David Torn: electric guitar, live-looping & manipulation
Stephan Thelen: tritone guitar
Bernhard Wagner: tritone guitar
Christian Kuntner: electric bass
Manuel Pasquinelli: drums
Guitar hero David Torn composer, texturalist and producer, is internationally renown for his unique form of music that spans a range of idioms and styles making him difficult to pigeon-hole. As a composer he been the recipient of many awards for his work which include film-scores, compositions and recording production. Notable collaborations include musicians such as Jan Garbarek, Don Cherry, the late David Bowie, Jeff Beck, Tori Amos and Time Berne to name just a few.
Sonar’s guitarist and main composer Stephan Thelen was born in California und lives in Zürich, Switzerland. After studying music and mathematics at the University of Zürich, he attended several Guitar Craft courses under the direction of Robert Fripp, closely studied the music of Béla Bartók and Steve Reich, and eventually concentrated on studying polymetrical music.
Thelen has worked and recorded with many internationally acclaimed musicians including Bill Laswell, Henry Kaiser, David Torn, Markus Reuter, Hans Koch and Irene Schweizer. In addition, he has composed music for many ensembles, most notably the Kronos Quartet, from which he received a commission in 2016 to compose a piece for their « 50 for the Future » program :
An anti-hero’s masterpiece … a revolutionary shot across the bow … an album that radically reinvents instrumental interplay … with so many forms of contemporary music seemingly satisfied to simply regurgitate weary and weathered tropes, Sonar has defied the norm by crafting something singular and magical. Jeff Miers, Buffalo News, New York
One listen to even just a minute or two from Vortex and it becomes crystal clear that, in the 21st century, few groups have emerged as incomparable, innovative and imaginative as Sonar. John Kelman, All About Jazz
The stylistic blending of Torn and Sonar brings out the best in all of the performers. The empathy that the musicians share is apparent; as is their determination to create music that is complex, yet entertaining, and above all something that is emotionally fulfilling. Owen Davies, Dutch Progressive Rock Page