Petras Vysniauskas, Knox Chandler, Christian Ramond and Klaus Kugel are four singular creators whose collective effort has resulted in a remarkable quartet. In even as varied an epoch as our current one, where creative musicians now regularly and easily traverse seemingly disparate styles, there are few ensembles that impress as convincingly in their ability to bridge idioms, blend the sonic textures and timbres of the ancient with present sensibilities of technology, and fire a listener's imagination with possibilities of future music. The international complexion of the quartet - Lithuanian, American and German - and their broad array of musical experience as composers, interpreters, leaders, and instrumental as well as technological innovators results in collective creations that are kaleidoscopic in nature.
Producing a cutting edge, high energy art form, POKSIS explores original melodic themes and rhythms found not only in the traditions of jazz and contemporary improvisation but also in the new complexity of modern composition. The band’s philosophy is based on paradoxes and extremes being a necessity in order to achieve balance. The variety of their work discovers contrasts in the weight of sound.
The band’s mission is to explore their passion for improvisation and to develop a unique musical cohesion through extended performances. The focus is on the art form itself, despite the current trend of image-driven music on the scene today. This band aims to develop cutting-edge jazz and contemporary improvisation to re-establish substance over hype.
about the musicians
"Soprano saxophonist Petras Vysniauskas, a Lithuanian, is I believe one of the most profoundly original musicians concentrating on that instrument -- his jagged phrases expanded on determinedly original intervals and his sound is powerful -- stronger and more pointed than Sam River's has become, for instance, more densely concentrated than the late Steve Lacy's, if not polyphonic in the manner of Evan Parker." - Howard Mandel, NYC, USA, 2007
"... Petras Vysniauskas is one of the best soprano saxists we've heard in many years ... " - Bruce Gallanter, USA, 2006
"Something of the rugged beauty of the Lithuanian countryside and the passion of many of his fellow countrymen has been breathed into his music. For me Petras Vysniauskas' music remains unforgettable because of his clear, individual concept. The use of themes from traditional folk music is one facet of this saxophonist, who reflects both the modern development in jazz and the sound idioms of the new and latest improvised and composed music. However, as he himself says, his feeling for folk music is part of his musical identity. And he adds: "In Lithuanian folk songs I hear echoes of John Coltrane; I try to combine this with the free form of expression offered by modern jazz". - Bert Noglik, Germany, 1990
Petras Vysniauskas played with Steve Lacy, Han Bennink, Jon Christensen, Tomasz Stanko, Vladimir Chekasin BigBand, Vyacheslav Ganelin, Kent Carter, Theo Jörgensmann, Jimmy Owens, Elliot Sharp, Paul Jeffrey, the "Rova Saxophone Quartet", Charly Mariano, Karl Berger, Anatoly Vapirov, Klaus Kugel, Bobo Stenson, Reiner Winterschladen, John Law, Steve Swell, Hilliard Greene, Vijay Iyer, John Lindberg, Eric Vloeimans, Antoni Donchev a.o.. and in a duo with the distinguished Lithuanian folksinger Veronika Povilioniene.
Together with Klaus Kugel, he is part of Vyacheslav Ganelin's GANELIN TRIO PRIORITY that performed 2007 at the VISION FESTIVAL XII, New York.
Inspired by his playing, several composers of symphonic or chamber music composed pieces for him. He is creative, versatile and has an extraordinary virtuosity, and is able to incorporate differing styles of jazz as well as contemporary concert music in his playing without losing his links with his personal roots - the spirit and profundity of Lithuanian folk-music.
Petras Vysniauskas performed at nearly every major festival worldwide including the JAZZ FEST BERLIN 1999 with the project PETRAS VYSNIAUSKAS QUARTET & SANKT CHRISTOPHOR CHAMBER ORCHESTRA VILNIUS.
Knox Chandler’s career has spanned for over four decades, including performing, recording,arranging and producing,with such acts as REM, Depeche Mode, Grace Jones, Marianne Faithful, Natalie Merchant, The Creatures, Dave Gahan Paper Monsters and The Golden Palominos etc.. His long stints as a member of The Psychedelic Furs,Siouxsie and the Banshees and Cyndi Lauper’s band; has given Knox the experience of a worldwide recording and touring musician.
Since taking up residence in Berlin, in 2012, he has concentrated on his solo project, Sound Ribbons/Tone Poems. This project is an auditory and visual expression of four decades of experience in processing, manipulating and looping the electric guitar. Recent shows with X Patsy’s (Robert Longo, Barbara Sukowa), J.G. Thirwell, Butterfly Percussion Parade (Budgie, Mabi, Sugizo, Leonard Eto), touring and; and his solo guitar performances demonstrate his current importance in contemporary music.
He has scored several films for film director Christina Voigt. One of which, Fontana Promenade” was part of an installation at the Deutsches Historisches Museum.
When he is not touring, recording and arranging with German acts “Miss Kenichi”, “Jesper Munk”, “Them There”, “Robot” and “TAU”, Knox is teaching at BIMM Berlin, where he is the head of the guitar department; as well as continuing his own project “Bursting Blue Bone Bark” with Eric Mingus.
Christian Ramond lives in Cologne/Germany, where he is constantly in demand.
He is one of the most important German bassplayers; he recorded more than 50 CDs and was involved in numerous TV-, radio-, and theatre-projects.
He was educated in Music High school Cologne, followed by a stipendium in Banff/Canada masterclass with Dave Holland. In the past he has been working with Joe Pass, Albert Mangelsdorff, Philipp Catherine, Tomasz Stanko, Charlie Mariano, Kenny Wheeler and Lee Konitz.
He performed in countless concerts and tours all over Europe, in USA ,Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China,India, Egypt, Mexico, South Africa, Brasil,Syria amd Uruguay on most important Festivals like San Francisco, Vancouver, Montreal, Sydney, Vilnius, Yokohama a.m.o..
His musical activities include MainstreamJazz, ModernJazz, Contemporary Jazz,Avantgarde and New Music (perfomances with Musikfabrik NRW ,Folkwang Ensemble Modern) as well as World Music (Latin American, African, Arabic and Indian Music).
Current projects include the trio D.R.A. (Christopher Dell), the Allan-Praskin Wolfgang Köhler-Quartet, Engstfeld-Weiss Quartett, Theo Jörgensmann Trio, Sabir Mateen Quartett, Waclaw Zimpel Quartett.
" ... Ramond and Kugel ... is an excellent rhythm section, that quietly turns in an exhilarating performance. Everything is terrifically balanced, from the song structures to the interaction. Collective motion is electric: a charging, spasmodic swing rises up from all sides. They are, simply, an irresistible rhythm section, by turns direct, elusive, and awash in color." - Greg Buium, CODA MAGAZINE, Canada, 2003
„Klaus Kugel is one of the great contemporary European drummers, and plays all over the kit with a sharp hard pulse.“ - Carl Pearson, Jazz Director, WFHB Bloomington, IN USA
"Drummer Klaus Kugel is one of Central Europe's most articulate modern jazz drummers ... he treads the boundary between inside and outside playing in a particularly incisive way; always listening and never getting caught up in his own considerable chops." - Dave Wayne, AllAboutJazz
"Percussionist Klaus Kugel is a commanding force behind the drum set. He creates layers of tension drawn out from intuitive listening." - John Barron, Jazzreview.com
"Most ensembles can only wish for a percussionist with such high skill and perceptive musicianship as Klaus Kugel" - Frankfurter Rundschau
Klaus Kugel is one of the most inventive and adventurous German drummers. He attracted attention worldwide through projects with Petras Vysniauskas, Karl Berger, Tomasz Stanko, Charlie Mariano, Kent Carter, Michel Pilz, Theo Jörgensmann, Christopher Dell, Kenny Wheeler, Vyacheslav Ganelin, Bobo Stenson, Glen Moore, Steve Swell, Sabir Mateen, Robert Dick, Peter Evans, Perry Robinson, Hilliard Greene, John Lindberg, Gerd Dudek, William Parker, Bobby Few, Roy Campbell, Jemeel Moondoc, Waclaw Zimpel, Mars Williams, Jaimie Branch, Charles Gayle, Conny Bauer, Ken Vandermark, Joe McPhee, John Edwards a.m.o..