36th Vilnius Jazz Festival. 12-16 October, 2022

Martin Küchen "The lie & the orphanage"


Martin Küchen - saxes

© Petra Cvelbar

The visit of Swedish saxophonist Martin Küchen in Vilnius Jazz is as improvised and astounding as his life and his music. Instead of giving one planned concert with his own Angles 8, he will introduce himself in several capacities – as a soloist and a member of trio improvising a soundtrack to silent film.

Many a musician could wish for as adventurous life and career as his. He tried his hand as a street musician, travelled with a circus company in Europe, participated in dance projects, improvised with poets, wrote music for experimental films, theatre and sound installations, and on top of that recently tested the acoustics of an atomic power station and a water tower.

As winding was Martin’s path into music. His parents wanted him to play flute, but he started singing in a rock band (never stopped singing) and playing saxophone in Albert Ayler’s manner. In fact, his colleagues laughed at him to pieces, but the rebel didn’t stop – in the 90s he fixed himself on Swedish free jazz and improvised music scene, collaborated with diverse chamber groups, also composed for larger formations, performed as a soloist and with jazz orchestras.

Martin Küchen works with trios Sound of Mucus, Unsolicited Music Ensemble, Looper and Trespass, quartets Exploding Customer, UNSK; is a leader of Angles’ various projects, a member of Mats Gustafsson’s Fire! Orchestra, plays as a duo with guitarist David Stackenås. He has toured and performed with figures like Phil Minton, Sirone, Mark Sanders, Burkhard Beins, Andrea Neumann, Tony Wren, Luc Houtkamp and Joe Williamson.

Martin performed in Western and Eastern Europe, Balkans, North and West Africa, Canada, the USA and Japan. His discography amounts to over 20 CDs.

Amazingly, he never notates his compositions, but rather sends members of his group short recordings. At the rehearsals he plays or sings motives of his compositions, which are elaborated by his partners. According to critics, the result is sweeping!

Martin Küchen’s solo concert will feature compositions from The lie & orphanage released by Polish label Mathka in 2010. It is a strong, shocking, vital music. Many a critic gave Martin’s third album five stars.

Even in this age of post-saxophonic exploration, Küchen elicits sounds that are startlingly new. Much more importantly, they read as true, as deeply felt postulations. Live performances of this emotional and resourceful artist are unique experiences. 


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Martin Küchen "The lie & the orphanage"


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