Genre: Jazz, Vocal
Vocalist, voice artist, yodeler or throat singer? Swiss musician Christian Zehnder is all of these, but this idiosyncratic performer in all his dazzling variety defies categorization. Archaic, urban and spheric his sound-world dishevels Swiss idioms through storms and chinooks, with critical clear views of the higher reaches of the Alps lost in reverie. For the first time he melts his non-verbal vocal artistry with lyrics in german and french and defines his very own imaginative alpine music between past and future on "Schmelz".
"...Take Christian Zehnder, who's developed his own freestyle vocalise, incorporating elements of jazz and contemporary music. Unclassifiable stuff, but his vocal range makes him one of the world's most amazing performer..."
Christian Zehnder was born in Zurich in 1961 and now lives and works in Basle. He began his musical career by studying guitar but then turned to singing, studying with baritone singer Rapael Laback among others, and graduated with a diploma as a voice instructor. He went on to study overtone singing with Tokne Nonaka and Alfred Wolfsohn’s body-voice techniques with Daniel Prieto. He has also spent many years researching the non-verbal communication of the human voice and the yodel as communication form. With his idiosyncratic approach to overtone singing, Zehnder belongs to a new generation of vocalists who are providing new impulses for a form of singing long dominated by the western New Age movement. In 1996 he founded the project stimmhorn with wind player Balthasar Streiff, which went on to gain international recognition and several awards. He works as an actor-musician in theatre projects, as a singer in various musical groups and on solo projects in the field of theatre and performance (including “Genom Genesis” in Berlin and “Talk with my turntables” in Basle/Berlin/Lausanne). He has composed many pieces for film, television and radio and taught overtone singing, voice techniques and choral singing in Switzerland and abroad. Now Zehnder is presenting his solo project “kraah,” with contributions by Georg Breinschmid, Thomas Weiss, and the casalQuartett.
...vocal acrobat Zehnder is a divine clown moving between despair and beatitude
with his breathtaking glottal escapades…"
" Zehnder is an unbelievable singer on all levels...ranging between yodeling
and Meredith Monk, his work brings to mind the metaphysical clowning of a Samuel
Beckett. How often does one experience art that cannot be distinguished from
a natural phenomenon?"