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Tristan Honsinger

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Tristan Honsinger (born October 23, 1949) is a cello player active in free jazz and free improvisation. He is perhaps best known for his long-running collaboration with free jazz pianist Cecil Taylor and guitarist Derek Bailey.

Born in Burlington, Vermont, USA, Honsinger was given music lessons from a very early age, as his mother had hopes of creating a chamber orchestra together with his brother and sister. At the age of 12, Tristan would give concerts on a nearly weekly basis. He studied classical cello at the New England Conservatory in Boston [1] before moving to Montreal in 1969 to avoid the draft. While in Canada, he became interested in improvisational music. Honsinger moved to Europe in 1974 and was active throughout the continent.[1] He operates from Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Honsinger has a striking appearance, with body language reminiscent of that of a slapstick actor.

He has experimented with a combo of three string-players (violin, cello and double bass) and drums in 1991, under the name Fields in Miniature, and has worked in other musical fields, including collaboarations with UK post punk band The Pop Group in 1979, The Ex during the early 1990s and Ig Henneman Tentet.

According to Dutch Volkskrant journalist Erik van de Berg, “Honsinger is someone who hasn’t lost his childhood fantasy entirely. His compositions are like a child’s drawing, or even more like a story from Winnie The Pooh: awkward and touchingly simple, yet full of deeper meanings for those who want to see them.

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