Tom Zunk - Waterphone, Handdrums [Kendang Ketipung, Dholak]
He works since 1976 as multiinstrumentalist, solo performer and avant-garde composer in Berlin
and is worldwide one of the few soloists on the Waterphone.
He studied ethnomusicology at Berlin’s Free University (1976-83) and classical Javanese Gamelan as well as new innovative percussion techniques with Indonesian composer Gutama Soegijo and was a member of the BANJAR GRUPPE BERLIN (1978-93), one of Europe’s first avant-garde Gamelan ensembles where he got a full theoretical and practical training as Gamelan musician with performances throughout Germany, Europe and overseas.
He worked among others with the German-Japanese butoh dance group tatoeba - THEATRE DANSE GROTESQUE (1988/89), with the drum`n`bass band WYRDSPHERE in Brighton/England (1994) and with the British saxophonist Geoff Leigh (ex-HENRY COW) (2002/3).
He is mastermind of one of Berlin’s most innovative bands, the improvising avant-garde quartet GHETTO RAGA and is composer and performer of the multimedia project SYNTRON together with Berlin dancer and video artist Elke Postler.
Gigs include ATONAL Festival Berlin 1986, EXPO`86 Vancouver/CAN, Postfuhramtfestival Berlin 1999 and 2000, Kunstkarawane Schloss Broellin 2002, STREETS OF BRIGHTON 2002 and 2003.
The Waterphone is a sculptural musical instrument made from stainless steel with brass playing rods. Its corpus may contain water. It is not tuned chromatically but are in pure tuning and therefore have a vast quantity of overtones and soundcolours. It may be played in various manner and sound - depending on whether they are beaten, rubbed, stirred with a vibrator or bowed - like sunken bells, the singing of the whales, mechanized noise, music on instruments of glass or early electronic devices like the Theremin or the Ondes Martenot. The sound spectrum ranges from deep buzzing and vibrating to feedback-like whistling. Its special characteristic is the glissando, which appears when the instrument is moved during playing, generated through the water in its corpus.
There is hardly any acoustic instrument, which sounds equally electronic.
Tom plays a prototype model built by its inventor Richard Waters in 1974.