Berlin‘s finest in clarinet entertainment since 2000

The International Nothing (… and something)



The International Nothing (… and something)

Kai Fagaschinski | clarinet
Michael Thieke | clarinet
Christian Weber | double-bass
Eric Schaefer | drums & percussion

The Power Of Negative Thinking

Monotype Records
formats: LP & CD
release date: June 2016

monotyperecords (directly from the label) (official european distributor)
bandcamp (run by the musicians)

In case it doesn’t ring a bell, The International Nothing is the psycho-acoustic clarinet duo of Mr. Thieke and Mr. Fagaschinski. Since 2000 the two clarinetists have been collectively composing multilayered sound sculptures using multiphonics, beat frequencies and difference tones as an integral part of their unique language. They have released three duo albums on the Japanese Ftarri Label.
There have been collaborative extensions in the past – check out their avant pop band The Magic I.D. with Margareth Kammerer and Christof Kurzmann – and when they first met with drummer Eric Schaefer and bass player Christian Weber in 2006 it was obvious this was also asking to become a band on its own terms: The International Nothing (… and something).
Mr. Weber and Mr. Schaefer lent not only their individual instrumental skills to the fold – it was a true collective effort which brought these seven quartet compositions into being. And though you might regularly find each of the four musicians happily involved in context of improvised music, like anything previously produced by The Nothin’ the music heard here is precisely determined, created through an extensive process of rubbing sounds and ideas against each other, long before entering the stage or pressing the record button.
The aesthetic foundation of the clarinet duo is undeniable throughout the album, but Weber and Schaefer extend the sonic spectrum strikingly. The low end explorations of the bass and drums add a mysterious darkness. A moment of pulse is no longer provided solely as a secret message within the clarinet twin’s microtonal beatings. Rhythmical figures sneak in gently, and at times you may even be boldly struck by a shameless groove.
Name a band which sounds similar and you’ll win … something.


The International Nothing (… And Something)
Live at ausland, Berlin on December 14th, 2011. Videos by Christian Weber.



Kai Fagaschinski
clarinet | composer/performer
*1974 Dannenberg (Germany)
The Berlin-based clarinetist focuses on a subtle musicality of sound and noise phenomena. As an autodidact he has developed an anomalous language on his instrument delicately exploring a wide range of multiphonics. His music is rooted in abstractness, including an insidious expressivity and a pre-melodic quality.
Current projects include The International Nothing, The Dogmatics (with Chris Abrahams), The Magic I.D. (song project with Margareth Kammerer, Christof Kurzmann and Michael Thieke), Musik (with Burkhard Stangl), Los Glissandinos (with Klaus Filip), The Elks (with Liz Allbee, Billy Roisz & Marta Zapparoli), and Berlin’s 24-piece Splitter Orchester.

Eric Schaefer
drums | composition
*1976 Frankfurt/Main (Germany)
Eric Schaefer is not your common-or-garden drummer. His instrument is a formative element, Schaefer is an inventor, active and creative, and this is what makes him one of “the clandestine stars of the […] German jazz scene“ as Die Zeit writes. His range of musical forms of expression has many layers, as the Neue Zürcher Zeitung writes about this multifaceted and contemplative artist: “With improvisation as the backbone of their work, musicians like […] Eric Schaefer […] take it in any number of different directions with uncompromising vitality – free improvisations and classical composition, punk and varied folklore, new or minimal music, pop and electronic“. Whatever constellation he plays in, Schaefer leaves his personal mark on these bands with his compositions and versatile, extremely colourful, and distinctly individual style as heard on numerous records with artists like Michael Wollny, Joachim Kühn, etc..

Michael Thieke
clarinet | composer/performer
*1971 Düsseldorf (Germany)
The Berlin-based clarinetist/composer/performer Michael Thieke is equally at home across a broad range of musical environments, such as experimental song forms, collectively composing projects, improvising collectives, and music on the fringes of jazz. He is exploring the minutiae of sound, timbre and noise, with a particular interest in microtonality and related sound phenomena, and with a preference for long-term collaborations and collective work.
Some of his current Projects are: The International Nothing, The Pitch, Der lange Schatten, Voutchkova/Thieke, Splitter Orchester, motif, Porta Chiusa, The Magic I.D..

Christian Weber
bass | composer
*1972 Zurich (Switzerland)
Weber became sought after for beefy bass layers, poisoned counterpoints and for knowing where to pack a punch.
Current projects include a trio with Michel Wintsch piano/synth & Christian Wolfarth drums a duo with Joke Lanz on turntables and another trio with Ellery Eskelin and Michael Griener. Regular performances with ensembles for contemporary composed music, filmmusic, theatre and dance productions.
His collaborations include the likes of Han Bennink, John Butcher, Lol Coxhill, Jacques Demierre, Christy Doran, Paul Dunmall, Peter Evans, Pierre Favre, Jason Kahn, Hans Koch, Peter Kowald, Oliver Lake, Urs Leimgruber, Rudi Mahall, Norbert Möslang, Irène Schweizer, Stephan Wittwer, Nate Wooley and Otomo Yoshihide.