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Hans Tammen

Hans Tammen is a Brooklyn-based guitarist whose rapid-fire juxtapositions of radically contrastive and fascinating sounds capture the energy and abstract musicality that his original influences, Sonny Sharrock and Pete Cosey, brought to music. Signal To Noise called his works "...a killer tour de force of post-everything guitar damage", his playing has been described as “transforming a sequence of instrumental gestures into a wide territory of semi-hostile discontinuity; percussive, droning, intricately colorful, or simply blowing your socks off”, with his "...fingers stuck in a high voltage outlet" (Touching Extremes). 

He currently plays guitar, Buchla Music Easel, a Blippoo Box chaos synthesizer plus other small electronics devices. He also performs with various pieces of software of his own design, i.e. the "Endangered Guitar" (a hybrid software/guitar instrument), and "Prozesshansl" (made to process the sounds of other instruments). He regularly writes for large ensembles, notably his 18-piece chamber-jazz ensemble Third Eye Orchestra, and the all-electronic Dark Circuits Orchestra, both founded in 2005. In 2021 FLUX String Quartet commissioned him to write a large work for string quartet and live electronics.

His works have been presented at festivals in the US, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, India, South Africa, the Middle East and all over Europe. He has recorded on diverse labels such as Clang, Innova, ESP-DISK, Clang, Nur/Nicht/Nur, Nachtstück, Creative Sources, Leo Records, Potlatch and Outnow.


Hans Tammen received grants and composer commissions from NewMusicUSA,  Chamber Music America, MAPFund, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, American Music Center, Lucas Artists Residencies Montalvo, New York State Council On The Arts (NYSCA), New York Foundation For The Arts (NYFA), American Composers Forum w/ Jerome Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Funds, New York State Music Fund, Goethe Institute w/ Foreign Affairs Office, among others.


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"..a killer tour de force of post everything guitar damage." (Larry Nai, Signal To Noise) "...clearly one of the best experimental guitarists to come forward during the 1990s." (François Couture, All Music Guide) "Hans Tammen has his own way of playing the guitar..." (New York Times) "...one of the most ferociously talented and inventive guitarists to emerge in the last ten years. His technique is noisy and percussive, his energy relentless and unstoppable." (Richard Cochrane, Musings) "White-hot solo guitar work... Recent years have seen a slew of fine free guitarists emerge..., but nothing they've done so far packs this kind of punch..

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