S T E P H A N   T H E L E N  



November 2020

RareNoiseRecords released my string quartet album World Dialogue (available on Bandcamp) on October 30, 2020. "Circular Lines" was played by the Kronos Quartet, the other three pieces by the Al Pari Quartet.

March 2020

Working on Fractal Guitar 2

September 2019

Markus Reuter and I recorded a 20 minute ambient "single" called Clocks Go Down in Wonderland, available on Bandcamp.

February 2017

Sonar is recording their fourth studio album "Vortex" with David Torn first as a producer, then - during the recording - as a lead guitarist.

January 2017

I am very excited to announce that the phenomenal Kronos Quartet - without a doubt one of the best and most revolutionary music groups of all time - will play and record my composition "Circular Lines" later this year. The piece was commissioned by the Kronos Arts Association and Carnegie Hall for a visionary project called "Fifty for the Future" and will be available (recording and score) on the Kronos Quartet's website. Thanks to my great friend Anil Prasad for introducing me to Kronos' artistic director and first violinist David Harrington. The exact date and location of the premiere are still unknown, but I will let you know as soon as they are set.

September 2014

During the last year, I have been mainly working with Sonar. Please Check Sonar's website (www.sonar-band.ch) for details.
Radio Osaka is returning for a few concerts in Switzerland. Please check Radio Osaka's website (www.radio-osaka.ch) for details.
Please also check out this interview in Guitar Player Magazine.

February 2013

SONAR will playing selected concerts in Europe this Spring. Please Check Sonar's website (www.sonar-band.ch) for details.
An EP called "Skeleton Groove" and a digital live album "Live at Bazillus" are available on http://sonar-band.bandcamp.com .
Watch a videoclip of Tromsø on Youtube
There is also now a Bandcamp site for downloading many of my solo albums and group projects: http://stephanthelen.bandcamp.com

August 2012

SONAR will playing selected concerts in Europe this and next year. We are also releasing a Mini-Album called "Skeleton Groove" and a videoclip of Tromsø.
Please Check Sonar's website (www.sonar-band.ch) for details.

April 2012

SONAR's first CD "A Flaw of Nature" is out now on Nik Bärtsch's Ronin Rhythm Records Label (www.roninrhythmrecords.com) .
Please Check Sonar's website (www.sonar-band.ch) soon for details and live dates.

August 2011

Radio Osaka is back for their 20th anniversary. The release of the new CD "Flying Low" is followed by a few exclusive concerts in Switzerland.
CD launch party is on November 1st 2011 in Zürich (Moods). See www.radio-osaka.ch for more information.

SONAR will record their first CD on August 13/14 2011 in Bern.

March 2011

March 26, 2011
Haus für Kunst und Kultur, Fellenbergstrasse 277, 8047 Zürich, 20:00
THROB (One Hour Solo Guitar Performance)

March 10, 2011, Rietberg Museum Zürich, Novartis Saal, 18:30:
for String Trio and Sampled Voice (C.G. Jung)

Urs Walker: Violin, Christian Zgraggen:Viola, Judith Gerster: Cello

September 2010

Radio Osaka has recorded a new album which I am currently mixing.

Last year, I wrote a piece for the violinist Urs Walker. It is called "Chymisch" and uses samples from the poem of the same name by Paul Celan, spoken by Celan himself. Urs played the piece impressively on two occasions earlier this year and there are now plans to record the piece soon.

This summer, I received a commision to write a piece for an upcoming exhibition on C. G. Jungs "Red Book" at the Rietberg Museum in Zürich. That piece was finished a few days ago: it is called "The Greatr Man" (Jungs metaphor for the unconcious) and is for String Trio (Violin, Viola and Cello) and again uses voice samples, this time of course from the "Great Man" C. G. Jung. The piece will be played by Urs Walkers Trio on March 10th 2011 at the Rietberg Museum.

October 2009

More Radio Osaka Gigs:

Friday, Oct. 30th 2009, AARAU, Rest. Krone
Saturday, Oct. 31st 2009, BASEL, Cargo Bar
Saturday, Nov. 7th 2009, WALD, Oberladen

March 2009

1) My solo guitar CD "Mise en Abyme" is finished and will be "launched" on March 14.
According to Wikipedia, the term Mise en Abyme is "originally from the French and means, "placing into infinity" or "placing into the abyss". The commonplace usage of this phrase is describing the visual experience of standing between two mirrors, seeing an infinite reproduction of one's image". Because I use a lot of polyrhythmic delays on the CD, the term seemed appropriate for this type of music.

CD release concert: Saturday, March 14th, 19:30
Kunst und Kultur, c/o Martin Kunz, Fellenbergstr. 277, 8047 Zürich

I will be playing live to 6 videos that I shot in February 2009.

2) Radio Osaka has returned to active duty. Rehearsals have begun and new songs are emerging. Gigs and a new CD can be expected later this year.

3) "String Geometry" was the name of a live project that unfortunatly never played live. The basic idea was a band consisting of 4 string instruments (two guitars (played by Bernhard Wagner and myself), cello (played by Nicola Romano) and double bass), drums (played by Benno Kaiser) and percussion (played by Chris Jäger). We did some recording though, and the results can be found on the CD "String Geometry". Benno and I play on all of the 8 tracks, Bernhard on 5, Chris and Björn Mayer on one. For the cello parts I used Vienna Instruments software.

February 2009

Matthias Wolfensberger has rebuilt my guitar, so that it is now has a Les Paul Custom shaped body with a natural finish, a Steinberger neck and 2 EMG Pickups. A wonderful guitar that almost plays itself. Thanks, Matthias, for a superb job!

June 2008

"Musik im Zelt" Festival August 22 - 24 in Zürich

Details and Programm here

 Photo Peter Gschwend  



  Chapter Five (ST and Benno Kaiser)

May 2007

"Grenzwert: Stille - Musik zur Lyrik Paul Celans"

Musik für Sopran, Klavier und Voice-Samples von Stephan Thelen

- Celan Songs (Selection from Vols 1 and 2)

Catriona Bühler: Sopran
Jonas Bühler: Klavier

- Three Pieces for Voice Samples and Piano

Gregor Müller: Klavier
Voice: Paul Celan

Kunst und Kultur im Zelt
Sonntag, 3. Juni 2007, 17 Uhr
Fellenbergstr. 277, 8047 Zürich
Weitere Infos unter www.martkunz.ch

February 2007

I'm currently working on a CD-Project called "Comebuckley", a tribute to Tim Buckley. The basic tracks were recorded by Radio Osaka singer Andi Czech and guitarist Martin Sturzenegger. They have given me the freedom to do anything I like with those tracks, so at the moment I'm adding (or not adding - sometimes it is best to do nothing) all sorts of things, mainly string instruments. The CD will be released later this year. The producer is Veit Stauffer. Veit recently sent out the following newsletter (note the sympathetic use of the English language):

Message to TIM BUCKLEY music lovers!

Today TIM BUCKLEY would be 60 years! REC REC Shop Zürich is in the middle of producing a COMEBUCKLEY cd with 7 new recorded tracks, it will appear in fall 2007, we just recorded a beautiful version of "Sefronia"! Already in 1987 we released a 6 track mini-lp on the Because Of You (BOY 001), founded & produced by the writer of this message, we chosed tracks from 1967-72: Make it Right, No Man Can Find The War, Pleasent Street, River, Jungle Fire, Blue Melody. LEE UNDERWOOD gave us the following feedback: "I am impressed with your dedication to Tim and his music, as well as by how closely the singer resembles Tim's tone and nuance. Obviously, a lot of work went into studying Tim, working out the arrangements, recording etc. I think you guys are terrific, and, indeed, I wish you all the best of success!"

 A year ago through the help of Lee Underwood i came in contact with a guy called David Stone, who claimed he would re-release CD-Versions of both "Blue Afternoon" and "Starsailor" on a label called Finedisc, with two postal adresses in London & Singapour! Befriended also with Llew Llelewin from the Tim Buckley Estate. I payed David Stone in advance 1000 british pounds as encoragement, in order to receive 150 copies mixed of both cd's for resale, a very friendly offer....

In the meantime i must learn that i was probably stupid enough to pay this guy 1000.- Pounds in advance... Although we agreed he would pay me back the money per 1st may 2006 i only heard from him 2-3 times again with no further results. On the 28th october 06 he writes: "We are still hoping to get the project to the next level but the rights are all very messy and I cant work on an issue date from here in the third world."

Today is the 14th February 2007 and slowly i get the impression that TIM BUCKLEY's heartpiece "Starsailor" will be opressed by the estate or rhino records or whoever owns the rights for this album. Every mint item on cd or lp goes regularely for around 100.- dollars on ebay. Its time to research what is happening here, perhaps a critical article in the music press?

Any help is very welcome, first for releasing "Starsailor" again, then receiving my idealistically invested, hardly earned money again...

Love & Respect
Power & Glory for TIM BUCKLEY: Veit F.Stauffer

I finished a new piece, a suite for piano and chamber strings called "The Moons of Neptune"

(naiad.mp3) (based on Bernhard Wagner's "first permutation" rhythm. Thanx Bernhard, I'll send you the check for the royalties!)

Root Down are giving three "work in progress" concerts in 2006 / 2007

Monday, March 12th 2007 Moods (Zürich)
Monday, January 15th 2007 Moods (Zürich)
Monday, November 27th 2006 Moods (Zürich): Unerhört Festival

June 2006

Radio Osaka is on a short tour. The dates and venues:

Sa, 4.3.06 Stans (Chäslager)
Sa, 11.3.06 Zürich (BiZe, Tag der Literatur)
So, 12.3.06Muri
Fr, 7.4.06 Zürich (Restaurant Falcone)
Sa, 8.4.06 Basel (Cargo Bar)

November 2005

"Der Ernst des Bären"

Unter der Regie von Till Fiegenbaum spielen Ingo Ospelt und Heiko Senst in einem Theaterstück nach dem Aufsatz "Über das Marionettentheater" von Heinrich von Kleist und dem Buch "Zen in der Kunst des Bogenschiessens" von Eugen Herrigel. Premiere ist am Freitag, 26.11.05.

Weitere Vorführungen am 26.11., 29.11., 30.11., 1.12., 2.12., 3.12., 8.12., 9.12. und 10.12.05 im Blauen Saal in Zürich jeweils um 20 Uhr. Musik (Solo Gitarre): ST

October 2005

Tommi Meier's Bigband Project Root Down (with Co Streiff, Irene Schweizer, Hans Koch, Chris Wiesendanger, Hans Anliker, Peter Schärli, ST, ...):

Sa, 29.10.05 Lausanne (Jazz Onze+ Festival)
Do, 3.11.05 Aarau (Jazzfestival JazzEssenz)

September 2005

The new CD "Musica per Pianoforte" of the pianist Viviana Galli is out now.. Viviana was generous enogh to include some of my piano pieces..

Sunday, September 4th 2005 CD Release Concert (Jazzclub Bazillus, 18:00)