“Black Eagle Moon” by Shane Cooper & Swiss friends [Bern]
This project is supported through the Confluences open call, aimed at supporting a shared space for collaboration, creation, and documentation of new work between musicians who have an existing creative relationship.
“Black Eagle Moon” is a project by South African artist Shane Cooper that has slowing been evolving since 2020. In parallel to developing the album MABUTA (released earlier in 2022) with his South African band and featuring several Swiss guest artists, a second experimental Afro-Kraut album also begun to take form with several remote recordings with Swiss musicians. In the context of an invitation to perform at JazzWerkstatt Bern from 1-5 March 2023, Shane will perform a selection of this new body of music under the band name Black Eagle Moon.
The live band will be made up of Martina Berther on bass, Julian Sartorius on drums, Ganesh Geymeier on saxophone, Vojko Huter on guitar. Shane’s relationship with these artists emerges from his substantial engagement with the Swiss music scene through his residency in 2018, as guest co-curator of Jazzwerkstatt Bern for three years, and numerous tours and performances in South Africa and Switzerland over the years.
Following the JazzWerkstatt performance on Friday 3 March, Shane will spend two weeks recording with the musicians in their ateliers. “This music is being further developed with these players in mind – the particular aspects of their playing that I resonate with,” Shane explains. “I have a very particular way of thinking about creative possibilities with specific players, it’s part of my process as a music producer. These players all have particular qualities that I absolutely love, and are a perfect fit for this work.”
Shane Cooper is a bassist, composer and producer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is part of the new wave of South African Jazz artists pushing the music forward, and is also known for his work in the electronic/dance music world, as well as commissioned works for films and theatre.
Martina Berther is a versatile electric bassist and composer in the Swiss music scene. Her sound spectrum ranges from pop to experimental music. Martina tours internationally with her solo project, the duo Ester Poly, the trio AUL and with the singer Sophie Hunger. She works in interdisciplinary collaborations, writes music for films and is a multi-instrumentalist and session musician. In 2020 she was awarded with the Swiss Music Prize, 2018 she received the “Werkjahr“ grant from the city of Zurich.
Swiss drummer, percussionist and artist Julian Sartorius forms sounds into previously unseen shapes. His precise and multi-layered rhythmical patterns are keen excursions into the hidden tones of found objects and prepared instruments, bridging the gap between organic timbres and the vocabulary of (experimental) electronic music. Julian has released numerous solo albums, creates audiovisual art works, collaborates with musicians, writers and artist and performs live in intimate venues and on festival stages.
Ganesh Geymeier, who was born in Lausanne, is among the most sought-after saxophonists of his generation. Far removed from any kind of stereotype, he coaxes powerful, earthy tones from his instrument, usually a tenor saxophone, always giving them as much time as they need to unfold.
Vojko Huter is a Zurich-based musician, guitarist, composer, producer and mixing engineer. Over the years, he has developed his own distinct language on the guitar, an amalgam of very different musical aesthetics, ideas and ideals. Vijko’s various solo projects (formerly called Jazzo, now Yzno or Vojko Huter Solo) involve not only the guitar but also granular and analogue synthesizers, live sampling, field recordings, feedback, 4-track and other processes and instruments. With his many years of experience in electronic and acoustic worlds, he has created a sound universe that is wide, large and multi-layered and that is constantly developing, expanding and looking for new paths.