We had a few difficulties with the cover. Last minute obstacles make me very nervous. I ordered a few days later than I had expected, but our album Mind Like Water will be available from 22nd of March. Woohoo! This is the cover front:


In my last blog post, I described how the titles for this album came together and how they relate to Shakespeare, Buddhism and human communication. Now I want to tell you how this duo came into being:

Oğuz and I go back a long time. It is hard to say when exactly we first met, because it feels like he has always been around. It must have been some time in late 2000. We were both studying at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and hung out frequently. We went to the same concerts, played in the same bands. One of his compositions on the CD – Dağ - dates back to that time.

We shared the same interests and hung out and played concerts together. When I moved back to Vienna it became harder to stay in contact. Nevertheless we continued playing in several projects recorded a quartet CD together, and in 2012 Oguz invited me to be part in his Bimhuis carte blanche concert in Amsterdam.

In the meantime, life happened and it was June 2016 when we started this duo. At the same time Cafe Kurkuma opened its doors and quickly became a favorite hot-spot in Hallein. A place for the growing group of art and music interested, for young families, for coffee lovers. We were delighted to be part of the opening. What started as an experimental journey into playing duo among old friends turned out as a very colorful new ensemble project.

Another two years passed before we even played the next gig, but there was lots of writing music and getting together to rehearse and experiment in the meantime. I love the process of writing my own music, rehearsing it, adjusting things here and there, developing ideas, until finally there is a version that I like enough to consider a composition. I wrote most of my contribution to the music on the CD during those two years.

In June 2018 we played a concert at Salon Goldschlag. Martina and Uwe are graphic designers and organize a small series of music in a semi-private setting. They also host exhibitions several times a year. If you come to Vienna go check them out!


The next day we went to Hallein to record for two days, one day in an old industry building called Alte Schmiede, the second day live at Café Kurkuma. Nine months later, Mind Like Water will finally be available On March 22nd! The wonderful filmmaker Nicole Baïer documented our recording on video. I will release snippets from that footage once the album is out. For now, another tune, it is called Clarinet Song.

Sophie Hassfurther: tenor sax
Oğuz Büyükberber: bass clarinet

#workinprogress #mindlikewater #music #jazz #mywork #zen #Shakespeare #communication #amsterdam #vienna

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@h.ear.t Of course you did not mean the two of us with your comment! I wrote this piece specifically with Oğuz' and my sound in mind. At first I wanted us both to play clarinet on that one, but eventually decided against it, not to the disadvantage of the piece, I think. But hey, it absolutely is a relationship tune for me too!

What is so interesting about instrumental music, is that we can associate all kinds of things with it. Sometimes titles can suggest a mood, the most extreme example being that of program music. But other times it depends more on your own mood, on how you perceive a piece of music in that very moment, don't you think so? Literature or graphic art, or even lyrics, are so much more concrete than just music...

I will have the files all shiny and polished ;-)

@BOET Thanks for your kind words! It makes very happy that I got you excited about the album!

The in-between is what we do best, I think. We both cover wide fields of style, and play in various contexts. And we live in a time of "anything goes". If I had to put a style "label" on our music, I would not be so sure how to call it. It combines influences from Classical, Contemporary, Jazz and European Folk Music, we improvise a lot, and there are written out parts (this piece was written entirely, no improvising). We try to combine the written and the improvised parts organically, and blend the influences in styles.
Once it's out your art is going it's own way [...]
The artist's biggest fear, haha!

Thanks again for what you said about our music, this is very much appreciated!