The Talking Clarinet (en)


“I do not make music. Music is already here, in every moment. First, I hear it inside myself, then I transmit it to my clarinet to share it with my audience. It comes into existence in the here and now, in the spirited encounter with someone vis-à-vis. Music is a language and it says even more than words.“ (Helmut Eisel)

HelmutSince his early childhood, Helmut Eisel was enthusiastic about the idea to tell stories, to inveigh, to comfort, to laugh and to cry with his clarinet. His grandfather Leo taught him the basics of playing clarinet and he discovered how multifaceted the player can express himself on this instrument.

During his studies in mathematics at Saarbrücken University Helmut Eisel played in various jazz bands, where he enhanced his competence in improvising. Decisive was the meeting and friendship with Giora Feidman with whom Helmut Eisel has been working together since 1989. Feidman made him familiar with klezmer music and its spiritual impact. It became an inspiration for his own improvisations – Eisel’s “Talking Clarinet” was born.

Just like Feidman Eisel uses his clarinet as a human voice and seeks the intensive contact with his audience. By using improvisation, spontaneous dialogues develop – between Eisel and his co-musicians as well as with the listeners. At a festival in Bad Gandersheim 2008, Helmut Eisel included this with even dramatic impact: in the drama “Everyman” he played his part as “Death” almost exclusively on his clarinet.

Helmut Eisel is considered to be one of the most interesting and individual Klezmer-clarinetists in Europe. He developed his own style out of traditional music for wind, jazz, klezmer and classic.

Giora Feidman says: “You only need to hear a few seconds and you immediately know: this is Helmut playing!” And if not – it’s not him!