Flowers You Can Eat
Schraum/Berlin 2005
The Whispering Land
own/Berlin 2009

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Derek Shirley

Derek Shirley: bass
Dave Bennett: guitar
Michael Thieke: clarinet, zither, amplified bottom resonator

This Canadian/German trio based in Berlin, draws upon diverse experiences within their environment to explore a new music created in the moment; sonic densities and vast cold silences are juxtaposed to bring architectural like structural integrity to their improvisations. Population and solitude, traffic jams and back country ways, amplification and quietness, acoustic and electric, exploratory and communication, and of course conversations with the many different guests make this hotel an exciting musical experience. In August 2005, they released their debut album ‘Flowers You Can Eat’, on the Berlin label Schraum.


Michael Thieke clarinet, zither, microtonal xylophone
Dave Bennett guitar, tape recorder, shortwave radio
Derek Shirley bass

own (CAN)/2009 LP

further information


Michael Thieke clarinet, alto saxophone, zither
Dave Bennett guitar
Derek Shirley bass

schraum (Berlin)/2005 CD

further information


A wonderful suspended soundscape. In its cohesiveness and variety of inputs, this is a cd to be listened to many times. CHAIN DLK (USA)
A pleasure to hear: improvised enough, but also a bit composed, played freely among tight plans, crossing the boundaries of old and new improvisation. Quite nice! VITAL WEEKLY (NL)
The trio works amazingly well, with balanced interaction between silence and noise, sound layers of the AMM school and tones that move between piercing notes and percussive timbres...This is the new berlin school, captured at its best! SANDSZINE (I)
Flowers has the slight edge. Dense timbres, sonic juxtapositions and structural quiet are as much a part in the tunes as clearly defined instrumental sounds...Undoubtedly Thieke and his associates have many CDs ahead of them. ONE FINAL NOTE (USA)
Our ear up to the wall of the neighbours hotel room, contact microphones on the border of lilliput. What we hear is the noise of the wall, the surface, and what stays behind and underneath is hallucinatoric. Our everyday instinct, used to various abnormal spectacles, fails, and finds itself standing bowed and astounded before an ominous rabbit hole. BAD ALCHEMY (D)
It is pretty impressive when a band succeeds. This band succeeds.NEO-ZINE (USA)
A sensitive and well-executed set of six improvisations. PARISTRANSATLANTIC (F)


Michael Thieke 
clarinet | composer/performer
*1971 in Düsseldorf/D , lives in Berlin and Rome
Michael Thieke is currently involved in a number of projects which focus on diverse and contrasting facets of his musical interest. They reach from song based bands, outer jazz areas, totally composed material to projects with the concentration on the silent noises and sounds. 
Some of his current Projects are: Michael Thieke Unununium (with Luca Venitucci acc/p, Eric Schaefer dr, Derek Shirley b, CD on charhizma), The International Nothing (with Kai Fagaschinski cl, CD on ftarri), The Magic  I.D. (with Christof Kurzmann, Kai Fagaschinski, Margareth Kammerer, CD on ErstPop), Hotelgäste (with Derek Shirley b, Dave Bennett g, CD on schraum), Nickendes Perlgras (with Michael Anderson tp, Eric Schaefer dr, CD on JHM and Konnex),  TGW  (with Christian Weber b, Michael Griener dr, CD on ayler records), Spirit Songs (with Mike Cooper voc/g, Elio Martusciello el, Fabrizio Spera dr, Luca Venitucci acc/el.), Roman Tics (with Burkhard Beins, Luca Venitucci, CD on Cathnor).
He played on festivals such as Donaueschinger Musiktage (Donaueschingen/D 2007), Jazz a Mulhouse (Mulhouse/F 2007), Standard:Abweichung (Marburg/D 2007), Risonanze (Venezia/I 2007), Ahornfelder Festival (Leipzig/D 2007), Stuttgarter Jazztage (Stuttgart/D 2007), Music Unlimited (Wels/A 2006), ZJFT (Groningen/NL 2006), Contemporaneamente (Lodi/I 2006), Festival de la Cité (Lausanne/CH 2005), Jazz em Agosto (Lisbon/P 2005), International Jazz Festival Münster  (Münster/D 2005), Jazz Focus (Berlin/D 2003), Festival Brugge (Brugge/B 2002), Kryptonale (Berlin/D 2002), Konstanzer Jazzherbst (Konstanz/D 2002), Wintersongs (Cologne/D 2001), In Planten und Blomen (Hamburg/D 2000).

Dave Bennett
born 1973, lives in Berlin
studied electro-acoustic composition and classical guitar at the McGill University Montreal. For twelve years now he is playing together with Derek Shirley. Apart from Hotelgäste he plays in bands, as different as Tunar, the hollowmen, Erik&Me and Splatterdandy. CD releases on sinistre sound records, charhizma and japan-improv.

Derek Shirley
born in Ottawa/Canada, lives in Berlin.
Derek Shirley was born in Ottawa/Canada and lived in Montreal, performing and touring extensively through canada and america with such bands as Zebradonk and the Woodchoppers Association. In 2001 he moved to Berlin and since then he participates in numerous projects between improvised music, noise rock and jazz, among them the bands Hotelgäste (with Dave Bennett, Michael Thieke- CD at Schraum), Paul Brodys Tango Toy, Coal Oven, Silk Convertor, Alfred France and the Experimental-Noise-Band Monno (with Antoine Chessex, Gilles Aubry, Marc Fantini- CD at Conspiracy Records). He played with David Moss, Michael Griener, Mathias Bauer, Chris Dahlgren, Tony Buck and others.