Niggenkemper, Pascal

Primary Scene: Paris, France

Described by the New York City Jazz Records as “one of the most adventurous bassists on the scene” and by the Chicago Reader “genius for sound exploration” Franco-German bassist and composer Pascal Niggenkemper creates music blurring the lines between improvised, pure sound, and experimental music with a distinct musical language infused with new bass techniques.

The focus of his musical work is the extension of the sound horizon of the double bass: the acoustic modification of the sound using preparations as well as motors, where he explores the interaction between man and machine (‘beat the odds’).

The cultural exchange and dialogue, the interaction with musicians from different countries is the central concern in Pascal’s projects. Living in Paris since 2016, his musical career as a child began with violin and piano before he playing the double bass as a teenager. In 1999 he moved to Cologne where he studied jazz and classical double bass at the Hochschule für Musik.

From 2005-2016, Pascal moved to New York thanks to a DAAD scholarship, where he was part of the creative music scene specifically the downtown scene. (Gerald Cleaver Black Host, Wolley/Rempis/Corsano, Joe Morris 4th, Cooper-Moore Trio, etc) He founded the ‘PNTrio’ with Robin Verheyen and Tyshawn Sorey. (CD ‘pasàpas’ / Konnex 2008 & ‘urban creatures’ / JHM 2010) Numerous tours in Europe as well concerts in New York, Philadelphia, Washington (Kennedy Center) followed.

In cooperation with Jazzdor Strasbourg-Berlin, Pascal formed the septet vision7 that performed at Jazzdor Strasbourg-Berlin, Vive le Jazz in Cologne, Jazz à la Cité in Paris and at the Pori Jazz in Finland.

In September 2011 Pascal released with Simon Nabatov and Gerald Cleaver the CD/LP upcoming hurricane on NoBusiness Records which is listed among ‘Albums of the year’ 2011 in the ‘The New York City Jazz Record’. The trio performed in Canada and the USA.

He recorded a solo program called: ‘look with thine ears’ music for bass & preparations was premiered at the Jazzdor Festival in Strasbourg in November 2013. The CD was released in March 2015 on clean feed records. (Best of 10: Happy Ears Award) He performed for the France Musique radio broadcast by Anne Montaron called ‘a l’improviste’ and at festivals such as Bruisme Poitiers (FR), Kongsberg Jazz Festival (NO), Sound Disobedience Ljubliana (SL), Jazz em Agosto Lisbon (PT), Jazz à Luz (F) Blow Out! Oslo (NO), ON-Musik Cologne (DE) and météo Mulhouse (F) etc. In his new solo program, he works on the interaction between the human and the machine, by incorporating motors strike the strings.

In 2014 he presented the double trio ‘le 7eme continent’ with the program ‘talking trash’ at the Vive le Jazz festival in Cologne, Germany and the concert was broadcast by WDR3 radio. Their CD was released in May 2016 on clean feed records (Best of 10 Happy Ears Award) and concerts in Jazzcase Neerpelt, Jazz à Luz Festival, WinterJazz Festival in Copenhagen and Alternativa in Prague followed.

In January 2017 during a resideny at the Center National de Création Musicale Albi-Tarn in France, the project ‘beat the odds’ was created. Music for two cellos and two contrabasses whose strings are hit by a propeller. The variable speed motor is controlled by a foot pedal. A CD documenting this work will be released in 2019.

In Sept-Oct 2017 Pascal was Artist in Residence at the ORT. (Peter Kowald Society) where he presented nine evenings with musicians, poets, dancers and visual artists like Toma Gouband, Yuko Otomo, Steve Dalachinsky, Jorgo Schaefer, Milton Camilo, Liz Kosack, Philip Zoubek, Etienne Nillesen, OSSENBECK, East-West Trio, Ute Völker, Gunda Gottschalk and John Butcher. The double CD ‘Sound within Sound’ Wuppertal Diary (fitschgetau records) documents this work.

Pascal is co-leading the groups baloni with Frantz Loriot viola and Joachim Badenhorst clarinets PascAli a duo for two prepared basses with Sean Ali and Miner’s Pick with Thomas Heberer.

Festival presence includes: Jazzdor Strasbourg-Berlin, Vision Festival New York, Umbrella Festival Chicago, Banlieues Bleues Paris, Strade del Cinema Aosta, météo Mulhouse, Jazzcologne, Jazz em Agosto Lisbon, Taktlos Zurich, Jazz à la Cité in Paris, ESCUCHA Madrid, Washington DC Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival, Middelheim Antwerp, Grenzenlos Köln, undead Jazzfest NYC, D’Jazz Nevers, NewAdits Klagenfurt, Font New York, Music Unlimited Wels, Vive le Jazz Cologne, GONG Aarau, Konfrontationen Nickelsdorf, Ljubljana Jazz Festival etc…

He received the following scholarships/grants: DAAD, Henry Mancini Institute, North Rhine-Westphalia composition stipend, ORT Residency, and GMEA Albi Residency.

Jeanne LandersNiggenkemper, Pascal