Whether performing today’s most challenging double bass repertoire, developing his own music, or working sound systems with his bass guitar or a set of turntables - John Eckhardt is testing the limits of being a bassist on planet earth in the 21st century, working towards a broader vision of what bass always was and can become in the future.
Seeking to combine scope with depth, John Eckhardt is constantly involved in the creation of new music and has both collaborated with a wide spectrum of artists and created his personal brand of solo projects. He worked with many composers including Helmut Lachenmann and Pierre Boulez, top new music groups such as Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Vienna and musikfabrik, improvisors from Evan Parker, Elliott Sharp and Peter Evans, to today’s new blood in a wide field of today’s music.
John Eckhardt has performed on over 30 recordings, among them Iannis Xenakis’ masterpiece “Theraps” (Mode Rec.) and three internationally acclaimed solo releases. These share an interest in low frequency and spectral immersion, spatial depth, and themes of repetition and evolutional process.
The Evan Parker produced “Xylobiont” (Psi Rec. 2008) turned into a work in progress with 40 solo double bass recitals all over the world up to today. “Forests” (Depth of Field Music, 2014) expanded these themes into a set of branching, overdubbed bass string quartets. Along with high resolution audio and 200 photographs, they were released on a wooden USB memory stick in a transparent box containing actual forest material - nearly selling out an edition of 250 within one year.
As Forresta, John Eckhardt performs on bass guitar and live electronics, and released “Bass, Space & Time” (Depth of Field Music, 2016) in a special edition of 100 moss-green, marbled double-vinyl records in a hand made, embroidered carton box. Each contains a foto print as front cover chosen by the listener from 100 images of John Eckhardt’s corresponding photographic project. This music is also the musical foundation of visual bassic, his long standing collaboration with analog light projection artist Katrin Bethge.
Driven by curiosity and passion for different styles, cultures and artistic means, John Eckhardt keeps drawing new connections and expands a bass cosmos of unusual dimensions. The latest addition is his Basswald DJ project that presents a diverse spectrum of bass music with a special ear for sound system culture. It is accompanied by a steady flow of downloadable podcasts.
John lives within earshot of the Hamburg harbor.