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sophie (by julia foster)


The core members of SHOCKWAVE first met during their studies at the Hochschule der Künste Bern and at the SONEMUS Festival in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Together they decided to organize projects that combine different genres of music and artistic practice as a whole into one large-scale collaboration endeavor. 

We see each of the unique starting points of our musical lives and our vastly diverse backgrounds as the perfect combination to create a world of untapped potential, all with the purpose of enriching today’s musical culture with new facets, and to learn from one another in collaboration in a way that can only serve to further the offering of unusual and completely unique music to an unexpecting audience. 

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The Ensemble

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Sophie Wahlmüller - Viola

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 The Austrian violist Sophie Wahlmüller studied in Linz, Bern (Patrick Jüdt) and Basel (Master of specialised Music Performance in Contemporary Music)

Sophie Wahlmüller was member of WahlKürenquartett and took part in ECMA


- European Chamber Music Academy. She worked with Hatto Beyerle, Johannes Meissl, Rainer Schmidt among others.

As a violist she is focusing on chamber music and contemporary music. She is member of Ensemble Lemniscate and Trio Dreieck, and performs regularly with Collegium Novum Zürich and Ensemble experimental in Freiburg/Breisgau. 

Sophie Wahlmüller is also a passionate pedagogue. Since 2013 she is teaching children at the Regionale Musikschule Lyss and has been coaching several youth orchestras.

(photo by Julia Foster)

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Esther Saladin - Cello

Esther Saladin is a young Swiss cellist and scholarship alumna of the Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie. In addition, Esther Saladin performs as the cellist of the Améi Quartet, which devotes itself primarily to premiering and reciting contemporary works.

Esther Saladin studied under Conradin Brotbek at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart until 2012, while gaining additional, valuable insights from master classes with Wen-Sinn Yang, Claude Starck, Martina Schucan, and Emilio Colon. Also in 2012, she graduated with honors from the State University of Music and the Performing Arts Stuttgart, earning a Master’s Degree in Cello Contemporary Music. 

Her former projects include concerts at the Tonhalle in Zurich; at the ZKM Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe; in collaboration with the radio stations WDR and Deutschlandfunk Köln; at the Cologne Philharmonic; at the Staatstheater in Wiesbaden (with the Ensemble Modern); at the Gaudeamus Music Festival in Utrecht (Netherlands); and at the Teatro Comunale di Bolzano (Italy). As in the past, her musical endeavors continue to be enhanced and stimulated by collaborations with composers such as Nicolaus A. Huber, Helmut Lachenmann, and Manfred Stahnke, as well as many emerging, young composers. 

Esther Saladin currently works on the complex and interdisciplinary performance WHITE MASKS with Silvia Rosani and Inês Rebelo.

Esther Saladin lives and works as a freelance musician in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and Zürich, Switzerland.


(photo by Chris Kister)

Adrian Rigopulos - Double Bass

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(photo by Emmi Tulokas)

Boston-born bassist Adrian Rigopulos was drawn to the double bass from a young age, out of a love for its deep sound color, and also for its integral role in a wide variety of musical genres. Early on, Adrian was primarily interested in Bluegrass and Punk, but a passion for classical music followed quickly after beginning instrumental studies. Today, Adrian is a permanent member of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, a founding member of the Helsinki Chamber Soloists, and collaborates regularly with the Finnish contemporary music group, Uusinta Ensemble. Adrian has also toured with Swiss jazz pianist and composer, Nik Bärtsch.

Adrian participated in the orchestra academy of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich for the 2014/15 season, and has played as a guest with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gstaad Festival Orchestra, and the Filarmonica della Scala in Milan. In June 2015, Adrian completed his MMus Orchestra at the Hochschule Luzern in the class of Božo Paradžik. He also studied at the Hochschule der Künste Bern in the studio of David Sinclair, and completed a Performance Diploma at The Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where he studied with Toronto Symphony Principal Bass, Jeffrey Beecher.

When he’s not playing bass, Adrian enjoys sailing, cooking, reading, and dancing as a member of the Canadian folk-dance group, the Toronto Morris Men.

Alex Tentor - Guitar

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Alex Tentor is a Spanish guitarist and musicologist. His focus on exploring the boundaries of the instrument has led him to work on every kind of projects from the baroque guitar to new music for classical and electric guitar; improvising and collaborating with theatre and dance. This interest took Alex to combine his Musicology studies with different approaches to the instrument from outside the Academia, working with flamenco and electric guitar teachers like Igor Nedeljkovic or Raúl Mannola. He has also collaborated with medieval singer Paloma Gutiérrez and vihuelist Juan Carlos de Mulder. 


In 2019 Alex graduated with honours at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Zaragoza, Spain, where he had the chance to work closely with the Spanish composers José María Sánchez Verdú and Alberto Bernal. In 2017 he founded the Zaragoza Young Ensemble for New Music. He also has had the chance to work with Tristan Murail, Avshalom Ariel and Yaron Deutsch and Mats Scheidegger among others. Alex has collaborated with ensembles like Vertex Container, Km2 and Ensemble Bayona. Beyond more traditional performing, he also holds an interest in improvised music, and he has had the chance to collaborate with the saxophone players Said Ruiz and Joan Jordi Oliver Arcos. Alex is an active commissioner of new pieces for his instrument, collaborating with composers such as Guillermo Cobo or Diego Jiménez Tamame. He currently resides in Antwerp, Belgium, where he is working towards his master’s degree under the guidance of guitarist Nico Couck. 

(photo by Ana Sanchez)

Susanne Peters - Flute

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Susanne Peters is a flutist dedicated to the performance of contemporary music.

Susanne earned her Bachelor’s degree at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, The Netherlands, where she studied with Kersten McCall and was a member of the ASKO/Schönberg Ensemble’s Ligeti Academy. She continued her studies with Pirmin Grehl at the Hochschule Luzern, receiving a Master’s degree with distinction in contemporary music performance.

Susanne has been involved with contemporary music on a professional level since the beginning of her studies in The Netherlands, most notably with with the ASKO/ Schönberg Ensemble and in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s AAA series. Since moving to Switzerland she has been performing in various festivals and with various ensembles within the country and abroad. She is a member of Ensemble Contrechamps, Geneva, le NEC, La Chaux-de-Fonds and Collegium Novum Zürich, and is a founding member of Oerknal, a new music ensemble based in The Netherlands.

Susanne is active in several chamber groups and has a particular passion for introducing younger audiences to the world of contemporary music and is especially interested in developing interdisciplinary participative projects.

She was able to develop her orchestral skills in the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester Akademie during the 2013/14 season where she is still playing regularly as a substitue as well as with the Sinfonieorchester Biel/Solothurn.

Susanne currently lives in Biel/Bienne CH.

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(photo by Gari Wyn Williams)

Azra Ramić - Clarinet (Organization/Management)

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Azra Ramić is a Bosnian clarinetist and performer. Her performances run the range from standard repertoire to 20th-century classical music and 21st-century works. Azra has worked with eminent composers such as Heinz Holliger, Jürg Wyttenbach,        Richard Barrett, Simon Steen-Andersen, Ondrej Adamek and others.


As a soloist and chamber musician, she has collaborated with musicians such as Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Sarah Maria Sun, Ernesto Molinari and Hamid Drake. 

She is member of SONEMUS ensemble, Ensemble Lemniscate and Ensemble Bayona, and regularly performs with Ensemble Contrechamps, Collegium Novum Zürich, Solistenensemble  Kaleidoskop  and Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain.

-From 2006-2017 Azra held the position of principal clarinet in the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra.

She has had a number of world premiered pieces and shows great interest in musical research – she obtained a master’s degree in research on the Arts at the University Bern and is currently working towards her PhD.  

She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degree in performance at the Music Academy of Sarajevo after which she worked as a Teaching Assistant there whilst continuing her studies at the Hochschule der Künste Bern, where upon she received her master’s degree in music performance for clarinet (2013) and bass clarinet (2015). She currently lives in Biel, Switzerland as a freelance musician.

(photo by Vanja Čerimagić)

Gilles Grimaître - Keyboard

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Gilles Grimaître, born in Geneva in 1988, began to study piano at the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze in 1998. He also studied improvisation and took an avid interest in composition and contemporary music. He entered the Hochschule der Künste Bern where he continued his musical training with Prof. Pierre Sublet. He also studied the organ with Pascale Van Coppenolle and composition with Xavier Dayer. In 2013 he received his Master Performance diploma with distinction. He attented lessons from notorious pianists such as Michel Dalberto, Florence Millet, Ueli Wiget, Hermann Kretzschmar and Hidéki Nagano. Very active in the contemporary music field, Gilles Grimaître collaborated with composers such as Stefano Gervasoni, Franck Bedrossian, Gérard Zinsstag, Klaus Huber, Philippe Manoury, Pierre Jodlowski. He has premiered several works and encourages composers to write for him.


As soloist and chamber musician, Gilles Grimaître performs regularly in Europe. He often plays with Ensemble Contrechamps, Collegium Novum Zürich, Ensemble Proton and Ensemble Modern, under the baton of conductors including Heinz Holliger, François-Xavier Roth, Peter Rundel, Michael Wendeberg, Facundo Agudin and Pablo Heras-Casado.In 2012 he took part in the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, playing amongst others the piano solo part in Charles Ives’ Symphony no 4 conducted by Peter Eövtös. He specializes in the accompaniment with vocalists, working often as an opera accompanist.


He is also an active improviser and plays in the experimental band [bleu].He is a founding member of the contemporary music ensemble Ensemble Lemniscate in Basel.Gilles Grimaître won the first prize at the 2013 Nicati competition for contemporary music and received scholarships from the Marescotti Foundation, the Irène Dénéréaz Foundation and the Gabriele De Agostini Foundation. He was scholarship holder at the International Ensemble Modern Academy in Frankfurt/Main for the academic year 2013-2014.

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(photo by Vanja Čerimagić)

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Alexander Smith - Percussion



Alexander Montgomery Smith is an performing artist, educator, and artistic director who maintains an active career in musical performance and artistic collaboration. Alexander has performed in many ensemble and solo settings around the world, including The Netherlands, China, Mongolia, Germany, Spain, England, Portugal, Switzerland, Hungary, Canada, and across the United States. Alexander has been selected twice to perform in the the world largest international percussion competition, TROMP, in 2016 and 2018. His repertoire ranges from 20th century master works such as Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis to the performance and advocacy of contemporary composers such as Cathy van Eck, Simon Løffler, and Per Bloland.


Alexander holds a B.M. in Performance from the University of Kentucky, of which he graduated Magna Cum Laude, M.M. from the University of Tennessee, and an M.A. in Contemporary Arts Practice at the Hochschule der Künste Bern, Switzerland, where he is actively collaborating and performing with numerous ensembles and performers both locally and internationally. Recently, he has appeared as the featured soloist for the “World Percussion Group,” performing numerous concerts over a 4-week long international tour. Alexander has also earned numerous honors and awards for artistic interpretation and performance, and has also been supported by the “miniMAX” Foundational Support for Artistic Development.


Focusing on interdisciplinary and multimedia projects, Alexander continues to pursue the forefront of contemporary art through his experimental approach of musical interpretation and performance.

(photo by Claudia Hansen)

Benoît Piccand - Electronics

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Benoît Piccand, born in Switzerland in 1966, received classical guitar instruc- tion at the Bern Conservatory and then turned his attention to rock music and im- provisation. In 1992 he completed his studies with Axel Fischbacher at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern. He attended master courses with Joe Diorio, Scott Henderson, John Sco eld and Mick Goodrick. He has been active in the recording studio since the late 1980s, working with musicians and artists from all areas and on a long- term project of his own (BPP) as well.


Piccand works as a producer and recording engineer in the areas of classical music, contemporary, electronic and experimental music as well as jazz, pop and rock music. He is studio director and lecturer in audio technology at the Academy of the Arts in Bern and participates in diverse research projects and master courses in Asia and Europe.

Laurens Inauen - Electronics

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 Laurens Inauen is a sound artist, audio-engineer and performer. At an early age, he began his musical career as a guitarist, singer and composer in a black metal band, which led him to pursue an artistic career in full by entering the Bern University of the Arts. During his bachelor studies in "Music and Media Art,” from which he graduated Magna cum Laude, he intensively studied algorithmic composition and generative music, to which he applied to his own compositions and works. These works, ranging from installations to concert pieces, electronic sounds to acoustic instruments, continually deal with the translation between contrasting media with the intent of finding new musical and sonic structures.


For his final production of his B.A. studies, he wrote a computer software program that generated musical compositions for a player-piano from pre-recorded speech recordings. Currently pursuing an M.A. in “Contemporary Arts Practice” at the University of the Arts Bern, Laurens’s focus lies on utilizing and incorporating the internet into an entire process of composing and sound design.


He also has collaborated on numerous occasions with fellow student Luzius Bauer on performances, installations, and a vast variety of creative works. As a sound engineer he currently holds a position at the Museum of Fine Arts in Bern, and collaborates with various groups as an indispensable asset on countless large projects, such as the reinterpretation of George Aperghis’s “Machinations” with Pierre Sublet, Olivier Pasquet and Benoit Piccand. 

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Emmanuel Vion-Dury - Video/ Production


Emmanuel Vion-Dury is a self-educated cinematographer living in Paris for the past 10 years. Started fresh into the scene alone 7 years ago, while knowing almost nothing about image creation he quickly progressed and saw a clear vision: to never be hindered by technique, continuously grow and develop his skills, and to achieve a unique look, with his own particular style, for each project. Through motion design, photography, and a narrative driven approach, Emmanuel uses his instincts to achieve the purpose his customers and collaborators are searching for.


Focusing on commercial work, he has made many projects for companies such as L’Oréal (and a lot of their brands), Emirates, Spotify, LVMH, Yves Rocher, Club Med, Andros, Yellow Korner, Weight Watchers, Boohoo, and countless other startups in France. He also specialises in “DIY” projects, improvising with minimal gear to tell a story, which are the roots of his personal development.


As his style and pursuits mature, Emmanuel continues to develop more and more projects concerting what the most important thing for an image should be; human beings and their emotions.

(photo by Emmanuel Vion-Dury)

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