The amazingly talented Bruno Heinen will be taking to the stage this Friday for a free gig in Cafe.Bar.Contemporary. He will be playing an original jazz take on Karlheinz Stockhausen’s composition ‘Tierkreis’, and will be accompanied by several brilliant musicians.
The piece was originally written for twelve music boxes, with each one representing a different sign of the zodiac. This jazz interpretation is the first of its kind. The performance promises to be mesmerising as it holds sentimental value to composer Bruno, having grown up with four of the music boxes in his family home. Now after nearly seven years perfecting the composition, Bruno is bringing the perfect balance of classical and contemporary jazz to Nottingham.
I caught up with him to talk about the pressure of re-creating something so close to his heart.
Poppy: Hi Bruno. So how has the tour been going so far?
Bruno: Very well! The audiences have been good and people seem to be enjoying it. We've sold a lot of CDs and I can’t complain at all.
P: Every member of the group has so much experience and talent, how did you all come together as a group?
B: I've been playing with the rhythm section, James Allsop and Andrea De Biase for years, we played at college together. We met at the Guildhall so we've been playing together 8 years now. We did our first album together as a trio then it kind of expanded to a sextet. I know the other guys just from the scene.
P: This is the first time the composition has been performed by a jazz ensemble, have you felt a lot of pressure to do it justice?
B: Yeah, I guess so. The piece is quite close to me personally because the music boxes have been in my family since I was born, so for a long time I wanted to do something with this piece. I started arranging it in 2006 so quite a long time ago. I guess I didn’t exactly feel pressure to do it justice, but I was very inspired to do something with it.
P: Did the recording of the album go smoothly?
B: Yeah it did, it went very smoothly, we recorded it in two days and then had one day of mixing. The only track that gave us problems was Aquarius which I arranged and then wasn't totally happy with. Then for my birthday my girlfriend gave me the Aquarius music box, which is amazing as they're quite hard to get hold of because it's the last lot they're producing. We'd already recorded by this point but I went back in to the studio and recorded it again with the music box, and that's the only problem we really encountered.
P: So not really a ‘bad’ problem in the end.
B: No, not really. It was a very nice problem in the end, it's amazing to get another box.
P: Do you have a favourite section/ zodiac sign on the composition?
B: Well, I think my favourite is Virgo which isn't my sign but I think that's my favourite melody and my favourite track on the album as well. I love working with Fulvio Sigurta, the trumpet player on the album, and I think that one came across well and went particularly well on the recording so Virgo is probably my favourite.
P: You’ve had a lot of good reviews about both the live shows and the album, do you pay much attention to what’s written in the media?
B: I do, I do, I mean I wouldn't say I’m particularly worried about it either way, but it's nice to know that people are enjoying the album. I do read them, it's been nice to have my tributes. I've had some nice more personal reviews, not press reviews but I had an email from the Stockhausen society last week saying that they found it inventive and inspiring and they really enjoyed it, so that’s great.
I also had an email from Sir Simon Rattle saying it was a knock out which was nice too.
P: Have you got a favourite venue to play?
B: I love playing at the Vortex, that's where we did the launch. It’s such a nice space, the piano is nice and I love the fact its run by volunteers. It’s always a very friendly atmosphere and a lot of musicians go down, so it’s probably my favourite place.
P: Is there anywhere you really aspire to play?
B: I would love to play somewhere like the Queen Elizabeth Hall. We're playing in the QEH front room which is a space I don't know but we're doing that in November. It depends on the gig, things can be surprising. We played in the Cube Cinema in Bristol, which I knew nothing about on the tour, but it was just amazing space. It’s this kind of half run down cinema, with such a great atmosphere, just a lovely space to play. I suppose there are lots of venues I'd love to play that I don't even know about.
P: Have you played in Nottingham before?
B: No, this will be the first time. I’m very excited, looking forward to it.
P: What does the future hold for Bruno?
B: Well, I'm planning a solo record at the moment. I've got a lot of music I want to record, I realised a few months ago I've got a whole album worth of compositions that I haven't recorded that I'd love to do and most of those work well solo, so I'm just seeing who I might invite as a guest on a couple of tracks but that's probably going to be my next project.