Martin Klapper and Erhard Hirt

St. Bernard chapel

Martin Klapper (born 1963, Prague) works mostly with collage, assemblage and mixed media (experiments with less conventional materials such as wax, foam rubber, plastic, minerals, etc.) Since 1981, Klapper has been active in the field of experimental music and multimedial performances/actions. From 1980 he participates, and organizes various performances with the underground group “Der Die Das Elektrishe Messer...Was?”. In 1983 he became a member of the hardcore punk group “A/64” as a saxophone player. In 1984 he became co-founder of, and musician in, the experimental trio “Alfred Startka.” Since 1984, he has been a resident in Denmark. He has has numerous music performances in Denmark, Czech Republic, Holland, Hungary, England, Estonia, Germany, Norway, Sardinia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and U.S.A. together with: Derek Bailey, Steve Beresford, Johannes Bergmark, Jindřich Biskup, Iva Bittová, Mark Browne, Chris Burn, John Butcher, Don Byron, Conspiracy, Mikoláš Chadima, Eugene Chadbourne, Jim Denley, Mihail Dresch, Giessen Improvisers Pool, GUSH, Erhard Hirt, Tim Hodgkinson, John Jasnoch, Catherine Jauniaux, Radu Malfatti, Phil Minton, Jeffrey Morgan, Ikue Mori, Evan Parker, John Russell, Hans Schneider, Robyn Schulkowsky, LaDonna Smith, Amanda Stewart, Raymond Strid, Pat Thomas, Roger Turner, Wiesbadener Improvisations Ensemble - among many others. Has for many years had a duo in collaboration with Jindřich Biskup.

Erhard Hirt (born 1951) started playing blues guitar when he was 16 and for the next ten years played with jazz-oriented groups, experimental rock bands, a free jazz combo (Jazzcomunity, in Leverkusen/ Köln), and toured with blues bands (Delta Blues Band and the Matt Walsh Bluesband). In 1978, he performed his first improvised solo concerts, following this with his own group including players such as Martin Theurer, Hans Schneider, Thorsten Müller, Pinguin Moschner, and Wolfgang Fuchs. In 1980 he organised the first Workshop Freie Musik in Münster.

In 1981, Hirt formed the String Quintet with Anne Le Baron (harp), Candice Natvig (violin), Thorsten Müller (cello) and Hans Schneider (bass) and the following year recorded his first solo guitar record as well as working in and recording with the Quartet, XPact.

Hirt has appeared at most of the usual free music and jazz festivals - Moers, the Total Music Meeting in Berlin, Musique Action in Vandoeuvre, Free Music in Antwerp - as well as some less common ones, in particular being a regular performer at the Humannoise Congress based in Wiesbaden since 1987. He has also organised a series of 'Guitar Projects' featuring, Guitar Project I (1987): Derek Bailey, Stephan Witwer and Burkhart Rogalla; Guitar Project II (1988): Davey Williams, John Russel, Uwe Kropinski and Joe Sachse; Guitar Project III (1989): Mike Cooper, Kalle Laar, and Lothar Fiedler; Guitar Project IV (1990): Eugene Chadbourne, Valery Dudkin and Reinbert Evers; Guitar Project V (1992): Hans Reichel, Jean Marc Montera and Frank Rühl; Guitar Project VI (1993): Dave Draper, Michael Kolberg and Udo Herbst.

In addition to the above groupings, he has played in a duo with Lol Coxhill (1987) (and also in 1991 at Jazzfestival Münster), a trio with Phil Minton and Roger Turner (1986) and, since 1991, has been playing in a trio with Phil Minton and John Butcher. Since 1994 he has been involved with 'Film Projects' with Martin Cihak and Martin Klapper and Martin Theurer. In November 1995 he substituted for Derek Bailey during the Company performances in Vancouver, Canada. He visited the UK briefly in 1996 to play at the LMC's Fifth Festival of Experimental Music and to play a concert in Sheffield.