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Simon Höfele — Bulak’s Fantasy Op. 15 (Neue Meister)

Always eager to try something new, the curious and passionate Simon Höfele contacted Turkish composer Kaan Bulak in 2019 in search of a piece he could perform at the BBC Radio 3 Open Ear concert. Bulak — who has become known for his electroacoustic ensemble and unique compositions spanning contemporary and classical music — had nothing in store to offer and so decided to write a piece from scratch for the occasion. In the resulting piece, Fantasy Op. 15, now released as a joint EP by Kaan Bulak and Simon Höfele on Neue Meister, Bulak transformed Höfele's recordings into sound effects that complement his live performance on stage. Listen here to this fascinating new piece of the repertoire.
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What was your first thought when you heard what Kaan Bulak had composed for you?

I’m always very open to whatever the composer offers me at first. But especially with Kaan’s music, there was a particular connection from the very first moment, which made me feel that this would be an inspiring journey. Also, the overall work with Kaan was very intuitive; there was a lot of musical communication.

What was it like to play the trumpet and use pedals and effects in a live performance? Was it the first time you combined your instrument with electronics?

Ha, ha! To be honest, at first, it was very stressful because I never did anything like that before. Not knowing for sure if all the electronics would work or if the Ableton samples would play when I pressed the button on my pedal made me very nervous at times. But this forced me to dive into these technical territories, which every musician should do. It’s very inspiring and helpful, also for many other things. Now I’m much more confident playing with electronics, and I enjoy all these new possibilities.

How would you describe this mix between your trumpet with its own recording? What feelings does it covey for you?

It is a very involving way of experiencing this music, I assume. Not knowing for sure what the samples are, what sound you are playing into the microphone, or what the analogue sound of your trumpet is, makes you listen on another level, especially when performing and experimenting live.

Website: simon-hoefele.de

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