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Zabelka Trio, Mia

Weird Tales And Elegant Motion

Zabelka Trio, Mia: Weird Tales And Elegant Motion (Monotype)

Violinist, vocalist, and electronic artist Mia Zabelka is joined by Johannes Frisch (bass) and Pavel Fajt (drums, electronics) for an awesome set of improv that covers free rock, jazz, and soundscapes.

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product information:


Label: Monotype
Catalog ID: mono052
Squidco Product Code: 16818

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2012
Country: Poland
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded by Jan Balcar at 3 Bees Studios, Prague in 2010.


Mia Zabelka-electric violin, voice, electronics

Johannes Frisch-doublebass, electric bass

Pavel Fajt-drums, electronics

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Artist Biographies:

"Mia Zabelka is a sound artist, violinist and vocalist from Vienna, who creates hauntingly sensual music and is regarded as one of the leading 21st century proponents of what is known as experimental violin music. Mia Zabelka's projects show her exceptional mastery and a deep understanding of the violin, be it acoustic or electric, solo or as part of a collective. In her hands the boundaries of this instrument fade and paths to uncharted sonic territory open, as she bends genres, the conventional use of electronics and the human voice to expand the spectrum for her to paint her musical language in. Live in concert Mia Zabelka is an electrifying performer. In any context, she has the uncanny knack of commanding the stage and always being the centre of an audience's attention, achieved by the intensity and focus of her performances, rather than any gratuitous showmanship.

At the age of seven, Mia Zabelka discovered the violin. She was eager to find out how this musical object could produce interesting sounds when touched with a wooded stick strung with horsehair. Zabelka was already able to play works by the fabled virtuoso Nicolo Paganini in her first year of instruction on the instrument and at 12 was the youngest member of the Austrian Youth Orchestra. During her classical training with Alexander Arenkov, an assistant of David Oistrach, at the Vienna Conservatory of Music, she already began to play with various jazz and rock bands. With her inborn curiosity for the new and all that was unexpected Mia Zabelka then turned to the study of electroacoustic music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna , creating a foundation on the basis of which she continues to construct and explore the limits of sound and music in a language entirely her own. She has now developed a unique language based on the de- and reconstruction of the violin's sonic possibilities for over 20 years, expanding the range of the instrument using live electronic devices, preparing it through the insertion of alien objects between or on the strings and innovative performance techniques. Mia Zabelka describes this process as Automatic Playing, continuously exploring sound and music as physical phenomena, always pushing back the boundaries in experimental performances and compositions that question established notions, improving the available techniques and given structures.

Her openness to the most varied musical directions and eclectic artistic influences have resulted in collaborations with numerous prominent international artists including John Zorn, David Moss, Pauline Oliveros, Elliott Sharp, Dälek, Audrey Chen, Maria Chavez, Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner, Lydia Lunch and Electric Indigo among many others. She has been the artistic director of phonofemme Vienna, an international festival of female experimental music and sound art, since 2009. In 2007 Mia Zabelka founded the Klanghaus, a center for sound and interdisciplinary art at her house in southern Styria/Austria. The Klanghaus is a meeting point for international and local artists and hosts the Klang.Zeit festival four times a year."

-Mia Zabelka Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:

1. Backyard Funk 3:27

2. Djinn 4:54

3. Nasty Rumours 2:48

4. The Order of Things 9:26

5. Push 1:47

6. Cul de Sac 2:18

7. Slims & Slams 1:56

8. Lost Language 2:34

9. Epilogue 2:50

10. Uwaga - Serious Game 2:45

11. Back to Start 2:40

12. Wind / Rewind 4:45

13. Live in Klang.Haus 5:41
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Zabelka is a violin player (and more) from Vienna, Austria. Her career started in the 80s. Over the years she recorded with John Zorn, Pauline Oliveros, Franz Hautzinger, and many others. In 2011 her first solo-album appeared, "M", released by Monotype. It has Zabelka playing electric violin, voice, contact microphones, live-electronics. Now she returns with her trio that has Pavel Fajt (drums, live electronics) and Johannes Frisch (double bass, electric bass) as its members. In the past Fajt played a lot with another female violin player and improviser: the very talented Iva Bittova. Johannes Frisch is playing already some 30 years in the fields of avant garde music, playing with Lol Coxhill, Le Quan Ninh, Peter Hollinger, etc. The opening track "Backyard Funk" reminded me a lot of Miles Davis in his electric period. Similar pulse and groove is hidden in this track. But this track is not representative for the rest on the album. The trio continues with free rock, jazz improvisations, soundscapes, etc. I like these improvisations for the sounds they paint, for the spatial textures they create. Tight and dynamic improvisations in a way. But on the other hand it remains quite often unclear where they are hiding at. A bit unfocused and fragmented. The most lengthy piece "The Order of Things" is the positive exception to this. Here they take time built some engaging soundtextures."-Dolf Mulder, Vital Weekly #858

"The mia zabelka trio was founded in 2009. Austrian violin adventurist Mia Zabelka's mission is to expand the capabilities, sound, scope, performance and experience of the Violin to levels never before attempted, seen or heard. She has developed a unique language based on the de- and reconstruction of the violin's sonic possibilities, expanding the instrument using live electronic effects and innovative performance techniques.

The violin, voice and her own body transform into sound bodies which are at once organic and primal, screaming, lyrical, composed and explosive. She has given concerts and performances throughout Europe, America and the former USSR and played with David Moss, John Zorn, Fred Frith, Peter Kowald, Phil Wachsman, Franz Hautzinger, Eliott Sharp, Martin Siewert, Joelle Leandre, amongst others. She is a three time winner of the International Prix Ars Electronica. Mia Zabelka is a pioneer of electroacoustic performance and composition in Austria. Her congenial partners in this new formation are Johannes Frisch, E-Bass, Electronics, and Pavel Fait, Drums. Since the mid-'80s, Pavel Fajt has been one of the most prominent musicians on the Czech alternative rock scene. As a drummer, a composer, and a bandleader, he has been instrumental in the shaping of a distinctive Czech rock identity. Back home, he first got noticed among the seminal group Dunaj. Internationally, he is best-known for his duo with Iva Bittová and for his appearance in the film and on the soundtrack Step Across the Border about avant-garde guitar hero Fred Frith.

Johannes Frisch is looking back as a double bass player on more than three decades of mainly improvised music, touring Europe and oversea, collaborating with numerous musicians, amongst them Johannes Bauer, Lol Coxhill, Peter Hollinger, Maggie Nicols and Irene Schweizer. He has been involved in a great variety of music groups and projects with many CD-releases. Currently he is member of the Kammerflimmer Kollektief, based formation between electronica and acoustically improvised music. As a bass player he uses his instrument as a sound machine, exploring also extreme techniques of sound production. The mia zabelka trio pushes improvisation to the forefront, that means interaction and communication between three distinct musical voices."-Monotype

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Unusual Vocal Forms
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Trio Recordings
Trio Recordings

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