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Magicada Tymbals

(auf deutsch :-) )

und was die Presse sagt...

          alan kushan, santur

         roland schiltknecht, hackbrett & bergruf

about santur and/vs. hackbrett

Hammered dulcimers are musical instruments that provide sound thanks to many bridges. On these  bridges, over 100 strings are divided into intervals. i.e. “spaces/periods of time” are rooms (spaces) between notes.
The origin of this trapezium shaped zither is said to be in ancient Persia, from where it came into our cultural room. I met Alan Kushan over 30 years ago, when he reached Switzerland, coming from Teheran. He asked me if I could help to find hard wood to build a santur (the Persian hammered dulcimer). Searching for that precious target at a local wood dealer, Alan climbed over a 10 meters high pile of wood to inspect each plank, listening to it by knocking at it. Almost through with the whole pile, he shouted: Roland, this is it!
By coincidence, a worker drove around the corner with his forklift truck to chase us off the pile. I explained to him, why Alan was up there, upon which the worker brought us down that particular plank with his forklift. Two months later Alan’s santur came to life. Listening to it I realised: here was a master at work!
With my then band “Schildpatt” we played at the jazz festival in Berlin (1987). Since then Alan played on the CD productions “Schildpatt bunju”, “Tunsch”, “Sha”, “Shab Tab” and presently on “magicada tymbals”. The Umbrian cycads developed some kind of dialog between our hammered dulcimers: with their Sound Tymbals they seem to resonate similarily to our strings: dissected into individual periods they become an overall sound, that begins to cling (to us) only from a distance… magicada tymbals…


Gabriel Schiltknecht, percussion

            Heiri Känzig, double bass

            Matthieu Michel, flügelhorn

            Raphael Zweifel, cello  

            Rhea Schiltknecht, voices

            Vladiswar Nadishana, khomus

Roland Schiltknecht, Hackbrett (swiss alpine hammered dulcimer)

geb. im Kanton Glarus.

Beginnt Anfang der 80er Jahre mit dem alpinen Hackbrett zu experimentieren und Elemente der alpinen Musik mit Elementen aus Jazz und Rock zu verbinden. Er entdeckt die uralte Tradition der Improvisation in der ursprünglichen alpinen Volksmusik (Stegreifspiel).

 Gründet 1982 zusammen mit seinem Bruder Gabriel (Drums, Perc.) die Ethno-Jazz-Rock Formation „schildpatt“.

 Konzerte mit „schildpatt“ u.a.

1984     am Zürcher Jazz Festival,

1985     Tsukuba (Weltausstellung), Japan, Gurten, Bern

1986     Montreux Jazz Festival (Vorgruppe von Gilberto Gil)

1987     Jazzfest Berlin mit Alan Kushan

ab 1985 mit Hans Kennels und J. Solothurnmanns „Alpine Jazz Herd“, "Alpine Experience" Konzerte im In- und Ausland, u.a. DDR, Rumänien, Deutschland, Österreich

1988     New Music Festival, Miami

1991     Gast auf „Engelberg“ bei Stefan Eicher

1992     Weltausstellung Sevilla

1995     Jazzfestival Elsass (solo hackbrett)

1996     Australientour mit Hans Kennels "alpine experience"

1999     Bolivien Tour mit Gabriel Schiltknecht und Ljubo Maistorovic

2001     Konzert mit Büne Huber am Alpentöne Festival, Altdorf

2002     Tour mit Patent Ochsner

2002     "tien-shan schweiz express", u.a. Nyon Festival, Landesausstellung

2003     Tour in Zentralasien mit tien-shan-switzerland

2004     Konzerte mit "bann" , Schiltknecht–Dahinden in Teheran

2007     Projekt "Extrafahrt" mit R. Caruso, Ch. Brantschen, A. Hug, Mich Gerber

2008     Inntöne Festival, Österreich mit Trio "bann"

2009     div. Festivals mit Paul Haag and the horns

2015     Konzerte mit Mich Gerber, R. Caruso, A. Pupato          


div. Platten und CD Produktionen u.a. mit Curt Cress , Eberhard Weber, Heiri Känzig, Roland Dahinden, Jürg Solothurnmann, Hans Kennel, Alan Kushan, Fizzè, Max Lässer, Überland, Stephan Eicher, Engelberg, Paul Haag u.v.a.m.

1984     schildpatt - LP schildpatt,

1986     "himekideira" - LP schildpatt

1987     "bunju" - CD schildpatt CD  mit Alan Kushan

1989     "crystals on your face" - CD Dino

1995     "steinsam"  (Hackbrett solo) - CD zytglogge

1999     "Tunsch" (mit Alan Kushan) - CD mensch records

2006     "bann" (mit R. Dahinden und G. Schiltknecht) - CD zytglogge

2008     "Sha" schildpatt vs. peeni waali u.a. mit LK Johnson, Barbara Dennerlein - CD mensch records

2012     "Napf" Paul Haag and the Horns

2013     Caruso Chill - out Orchestra, golden matrix 

Alan Kushan, santur (persisches Hackbrett)

Alan Kushan has passed through multifarious phases of musical composition and performance on his supremely delicate yet highly sophisticated musical instrument  —  his self-made hammered dulcimer or santur.  His compositions and arrangements  range from traditional Eastern music to innovations with Western classical and Eastern mystical music, to jazz and world music, thereby creating newer, fresher, elevated musical forms.

Alan Kushan relentlessly expands the horizons of his art form.  The speed and precision of his dazzling techniques on his self-made santur are simply breathtaking.

He studied music composition in Zurich, Koln and Berlin as well as Canada and the U.S.  He studied with Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Ustad Vilayat Khan, among other master musicians.  As a child, he studied under three of the greatest Persian santur masters, H. Malek, F. Payvar, and R. Varzandeh.

Over time, not satisfied with the limited range and capacity of his chosen musical instrument, Alan decided to apply his skills as a master instrument-maker to broaden the range of his instrument by adding elements from the modern piano, the harp and the guitar.  The result is a unique and powerful instrument, which embodies the musical textures of the ancient and the new.  

He cultivates exploration of unusual “universal frequencies”, claiming that this is and has been a prominent source of his creative energy.  During  the 80s he cultivated expressions of freedom and immediacy against a backdrop of constant "galactic buzz", while deliberately suspending control of reason and will.

He applies this spontaneous perspective not only in his artistic and poetic creativity but also in his everyday life.  Alan Kushan’s performance method reveals an academically meticulous technique that is, paradoxically, in stark contrast to the "dream space" he generally endeavours to depict, and its markedly other-worldly, mystical dimensions.  

Alan Kushan has come to the realization  that Time itself is captured within Sound, so that it is Sound that is boundless and limitless, and Time itself is a Prisoner within its paradoxical confines.  “The Dimension of Sound is akin to the vast universe that mercilessly compels me to progress beyond its peripheral territories.  I wish to experience these states of consciousness thoroughly and primordially, so that I may evolve both dynamically and philosophically as an Artist.”

“It is the Quintessence of Sound that I seek.  This is an eternal quest for any authentic musician.  Alas, what is the source of this quintessence?  In order to achieve it, I must be released from my mortal frame for a deeper, more spiritually penetrating journey, all the way back to this source, and then forwards again towards the ultimate consummation of that self-same journey. Could this then be the Silence of God?  A mirror of the Absolute Divine?”