Exclusive Interview with Konstantin Reinfeld

Konstantin Reinfeld How did you discover the bluesharp ?
~ I saw a guy on TV playing Ave Maria by Bach. However, his style of playing or the music itself didn't do it for me. It was the expressiveness of the harmonica that got me hooked and led me to get my first blues harp the day after. You know that I already had a Hohner Piccolo in my buggy?

If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which bluesharp player would you invite for a jam session?
~ That's such a tough one...I would say Toots Thielemans! Everything??? How about Brad Mehldau playing harmonica?

What is your favorite blues harp brand / type and tell us why?
~ I always love to play Hohner Golden Melodys. Their shape and closed covers are the things I like most about them. At the same time they are very easy and fast to set up for overbends.

What are the most important tips you can give to someone who wants to learn to play the bluesharp?
~ Listen to a lot of music! That's just as important as playing and practicing. Also: Involve your body! Snap/tap/dance rhythms, sing melodies etc.

Tongue blocking or lip pursing, what do you prefer and tell us why.
~ You need them both! I started out as a lip purser but when I got into Dennis Gruenling I tongue blocked everything. Now I"m back lip pursing. At the same time it's great to have the flexibility of being able to switch between the two at any point.

Give us the 3 most important albums every (beginning) blues harp player must buy.
~ Howard Levy - Concerto for Diatonic Harmonica & Orchestra
Carlos del Junco - Big Boy
Joe Filisko - I.C. Special

How do you clean your harps?
~ I clean them very rarely. Washing off the cover plates and getting the saliva out of the comb...that's it!

What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ What other musical projects are you working on? I am producing electronic downtempo music as Floating Creep. You can find some songs here: https://soundcloud.com/floating-creep

Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ I imagine it placed in the middle of a forest, probably in Scandinavia.

Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves?
~ I'm not really nervous before going on stage anymore...at least when playing the harmonica ;) Well, a small amount of excitement is necessary. Otherwise it wouldn't make sense to go on stage, because it makes you focus and concentrate.

What was the most memorable day in your musical career?
~ Harmonica festivals are crazy and the time I spent in South Korea for the 1st International Harmonica Festival Seoul was very memorable. I was supposed to play my concert with a piano player on site but nobody there seemed to know. After long discussions - I couldn"t understand a word - I ended up rehearsing with a piano player another company brought for their artists for like 15 minutes. The gala concert was a big success !!

Konstantin Reinfeld

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Answers given on june 15, 2016
Pictures by Stephan Pick