The initial nucleus of Metamorphosis was a duo, compsed by the Turkish/Chzech guitarist Martin Alacam and the Austrian violinist Cristoph Pajer that began doing concerts in 1992. In 1996 the band started as a quartet including also Turkish cello player Julide Canca Eke and Austrian guitarist and composer Richard Deutsch. During that period they made a lot of concerts in clubs and festivals of the Czech and Austrian underground scene. Finishing her studies in Vienna Julide Canca Eke decided to return to Istanbul (where she founded Feministabul Orchestra in 2012 ,the first feminine classical orchestra in Turkey) so Christof Rothaler , an Austrian cello-player , took her place in the group. In 1999 they recorded their debut album "Contaminated Chamber Music" that appeared on the Czech label Rachot/Behemot (the label hosting Dunaj,Iva Bittova, Richter Band and Rale).After the release of their first album the group started to tour all over Europe (Belgrad, Paris, St. Peterburg and Marseilles)
After that the group found its new home at the British Label Leo-records ( a well known jazz label with artists like Anthony Braxton, Sun Ra and Soviet Jazz but also Remote Viewers and Sergey Kuryokhin). They partecipated on many festivals like: Ring Ring Festival in Belgrade, Festival Alternativa in Prague, Les Nuits Europeennes in Strasbourg, Festival des Musiques Innovatrices in Saint Etienne, KIF in St. Petersburg and played at The Knitting Factory NY, Club Dom Moscow, Empty Bottle Chicago, Club Worm Rotterdam and many more.
They released their second CD "Dip" in 2002 on LEO Records and in 2003 Jan Kavan (cello) joined the group (replacing Christof Rothaler).
Another record came out in 2006 "Luff" also on LEO Records
Metamorphosis' music is a whirl of feelings alternating strenght, poetry and rationality. It's the desirable evolution of a classical chamber string quartet that has the power to catch the attention of your brain not forgetting to stimulate your heart.
Interview with Richard Deutsch:
Does your name come from Kafka's Metamorphosis ?
No, we just managed to choose one of the worst bandnames on earth. Ever googled Metamorphosis? You'll immediately see what I mean.
You started as a duo, violin and guitar did you use other instruments during your first live shows?
As a duo just for a couple of very first concerts and no, no other instruments. The band as you know it, which records and publishes songs is a quartet, pretty much from the start.
Do you think that the fact of being a multi-national group, not having a stable national scene behind, is an advantage or a limit?
To be a multi-national group does not neccessarily mean to have no roots in a certain national scene. In the case of Metamorphosis our roots are in Vienna and Prag.
But generally speaking I believe that it is indeed helpful to really establish a group first on a local scene and only then perform international. It obviously takes time to build an audience in a country and a band should show up there on a regular base.
We started very early to play all over the world and did not have a master-plan, so we were very unfocussed - everywhere and nowhere.
How would you define your music?
It's the part of our madness which we take really serious. An Italian organizer once called it 'Musica da camera contaminata' and we somehow liked that.
Are all the members of the group classically trained?
We all had more or less unsuccessful carreers in music-schools and conservatories, except our cellist who is really classically trained in the sense which you probably mean.
Can you speak about the albums you made and your impressions about them nowadays, would you change something or you still like them in their original form?
The albums are snapshots of a certain period. They bring back the feelings and the emotions of that time, like a time machine. They are what they are and I never look back, thinking that we should have recorded something different.
Your phonographic production is not abundant, does this depend on logistic problems or does it have other reasons?
Back then, when we made our first albums we were jamming together in the kitchen. Already the third album was done over a distance of 2000km, sending files etc before we actually met and reheased the whole thing straightly before entering the recording-studio. Yes, it's not easy for us to meet and it also needs certain funds for flights etc. which musicians not always have in their pocket.
Now it's a long time you didn't release anything are you preparing a new release?
We are right now working on music for a collaborative project with the French group Volapuk. We will perform the material on festivals in France in November 2014. I suppose that this will lead to a release as well.
Could you talk about your relation with Leo Records?
Leo is one of a kind. I love him as a person. In one of our first conversations he said - I really like your music and I am happy to publish it, but Metamorphosis is a very strange fruit in my catalogue-. He referred to the fact that the audience which Leo has is more directed towards improvised music. We always have been a bit proud to be on this label with so many other musicians which we adore. If it was particulary helpful to reach a crowd which could potentially love our music, this is another question.
You already spoke in other interviews about the influences of Iva Bittova, Pavel Fajt and Uz Jsme Doma, so I want to ask your opinion about the Austrian music-scene and musicians like Cristoph Dientz (Die Knoedel), Attwenger and others you might know?
Sure, we know and like them. Martin Alacam is playing on a guitar which was previously owned by the guitarist of Die Knoedel. There is a rich music-scene in both countries AUT and CZ and there are also other bands which I personally like, for example Radian or BulBul, or the Czech duo DVA.
Do you know DAAU (Die Anarchistische AbendunI think that in some passages their music is not very far from yours ?
Yes, some years ago I even tried to come in touch with their manager. I thought it could be interesting to collaborate on some level. Unfortunately we never received an answer.
You did many concerts around Europe did you always find a public concentrated on your music or sometimes they came for something completely different?
In most cases we perform on festivals or in clubs for an audience which would come to hear the sort of music we do. Additionally our program somehow works exceptionally well on concerts. I think we are a real live band and we had tours where we played one day for punks in Berlin and the next in a seated hall for a crowd interested in contempory music and had memorable performances in both cases. It's our strength and our dilemma, as the market asks for clear categories.
Which is your favorite concert location, if you have one?
Motorschiff Stubnitz, without any doubt.
Are the members of the group involved in other musical projects? Can you speak about them?
It would fill a whole page to really elaborate on that. I am into several projects in St.Petersburg, like The Frozen Orchestra or Black Volga, make film-music and work as a producer for Russian bands, Christoph makes theater-music (right now for the piece the Robbers/Friedrich Schiller, performed in the Reduta Theatre in Brno) and had a group called Boo in CZ, Martin has an ongoing project with Michael Delia and he also works on film-scores. Jan is also involved in several projects music for computer-games which he actually also programs and which are becoming quite successful right now.
I saw on youtube your Ucranian concert of 2013 and I think it?s great, how did you conceive this unusual instrumental line up?
Thanks a lot, but I don't exactly know what you mean with "unusual instrumental line-up". We always perform that way, even though my memory with the age....One thing is for sure - If you saw a flute you watched another band:)
I think that in your more intensive peaks you remember the strength of first Art Zoyd do you know this group?
Of course. We own some of their albums and enjoy listening to them.
What is the role of voice in your musical path?
Martin has a talent to write song-lyrics and as a vocalist he is a great "story teller". We use vocals whenever it does not hurt too much, love to add a choir and definitely always make wooden announcements in our shows.
Which are your future projects?
Reve General, a collaboration with Volapuk, starting in about three weeks.
The site of the band
The site of Richard Deutsch
Here you can buy their albums