Revisit more than six hours of highlights from the ground-breaking 27-hour “Ritual Groove Music” performance installation.

Presented in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development and Al Burda, a platform for Islamic arts and culture

Opening The Arts Center’s second season, Pianist/composer Nik Bärtsch led his acoustic quartet MOBILE in a world premiere 27-hour “Ritual Groove Music” performance installation. Organically weaving textures from jazz, funk, new music, and minimalism with ritual and sacred music, the show was commissioned by The Arts Center to open its second season. Revisit more than 6 hours of this mesmerizing, one of a kind, multi-media performance.

Filmed in The Black Box on September 2, 2016. Bridge the distance, join the community online.

Nik Bärtsch MOBILE is:

  • Nik Bärtsch, piano
  • Kaspar Rast, drums, percussion
  • Sha, bass clarinets and alto sax
  • Nicolas Stocker, drums, tuned percussion
  • Daniel Eaton, visual design

Guest appearance by Emirati poet Afra Atiq.

The group MOBILE develops integral musical concepts within a ritualistic framework. The performance of the music is usually combined with a multi-medial set-up of the surrounding space.

RITUAL GROOVE MUSIC is the title of the band`s first CD and, at the same time, contains the essence of Nik Bärtsch`s musical thought. The purely acoustic music is full of surprising turns and bold combinations. The ingredients from funk, new classical music as well as elements of Japanese ritual music are combined to produce an exiting sound mixture, at times funky, at times ambient-like and relaxed and then again dramatically charged. It is a sound world of raw poetry, propelled by obsessive motion.

The compositions leave room for a variety of phrasing, which is readily exploited by the very diverse musical personalities that constitute the band. Alt saxophonist and bass clarinettist Sha captivates the listener through rhythmic refinement and implacable calm and has already earned a reputation as a newcomer in the New Minimal scene. Percussionist Nicolas Stocker (who replaced MOBILE-co-founder Matthias Eser in 2013) belongs to the new generation of modern musicians who naturally combine the competence for classical interpretation, improvisation and the ability to groove. Nik Bärtsch, the inspirational don of MOBILE, easily crosses the borders between all of the above codes, setting connections which in turn mutate to fuses. (Michel Mettler)