concert and workshop
Institut français de Budapest

Die Hochstapler (Tricksters) Improvisation Workshop

JAZZAJ at Transparant Sound

Dates: 21-23 September.
— 21 September: 13h-17h
— 22 September: 12h-16h
— 23 September: 16h-18h / performance from 17h
Maximum number of participants: 15 people
The workshop is free and requires registration.
Application deadline: 15 September


Application Form

The workshop is in English (with Hungarian, German, French or Italian translation if needed).


How to surprise ourselves? How to surprise each other? How could we make an improvising group change their playing – without hand signs?
In this three-day workshop, the Die Hochstapler (Tricksters) let us peak into their very own musical language through practical exercises. The virtuoso musicians of the German-French-Italian quartet construct their performances in a fairly slow but unparalleled way. During their intense rehearsal periods, they teach each other an unscored set of musical materials which is used as their painting palette for improvisation. Any member of the group can take the direction – but unlike soundpainting – their musical process is instructed not by visual but musical signs – creating a sort of meta-layer in their musical communication.
In the workshop we will compose together, play musical games and select the musical gestures we would like to address with further meaning and message for our improvising partners. Let’s prepare: in such a structure we are likely to misunderstand each other and face challenges that defy solution. We will err – a lot. However, these restrictions will ultimately add to the playfulness and freshness of our music and the joy of present-tense creation.


Instrumentalists and singers from all musical backgrounds (jazz, folk, classical, experimental, etc.) are welcome. Some musical experience and an interest in improvisation is required.


The workshop concludes in a performance by the participants at 17h on 23 September.

Tutors of the workshop are:
Louis Laurain – trumpet
Pierre Borel – alt saxophone
Antonio Borghini – double bass
Hannes Lingens – drums

The members of the Die Hochstapler (Tricksters) German-French-Italian quartet have established a unique framework of improvisation and composition during their 10-year collaboration. Their performances are driven by a singular but complex set of rules that were elaborated through a long-drawn cooperation proceeding from the traits of different lingual and communicational systems such as card games, the alphabet, mathematical structures or various text fragments. Their continuously changing, playfully exciting musical fabric is created from the offerings of the four independent participants and the respective responses they get. The practices of their mastercourse on the day before the concert initiate the attendees to this peculiar form of collective creation.

The programme is supported by NKA, Institut Français en Hongrie, Goethe-Institut Budapest and Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Budapest