De Rerum Natura

De Rerum Natura
Dance of the Elements

Audio-CD released by GRUENREKORDER  (GRUEN185) on sale here
Release Date: Feb 2, 2019

listen to excerpts here


Screenshot Booklet-Cover


On the Nature of Things

In his poem De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) the Roman poet/philosopher Lucretius (c. 99 – c. 55 BCE) explores Epicurean physics and philosophy through richly poetic language and metaphors, as he presents an entire cosmology: based on the principles of atomism, Lucretius tries to explain the nature of the mind and soul, and the development of the world. While some of his ideas have been proven scientifically wrong, some of his thoughts seem strikingly reasonable even for the contemporary reader. Lucretius believes that, while everything in the universe is finite, the smallest elements (“The First Beginnings of Things”) themselves are eternal –  moving through the void they collide, create forms and dissolve, just to collide again in order to create new forms.

For Lucretius life is a beautiful chance-driven Dance of the Elements. His ideas, popular and highly controversial in Roman intellectual circles, were soon to be banned and eventually forgotten during the rise of Christianity. The poem was by chance rediscovered in the 15th century by the famous humanist Poggio Bracciolini (1380-1459), most likely in the scriptorium of a monastery in Fulda, Germany. During the renaissance it eventually became a foundation stone of modern western philosophy and natural sciences.

The listener embarks on a journey in which a universe of sound unfolds

When Soila Valkama, the ars acustica-editor of Finnish broadcaster YLEISRADIO commissioned us to produce a sound-composition, we suggested to her a playful attempt of a sonic translation of Lucretius’ ideas. Smallest sonic elements float through space, dark and chaotic, merge to create concrete forms, transform into different consistencies, from water to wind, from stone to dust, steadily in motion in a constant process of becoming and dissolving. Intertwined with the sound-composition we encounter fragments of Lucretius’ text in English and in Latin, carefully adapted and translated by Janko, and spoken by his brother, the actor Stefko Hanushevsky.


De Rerum Natura/Dance of the Elements (GRUEN 185)

Sound composition by Merzouga

Merzouga is Janko Hanushevsky (prepared electric bass) and Eva Poepplein (electronics)

Speaker: Stefko Hanushevsky

Translations: Janko Hanushevsky

Editor: Soila Valkama

Commissioned and produced by YLEISRADIO/Finland.

Merzouga would like to thank

Soila Valkama & YLE, Stefko Hanushevsky, Lasse-Marc Riek & Roland Etzin, Markus Jarchow, Sabine Kuechler, Bohdan & Ewa Hanushevsky, and Felix & Waltraud Poepplein for their continuous support.

This release was made possible by the generous support of SKE-Fonds.

Dedicated to Mira & Nicolai.

© 2015 by Janko Hanushevsky (akm/austro mechana) and Eva Poepplein (GEMA).

gruenrekorder_logo-small1 ske_aume_logo_4c

Dance of the Elements

CD-Release 2019



Wire Tapper 47

Wire Tapper 47
Opening track by Merzouga

Wire Tapper 47 Cover

„Palimpsest Of Beginnings And Ends“ opening
the WIRE Tapper 47, August 2018


Promoting Merzouga’s 3rd release on GRUENREKORDER, the WIRE Tapper 47, compiled by the reknowned WIRE magazine – Adventures in Underground Music, opens with Merzouga’s track „Palimpsest Of Beginnings And Ends“.


Opening track by Merzouga

Compilation 2018



Merzouga live at Fluc

Merzouga live at Fluc
Merzouga Live-Recording

CD-R released by ATTENUATION CIRCUIT(ACC 1013) available here
Release Date: February, 2014


There is a fine interaction between the two players, leaving space for each other to explore further, hold back and wait until it’s time to interact again. Most of the times carefully played, but not held back. (

Free improvised music performed by Merzouga

(Janko Hanushevsky – prepared electric bass & Eva Pöpplein electronics)

on March 21, 2012 at KLUB MOOZAK, Fluc/Vienna

Review by Idwal Fisher (UK)

MERZOUGA – LIVE AT FLUC (CDR by Attentuation Circuit)

On ‘Live at Fluc’ they’re on their own as it were with a 40 minute performance as given in Vienna in 2012. The pairing of prepared bass and electronics is an inspired one at once linking a physical wood and steel instrument with a massed produced piece of technology, the results being far more organic than anything produced entirely via lap top or similar. The seemingly endless array of sounds Hanushevsky teases out of his instrument is quite stunning, everything from frotted strings to plucked strings to sawed strings, to vibrating strings, hammered, drilled, knocked, bashed whatever but always seemingly in control weaving his instrument through the effects as produced by Pöppelin, be they chirping insects, sine waves, ringing glasses or as in one particularly memorable instance the inside of an effervescing Alka Seltzer glass whose sudden leap in volume is nothing short of magnificent. The mood is often sombre and austere, at times thoughtful, chin stroking but never for an instant boring. Quite an achievement.




Merzouga Live-Recording

CD-R Release 2014, Attenuation Circuit



52°46’North 13°29’East

52°46’North 13°29’East
Music for Wax-Cylinders by Merzouga

Audio-CD released by GRUENREKORDER  (GRUEN124) on sale here
Release Date: December 15, 2013

Musikvideo: Adobe Flash Player (Version 9 oder höher) wird benötigt um dieses Musikvideo abzuspielen. Die aktuellste Version steht hier zum herunterladen bereit. Außerdem muss JavaScript in Ihrem Browser aktiviert sein.

„This is a glorious recording. It’s a communion with voices past, an exploration of the ethnographers curiosity and, most of all, a celebration of the vitality of sound.“ – Quiet World, Wales

„This dream-come true has resulted in a love letter to the format“ – Richard Allen, USA

A creative showdown between the past and the future, entirely aesthetic and happily citationist.“
Neural Magazine, Italy


Composition using hsitoric wax-cylinders of the berlin Phonogram-Archive by Merzouga.

Liner Notes: Marcus Gammel (Deutschlandradio Kultur).

Epilogue: Albrecht Wiedmann (Berlin Phonogram-Archive).

Mixed and mastered by Eva Pöpplein.

Audio-CD released by Gruenrekorder.

Design by Sebastian Ristow, FLATLAB.

Photos by Merzouga.

Artists portrait by Markus Gradwohl.

Review by Richard Allen (

Berlin’s Erich Moritz von Hornbostel was one lucky musicologist.  Unable to travel, he was aided by a Prussian emperor’s edict that required all wax cylinder music passing through the country to be brought to him.  During the early 20th century, he accumulated over 16,000 of these treasures.  One can only imagine what he might make of the modern era, in which one might accumulate 16,000 albums by clicking a simple button ~ no camels, tariffs or passports involved.

But wait ~ not everything is available on iTunes.  The only way to encounter von Hornbostel’s famous wax cylinders is through the Berlin Phonogram Archive.  Recent access was granted to Eva Pöpplein and Janko Hanushevsky (Merzouga), field recording artists in their own right.  This dream-come true has resulted in a love letter to the format, a single-track collage of wax wonder, electronics, and electric bass.  This is the sound of sound forgotten, left to rot, recovered and brought into the light.  The source material spans the globe: tribal chant, dusty choir, speakeasy solo.  Lines and pieces of lines are echoed, looped, rubbed against each other like sticks used to create fire.  And all through the recording, amplified for full effect, is the sound of the cylinders themselves: crackling, warping, popping.  When a rainstorm arises in the fifth minute (just after a yodel!) the effect is exquisite, layer upon layer upon layer.  One thinks of the people on the recording, long dead – then the actual cylinders and the travelers being pelted by rain – then the wide eyes of the current artists and their own additions – and finally the fact that one is playing this sonic onion in one’s own home.  Remarkable.  In one sense, the world has gotten small enough to fit on a single disc.  Conversely, the single disc opens up the world, from Egypt to Mexico, Switzerland to Samoa.  One imagines this grand experiment being recorded to wax cylinder itself, stored for a hundred years, and unearthed by the next generation of musicologists, a fine fate to befall such a brave and lovely recording.  (Richard Allen)

Soundscape Series by Gruenrekorder Germany /2013 /
Gruen 124 /LC 09488/GEMA EAN: 4050486098356

Historic wax-cylinder recordings used with kind permission of the Berlin Phonogram-Archive, Ethnologisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz.

With kind support of SKE/austro mechana



Music for Wax-Cylinders by Merzouga

CD Release 2013, Gruenrekorder



Noise of Cologne 2

Noise of Cologne 2
Noise of Cologne 2 feat. Merzouga

HARBOUR by Merzouga featured on Noise of Cologne 2,
May 2013
Audio-CD released by a-musik, on sale here


Experimentelle Musik hat in Köln eine lange Tradition. Ihre Geschichte reicht deutlich weiter zurück als die des Minimal Techno, des berühmten „Sound of Cologne“. Es ist erstaunlich, wie reichhaltig der Fundus an Geräuschmusik aus der Domstadt ist; verblüffend, wie viele Kölner Musiker sich mit abstrakten Klängen auseinandersetzen. NoC ist eine offene, gleichsam durchlässige Zusammenstellung und frei von jedem Noise-Dogma. Sie ist erfrischend unakademisch, höchst abwechslungsreich und unterhaltsam. Oder, wie Joachim Ody in seinen erhellenden Linernotes festhält, eine „Klingende Wundertüte“. Dieser Sampler zeichnet nicht allein ein ausgesprochen spannendes Bild vom facettenreichen Wirken der Freien Musikszene in einer Stadt wie Köln. Er ist zugleich ein Gegenentwurf zu muffiger kölscher Selbstverliebtheit, ein Fenster zu einem anderen Köln. Ein Blick durch dieses Fenster macht Hoffnung.

Noise of Cologne 2 feat. Merzouga

Compilation-CD 2013



Mekong Morning Glory

Mekong Morning Glory
Sound Composition by Merzouga

Deutschlandradio Kultur  2009, 49:02
Audio-CD released by GRUENREKORDER  (GRUEN092) on sale here

Musikvideo: Adobe Flash Player (Version 9 oder höher) wird benötigt um dieses Musikvideo abzuspielen. Die aktuellste Version steht hier zum herunterladen bereit. Außerdem muss JavaScript in Ihrem Browser aktiviert sein.

„An epic work of art“ – Progress Report, UK
„Impressive!“ – Cyclic Defrost Magazine, AUSTRALIA

„I was mesmerized by Mekong Morning Glory in a way that I haven’t felt by a piece of music for a long time. (…) the way in which the natural world and the recording studio have combined here is a sheer delight. “ (Idwal Fisher, UK)

„Merzouga bring an inspired concept to the electro-acoustic soundscaping genre in merging prepared bass guitar playing, field recordings, live electronics, and computer manipulations into a provocative hybrid. In addition, the range of sound that Hanushevsky coaxes from his prepared bass guitar is remarkable.“ (textura magazine, CN)

“There is indeed a strong sense of structure (…). An interesting approach and it makes for an engaging listen.” (Brian Olewnik, USA)

“Their editing however is what most impresses, particularly a violent segment late in the piece involving cascades of white noise: waterfalls, rapids, raining shells (…) collapsing and colliding in a symphony of tiny detail.” (Cyclic Defrost Magazine, AUSTRALIA)

-> weitere  Pressestimmen

-> english version

Der Mekong ist einer der mächtigsten Flüsse der Welt.  Er überwindet auf seinem über 4.000 km langen Weg aus dem tibetischen Hochland bis zum südvietnamesischen Delta 5.000 Höhenmeter, durchquert sieben Länder, drei Klimazonen und drei Kulturkreise.

Auf einer ausgedehnten Reise folgten  Eva Pöpplein und Janko Hanushevsky dem Unterlauf des Mekongs und reisten einen Monat lang flussabwärts durch Laos, Kambodscha und Vietnam bis ans Delta, wo sich der Fluss auf einer Fläche von 40.000 km2 ausbreitet, sich in Tausende kleine Kanäle verästelt, und sich schließlich ins Südchinesische Meer ergießt.

Dabei ist der Mekong die Lebensader der gesamten Region.  An den Ufern des Mekong, oder Mae Nam Khong, dem „Mother River of All Things“, breitet sich fruchtbares Leben in seiner tropischsten Fülle aus. Merzouga hat sich auf den Weg gemacht, die Klänge, die dieses Leben erzeugt, mit dem Mikrophon einzufangen.

Als musikalische Analogie und sinnlich-poetische Metapher für den großen, geheimnisvollen Fluss, der alles Leben um ihn herum generiert, finden Eva Pöpplein und Janko Hanushevsky den E-Bass, dieses langwellige, tieffrequente Saiteninstrument, aus dem sie mittels mechanischer Präparation und elektronischer Bearbeitung alle in  der Komposition „Mekong Morning Glory“  verwendeten Kunstklänge generieren. Auf diese Weise wird der Zuhörer auf eine fantastische Reise mitgenommen, die am Mekong beginnt, aber weit über die Grenzen seiner Ufer hinaus geht.

Redaktion: Marcus Gammel

Produktion: Deutschlandradio Kultur 2009

Ursendung: 06.11.2009

GRUEN092/LC09488/GEMA/EAN: 4050486048433

mit freundlicher Unterstützung von

SKE/austro mechana


Sound Composition by Merzouga

CD Release 2011, Deutschlandradio Kultur 2009




featuring an electro-acoustic composition by Merzouga


CD-Release 2012 by Kohelet 3
Sonic Landscape by Merzouga.

Audio-CD released by Kohelet 3/Extraplatte November, 2012.

Order here.

-> english version

DROM, so lautet der Titel der neuen Kohelet 3-CD, die im Herbst 2012 erscheint. DROM bedeutet in der Sprache der Roma „Der Weg“. Auf dieser CD konzentrieren sich die langjährigen musikalischen Weggefährten auf Lieder der großen nomadischen Völker Osteuropas, der Roma und der osteuropäischen Juden. Einen weiteren Schwerpunkt bildet die Musik aus Bohdans Heimat, der Ukraine.

DROM, die aktuelle Etappe auf dem musikalischen Weg von Kohelet 3 bietet neben ausgewählten Texten Ewas und einer Eigenkomposition Bohdans zudem ein musikalisches Experiment: Ausgehend von einer gemeinsamen Ukrainereise haben Ewa und Bohdan ihren ältesten Sohn Janko eingeladen, mit seinem Duo Merzouga zeitgenössische, elektro-akustische Musik für die CD zu komponieren, die sich mit Geräuschen der Reise, in der Ukraine entstandenen Field-Recordings von Volksmusik und den Kohelet 3-Aufnahmen zu einer einzigartigen ästhetischen Einheit verbindet.


Bohdan Hanushevsky (Gesang, Akkordeon)
Ewa Hanushevsky (Gesang, Saxophon, Text)
Kurt Edlmair (Gesang, Klarinette)
Barni Girlinger (Trompete, Flügelhorn)

Eva Pöpplein (Electronics, Violine, Komposition)
Janko Hanushevsky (E-Bass, Kontrabassgitarre, Komposition)

Release: November 2012, EXTRAPLATTE (EX 958-2)

featuring an electro-acoustic composition by Merzouga

CD-Release 2012



WIRE Tapper 30

WIRE Tapper 30
WIRE Tapper feat. Merzouga

Fragment #2 by Merzouga featured on WIRE Tapper 30,
October 2012
Audio-CD released by THE WIRE Magazine, on sale here

Merzouga is a spot in the Sahara where Cologne-based computer-musician Eva Poepplein and electric-bassist Janko Hanushevsky encountered the roaring silence of camel-flies and sand tickling down the dunes. Nurturing the listener’s awareness for the sonic richness that surrounds us has become Merzouga’s musical objective. Since 2002 they have been performing free-improvised music and composing music for radio, film and theatre. Working musically with field-recordings from their travels is a central aspect of their ars-acustica work. Their award-winning radio-works have been commissioned by German broadcasters.  In 2009 they listened to 600 historic wax-cylinder-recordings at the Berlin-Phonographic-Archive. In 2011 their sound-composition “Mekong Morning Glory” was released on GRUENREKORDER.

The WIRE #344, October 2012

WIRE Tapper feat. Merzouga

Compilation-CD 2012



Somewhere On the Edge

Somewhere On the Edge
GRUENREKORDER Compilation feat. Merzouga

Early field-recordings work by Merzouga featured on
the GRUENREKORDER Compilation „Somewhere On the Edge“
(GRUEN100), May 2012
Released by GRUENREKORDER, free download here

„47 tracks, 531 minutes and 34 seconds: nearly nine hours of field recordings and soundscapes fill every corner of Gruenrekorder’s 100th release, a testament not only to the strength and diversity of the label, but to the number of friends it has made.  (…) Somewhere on the edge is the telephone book of field recordings; few people will play it from cover to cover, but many will refer to it again and again.“ – Richard Allen

GRUENREKORDER Compilation feat. Merzouga

Compilation-CD 2012