U: and ekke is a trio that combines glitchy insect like analogue synth beats with pieces from some of the most important 20th century contemporary composers. U: and ekke has very unique instrumentation ranging from modular synthesizer, bass flute and theremin to some virtuoso Csound programming and radios. That creates wide and unique palette of sounds. The group is interested in different musical worlds and in different listening situation and if there is any meeting point between these seemingly different disciplines.

(c) Helen Västrik

The project is built up on  subtle interplay between seemingly un-uniteable sides of electronic music -  rhythmical, rather dance oriented, club scene electronic music and works of contemporary classical composers like John Cage, Peter Ablinger, Tom Johnson. If the way how people listen to those genres is so different -  are there any possible meeting points at all? Can the audience of one scene enjoy the music of the other one?  

The primary goal is to go further from the first superficial approach "let’s put things together and see if something cool comes out!"  and look for deeper connections, possible dialogues, draw attention to details, careful ways of listening and the most important factor of any music -  the SOUND.  And not losing the fun meanwhile :)

This project was initiated and inspired by international collaboration project "C3⊂IC" (Club Contemporary Classical subset Indie Classics) organized by Piranha Arts AG (Berlin). It has been part of C3 Road Tour (2017).

The musicians of the project, two members of ensemble U:, most renowned contemporary music ensemble in Estonia -  Taavi Kerikmäe and Tarmo Johannes -  and sound artist  Ekke Västrik come from different backgrounds.  Ekke Västrik is a sound designer, composer and improviser on a modular synthesizer, known under artist's name ekke.  Big part of the program is based on ekke’s creations dealing with rhythms and his peculiar sound world. Taavi Kerikmäe (keyboard, theremin, electronics) works on the field of free improvisation, electroacoustic music, performing contemporary music, composing etc. He has performed on numerous contemporary music festivals working with such composers as Pierre Boulez, Tristan Murail, Vinko Globokar, Gilbert Amy, F.-B. Mâche, Alessandro Solbiatti, Helena Tulve and many others.  Tarmo Johannes (flute, electronics)  is not only an outstanding flutist, mostly dedicated to contemporary music, but has also remarkable skills in programming and sound synthesis.  He is active member of the Csound community (Csound – one of the major open source sound manipulation programs/languages) and
currently the main developer of CsoundQt - the most widespread user interface of Csound.

Next to the musicians renowned video artist tencu creates live visuals.

What comes out if the skills, experience, creativity, brains and ears of these three artists meet?


U: & ekke (excerpts) from Ansambel U on Vimeo.