Hirt, Erhard

Born in 1951, musician, composer and promoter of experimental and improvised music. He started playing blues guitar at the age of 16, playing with jazz-oriented groups, experimental rock bands, a free jazz combo (Jazz Community in Leverkusen/Cologne) and touring with blues bands (Delta Blues Band and the Matt Walsh Blues Band). In 1978 he performed his first improvised solo concerts, followed shortly with his own quartet including players such as Martin Theurer, Hans Schneider, Thorsten Müller, Pinguin Moschner, and Wolfgang Fuchs. In 1980 he organised the first Free Music Workshop in Münster. In 1981 he formed a String Quintet with Anne Le Baron (harp), Candace Natvig (violin), Thorsten Müller (cello) and Hans Schneider (bass), recording his first solo guitar record in 1982 as well as working in and recording with the Quartet XPact (with Wolfgang Fuchs, Hans Schneider and Paul Lytton – an album for FMP-Uhklang), and in a trio with Radu Malfatti and Hans Schneider.

In 1984, along with Wolfgang Fuchs, Marc Charig, Guido Mazzon, Radu Malfatti, Phil Wachsmann, Alfred Zimmerlin, and others, he founded the European improvising orchestra King Übü Orchestrü. He also organised a series of Guitar Projects featuring Derek Bailey, Stephan Witwer, Davey Williams, John Russel, Uwe Kropinski, Joe Sachse, Mike Cooper, Kalle Laar, Lothar Fiedler, Eugene Chadbourne, Valery Dudkin, Reinbert Evers, Hans Reichel, Jean Marc Montera, Dave Draper, and others.

Hirt has appeared at leading free music and jazz festivals such as Moers, Total Music Meeting in Berlin, Musique Action in Vandoeuvre, Free Music in Antwerp, and LMC Festival London. Concert tours and art projects brought him to the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Swiss, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Japan, the United States, and Canada. In the 1990s he formed a trio with Phil Minton and John Butcher (record: two concerts on FMP-own) and worked in a duo with Lol Coxhill. Independently from his own music performances, Hirt has also become curator for several music and art events and international exchange projects such as the New Music Festival KLANGZEIT – Münster. He has been involved in lm projects with Martin Cihak, Martin Klapper and Harald Busch, dance projects with Fine Kwiatkowski, performances and installations with Stephan US, Jens Brand and Helge Leiberg, multimedia and network concerts with Georg Hajdu. His compositions have been premiered by Ensemble Zeitkratzer, Ensemble WireWorks and saxophonist Ulrich Krieger.

New projects include collaborations with turntable artist Claus van Bebber (CD AufAbwegen for TEFITON), the Xtended Guitars with Hans Tammen, Nick Didkowsky and Keith Rowe, as well as an improvising trio with Martin Theurer and Paul Lovens.