The new album by Johannes Tonio Kreusch – a musical homage to Hermann Hesse’s famous story SIDDHARTHA. “SIDDHARTHA is a seeker. I also want to be in my music – a seeker of new sounds and musical forms of expression “, says Johannes Tonio Kreusch The SIDDHARTHA Suite takes the listener into hitherto unknown soundscapes. Johannes Tonio Kreusch elicits a wonderful wealth of timbres and effects from his instrument.
The fourteen movements of the full-length SIDDHARTHA Suite correspond to the chapters of the novel. They include both composed sections as well as improvised passages. SIDDHARTHA’s search for the source of his soul is musically re-enacted by Johannes Tonio Kreusch as forcefully as creatively. The virtuosity presented is only subordinate to music and unfolds with great naturalness.
“My music for Hermann Hesse’s SIDDHARTHA is not necessarily intended as a background or retelling of this grandiose novel. Rather, I would like to musically approach the essence and the different soul moods that make up this work. I was less inspired by the idea of Eastern philosophy, but by Siddhartha’s constant search, which in the end was rewarded with finding. Philosophical topics are often sources of inspiration for my music. That’s why I first studied philosophy before I started studying music. After graduation I was by no means sure of wanting to study music and to make my profession. After the many years of one-sided learning at school, I finally wanted to study something that could inspire me very much in an idealistic way. And then I ended up with philosophy. In my opinion, it is not so far-fetched that one feels particularly attracted as a musician or artist to philosophical ideas, because the music or the art offer borderline experiences that confront us with a world beyond the material. When he makes music, he is closest to God, the conductor Sergiu Celibidache once said. In fact, it is precisely the arts that open the door for man to enter this other world – into the world beyond materiality: when you suddenly experience this communal bond while playing music together or listening to a concert together … There, one experiences the healing power of beautiful forms or sounds, when unexpectedly deep agreement with what one hears or contemplates is formed … one is inspired by a thought, carried by an uplifting idea …And I think that’s what makes music, too: that you get away from overly material thinking in the direction of “Faster! Higher! Further!”
In my music, I mostly use very different guitar tunings and also preparations like pens, paperclips or rings, which I put between the strings. This allows me to discover new sound spaces and often play the guitar like another plucked instrument – e.g. like a sitar, a cora or a koto – sound. On my SIDDHARTHA CD, I never once use the conventional guitar tuning. It has always been important for me to approach music experimentally and thus also tread new paths of interpretation. After intensive study of music and a thorough examination of classical literature, I became more and more oriented towards self-creativity and improvisation. Classical music is often seen as something rigid that you cannot touch or change. Improvisation in earlier eras has always been an important part of musicianship. Music, and we must never forget that in times of mechanical reproducibility, must always preserve this “created from the moment” nature. A mere play of patterns and already learned music does not really lead to the goal. Out of this attitude, my SIDDHARTHA music was born. “Johannes Tonio Kreusch
Johannes Tonio Kreusch is considered one of the leading guitarists of our time by Classical Magazine. He studied at the Salzburg Mozarteum and at the New York Juilliard School of Music. Since his solo debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1996, he has performed concert tours as a soloist and chamber musician in many cities in Europe, the US, the Far East and Latin America. Through his intensive collaboration with composers of our time, numerous new works for the guitar were created. Johannes Tonio Kreusch works regularly with renowned musicians like Giora Feidman. The Carnegie Hall concert debut with the tenor of Metropolitan Opera Anthony Dean Griffey was called a “revelation” by the New York Times. Johannes Tonio Kreusch has produced numerous widely acclaimed and awarded CDs.
In addition to his concert career, Johannes Tonio Kreusch gives seminars and master classes in Germany and abroad. He is the author of numerous guitar pedagogical publications and artistic director of the International Guitar Festivals in Hersbruck and Wertingen. Together with Cornelius Claudio Kreusch he conducts the music festival “Look into the Future” for the city of Burghausen and founded the concert series Ottobrunner Konzerte near Munich in 2008. In 2012 they received the Tassilo Culture Prize of the Süddeutsche Zeitung for his successful work as artistic director of this series.
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