Assemblage of a modular synthesizer(MOTM)

2012: Change from historic- to current modular synths (MOTM/Eurorack). Deepen the work on a hybrid synthesizer.

2015: Parting from the historic synths - playing mainly clones of the "Buchla Series 200".

Full functional capability of the studio.