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Christoph Haas (*1953)

"One of the most creative percussionists of our time." (Lift)

"Christoph Haas is the cosmopolitan, worldly-wise master of rhythm. He is familiar with rhythm cultures from Latin America to India. A composer and percussionist who can merge the complexities of rhythm and sound to form a harmonic entity. He is aware of the relationship between space and sound. Highly intelligent, and yet always rooted in the magic and ritual source of rhythm and sound. His compositions for the "Ensemble Cosmedin" open up spaces - a window to transcendence. They establish the unity of past and present, reflectively, encouragingly. They are full of joy, of clarity and inner dancing. Music, which does not make a statement, but which is all-meaningful. Heaven and earth. Man and mystery. Abundance and stillness." (Hansdieter Werner)

Christoph Haas started in the Sixties with the Drum Set. Later he studied in West Africa, Latin America and South India. Since the 1980s he is performing all over the world. As a solo percussionist he developed extensive international concert activities. He developed innovative techniques on the Persian-Indian long-necked lute tambura. His compositions for percussion solo and chamber music are characterised by multilayered polyrhythmics, often in odd time metres and with a sophisticated handling of timbre and harmonics.

Christoph Haas worked together with the clarinetists Giora Feidmann and Nikola Lutz, the violinist Paul Giger and the harpist Rüdiger Opperman, the guitarists Marcello Peghin and Dieter Fischer, the saxophonists Gert Anklam and Enzo Favata, the flutists Gabriele Dalferth and Susanne Schietzel-Mittelstraß, the Percussionists Njamy Sitson, Uwe Kühner and Thomas Eyison and many other wonderful musicians. He has released numerous CDs as a soloist, with "Banda Maracatù" and in the Ensemble Cosmedin with singer Stephanie Haas.

"Christoph Haas é um apaixonado pelo ritmo. Esse encanto se expresa efetivamente no carinho que nutre pelo samba. Sua musicalidade e swing surpreende até mesmo os brasileiros." (Backstage, Rio de Janeiro)

"Christoph Haas doesn't seize upon the superficial, fashionable appeal of the exoticness of archaic instruments, rather he listens to the sound of their souls. It is remarkable with what sensitivity and dexterity Haas is able to seamlessly shift between different shades of sound. The true attraction of this multicultural journey comes from the rapturous overtones of this music. The room is filled with a humming and singing of the finest vibrations. Overtones are always there, whether Haas nimbly plays the gong or drum or whether he draws buzzing sounds from the berimbao." (Badische Zeitung)

"Christoph Haas transforms space and time with drum, musical bow, gong and voice. He creates sounds of great depth and bewitches his audience with musical transformations that imperceptibly slide into each other." (Leonberger Kreiszeitung)

"A master of silence and transcendence." (Schorndorfer Zeitung)

"Christoph Haas not only plays his instruments, he plays with them. The performance was amazingly coherent in spite of the continuous change of instruments." (Schwarzwaelder Bote)

"Christoph Haas plays virtuoso sequences with matchless dexterity. His hands appear to barely touch the drumhead. In his percussive melodic playing of the musical bow, gentle overtones unfold in the concentrated silence of the room." (Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung)

"An intense and fascinating listening experience as well as an encounter with an exceptional musician. Christoph Haas is a master of improvisation. The spell conveyed by his simple yet incredibly nuanced
percussion instruments enchants the spellbound listeners. A superior performance that the audience listened to breathlessly, only to honor Christoph Haas with jubilant applause." (Marbacher Zeitung)

"Gentle sounds fascinated the listeners and instilled them with inner peacefulness: composure and devotion to a world of sound." (Murrhardter Zeitung)

"One of the most outstanding percussionists, a first class musician." (Stuttgarter Zeitung)

"Rhythm is a kind of world formula. A language common to all people. Christoph Haas proves that. His inspiration comes from Arabic, African, Indian and South American traditions. He improvises, he dances, he sings. He makes it seem as if the drum were breathing, as if the drum were singing on its own. He plays clearly and with great feeling. One feels a ritual power, rich in simplicity, with an original, vital brilliance. The frame drum has great richness in Christoph Haas' hands. He achieves this both through his rhythmical virtuosity and intensity, and also through the amazing fullness of sound. In his performances, there is a gradual increase in intensity which leads to something like a poetic trance. It bewitches us and wakens our senses. He is the smiling and knowing shaman, sometimes holding the drum in front of his face like a mask through whom the ancestors of the world speak to us." (Hansdieter Werner)

Aside from his work on stage Christoph Haas loves to share his experiences in workshops and drum circles, blending the ancient knowlegde of tribal cultures with a contemporary approach.

"I had the opportunity to see you yesterday for the first time. I was very moved by your performance and your musical ability. I must admit that I was very surprised, but very happily moved with your songs. More so, when we moved to play drums, with your talent to direct, everyone stood to dance and we felt `the rhythm of the saints`... The music produced by the people was wonderful, the dancing expressed by their souls, and the joy in it was fantastic." (Matilda Villaragga)