as a teenager christoph funabashi (*1974) got enthusiastic about rock guitar and the world of contemporary music. in the nineties he played with the indie rock bands scare your girl, ölkrise ’73 and nelson and studied classical guitar, popular music and composition at the arnhem institute for the arts and the dutch messiaen academy. after moving to berlin in 2004 he mainly played and wrote chamber music – often in connection with theatrical elements. he worked for the zeitgenössische oper berlin, the concert series unerhörte musik and saitenblicke, the international youth opera festival utrecht, the intersonanzen festival potsdam, the johannes gutenberg-university mainz and the theater görlitz and premiered works by martin daske, markus wettstein, margarete huber, torsten papenheim, ferdinand försch and other contemporary composers. with the garagenoper kollektiv he developed interdisciplinary works between new music, contemporary jazz and dance theater and he played with the ensemble xenon and the electric guitar quartet e-werk. since 2011 he lives in hamburg where he continues his work as guitarist/composer as well as guitar teacher. 2012 his complete recording of john zorn's "the book of heads" was released by the label schraum. in recent years his focus shifted more and more towards free improvisation and he played in various ad-hoc-settings including korhan erel, gunnar lettow, thomas gerwin, axel haller, audrey chen, if bwana, phil durrant, andrea neumann, robert klammer, peter kastner, nicolas wiese, john hughes, rolf pifnitzka, felix mayer, dirk dhonau and others. current projects are the impro trio føm and a new quartet with heiner metzger, kristin kuldkepp and felix mayer focusing on graphical scores and conceptual works.






”the spirit and the essence of punkrock seemed to be invoked by berlin soloist and composer christoph funabashi on his sky-blue electric guitar as he played foliant 28 [by martin daske] on the 1st of june of this year in the concert series unerhörte musik at the bka in berlin-kreuzberg. set free from any dictates of harmony he elicited a whole bunch of raw, polyrhythmic sounds out of his instrument which in their untamed vehemence gave a glimpse of what stockhausen meant by his intuitive music.”

(carmen gräf, positionen 84 / translation: cf )


“christoph funabashis in my place ist für die guten alten akustischen instrumente geschrieben und basiert auf einem durchgängigen beat, der aber durch ständigen klangfarbenwechsel und geschickt kontrastierende einwürfe niemals stumpfsinnig wirkt. er wird wie in einem mosaik aus ganz unterschiedlichen ereignissen zusammengesetzt – das macht das stück auch für den denkenden hörer interessant… und dann gibt es momente der plötzlichen suspension – wenn der beat plötzlich aussetzt und in seiner hörbaren abwesenheit die klänge in der luft zu schweben scheinen. das ende des stücks ist so eine zone des innehaltens, in der sich flautando-klänge der streichinstrumente zu einem mysteriösen säuseln verweben und verschweben.“

(wolfgang fuhrmann, berliner zeitung)


"this disc is a wonderfully schizophrenic music box, a swinging lullaby promptly followed by fuzzed out analog pedals and wah pedal effects, and later followed up by tuning sounds and riffing one might overhear in any given guitar shop. the book of heads is classic zorn musical virtuosity, humor, and sonic exploration, expertly performed here by the virtuosic guitarist christoph funabashi. […] this being only the second published version of the suite following ribot's 1995 release on tzadik, funabashi lays down a finely crafted and creatively virtuosic interpretation of one of zorn's most demanding works. recommended."

(mike v., chain d.l.k.)


"…strumming the strings but not playing a melody, using objects to play the whole instrument - body and strings - loud, quiet, wild, careful, introspective and extravert.[…] what i do know is that this is quite a great release of improvised music."

(frans de waard, vital weekly)


for further detailed reviews of the book of heads see: