States of Play

MUSIC & BANDS

States of Play Ensemble

ENSEMBLE:

Valentin Garvie (ARG) – Trumpet
Rudi Mahall – Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Pierre Borel (F) – Saxophone
Nicola Hein – Guitar
Christian Ramond – Double Bass
Dominik Mahnig (CH) – Drums
Philip Zoubek (AU) – Piano, Moog
Sebastian Gramss – Double bass / Composition
Etienne Nillesen (NL) – Drums, prep. Snare

“Gramss‘ compositions make repeated use of a primitive thrust, which is always accompanied by a compositional ingenuity, an occasionally staggering stylistic variation and the ability to seamlessly combine the most diverse temperaments and style influences.” (Enola)
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NEWS: LP (Vinyl) Release in early 2019: “Live at Moers Festival” (Label: Rentadog)

PROJECTS:
OUT & ABOUT

In STATES OF PLAY, Cologne-based contrabassist Sebastian Gramss unites two congenial rhythm sections and a fine-tuned trio of wind instruments into a unique ensemble in a great act of sonorous synthesis. Orchestral moments á la Ellington and Mingus, Zappa-esque allusions and sonic avant-garde: the essential anatomy of music is broken down to its core elements and repeatedly reassembled in an explosive multiplicity. The result is a multidimensional and shifting music that evolves in an organic flow, continually forming new configurations.
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PARKOUR

PARKOUR is actually a sporty, artistic discipline where athletes, regardless of structural conditions and obstacles, are able to cross a city on a direct route. The bassist and bandleader Sebastian Gramss follows the same principle. He moves across the map through sound routes on which he samples ambient sounds and prepares them as playing material for jazz quintet and music robots. An acoustic site visit, which dissolves from postcard views and road traffic regulations and even opens up new, hidden perspectives on the native city of Cologne.
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HARD BOILED WONDERLAND

HARD BOILED WONDERLAND is about reflection and artistic engagement with statements, texts, verbal derailments, abysmal utterances on current social topics – mainly based on original quotes from various sources of public life… Given the current global and national developments, the contemporary art and music scene must also take a clear position … It cannot be that “we” (musicians and artists of today), in the “wondrous pursuit of high culture and personal artistic expression, perceive current sociocultural and political situation as belonging to “another world” and watch from our bubble of art in amazement how the coexistence and communication of our society collapses in many ways.
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STATES OF PLAY – Enola (May, 2018)

“The audience is completely blown away by Sebastian Gramss ‘ States of Play, an international line up that emphasizes the discovery character of the festival. Of the nonet only clarinetist Rudi Mahall is known in our parts (relatively), but what a performance we get here. The ensemble is driven by a double rhythm section, which immediately gives the potential of a small nuclear power plant, but it is so much more than that. Gramss ‘ compositions make repeated use of a primitive thrust, which is always accompanied by a compositional ingenuity, an occasionally staggering stylistic variation and the ability to seamlessly combine the most diverse temperaments and style influences.
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Uwe Bräutigam, NRW Jazz.Net

“Ganz großes Kino, eines der besten Konzerte: Sebastian Gramss´schafft mit seinem projekt STATES OF PLAY eine geniale Balance von arrangiertem und freien Spiel.”

Jazzthetik 07/18: 5 Sterne *****

“Surreale Jazzvision, in der Platz bleibt für schöne Kompositionen und inspirierte Solisten – Gramss gehört zu den produktivsten Ideengebern im Jazz.”

Regioactive, Florian Endres

“States of Play beim Enjoy Jazz Festival: Bestes Konzert 2017.”

Klaus Denzer, Local Kompass

“Gramss setzte erneut einen Meilenstein in der Moers Festival Historie: States of Play verbindet Elemente alter und neuer Jazzstile und und wirkt sensationell modern.”

RNZ (Mannheim 2017)

“Futuristische Klangvision. Magische Klänge von größer Schönheit.”