STEAMBOAT SWITZERLAND - individual biographies
Marino Pliakas (*1964)Guitars and Basses
Greek and Swiss citizen, lives in Zurich/Switzerland.
Studies in classical guitar at the Zurich Conservatory and history at the University of Zurich. Concert tours throughout Europe, Egypt, China and Northern America (USA, CAN) as guitar and bass (upright and electr.) player in the fields of New Music, Freejazz/Improvisation, Avant-Rock.
Plays and played besides Steamboat Switzerland with Broetzmann-Pliakas-Wertmueller, Die Firma (improvising string quartet), Stephan Wittwer (SLUDGE 2000/3000 and Wittwer-Pliakas-Wertmueller), Mösiöblö, Caspar Broetzmann, Peter Broetzmann, John Cale, Nels Cline, Gene Coleman, Holger Czukay, Jacques Demierre, Robert Dick, David Dramm, eRikm, Terry and Andy Ex, Flea, Nick Franglen, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Steve Noble, Norbert Moeslang, Larry Polansky, Josh Pollock, Jim O'Rourke, Ken Vandermark, Trevor Watts, Michael Wertmueller, Kenny Wollesen, Alan Wilkinson and many others. Extra member of various avantguard ensembles. Various Swiss awards and commissions. Politico-cultural activities (1998-2003 president of ISCM Zurich etc.). Full biography on: www.marinopliakas.com/biography_e.html
Dominik Blum (*1964)Hammond Organ, Piano, Electronics
Dominik Blum studied piano with Hans Rudolf Boller (Winterthur) and Urs Peter Schneider (Bern). Conductor, interprete, improvisor. Interpretation courses with Gjörgy Kurtag and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Orchestral conducting courses with Kirk Trevor and Tsung Yeh. Piano teacher and project leader at the Musikhochschule Zurich etc. Numerous (first) performances of new music, productions with swiss radio DRS, soloist with the basel sinfonietta and Serenata Basel. Guest performer with Opera Nova Zürich, ensemble für neue musik zürich and various other avantguard ensembles. Also involved with improvised music. With his group "Steamboat Switzerland" he combines Avantgarde, Rock/Techno and free improvisation. Concert tours to Europe, Argentina, Russia, Northern America.
City of Winterthur grant 1998.
First perfomances and recordings of solo piano works written by the swiss composer Hermann Meier (Hermann Meier / Dominik Blum, «works for piano solo», Wandelweiser 2000).Find discography and more infos on: www.dominikblum.ch
Lucas Niggli (*1968)Drums, Percussion
Born in Cameroon, he now lives with his family in Uster near Zurich (CH). As a drummer and improviser, he plays in various bands including "Steamboat Switzerland" (with Dominik Blum and Marino Pliakas), Pierre Favre's "Singing Drums" (with Michel Godard and Roberto Ottaviano), and in duos with Pierre Favre, Sylvie Couvoisier and others.
He composes and generates concepts for his own band: Lucas Niggli ZOOM, also featuring Nils Wogram (tb) and Philipp Schaufelberger (guit). He has performed the works of contemporary composers (Kagel, Polanski, Cage, Rzewski, Günther Schuller, Sam Hayden, David Dramm) and taken part in several crossover projects with such musicians as Stephan Wittwer, Trevor Watts, Fred Frith, Hans Koch, Peter Kowald, Peter Waters, Samuel Nori, Tom Cora, Ikue Mori, Tenko, Michel Doneda, Michel Wintsch, Urs Leimgruber, Arkadij Shilklopper, and others. He performed at many festivals like Berlin Jazzfestival, Vancouver, Willisau (CH), Zürich, Salzburg, Rom, Archangelsk, Nürnberg and many others... Find discography and more infos on: www.lucasniggli.ch