Percussionist, composer, musician and teacher, Gabriele Kostas has been bringing her unique mixture of ethnic percussion beats and jazz rhythms to audiences in Germany and abroad for over 15 years. She is one of the rare percussionists who performs solo, often using up to 100 instruments and other objects during concerts. While most of her instruments come from ethnic musical cultures, such as Brazil, Cuba, West Africa, Egypt or Trinidad, she does not play traditional rhythms or melodies with them. Rather she composes her own pieces, inspired by the true range of sounds which the individual objects and instruments possess. Thematically, her music is driven by natural occurrences like heartbeats, wind, animal noises or the various movements of water. Through this, the energy of fundamental rhythms are given as much expression as the melodies through which they intertwine. Percussion beats - which normally are used only for sound accompaniment and effect - are remoulded by her into musical compositions.
On her new CD, "Heartbeat", Gabriele Kostas has composed and performed all the pieces. This work takes listeners into the magical world of sounds and rhythms through which she wanders. Here the audience experiences the rush of ethnic cultures into the 20th century and beyond.
When she finds time away from performing and recording, Gabriele Kostas gives workshops and classes which are attended by students from around the world. The students become acquainted with the objects and instruments which she plays and, in Gabriele Kostas' own words, "they get an insight into what is a personal style of performance and composition. Music is far more than just notes on a page, and for me, musicians must return to the feelings and drives which caused those notes to be written down in the first place. Creating and performing music is a living, dynamic process".