african variations

Hans Lüdemann "African Variations"

Hans Lüdemann, piano, Clavichord, virtual piano

"The natural piano" is the title of Hans Lüdemann`s solo program. He incorporates motifs and themes of African music, especially West African music and Mbira music from Zimbabwe. The idea to transduce such archaic music to the instrument piano, which represents western musical tradition more than any other, leads to surprising results. Indeed, some of the musical elements as well as the instrument itself are shown in a different light.
Lüdemann has found a new blend that fits perfectly well with his own compositions and improvisations. Here as well as in African music polyphonic voices, polyrhythm and percussive techniques play an important role. With Rubinstein, Hans Lüdemann regards his instrument as an "orchestra of a hundred intruments" and uses a broad and subtile range of colors and techniques on the piano. He extends this range by using prepared piano sounds that are very much his own, some of them reminding of certain African instruments. Whenever possible, Lüdemann also likes to play on two pianos simultaneously, in order to bring out the intricate rhythmic and melodic textures even more. Recently, he has started to incorporate an old instrument in his solo concerts: the clavichord, ancestor of the piano from Bach`s time.
"The natural piano" has been shown as a tv feature in Germany. The recording of the CD was done live at the LOFT in Köln on the day of the first free elections in South Africa. Lüdemann has presented it in concerts in several European countries, including appearances at the festivals "Jazz across the border"/Berlin, "Jazz e Africa"/Cremona-Italy and MUSIKTRIENNALE Köln.
In 1998, he went on tour in the USA and played at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C:, as well as the Knitting Factory, New York City. Lüdemann appeared at a celebration at the Jahrhunderthalle Frankfurt with German president Roman Herzog. In 1999, the solo program took him on a tour of West Africa organized by the German Goethe Institute. There he realized several projects with outstanding African musicians such as Kora players Tata Dindin and Toumani Diabaté and Balaphonist Ali Keita. Currently, Lüdemann is working on a new solo record and preparing for a tour of North America in the year 2000.

CD release:
Hans Lüdemann - The natural piano - 1995 - JazzHausMusik JHM75
Distribution USA: Northcountry Distribution