JEFF - Pyrophonic Ensemble Berlin

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Jeffrey Funt

Jeff Funt’s trajectory onto the “Berliner Pyrophoniker” stage began in the mid 80’s.

He was working in film, theater and television in West Berlin, transiting “Check- Point Charly” to East Berlin in his free time to visit an East German artist whom he married in East Berlin in 1987.

The “Dept of Espionage Detection and Elimination” followed him to every rendezvous – they knew nothing of love. He created and improvised a comical figure in the quintessential Berlin Musical Movie, “Line One”(1987). For many years he constructed sets for the “State Opera Company” (Berlin) as the first westerner after reunification to do so.

For the german gpvernment he constructed a large Zeppelin (34 meter-German Pavilion, Expo 92’, Spain) as well as a(5m) metal figure of “Don Quixote” (German Pavilion, Expo 92’ - Spain). In 1993, together with Spanish sculptor Miguel Estoban Canno he participated in the Sculpture exhibition “Artists Against Raciscm to foreigners” (Berlin).

In the early 90’s Jeff toured with “the Buffalo Bill Show” (Terry Hands -Royal Shakespeare Company) performing as stuntman. He subsequently appeared as a clown in the classic “Exploding Clown-Car” routine within the menage of the “Bush-Berolina” circus ( fusion of two former East German State circuses). Jeff learned the art of Bullwhipping while working with the “La Cirk Agguir” (France), later performing with the Swedish circus company “Circus Lokomotive” (Berlin), using high explosives in his “Exploding Bullwhip” routine .

He’s also performed percusssion whipping for composers and sound designers like Heiner Goebels, Sam Auinger amd Rupert Huber along with instructing Actors (Birol Eunel) as well as Stuntman in theater (Teatro Ofrcona - Brazil) and television (Benzin im Blut,Sat.1).

In the mid ninety’s Jeff set up the “Hit and Run” recording studio producing radio plays, and soundtracks for performance theater, video and ambient soundtracks for exhibition openings, performing live in the “Volks Bühne ” (Berlin) for the opening of Frank Castorfs “Crime and Punishment” with Brazilian video artists Oswaldo Santana and Marilla Halla.

He was a co-founding member of the elusive music project know as “Masotodon” which graced Berlin stages in the decade past, along with Bastiaan Maris, drummer extraordinaire Niko Lipolis and Bob Rutman, creator of the steel chello,.

Jeff has toured internationally with his bowed steel instrument alongside the explosive XT-90 (Switzerland), and with the Puppet theater ensemble “Silent Tide”, produced written and directed by Sarah Wright of the “Little Angels Puppet theater”, London.

Jeff was a co-founding member of the post-Mad Max Berliner performance group “Free Radicals”.

Jeffrey Funt began his collaboration with Bastiaan Maris in the months proceeding the collapse of the Berlin wall. They met in 1989 amidst the millue of the Berliner film scene. They were quick to notice that between Mr. Maris’s background in industrial performance, and Mr. Funts background in industry (prior to his arrival in Berlin he worked as a pipe welder in submarines and nuclear generating stations between his work in leather shops, stained glass windows, social work with delinquent children, schoolbus driver, and many other professions), that there was much space into which creative minds can meld. Together they created the brutal Dog/Spider machine which proved a great success. Their collaboration in Physics and esthetics have continued over the years producing such wonders as Bastiaan Maris’s fantastically ingenious bass instrument, the magnificent “Heater”, along with numerous other entity’s gracing the “Berliner Pyrophoniker” stage.

Jeff and Eddie met in the 90’s amidst a large fire opera created by the renowned fire artist Kain Karawahn. Eddy was impressed by Jeffs fire eradication skills after Jeff suppressed a flaming inferno atop a stack of wooden cases containing many kilo’s of pyrotechnic explosives placed several floors below the point where jeff was welding (mistaken directive from organizers – It was a large building). A simple falling spark is proof of “Murphy’s Law” - if it’s combustable – a spark will find it and it will combust into the new millenium and onto the stage of the “Berliner Pyrophoniker”.
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