Stefan Schönegg

Bassplayer, Improviser, Composer

Music

For his ensembles entitled Enso, Schönegg writes contemporary chamber music for different instrumentations. Since launching the project back in 2016 he has embraced minimal materials for the group, allowing for patient exploration of tone colors and melodic gestures, blurring the line between improvisation and composition. Enso has evolved into a catchall name for a growing number of collaborators that interpret Schönegg’s music: Nathan Bontrager, Toma Gouband, Judith Hamann, Leonhard Huhn, Elena Kakaliagou, Miako Klein, Nora Krahl, Etienne Nillesen, Kari Rønnekleiv, Michael Thieke, Sandra Weiss, Rie Watanabe. More to come.

Enso: Strukturen (2022)

Coverpicture of the LP "Stefan Schönegg - Enso: Strukturen" in orange

Michael Thieke – Clarinet
Sandra Weiss – Bassoon
Nathan Bontrager – Cello
Stefan Schönegg – Double bass
Etienne Nillesen – Extended snare drum

„Music can be such a beautiful thing when it offers space to all those who allow themselves time and peace to listen; without fear, without suspicion, without any violence, rich in the reduced. The music of becoming and emerging from little – and therefore as free as hardly anything else.“
Martin Hufner, nmz hörbar

„[…] a recording of liberating no-bullshit attitude. Strukturen is marked by clarity and simplicity from the first minute, played with such precision […] that every sound detail is audible and every sound is at the same time melted into the overall process.“
Felix Klopotek, Stadtrevue

„Unintrusively captivating.“
Joseph Neff, The Vinyl District

BIG Enso (2020)

Coverpicture of the CD "Stefan Schönegg - BIG Enso" in orange

Miako Klein – Recorder
Leonhard Huhn – Saxophone, clarinet
Elena Kakaliagou – French horn
Nora Krahl – Cello
Nathan Bontrager – Viola da Gamba
Stefan Schönegg – Double bass
Etienne Nillesen – Extended snare drum
Rie Watanabe – Bass drum

„The gentle call to mindfulness inherent in this music is marked by intensity and a friendly seriousness, and doesn’t come with domineering eventfulness, but with a series of suggestions for figures of thought and modes of perception.“
Hans-Jürgen Linke, Frankfurter Rundschau

BIG Enso, like its predecessor, is a highly creative album that thrives above all on the musical sensitivity of the musicians.“
freistil magazin

„Enso’s music demands the utmost concentration, and it rewards richly.“
Felix Klopotek, Stadtrevue

Enso: Zyklus (2019)

Coverpicture of the CD "Stefan Schönegg - Enso: Zyklus" in orange

Leonhard Huhn – Saxophone
Nathan Bontrager – Cello
Stefan Schönegg – Double bass
Etienne Nillesen – Extended snare drum

„[…] soothing islands for ear, head and heart.“
Steff Rohrbach, Jazz’n’more

„The depth, the great expanse suggested by this music, even its rare conventionally harmonic moments are potentiated by Schönegg’s structuralist approach. Sublime presence sets in, as if the musicians were surrounding oneself, communicating blindly with each other.“
Felix Klopotek, Stadtrevue

„Schönegg’s music shows itself to be equal to the great themes it shapes – not out of compositional geniusness, but out of an idea of music that assigns the fellow musicians an enormously significant share in the success of the overall process and at the same time shows a great respect for silence that heightens attention. Ultimately, it is the four playing individuals and their coordinating sound strategies that give shape to the theme of the zyklus and prevent it from slipping into pathos gestures.“
Hans-Jürgen Linke, Frankfurter Rundschau

Enso (2016)

Coverpicture of the CD "Stefan Schönegg - Enso" in orange

Leonhard Huhn – Saxophone, clarinet
Nathan Bontrager – Cello
Stefan Schönegg – Double bass
Etienne Nillesen – Extended snare drum

„It’s an intriguing collection from a talented musician of whom we should be aware in the future.“
Martin Schray, freejazzblog

„Some of what makes up the inner tension of this music consists of what is not played, but what is played unfolds a richness like a Japanese garden that successfully pretends to be a complete landscape.“
Hans-Jürgen Linke, Jazzthetik

„Reduction never seems manneristic, but radiates a naturalness that always serves the musical result. Naturalness that always serves the naturalness. In spite of this reduction, or perhaps because of it the sound ideas of the four instrumentalists can unfold ideally.“
Gerardo Scheige, Musiktexte