Tristan Honsinger and Tobias Delius at the Jazzwerkstatt in Berlin
For the next set, they made much more use of the charts, peering at scores together and moving in and out of composed elements as one. At one point, Honsinger played an intricate cello line, over which Delius layered a schmaltzy romantic waltz. Notwithstanding the inevitable drift into free improv territory, the waltz still managed to return in various guises, another example of the musicians' whimsy and prowess. Once a composition had been wrung out and exhausted, Delius tossed the chart onto the floor to make room for the next.
One memorable piece involved both men repeating single tones at varying tempos, which would suddenly cease without warning to be replaced by vocal interjections from Honsinger and bursts of improvisation before resuming the single-note sequence; this all happened without any discernible signals between the two. You needed great ears to be able to carry this sort of thing off so effortlessly. By the end, it felt like a privilege to bear witness to this meeting of two amazingly fertile musical minds. From the enthusiastic applause, the small but select audience seemed to agree.
All photos by John Sharpe