Hildenbrand’s music is defined by the restless nature of a true seeker. Over the years his explorations have taken him to a variety of places and spaces, nonetheless, his destination continues to be the ever elusive vanishing point: the realm of the mystical. Ultimate truth and pure beauty remain forever on the horizon. His is a journey into the core of music.
Coming from a musical family, Hildenbrand was introduced to music at a very early age. His grandfather was a classical conductor and his father played guitar.
Hildenbrand studied jazz and improvisation with Mick Goodrick at Berklee College of Music, in Boston (USA), and graduated from the University of Music in Rotterdam (Netherlands).
The more he studied music, the more he was convinced that this was his calling. Hence, he decided to live in seclusion and devoted all of his time to perfecting his craft. He wanted to understand music from the inside.
During his journey Hildenbrand dove into a variety of musical cultures and dedicated himself to mapping the connections between them. He realised that there is a common ground that underpins all musical expressions. It’s as if music is this absolute entity, with immanent laws, that we are only beginning to understand.
After returning to Berlin, Hildenbrand was introduced to Turkish music. He studied with the oud master Nuri Karademirli, at the Conservatory of Turkish Music. Karademirli helped him to reach a deeper understanding of classical Turkish music, which then allowed him to transfer its microtonal expressions back to the guitar.
Hildenbrand has a complicated relationship with the guitar: he feels more connected to the sounds of the Turkish oud, Indian sarod, Afghan rabab and Persian tar. But, at the same time, he is fully committed to this instrument and even more so to expanding its sonic limitations. His distinct personal approach to playing allows him to interweave a multitude of sounds and concepts in his music.
Hildenbrand’s musical journey also took him to India’s cultural capital, Calcutta, where he studied Indian classical music with sarod master Ranajit Sengupta.
In India, he discovered the magic inherent in everyday life. Spirituality was omnipresent there and an intuition started to mature inside of him that there is more to reality than what the mind is able to grasp. This revelation had a profound effect on him. Hildenbrand doesn‘t subscribe to any religion, but through his music he is able to unlock this hidden space. India, with all the special encounters that he had there, sharpened his antennae for this particular experience.
In 2019, Hildenbrand expanded his musical vocabulary through the addition of his singing voice. At first, he would sing to double the melody and add additional textures to the guitar. Singing also amplified the depth of his connection to music.
In 2021, he created a new language based on a thorough research and a systematic exploration of the phonetic building blocks of speech (sourced from all languages). He created his own syllable database that includes about 300 unique syllables, from which he composes his “lyrics” by following tonal and associative pictorial and poetic criteria.
In Hildenbrand’s own words: Music is a place of longing for me. It is a lens through which we have access to a more sublime aspect of our existence. Music allows us to experience a certain type of liberation, opens us up to an overwhelming sense of bliss. It’s like we are opening a door, just a little bit, and we catch a glimpse of what paradise could look like.
Drawing from the musical traditions of the Orient and India, European music, Persian music and jazz, Berlin-based German guitarist and composer Hub Hildenbrand reveals spaces previously closed to the guitar. For incorporating his singing voice into his solo concerts he created a new language following sonic and associative criteria. Hildenbrand comes from a musical family, he studied at Berklee College of Music (Boston, USA) with Mick Goodrick and graduated from the University of Music in Rotterdam (Netherlands). He studied Turkish Classical music with the oud master Nuri Karademirli at the Conservatory of Turkish Music in Berlin (Germany) and learned North Indian Classical music in Calcutta (India) from sarod master Ranajit Sengupta. Hildenbrand has directed numerous ensembles of his own, composed music for film and theater, and released 15 albums of his own music. His touring has taken him beyond Europe to the USA and India, to festivals such as the Delhi International Arts Festival, the Berlin-Istanbul Festival, folkBALTICA, the Rudolstadt Festival, and Bardentreffen Festival (Nuremberg), the Cultural Festival of the University of Cyprus and the Amari Green Festival Crete. Hildenbrand has worked with internationally renowned musicians such as Palle Mikkelborg, Hein van de Geyn, Ranajit Sengupta, Nuri Karademirli, Zacharias Spyridakis, Rhys Chatham, Rupak Bhattacharjee, Levent Yildrim, and Farhad Safari. Hildenbrand was awarded grants from the Berlin Senate, the Musikfonds and the German Music Council, among others. He was supported by the Goethe-Institut, the Initiative Musik and the Embassy of Turkey and Cyprus. Hildenbrand conduced masterclasses at universities and has students around the world.