ABOUT

C  E  E  Y  S
Sebastian & Daniel Selke


“It’s an extraordinary piece of music. It’s a work of two brothers, Sebastian on cello and Daniel on piano, and together they play as CEEYS. I saw them premiere tracks from their new album at Neue Meister gig that I went to very recently in Berlin. This is a project, which is actually dedicated to their parents and it is written about the buildings that surrounded them in their childhood, growing up on the streets of East Berlin.”  – Mary Anne Hobbs BBC Radio 6 Music


‘Hybrid’ is a word that has always been vital to CEEYS‘ vocabulary, but its application is not limited to the manner in which cellist Sebastian Selke and his brother, pianist Daniel Selke, combine their two instruments so harmoniously. Instead, like the duo’s very name – which merges the words ‘VIOLONCELLE’ (fr.: cello) and ‘KEYS‘ – it is reflective of their overall aesthetic, one in which they integrate the many ingredients that have helped shape them as both musicians and people:

“Brought up in the last decade of the former GDR, we use our releases to come to terms with our memories, impressions and feelings about these rather hybrid times.” – CS

The award-winning work of the duo is provoked by their urge to explore recollections of their youth, both before and after the fall of the regime, and to apply those lessons and influences to contemporary music. CS’ idiosyncratic style is characterised by a rather reduced approach to composition and improvisation. In exploiting their knowledge of songwriting, textures and repetitive patterns, they create an experimental but accessible minimalism between avant-garde and pop that incorporates elements of jazz, ambient and classical chamber music. Sebastian and Daniel have been featured on numerous album releases and soundtracks. Sebastian has also collaborated with Ólafur Arnalds and Spitfire Audio. He is part of Masayoshi Fujita’s Book of Life and Erased Tapes’ tenth anniversary box 1+1=X. They’ve also reworked the likes of Peter Broderick, Carlos Cipa and Lambert, and released two albums of their own, 2016’s The Grunewald Church Session and 2017’s Concrete Fields, released by 1631 Recordings, distributed digitally worldwide by Decca Publishing and Deutsche Grammophon. In combination with a love poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, the music and visualization for the album Concrete Fields won the Special Award at the International Poetry Film Festival Vienna in 2017. CS played festivals like Fusion and Reeperbahn and are still touring Europe.

Finally the brothers founded Q3Ambientfest, a carefully curated annual boutique music festival, FLIMMERKONZERTE, a film concert series in partnership with Filmmuseum Potsdam and the co-curated KOSMOSKONZERTE, a house concert series at Rechenzentrum Potsdam. Currently, CS are presenting their third album WÆNDE at the Berlin label Neue Meister. Here, they focus on the remembrance of 1989, a year which brought many changes. The record release show was presented by Funkhaus Berlin and portrayed by Ableton. At the same time, music for their first solo EPs is in the making, once more at their Klingenthal Studio, named after the small East German town where Vermona once invented and built its instruments.

[Wyndham Wallace]