Merle Bennett

Foto Merle Bennett
photo: julia hertäg

Merle Bennett was born in 1974 in Hamburg, Germany. She started her professional career at 20  playing with many different musicians in the fields of improv, jazz, modern dance and art. For five years she was a member of the dance company Contact 17 lead by dancer Stina K. Bollmann. They toured Germany and neighbouring countries, playing many dance and theatre festivals.

In 1998 Merle Bennett moved to Berlin and studied jazz drums and elementary music pedagogy at the Hanns Eisler Conservatory.

In 2002 she was laureate of the competition for improvised music for young musicians at the Altstadtherbst Festival in Düsseldorf with her ensemble Cliquetis Creux. For many years Merle Bennett played in the indie pop band Erik&Me, one of the first German bands that took part in the so called PopCamp, founded by Deutscher Musikrat. The third album of Erik&Me became album of the week at Berlins big radio station Radio eins. She ran a music label with Torsten Papenheim and Axel Haller from 2004 to 2016 called schraum.

Merle Bennett works and performs with different Bands: rant, Rico Lee and the Black Pumas, and The Pankow Dance Society.

From 2014 to 2021 she learned and worked as a body therapist using the method of Pantarei Approach. In 2020 she graduated as a Heilpraktikerin. In february 2021 Merle Bennett startet to work as a music teacher in an elementary school in Berlin. She lives together with her husband and their two kids in the north of Berlin.


Torsten Papenheim

Foto Torsten Papenheim
photo: julia hertäg

Torsten Papenheim was born in 1980 near Göttingen and has lived in Berlin since 2000. He works as a composer, guitar player and music teacher and is primarily concerned with the combination and juxtaposition of melody and sound. Papenheim studied guitar and composition with private teachers in Göttingen, Hanover and Cologne.

His music can be heard on numerous records, he played concerts and festivals in Germany and all over Europe. Besides rant, Torsten Papenheim is playing with his Berlin quartet Tru Cargo Service and with Karm - a duo with saxophonist Michal Wróblewski from Prague. Sunswept Sunday - his ensemble together with Stuttgart-based percussionist Daniel Kartmann - is performing the music of Duke Ellington in a unique way.

Papenheim is also performing as soloist and writes chamber music for different line-ups, e.g. his works „Nachtprogramm“ (trombone, bass, piano. Cologne 2017), „Syntax Zwei“ (cello and bass. Vienna 2013), „Marg Bar Hichkas“ (Two pianos and three snare drums. Berlin 2016) and „BT N RS“ (french horn, harp, piano. Helsinki 2013).

From 2004 to 2016 he lead the record label „schraum“ in cooperation with Axel Haller and Merle Bennett.