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Carlos Cipa

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Carlos Cipa (born 19 March 1990) is a German pianist and composer based in Munich.

Carlos Cipa
Carlos Cipa (2020)
Carlos Cipa (2020)
Background information
Born (1990-03-19) 19 March 1990 (age 33)
Munich, Germany
GenresContemporary classical, ambient, electronic
Occupation(s)Composer, Pianist, Musician
LabelsDenovali Records, 1631 Recordings, Warner Classics
Associated actsSophia Jani, Martin Brugger, Martyn Heyne, Poppy Ackroyd


Carlos Cipa started playing piano at the age of six and began writing music playing drums in a hardcore punk band at the age of 16[1]. At that moment he felt that only interpreting classical pieces on the piano was not enough and went on a different path: improvising and composing his own music.[2]

The classically trained pianist returned to his musical roots and his main instrument, releasing his debut solo piano record The Monarch And The Viceroy in 2012 on the German experimental music label Denovali Records that established the composer in the contemporary classical scene.[3]

After playing concerts all over Europe with artists such as Poppy Ackroyd, Blueneck, or Greg Haines[4][5] he released a follow-up EP together with composer Sophia Jani called Relive on Denovali Records in 2014, consisting of two pieces for piano four hands, which are utilizing a wide range of sounds from inside the piano combined with conventional playing. Both pieces were written for the pair’s performance at the Denovali Swingfest 2013 in Essen.[6]

In 2014, he also released his sophomore record All your life you walk on which he began to blend the piano sound with other instruments, like marimba, Hohner guitaret, bass guitar, hackbrett and a variety of electronically enhanced piano-inside sounds.[2] Conceived as a concept album, it consists of six fragments and a collection of evocative, transluscent and intense piano-driven compositions.[7]

Between the two releases he performed at Haldern Pop[8] and MS Dockville in Hamburg.[9] From 2015 on he intensified his live activities, playing concerts in pop locations such as jazz clubs, theatres and concert halls.[10]

He started writing for classical ensembles[11] as well as music for dance and theatre[12] and recorded the EP Trow together with producer Martin Brugger alias Occupanther, which was released in December 2016.[13] The mini-album Sculptures, which was released one year later on 1631 Recordings, is a collection of seven solo piano compositions.[14] He also took part in a performance of Steve Reich's Six Pianos in April 2018 in the great concert hall of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.[15]

In 2019 he released his third full-length album Retronyms on Warner Classics.[16] On the album, he expanded his colour palette, playing not only upright and grand piano, but also celesta, harmonium, marimba, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hohner guitaret, Omnichord, electronics and analog synthesizer.[17] He invited musicians from different backgrounds[18] into his studio for the recordings, playing trumpet, (bass-)trombone, euphonium, violin, violincello, (bass-)clarinet and electric guitar.[17][19] The album puts a major focus on its production values, bringing together analog recording techniques and vintage sounds witch digital distortion sounds as well as electronics of different keyboards with the acoustic sounds of the classical instruments.[19] The album was praised with critical acclaim. Music blog Stationary Travels describing it "his most multi-faceted and imaginative work yet"[20] while The Music and Myth is calling it "a remarkable, near-flawless work from one of the most insightful, profound and evocative musicians of the present moment"[21]

Carlos Cipa Ensemble, 2019, Ampere, Munich

Cipa also works for film and television. For the Grimme Prize-winning youth series 5vor12 (BR/Arte) he wrote the score in 2016 together with Martin Brugger, without which the series would not have found the river that makes it what it is.[22] In 2016 he wrote the score for the German-Austrian feature film Geschwister by Markus Mörth, which premiered at the Diagonale in March 2016[23] and won the audience award at the Bolzano Film Festival Bozen.[24] For Thumb by Moritz Binder he wrote a chamber music score in 2016, which also had its premiere at the Diagonale the same year.[25] Together with Sophia Jani he produced the score for the comedy The Goldfish by Alireza Golafshan in 2019[26], which won him the Young Director Award of the Bavarian Film Award for this film.[27]

In May 2020 he released his fourth album Correlations (on 11 pianos) for which he returned again to his roots, the piano. For the recordings, he carefully selected six Grand Pianos, three Upright Pianos, one Square Piano and a Fender Rhodes, each piano having its own distinct character. Carlos Cipa gives the listener the feeling of sitting next to him on the piano stool, taking the listener on a fascinating journey of experiencing the keys and strings of each different piano, exploring the inside of the instruments, the materials they are made of, the sounds, the challenges they offer the player. Correlations is an intuitive musical collection in which the boundaries between composition, performance and production method are almost completely blurred. The result is a musical adventure that is boundless for players and listeners alike.[28]


Solo albums[edit]

  • The Monarch and the Viceroy (2012, Denovali Records)
  • All Your Life You Walk (2014, Denovali Records)
  • Retronyms (2019, Warner Classics)
  • Correlations (on 11 pianos) (2020, Warner Classics)

Singles & EPs[edit]

  • Relive (2014, Denovali Records)
  • Trow (2016, self-released)
  • The Place Where They Go (2017, 1631 Recordings)
  • Sculptures (2017, 1631 Recordings)
  • Retronyms B-Sides (2020, Warner Classics)


  • THUMB (2016, self-released)


  1. Del Re, Gianmarco (2013-02-12). "Carlos Cipa". Fluid Radio. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "15 questions | Interview | Carlos Cipa | True to Form". Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  3. Andrei Cherascu (2019-10-15). "Interview: I only draw inspiration from music itself — Carlos Cipa presents Retronyms". The Music and Myth. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  4. Del Re, Gianmarco (2013-02-12). "Carlos Cipa". Fluid Radio. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  5. "Chosen One: Carlos Cipa". FRACTURED AIR. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 2020-05-23. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. "Step Right Up: Carlos Cipa & Sophia Jani". FRACTURED AIR. 2014-04-08. Retrieved 2020-05-23. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  7. "The Quietus | Reviews | Carlos Cipa". The Quietus. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  8. "Carlos Cipa (DE) – Tonstudio Keusgen › Haldern Pop" (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-05-23. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  9. "CARLOS CIPA". MS DOCKVILLE – Festival für Musik und Kunst (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  10. "Carlos Cipa – – Band". (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  11. "DIFFUS | Online-Magazin für Musik". Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  12. "2012/13". Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  13. "RA: Occupanther". Resident Advisor. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  14. "2017 Year In Review: The art of the EP". Stationary Travels. 2018-01-05. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  15. "Thu, 12 Apr 2018 20:00 Steve Reich: Six Pianos". Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  16. Orl, Nicola; ino (2019-09-05). "[Album Streaming]: Carlos Cipa - "Retronyms"". SonOfMarketing. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Carlos Cipa - Retronyms". Discogs (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  18. "Track Premiere: Mame by Carlos Cipa". Stationary Travels. 2019-08-20. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Classical CDs Weekly: Carlos Cipa, Fozié Majd, Iiro Rantala, Amir Mahyar Tafreshipour". Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  20. "2019 In Review: Modern Classical". Stationary Travels. 2020-01-10. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  21. Andrei Cherascu (2020-01-25). "Review: Retronyms by Carlos Cipa – a remarkable, near-flawless work from one of the most insightful musicians of the present moment". The Music and Myth. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  22. Hannemann, Matthias. "Die Kika-Jugendserie "5vor12": Die müssen einfach mal raus". FAZ.NET (in Deutsch). ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  23. Filminstitut, Österreichisches. "Geschwister". Österreichisches Filminstitut (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  24. "Pressemitteilungen | Bolzano Film Festival Bozen 2020". Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  25. "Short_THUMB : Moritz Binder". Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  26. "Kritik zu Die Goldfische | epd Film". (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  27. "Bayerischer Filmpreis: Darstellerpreis und Produzentenpreis geteilt". Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  28. Evers, C. Cornell (2020-05-20). "Pianist Carlos Cipa neemt luisteraar mee op grenzeloos avontuur". Reporters Online (in Nederlands). Retrieved 2020-05-23.

External links[edit]

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