Tag Archives: Get Going!

Jul Dillier: like a stroll in a mirror maze

2022 «Get Going!» Portrait Series 

Jul Dillier, Flora Geiẞelbrecht and Bernhard Hadriga with EI GEN KLANG ⎪ Photo ©Maria Frodl

The egg becomes a word, the word a sound, and ultimately a work of art called “Ei.Gen.Klang” – a multi-sensory performance of sounds, words and images created by Jul Dillier, Flora Geisselbrecht and Bernhard Hadriga. A «Get Going!» grant from FONDATION SUISA helped see it come to fruition.

Jul Dillier is a sound researcher. To sit opposite him is to look into eyes that blaze with curiosity and passion. The world as a playground, as a place of adventure that invites topographical wanderings through words and sounds. Needless to say, this occasions questions of a philosophical nature. “I wanted to explore the origin or the beginning, both in the musical and the linguistic sense. But also the beginning of the world, the beginning of life, the beginning of humanity,” says Dillier, explaining the project’s driving question.

Dillier was born into a family from Canton Obwalden with a strong affinity for language. “My father directed radio plays, my brother’s a bookseller, my sister’s a theatre educationalist and my mother’s a speech therapist.” Laughing, Dillier describes himself as the black sheep of the family through his devotion to music and by becoming a pianist and drummer. Despite this, he’s never lost his love of things word-related – nor of the sounds they make.

When the Covid-19 pandemic stopped him commuting between his adopted home of Vienna and central Switzerland, he decided to pursue a master’s degree in jazz and improvised music in Linz. That’s where he came across viola player, vocalist and lyricist Flora Geisselbrecht and guitarist-cum-video artist Bernhard Hadriga, who was studying microbiology and genetics alongside music. When they sat down together to decide on a starting point for the project, it was Geisselbrecht who sparked their creative juices with a simple notion: “the egg”. “It felt like a ‘big bang’ moment, and perhaps it’s no coincidence that the Big Bang theorist, George Lemaître, coined the term ‘cosmic egg’,” explains Dillier.

There followed a succession of associations: the egg – incorporated as a diphthong (“Ei” – pronounced as in “eye” in English) in countless German words – opened up innumerable linguistic, musical, but also philosophical and historical dimensions, in which improvisational possibilities presented themselves like a stroll through a mirror maze. As the three admirers of linguistic acrobats such as Ernst Jandl and Kurt Schwitters embarked on their own vocal gymnastics, other horizons began to beckon: “The shape of the egg, the hen’s egg as food, the female ovum,” says Geisselbrecht. “The egg offers a vast array of points of reference with a wide variety of meanings.” Dillier adds: “It’s also the origin of countless creation myths, which we explored.”

With a creative explosion like this, there’s a risk of not seeing the wood for the trees. Everyone was aware of that. “We subjected ourselves to a rigorous system relatively early on,” explains Hadriga. “The FONDATION SUISA grant meant we could create a kind of art laboratory for experimentation and research.” Dillier adds: “We used compositional and improvisational techniques to think about how we wanted to realise certain aspects: playfully or as a narrative, sonically or visually.”

The name of the piece also served as orientation: “Ei.Gen.Klang”, a play on the German word “Eigenklang” [individual/personal sound] composed of the three words for egg, gene and sound; the suggestion is that the egg (in its form and meaning) is always moving towards sound. It was also clear from the outset that the project would culminate in an hour-long performance. The three-dimensional sound and stage space was deliberately constrained by the time factor to avoid letting the universe expand ad infinitum. And although “Ei.Gen.Klang” celebrated its successful premiere in Lucerne in December and in Vienna in January, the trio continues to play with the work’s “aggregate states” (a concept of physics) to ensure its continued evolution.

Rudolf Amstutz





«Get Going!» has existed as a FONDATION SUISA funding offer since 2018. With this new form of a grant, creative and artistic processes that do not fall within established categories are given a financial jump-start. At monthly intervals, we present the eight recipients of the 2022 «Get Going!» grant individually.

«Get Going!» 2023 grant recipients

Once again, this year’s call for submissions for a «Get Going!» grant generated a termendous response. Over 220 dossiers from all parts of the country and all genres were submitted and presented to our expert jury. After reviewing all the dossiers, the jury decided to support the following musicians for their artistic visions with a «Get Going!» grant of CHF 25,000.- each. Congratulations to the beneficiaries!


Luca Forcucci ⎥ Photo ©Nicola Noventa

Luca Forcucci is an artist, composer, and scholar. In his research, he investigates the perceptual relationships between the sonic and the spatial, exploring the inaudible, and the inherent cognitive aspects related to inner landscapes. This exploration involves immersive (deep) listening experiences in diverse locations such as the Amazon Rainforest, South Africa, Ghana, Lofoten Islands, and Alpha Cities. Additionally, he collaborates with neuroscience to better understand the cognitive aspects of the mechanisms of listening. The processes associated with machine learning entail biases and mistakes, stemming from the subjectivity introduced by humans. Furthermore, in the realm of music, what may appear as mistakes are not inherently so; rather, they represent potential new directions a work can take. In his project “Not Always Human(s): Landscapes Perception and Architecture,” for which he received a «Get Going!» contribution, Forcucci delves into questions such as: What can be expected from a sonic architecture when insights from machine learning, cognition and mistakes are applied to it? How might new experiences emerge as a result?


Monte Mai ⎥ Photo ⓒPeter Hauser

Monte Mai is a psychedelic pop trio founded in 2020 by Grenadian singer Anais Schmidt and two Ticino musicians, Fabio Pinto (guitar) and Fabio Besomi (bass). The project that earned them a «Get Going!» grant arose from a desire to examine more closely the musical intersection between North and South. It is looking at bringing together, from an aesthetic point of view, the roots and cultural influences of Latin and Germanic music. The trio’s main aim is to forge a link between the traditional melodies of the Italian musical repertoire and the rhythmic elements of the German genre known as Krautrock or “kosmische Musik”. The contaminating element plays an important role here, ultimately resulting in the emergence of exotic pop, Krautrock, opera, jazz and electronics in a stylistically free space.


Niculin Janett ⎥ Photo ⓒXaver Rüegg

Niculin Janett is a composer and saxophonist who also plays the clarinet and flute. He is one of the most versatile musicians on the current Swiss jazz scene. 2015 saw him found the Niculin Janett Quartet featuring Rich Perry, but he has also visited standards and the Great American Songbook with the duos Janett / Schraff and The Sad Pumpkins, and brought jazz and Ländler folk music together in the ensemble by the name of “(C’est si) B.O.N.”. In 2021 he and the Niculin Janett Quartet succeeded in innovatively combining folk, jazz and classical music in a nine-part suite, “Rêveries Dansantes”. On the back of the «Get Going!» grant, Janett will be able to use a composing workshop in New York city for three months to work on alternative playing techniques, harmonic expansions and new melodic and rhythmic elements.


Nick Furrer ⎥ Photo ⓒSilvio Zeder

After four albums as one-man band “Haubi Songs” and numerous collaborations, Lucerne songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nick Furrer is artistically at a turning point. He now wants to broaden his musical universe by bringing in new musicians. With this desire to open up, he wants to break down stereotypes both live and in the studio, challenging the structures and strategies of a band formation. The «Get Going!» grant will enable Nick Furrer, who has recently started writing in a number of different languages, to intensify his exchanges with people from all areas of the music business and thus further the reorientation of “Haubi Songs”, perhaps even by creating a live multi-instrumentalist band.


Fräulein Luise ⎥ Photo ⓒFräulein Luise

Fräulein Luise is a young indie-pop band from Zurich whose songs, which feature lyrics in German and Swiss-German, manage with consummate ease the balancing act between socially relevant commentary and danceable music. Consisting of Olivia Merz, Paula Scharrer, Aliosha Todisco and Paul Studer, the quartet has only been in existence since 2021, but quickly achieved cult status with its exuberant blend of genres ranging from indie and pop to rock and jazz. The «Get Going!» grant is an investment in the future of this band, enabling it to pursue creative ideas, explore and pursue new – to it – directions in laboratory-like conditions. As active FINTA artists, they will also use the time to build up their network and reactivate their podcast project “Störfrequenz”, which covers the topic of women in Switzerland’s male-dominated music scene.


Anna Hirsch ⎥ Photo ⓒMaria Jarzyna

Anna Hirsch is a composer, musician and performer based in Basel. She is one half of art-pop duo Fleeb and a member of the Ikarus jazz quintet. Hirsch has also been involved in numerous theatre productions and took part in the international project SOFIA (Support Of Female Improvising Artists). Her wide-ranging experience is the starting point for her next project. The solo project she is currently working on, MARIA RIA, sees her leveraging the inputs of recent years to realise her very own, highly individual artistic visions. She wants MARIA RIA to bring out the insubordinate, the vulnerable and, above all, the playful tendencies that lurk in her and in all of us. The «Get Going!» grant is allowing Anna Hirsch to compose and produce new music, but it is also helping her collaborate with an artistic team to develop a visual aesthetic – including a live show, stage design, lighting, clothing, artwork and videos – that complements and enhances the music.


Trummer ⎥ Photo ⓒBenedikt Schnermann

Christoph Trummer is both a singer/songwriter and an author. Since his 2014 album “Heldelieder”, Trummer’s literary writing can no longer be separated from his activities as a composer and musician. Whether exploring migration, as in the aforementioned “Heldelieder”, or family, as in his “Familienalbum” from 2020, Trummer uses the dialectic of the two artistic possibilities to examine his subject matter in a variety of ways. He is currently working on two projects at once, for which he has been awarded a «Get Going!» grant: “In die Welt kommen” is a book project in which he uses his experiences as a musician in New York to reflect on his sheltered Swiss origins. “Creeds”, the other project, investigates the question of how articles of faith shape our lives – through the lens of spiritual, scientific, political as well as emotional enquiry. The exploration of this multifaceted topic will be documented in conversations (podcasts) and will ultimately result in a book and new songs.

Mario Batkovic: pushing into uncharted territory

2022 «Get Going!» Portrait Series  

Mario Batkovic ⎪ Photo ⓒRob Lewis

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Mario Batkovic is also a sound researcher/juggler and inventor. Tracking down unheard sounds takes time – lots of time. That’s partly why FONDATION SUISA has awarded him a «Get Going!» grant.

“Self-evidently,” says Mario Batkovic, “the accordion is not an instrument for the big stage. But with that,” he smiles, pointing to a homemade amplifier, “it works really well.” Bathed in the radiance of its creator, his sanctuary at the PROGR in Bern quakes, leaving the listener with goose bumps. But that’s by no means all his studio-cum-workshop has to offer. Alongside a corner full of recording equipment, it contains pretty much anything capable of generating a sound, including a prepared piano and an electric toothbrush for coaxing sounds from cymbals. Batkovic talks enthusiastically about his instruments, which he constantly tinkers with to make sounds – “Sounds, which,” he says, “are all already there. If you handle them tenderly, they’ll appear.” Music, he continues, cannot be reinvented. “But one can try to create new things with what exists.” Batkovic describes himself as a professional fantasist. “I try to make tangible what’s in my head.”

Batkovic was born in Bosnia, where he lived until the turmoil in the Balkans brought the family to Switzerland. He was eleven at the time. Even in his former homeland, he constantly had sounds in his head. Back then, they were rendered audible by an accordion. “The accordion was an alternative to the consumer society: it was a jukebox, a DJ and a solo entertainer all in one.” Hence the reason for Batkovic remaining true to the accordion all this time. “Or rather,” he remarks, “the accordion has remained true to me.”

Batkovic’s relationship with his sounds, with his instruments, illustrates the humility with which he approaches music. His insistence on integrity regarding the sounds he makes is so strict that he undergoes a process of suffering faced with anything that’s new. “It’s not called passion for nothing,” he smiles.

He studied at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media and at the Musik Akademie Basel. Batkovic says he often felt something of an outsider at these renowned universities – and still feels that way in the Bernese scene, as his musical trajectory defies pigeonholing. He does punk, he does poetry, he does ambient, noise, metal and sacred music. It’s not that he doesn’t identify musically with any single one of these genres – rather, he does so with all of them at the same time. May 2024 will find him performing new works with the Bern Symphony Orchestra. Because of his breadth of vision, international media such as Rolling Stone see him in the vanguard of avant-gardism. He composes film music, releases solo albums on an independent British label, and writes music for orchestras, video games and bands such as Stiller Has. That said: when, where, how and for what the music is created is ultimately irrelevant. It’s part of a larger whole, the offerings of a professional fantasist – an obsessive who makes the inaudible audible and who says of himself: “I don’t try to find myself through music; instead, I try not to lose myself in it.” 

“But,” adds Batkovic, “people often forget that every new project involves a huge amount of time.” Time is the most valuable commodity for researchers like him navigating uncharted terrain. He’s delighted to have received two completely unconnected grants: the “Get Going!” grant from FONDATION SUISA and the Swiss Music Prize.

A man with an accordion in the midst of a 21st century immersed in technology – given the times we live in, could it be that contemporary art isn’t yet ready to assimilate such an anachronism? “It could well be that there have always been people who are in the right place at the right time with the right instrument. That wasn’t how it happened in my case. I first had to create my world.” Batkovic says that his gratitude on receiving the FONDATION SUISA grant and Swiss Music Prize is keenly felt. 

He also prefers talking about others rather than himself: at the end of our conversation, he doesn’t miss the opportunity to wax lyrical about his greatest hero, the “anarchist” Ludwig van Beethoven, and his revolutionary piano sonatas: “It would take more than a lifetime to immerse oneself fully in these 32 masterful works of art.”

Rudolf Amstutz


arttv Portrait



«Get Going!» has existed as a FONDATION SUISA funding offer since 2018. With this new form of a grant, creative and artistic processes that do not fall within established categories are given a financial jump-start. At monthly intervals, we present the eight recipients of the 2022 «Get Going!» grant individually.

Cégiu: In dialogue with others and one’s own body

2022 «Get Going!» Portrait Series

Cégiu ⎪ Photo ©Gian Marco Castelberg

The ear as a microphone and an instrument; the brain as a mixing desk and the body as an individually perceptible subwoofer: with her new project “Coiled Continuum”, Céline-Giulia Voser – alias Cégiu – wants to turn music into a physically tangible experience. FONDATION SUISA is supporting her with “Get Going!” funding.

In Cégiu’s music, the texture of the surface features only briefly – merely in the first few seconds of a song, when it first comes into contact with the listener’s ears. After that, the music transforms into a vortex, into an intricately woven, meandering labyrinth that wends its way deep inside the subconscious of the listener and juggles with their emotions. Over the course of three albums, Cégiu has now got this down to a fine art: on “Skinny Souls” (2016), “Restless Roots” (2019) and “Glowing Goodbyes” (2021), her use of several languages not only topples the tower of Babel but also creates new and more intricate acoustic wefts along the way, which have the power to sound some unusual notes on the listener’s keyboard of emotions. In this way, the 39-year-old native of Central Switzerland, who has roots in Friaul and West Switzerland, manages the great feat of transferring the catharsis inherent in her music onto others.

One of her songs on “Restless Roots” is called “Il Silenzio – n’existe pas”, and it contains pretty much every element that makes a Cégiu composition so distinctive: she has experienced this non-existent silence with her own body when her family moved to an apartment building that sits adjacent to a castle park and is exposed to a vast amount of traffic noise.  “Suddenly”, Cégiu says, “I could hear my own body, the rushing of blood in my ears”. The despair that follows in the footsteps of this insight is vocally transformed into sound through whispers and shouts, and verbally born aloft in four different languages. “Growing up in a multilingual household, I noticed from a young age that certain states of mind or feelings can be expressed more eloquently in one language than in another.” “Dream on mon coeur”, she whispers over an abstracted, perennially circling cello that wanders through all the states of matter during the course of the piece.

The effect of music on our brain, on our body – this is also Cégiu’s focus in her current project, for which FONDATION SUISA will support her with “Get Going!” funding. She calls it “Coiled Continuum”, and the name says it all. Within this sealed, ever-revolving continuum, Cégiu wants to work with other cultural creators by passing on the products of her creative endeavours to others for them to process further and then in turn play the results back to Cégiu. 

“I am fascinated by the image of a continuously revolving spiral”, she says. “I want to integrate this approach at all levels of the project, whether that’s my own workflow, the collaborations themselves, or at the level of critical engagement. A constant back and forth, not least also in reference to how our lives actually work.” She is already in dialogue with the musician and producer Anna Murphy and the slam poet Dominique Macri, as well as the photographer Gian Marco Castelberg and – for the visual concept – with Bartholomäus Zientek. Others will follow. “Because we now live in a world strongly defined by visuality, I am also seeking interdisciplinary dialogue in this arena.”

In terms of its content, the theme of the project revolves around psycho-acoustic perception, something that the composer and installation artist Maryanne Amacher (1938–2009) engaged with intensively. “The ear”, Cégiu explains, “can not only perceive sounds but also generate its own, something that can be provoked with a stimulus”. The aim is to stimulate the ear and the brain to develop their own sounds when listening to music: “The hope is to create a new physical experience so that music becomes physically tangible.” This should be possible not just when streaming music (using headphones), but also live: “My dream would be that I can utilise the respective space and people’s behaviour in such a way that they in turn influence me on stage and that the audience thereby becomes part of the band.” In this context, and as with all of Cégiu’s work, beats play a defining role. For this purpose, she used the sounds of trolley suitcases in “Restless Roots” and the noise of insects on “Glowing Goodbyes”; now, the incidental noises made by the mouth when leaving voice messages are to be used to create the complex rhythms of the music.

Even though the result of “Coiled Continuum” is to become a complete work in the form of an album, Cégiu wants to use the possibilities afforded by digital technology to create a kind of audio diary during the work process. She feels that this visibility facilitates dialogue with others and thus also becomes part of the continuum.This form of working, this intensive engagement with the theme, all requires time and money. “This form of support from FONDATION SUISA, where no end-result and no timeframe have to be defined at the outset, provides incredible creative freedom that allows you to take risks”, Cégiu says when outlining the benefits of “Get Going!”. She feels that this is the only way to deeply engage with the work.

Rudolf Amstutz


arttv Portrait



«Get Going!» has existed as a FONDATION SUISA funding offer since 2018. With this new form of a grant, creative and artistic processes that do not fall within established categories are given a financial jump-start. At monthly intervals, we present the eight recipients of the 2022 «Get Going!» grant individually.

Wurmbaslehuufe.ch ⎪ «Get Going!» 2021

2021 «Get Going!» Portrait Series

Christoph «Sirgel» Hartmann ⎪ Photo ©Reto Martin

Christoph “Sirgel” Hartmann, Roland Hofer and Niculin Janett – three musicians from the canton of Thurgau – are composing a “characteristic” folk music melody with a simple chord accompaniment for each of the 80 municipalities in the canton. The compositions will be made available as sheet music and audio files, free of charge or copyright, on the online platform “www.wurmbaslehuufe.ch”. The intention is for the online platform to grow into a meeting and information hub for both the local community and creative artists, aimed at broadening their horizons with respect to Swiss folk music.

Link to Christoph Hartmann’s website
Link to Niculin Janett’s website:

«Get Going!» has existed as a FONDATION SUISA funding offer since 2018. With this new form of a grant, creative and artistic processes that do not fall within established categories are given a financial jump-start.

Omni Selassi ⎪ «Get Going!» 2021

2021 «Get Going!» Portrait Series

Omni Selassi ⎪ Photo ⓒFlorianGuntesweiler

Omni Selassi would like to say thank you: “The joy, indeed the honour, is so great that it’s more or less bowled us over: up, down – hmm! What shall we do with 25 suitcases full of dollars? The same as we’re doing now, just better. Now we can buy a Toyota or Mitsubishi bus that can be repaired anywhere in the world. We can record a second album, even though the first one isn’t even out yet. Plus, the whole shebang with the FONDATION SUISA list always feels like we’re signing a bank cheque – cool!”

«Get Going!» has existed as a FONDATION SUISA funding offer since 2018. With this new form of a grant, creative and artistic processes that do not fall within established categories are given a financial jump-start.

Lucia Cadotsch ⎪ «Get Going!» 2021

«Get Going!» Portrait Series 2021

Lucia Cadotsch ⎪ Photo by ⓒDovile Sermokas

Lucia Cadotsch / LIUN + The Science Fiction Orchestra
“After concentrating the last few years with my trio “Speak Low” – together with bassist Petter Eldh and saxophonist Otis Sandsjö – mainly on working in chamber music instrumentation, the need has grown in me to explore the sonic and compositional possibilities of a large ensemble. I am therefore very much looking forward to composing and recording new pieces for an orchestral album next year, together with producer Wanja Slavin. In addition, I hope that a new ensemble will emerge from the collaboration with the many exciting artists, which will continuously develop, cross-fertilise and perform live.”

«Get Going!» has existed as a FONDATION SUISA funding offer since 2018. With this new form of a grant, creative and artistic processes that do not fall within established categories are given a financial jump-start.

Martina Linn ⎪ «Get Going!» 2021

«Get Going!» Portrait Series 2021

Martina Linn ⎪ Photo ⓒTabea Hueberli

Martina Linn on the hunt for traces of Rheto-Romanic at Chasa Parli
In 2022, the Grisons-based singer and composer Martina Linn will be going to the Münstertal valley in search of traces of Rheto-Romanic culture. Over the course of three months, she will be setting up a kind of musical laboratory at Chasa Parli with the aim of transporting old Rheto-Romanic folk songs and poetry into the world of contemporary music. In doing so, she will draw on her ancestral genre of indie-folk, while overhauling and expanding her songwriting by working with the different spaces and natural and unnatural effects. The resulting songs will be arranged and recorded on site with the aim of releasing them as a CD book, including illustrations and text documenting her search.

arttv Portrait



«Get Going!» has existed as a FONDATION SUISA funding offer since 2018. With this new form of a grant, creative and artistic processes that do not fall within established categories are given a financial jump-start.

René Desalmand ⎪ «Get Going!» 2021

«Get Going!» Portrait Series 2021

René Desalmand ⎪ Photo ⓒIllustrate Magazine

«However, Lump200’s directionless universe leads you back to yourself.»
That’s how Forced Exposure described the music of René Desalmand’s beats and lyrics project back in the noughties. Alongside working on the next Lump200 album, Desalmand is now collaborating with partners to develop a web app that facilitates open, collective and public production of audio content within a network. The album itself will therefore be based on an open format. The involvement of and distinction between stage and floor are being challenged in the digital space. René Desalmand is a saxophonist who composes and produces music for radio plays and installations and develops transdisciplinary work.

«Get Going!» has existed as a FONDATION SUISA funding offer since 2018. With this new form of a grant, creative and artistic processes that do not fall within established categories are given a financial jump-start.

Daniel Zea ⎪ «Get Going!» 2021

«Get Going!» Portrait Series 2021

Daniel Zea ⎪ Photo ⓒDaniel Zea

The designer, sound artist and composer Daniel Zea works with performance, movement recording systems, electronic tinkering, augmented reality, video and computer-generated images. His most recent works focus on the fragility of the human being in the face of technology. Thus they offer a mirror between the virtual and the real, with the human being always at the centre. Sometimes this reflection leads to a social or political poetics. His project aims to further explore this fragility, using his own 3D avatar to create a kind of autobiographical black video comedy. He is co-director of the Geneva-based Ensemble Vortex and teaches interactivity at HEAD.

«Get Going!» has existed as a FONDATION SUISA funding offer since 2018. With this new form of a grant, creative and artistic processes that do not fall within established categories are given a financial jump-start.