The Squid's Ear Magazine

Takatsuki Trio Quartet (Okuda / Virtaranta / Weitzel + Marwedel / Schubert ): Live in Hessen (Creative Sources)

The core of the German free improvising Takatsuki Trio is Rieko Okuda (piano, viola, &c.), Antti Virtaranta (bass), and Joshua Weitzel (shamisen, guitar), who, while touring, ask a guest from the area they're performing in to join them, here inviting tenor saxophonist Matthias Schubert in Kassel, Germany, and in Wiesbaden, Germany inviting saxophonist Dirk Marwedel.

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product information:

UPC: 5609063406825

Label: Creative Sources
Catalog ID: cs682
Squidco Product Code: 29956

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Track 1 recorded at Kulturhaus Dock4, in Kassel, Germany, on May 21st, 2019, by Stephan Cordes.

Track 2 recorded at Mauritius-Mediathek, in Wiesbaden, Germany, on August 11st, 2019, by Joshua Weitzel.


Antti Virtaranta-double bass

Joshua Weitzel-guitar, Shamisen

Rieko Okuda-pinao, viola, voice

Dirk Marwedel-saxophone

Matthias Schubert-tenor saxophone

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Takatsuki Trio is a trio by Rieko Okuda (piano, viola, etc.), Antti Virtaranta (bass), and Joshua Weitzel (shamisen, guitar), all of whom are based in Germany. Okuda was born in Japan, and Weizel has worked in Japan, so there are many live performances here. The trio's basic methodology is to add one guest from the area to perform, and more recently, it has invited Tobias Delius (saxophone) and Axel Dunner (trumpet). Therefore, the unit name is Takatsuki Trio Quartett (quartet is Quartet in English, Quartett in German).

The guests of this edition are Matthias Schubert (tenor sax) in Cassel and Dirk Marwedel (extended sax) in Wiesbaden.

Schubert's tenor, known for co-starring with Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin and Simon Nabatov (piano), has a unique vibration and a deep sound. Both Fujii and Weizel (of the same Cassel) have praised his play for good reason. In this board, the expression is further expanded, and it seems that it is approaching the human voice with not only turbidity but also distortion and growl.

From the beginning, it is confusing who is responsible for the fricatives and syllabaries. The continuous sound of Schubert's tenor and Virtaranta's contrabass rubs, and the sound of Weitzel's guitar emits a specific frequency to call for comfort, but eventually it distorts. Okuda's strings are moving behind him. They open up the mode of playing musical instruments, transform them into various forms, and even mimic each other and even exchange their forms. It's fun to see it sublimate as a band sound.

The performance also passed the middle, and the tide suddenly changed. Schubert's blow, Virtaranta's pizzicato, and Okuda's piano hits collide, and Weitzel's guitar is wrapped in howling, forcing him to hold his breath and continue listening. The tenor's mulchonic after the guitar emerged is spectacular, with the bass and piano moving behind it. Weizel is switched to the shamisen, and the four parties gradually raise the energy level and the performance ends.

The gig that invited Dirk Marvedel has a different peculiarity. What the trio is doing is hidden in the plexus, giving off only a strong sign. Marvedel digs a tunnel through it to reveal that he is "there", but soon Okuda's piano and Weizel's shamisen begin to claim their existence. It's interesting that when Virtaranta plays the leading role in the shadow and keeps playing the bass with a pizzicato, the time seems to be different from the time when Weitzel plucks the guitar.

Here, Marvedel, who glares at the surroundings and makes a sound like a low-flying flight, switches to a soprano, suddenly begins to fly, and everyone jumps. This is also due to the power brought in by Mavedel's "Extended Saxophone," which attaches a hose to the neck of the saxophone and a bird call to the mouthpiece.

The highlight of this second song is also in the silence of the middle stage. For about five minutes, everyone was out of breath and made only a faint sound, which was another great piece of music. The listener is strangely relieved when the shackles are released and the sound of the material and the wind blow begin to play. The last is a relentless repetition of the response pattern, and there are cases where it is artificial or not.

Takatsuki, attached to the group name, is a word that comes from the story between Okuda from southern Osaka and Weitzel, who has lived in Kyoto. The city between the two is around Takatsuki, and it is based on the imagination that it is a place that is both Kyoto-like while being in Osaka. This is also a distinction and a boundary.

By the way, it is said that the vibrater that Weitzel hits the strings of the shamisen is not the E-Bow, but the purple one that he bought at a sex shop. In such a place, and of course, in the sound itself, there is a sense of play that is endless. And this group presupposes a trip and an open co-star. In that respect as well, it can be said that it is extremely modern improvisational music."-Jazz and Far Beyond (translated by Google)

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Artist Biographies

"Antti Virtaranta is a Finnish bassist and composer. He began his music journey at 17 years old focusing on Jazz music, attending University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Quickly he was introduced to free jazz and experimental electronic music, and this changed everything. He moved to Berlin to join the vibrant scene of improvisers, starting projects with many musicians and developing his own sound. Currently he is focused on expressing his voice in music and sound through composition and improvisation. Using his influences from jazz and rock music and self-taught contemporary music, his musical language is formed. Nowadays, his focus is on concepts and compositions for solo bass and solo electronics, and using non-conventional notations. These ideas develop and are imposed into the small groups (duos and trios) and larger ensembles that he is involved with to create instant composition in his varying projects, which include collaborations with dancers and visual artists, on top of the numerous musicians he works with."

-Antti Virtaranta Website (

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"Joshua Weitzel is a musician, curator and researcher born in 1989.

As an improviser, composer and performer he is mostly active in the field of experimental music, jazz and the grey areas in-between. His instruments of choice are guitar (acoustic and electric) and shamisen, which he plays both employing traditional and extended/invented playing techniques such as using circular breathing on stringed instruments, preparations and scordatura. His music is primarily concerned with spaces, contrast, harmony, timbre and interaction between players.

Aside from his own music practice he curates concerts, performances and exhibitions in Kassel. He was the artistic director interim of the art space Galerie Feiertag from 2019-2020 and the artistic director of the concert series Chamäleon Experimente (2018), Chamäleon Clash (2019) and Chamäleon Verbindungen (2020/21). In 2020, the concert series is awarded the culture prize of Kassel (Kulturförderpreis Stadt Kassel).

He further coordinates online-releases and concerts under the umbrella Kassel Experimental Music Productions. He also works as a gallery educator and art mediator (among others dOCUMENTA (13), 11. Berlin Biennale new talents biennale Cologne, and KW Institute Berlin).

His research interests are located at the intersection of musicology, art history, and education.

He holds a Master's degree with distinction from King's College London and a Bachelor's degree from Göttingen University. Currently, he is working on a PhD in music at the Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, where he writes about sound in the context of the history of documenta exhibitions. Since May 2020 he is artistic-scientific asscociate for sound art and sound research at the Hochschule für Musik Mainz in the group Art - Sound - Research led by Prof. Peter Kiefer. "

-Joshua Weitzel Website (

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Rieko Okuda is a pianist and a composer from Japan. She began to play Classical music at the age of 3. She also studied Music Therapy at Doshisha Women College. Music Therapy led her into Contemporary music and Improvised music. After she graduated from the college, she moved to USA to study Jazz music. She fell right into the Jazz scene in USA, performing with some of the great American Jazz musicians (Bob Mintzer, Jon Faddis, John Fedchock etc) at several jazz festivals such as North Texas Jazz Festival, Nortredam Jazz Festival to name a few. A couple of years later, she got interested in Free Jazz and Improvised music while she was in Phliladelphia. She performed with the great improvisers includes Marshall Allen (from San Ra Orchestra), Elliott Levine (recorded with Cecil Taylor), and Calvin Weston (recorded with Ornette Coleman). Her interests in Improvised music led her to move to Berlin. She performs with various musicians in Berlin ex. Tobias Delius, Axel Dörner, Els Vendaweyer, Linda Frederickson, ect. Also, she collaborates with contemporary dancers such as Yuko Kaseki, Akemi Nagao, and Annapaola Leso (from Sasha Waltz.) She performs at several experimental festivals: A'Larme Festival, JOE Festival Essen, Brda Contemporary Music Festival, XChange Festival, Experymental Festival, Flux Festival, and Soundance Festival to name a few.

In 2017 and 2018, she got the residency in Elektronik Music Studio (EMS) in Stockholm, Sweden. This residency experiences inspired her to Electro-Acoustic field, and she started to invite the electronics to her piano solo pieces. Her first Electro-Acoustic solo album "Paranorm" was released from Japanese record lable, Athor Harmonics, on Feburary 2018. "Paranorm" was performed at Koncertkirken Blagards Plads (DK), Ausland, FLUX Festival (DE), and Vardklockans Församling (SE).

In 2020, she has gotten the residency in Visby International Centere for Composers (VICC) to extend her experience, and find more possibilities to create various sounds and composition techniques.

-Rieko Okuda Website (

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"Dirk Marwedel Born 1959. Since 1985 Dirk Marwedel has been working in the area of ​​improvised music and related musical concepts as well as in interdisciplinary projects with performance, sound installation, film, dance, theater, sculpture and painting. In continuous interplay with different groups as well as soloist he has developed sounding techniques and preparations with which he easily exceeds the limits of familiar concepts of the sound spectrum of the saxophone and irritates listening habits. The permanent process of material and sound enhancement can also lead to play on hoses, balloons, with water or other sound bodies, even beyond the original instrument. With his work on slate slabs ("TonSchiefer") and the sculptures by the sculptor couple Livia Kubach and Michael Kropp, Dirk Marwedel, who also trained as a sculptor, explores and develops the sound qualities of stone.

Solistically, Dirk Marwedel draws particular attention to dynamic and structural movement. Dense monolithic sound currents can contrast with fine tissues, which are reduced to only a few senses, sequences of classical toning complement each other with grotesque or fragile, silent, brittle or bursting overflowing forms beyond the chromatically tempered tonal space. The limits and meanings of sound, sound and sound are moving, touching, mixing and differentiating. Silence is perceived as a fundamental element of musical experience.

Central themes in the area of ​​performance (for example in the case of sound video performance> no change changing <) are the inevitability and irreversibility of movement and development. With concentrated acoustic and visual material, processes that are fragmented in the phenomena of repetition and change, memory and present are perceived in the light of their incessant passing over one another. Even more direct than in purely concertante performances is the irritation and questioning of fixed, automated boundaries and interpretations and the opening of unexpected perceptions. Recent works such as the "fields of intercourse", the "court paintings" and the project "Living Sculpture" also deal with the center of perception, the perceiving and perceptive human beings themselves, with their modes, the Familiar, the stranger, to meet oneself.

Dirk Marwedel has appeared in Europe and Canada. He lives in Wiesbaden and is co-founder and organizer of the HumaNoise congress - day improvised music."

-Nurnichtnur.Com (Translated by Google) (

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"Matthias Schubert (born April 18, 1960 in Kassel ) is a German jazz musician (tenor saxophone, oboe and composition).

Schubert had oboe lessons as a teenager. The saxophonists Allan Praskin and Melvin Phillips introduced him to jazz. He studied from 1979 to 1983 at the University of Music and Performing Arts Hamburg with Andy Scherrer, Herb Geller and Walter Norris. He played for a long time in the Euro Jazz Band, the Graham Collier Band and the Marty Cook Group, but also with the groups of Albert Mangelsdorff, Manfred Bründl and others.

He played in the quartet with Simon Nabatov, Lindsey Horner and Tom Rainey during the 1990s. He forms a trio with Carl Ludwig Hübsch and Wolter Wierbos. He has founded the James Choice Orchestra with Hübsch, Frank Gratkowski and Norbert Stein. He also played with Karl Berger, Klaus King, Kathrin Lemke, Jeanne Lee, Joachim Ullrich, Andreas Willers, Xu Fengxia, Scott Fields, Uwe Oberg,Uli Böttcher and Alois Kott. In 2001 he was appointed as a lecturer at the University of Music, Drama and Media Hanover."

-Wikipedia (Translated by Google) (

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Track Listing:

1. Kassel With Matthias Schubert 28:32

2. Wiesbaden With Dirk Marwedel 33:04

Related Categories of Interest:

Creative Sources
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Trio Recordings
Quartet Recordings
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms

Search for other titles on the label:
Creative Sources.

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