States of Play

MUSIC & BANDS

States of Play Ensemble

ENSEMBLE 2020:

Shannon Barnet (AUS) – Trombone
Valentin Garvie (ARG) – Trumpet
Hayden Chisholm (NZL) – Alto Saxophone
Miyama McQueen – Tokita (JAP) – Microtonal Koto
Nicola Hein – El. Guitar, Analog FX
Dominik Mahnig (CH) – Drums, Percussion
Etienne Nillesen (NL) – Prepared Snare, Foley
Philip Zoubek (AU) – Prepared Piano, Moog
Sebastian Gramss – Double bass, Composition
Christian Lorenzen – Analog electronics, Moog

“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 (limited edition, 2019): “Live at Moers Festival” (Label: Rentadog)

STATES OF PLAY

The “STATES OF PLAY” ensemble is currently preparing the new program with all its creative strength: The line-up of the tentett will be even more international and orchestral in November 2020 – including a microtonal Koto, Analog Synthesizers and the sound expansion through noise (improvised Foley Art).
The style of the group can be called “Melodic Avantgarde” (press) … – a contemporary, melodic aesthetic with vital roots in jazz – a concept in which composition, team play and open spaces create an ultracreative balance. With STATES OF PLAY, Sebastian Gramss has been pursuing the idea of radical sound morphing as an essential and style-forming component of the ensemble: Various concrete musical situations -> “States” (= sound states) are modified and de-constructed … abstracted and transformed …. and then put together into completely new concrete sound images: “Starting from known, familiar tonal starting points, we move towards an aesthetic expansion and transformation of sound situations – the result is an unheard music flow with fine-tuned emotional and intellectual balance …”

EARLIER PROJECTS:
OUT & ABOUT (2018/2019)

In STATES OF PLAY – Out & About, 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 (2019)

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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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.
read more

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.”