cover of CD  - Foto: Ralf Reincken
cover of CD - Foto: Ralf Reincken


- excerpt from the cd-booklet

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- listen to some tracks from the cd



Blues & Boogie-Pianist


The year 2015 marks my 25th anniversary as a professional blues and boogie-woogie pianist – a profession which I am still passionate about! But there is something inside of me that constantly drives me to enter unknown musical territory, try out new things, make experiments and search for unusual connections – hoping to find them. And I always happily return to the blues.


Henning Pertiet in Verden cathedral near the organ - Foto: Ralf Reincken
Henning Pertiet in Verden cathedral near the organ - Foto: Ralf Reincken

experiments with 'free' music


More than ten years ago I began to take experimental paths and improvise absolutely ‘freely’, without regard to style. That meant to me exactly: no preconceived (harmonic) pattern, no fixed beat, or similar… The models I had in mind were recordings by John Coltrane (in his last years) or even by Cecil Taylor. However neither compellingly
weird nor ‘deliberately’ atonal. What was phenomenal to me was the fact that the result was never blues music although I had performed several thousand concerts as a professional in this field. To me, the result always sounded like contemporary classical music. Eventually, I found out that it was right here where my real personal roots are. My parents loved (love) classical music in the broadest sense, and to this extent it permanently played a vital role at home when I was a child.


During my professional career as a pianist, there were several phases in which I dealt intensively with jazz music, but also with classical music (with J. S. Bach or Arvo Pärt, Erik Satie or Philip Glass, etc.), as well as with electronic music and classical music from India. Sometimes I even ventured to tackle the ‘classical’ pipe organ – rather tentatively in the beginning …

And I always found my way back to the blues and could incorporate the manifold inspiring musical experiences of the past in my pieces and concert programmes in a creative manner.


Henning Pertiet at the romantic organ in Verden cathedral - Foto: Ralf Reincken
Henning Pertiet at the romantic organ in Verden cathedral - Foto: Ralf Reincken

way to the pipe organ


The initial idea to improvise on the classical organ occurred to me when I was in contact with several fellow musicians and friends who had studied ‘free improvisation’ and with whom I gave concerts together time and again. Very quickly (actually within three days) I began to play on the organ in public and have meanwhile given several successful concerts – with increasing fun!

All influences mentioned above can now be found in my very personal way to treat the organ. It is not my intention to copy a certain style. What I do is essentially based on how I understand the organ individually
and like to hear it myself – no more, no less.


Before my concerts begin, I like to tell the audience:


There is no fixed programme for today’s recital. I kindly ask you to try to open yourselves as unreservedly as possible to the sounds and sound effects, which will be jointly produced by the organ and me – just try it!
This will be music between blues, jazz, classical
music and free improvisation. The keys and pedals are not just used to generate sounds but also for effect chains or percussive sounds which are pure rhythm.
The focus is not on the compositional element but on free, because released, energy – sound surfaces and experimental sounds with and without (compelling) interpretive framework. Anything is possible between meditative and ecstatic. Allow yourself to be captivated, touched and enthralled …



Romantic organ at Verden cathedral - Foto: Ralf Reincken
Romantic organ at Verden cathedral - Foto: Ralf Reincken

the Romantic Organ in Verden Cathedral



The great Romantic organ at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Verden deserves some particular
mention. I am extremely grateful that I was allowed to play on it for this CD recording. It has always fascinated and inspired me again and again to perform undreamt-of musical deeds. During the recording sessions, I often got the feeling that, ultimately, I had not played (alone) …
This German Romantic instrument of tonal beauty from the century before last spurred me on. As if in blind flight, one experiences things one never would have thought possible. In some passages of the recording one can hear soft birdcalls in the background, almost as if Olivier Messiaen’s ghost would have been present … – so I am glad that they are just there.



Henning Pertiet

Translation: Esther Dubielzig


Here you can listen to some tracks

all in all there are some 72 minutes of music on the CD