Nik Bärtsch Solo Piano : Modular Movements

Modular Movements



Nik Bärtschs own trademark sound, the RITUAL GROOVE MUSIC, points out to the fundamental concept of his musical thinking. The music shows a close affinity to architecturally organized space and is governed by the principles of repetition and reduction as well as by interlocking rhythms. A piece of music can be entered, inhabited like a room. It moves forward and transforms through obsessive circular movements, superimposition of different meters and micro-interplay. The listeners attention is directed toward minimal variations and phrasing.

NIK BÄRTSCH solo 2018

NIK BÄRTSCH interview 2018

2018 press:

New York Times
Mr Bärtsch, a Swiss pianist, makes accrual-based music of clean power and firm insistence.

Bärtsch’s music of delicious dread is layered, contrapuntal, hypnotic and psychologically fascinating.

Drownded in Sound
AWASE is the new album by Swiss pianist, composer and record producer Nik Bärtsch. And it’s an apt one. Written and recorded by Bärtsch’s ensemble Ronin, it’s a breathless, carefully-crafted release that blurs the lines between jazz, minimalism, funk and ambient electronica, and one defined by the dynamic, ever-evolving interplay between pianist Bärtsch, bassist Thomy Jordi, drummer Kaspar Rast, and Sha on bass clarinet and alto saxophone.

Swiss pianist-composer Nik Bärtsch has been injecting electronica and minimalism with soul, jazzy hipness and danceable bounce with his Ronin Ensemble since 2001, and Awase deepens the group’s expressiveness of tone and texture..



Production and composition of the BLUE trilogy, performed over a period of three years with concerts of 36 hours respectively:

2000: ‘AREA BLUE’ in Zurich

2001: ‘AQUA BLUE’ in Baden

2002: ‘MU BLUE’ in Zurich (video. Together with oos)

2003: ‘Water Church Ritual’, Wasserkirche Zürich, with guest Walter Grimmer, cello, 6 hour mirror performance

2005: ‘Perpetual Rhythm – a musical dance ritual’, with Butho dancer Imre Thormann & his Bodygarage Tokyo, 8 hour performance in the Rondorama on the Stanserhorn (Co-Production with Stanser Musiktage).

2005: ‘SEE – a live musical soundpicture’, 4 hour performance on the lake stage in Zurich; together with oos (Co-Production with the Theaterspektakel Zurich).

2005. Openair performance together with the Gagaku ensemble of the Osaka Gakuin University Japan at the Hiyoshi Shrine in Otsu Japan.


2015: ‘MANTA MANTRA – for two pianos and percussion’ for the New4Art Quartett (13 minutes, premiere 2015).

2014: ‘MODUL 56 – for Jazzquartet’, comission of the London Jazzfestival (8 minutes, premiere 2014 at the LJF).

2013: ‘TWO THREE – for string orchestra, piano, bass clarinet and percussion’ for the Zurich Chamber Orchestra (35 minutes, premiere at Kaufleuten Zurich 2013).

2012: ‘ROFU – for two pianos and two percussionits’ for the group Makrokosmos (45 minutes, premiere at Morton Feldman Festival Bern 2012).

2010: ‘MODUL 26 for Sextet’ for the New York group Bang On A Can (20 minutes, premiere at Merkin Hall New York).

2008: ‘ORIT for three percussionists’ (20 minutes, premiere at the Mehrklang Festival Freiburg 08)

2005: ‘Orchestrated Moduls’, New Chamber Funk II, composition for RONIN and the Ensemble für Neue Musik Zurich (60 Minutes).

2004: ‘Modul Ritual’, New Chamber Funk I, composition for 4 saxophones, piano, rhodes, drums & percussion (70 minutes, written in Japan 2003/04 for the ARTE QUARTETT).

2004: ‘Macbeth’ by Shakespeare/Müller, premiere at Sophiensäle Berlin 2004, music theatre, director: Nora Somaini.


‘Hishiryo’ for prepared piano and percussion (since 2001)


Documentary film projects PHOTO SUISSE (2003/04) and DESIGN SUISSE (2005/06) of Swiss TV SFDRS and for SWISS VIEW (since 2006).
Music for the CD ‘Design Hören’ of the architecture magazine ‘HOCHPARTERRE’ & the ITH (2004)


Collaboration with the Swiss fashion designer Christa De Carouge for several fashion performances (since 2009). Video.

Collaboration with Butoh dancer Imre Thormann (since 2004: Perpetual Rhythm 2005, Voyager 2006, Parallel 2008: Pictures)

Collaboration with the Japanese dancer Hideto Heshiki (since 2006: Stereo 2007)

‘Isorhythms & Moduls’ for two prepared Pianos with Zurich pianist and composer Christoph Stiefel (since 2003).

Collaboration with the clarinet player, composer and producer Don Li on his TONUS-MUSIC(1996 – 2002)

CH New Jazzfestival tour with Harald Haerter 1997.

Final at the ‘European Jazzcompetition’ of the Jazzfestival Leverkusen 1995 with the band ‘Domenico Ferrari & the groove cooperative’.


‘Titus Andronicus’ by Shakespeare/Müller at the Theater Kampnagel in Hamburg (Festival Junge Hunde 1999); ‘Gier’ by Sarah Kane and ‘Kühltransport’ by Maxim Biller at TIF Dresden 2001 resp. 2002; ‘Medea’ by Euripides at the Stadttheater Mönchengladbach 2002; director: Nora Somaini.



Nik Bärtschs Ronin, „LIVE“, ECM 2012

Nik Bärtschs Ronin, „LLYRIA“, ECM 2010

Nik Bärtschs Ronin, „HOLON“, ECM 2008

Nik Bärtschs Ronin, „STOA“, ECM 2006

Nik Bärtschs Mobile, „AER“, 2004, Ronin Rhythm Records

Nik Bärtschs Ronin, „REA“, 2004, Ronin Rhythm Records

Nik Bärtschs Ronin, Live, 2003, Ronin Rhythm Records

Nik Bärtsch, „Hishiryo“, Piano Solo, 2002, Ronin Rhythm Records

Nik Bärtschs Ronin, „Randori“, 2002, Ronin Rhythm Records

Nik Bärtschs Mobile, „Ritual Groove Music“, 2001, Ronin Rhythm Records

Tonus-Music Labor Res. Result LIVE Vol. 1 & 2 Tonus Music Records 2002

Don Li’s Tonus, GEN , Tonus Music Records 2001

Don Pfäffli’s Tonus, SU:N, Brambus, 1999

Menico Ferrari & the groove cooperative, About Roses and Thorns 1994, out of stock.



Ikarus, „Echo“, Ronin Rhythm Records 2015

Ingrid Lukas, „Demimonde“, Ronin Rhythm Records 2015

Dee Day Dub, „Race“, Ronin Rhythm Records 2014

Ingrid Lukas, „We Need To Repeat“, Ronin Rhythm Records 2009