…recognising the last time i wrote something here is a year ago does not feel right- so: here we go.

december 2020 i reached out to paul jackson (http://www.origami-artist.com) to have a chat with him about his work and former musical endeavours with his project „paper music“ from 2004/5 (http://www.papersonics.com).

as i mentioned already, he has been a huge inspiration for me and i was delighted to hear, that he was willing to take time to listen to our music.

here some lines from our conversation:


dear paul, 

thanks a lot for getting in touch! i was not aware of papersonics, what a great idea! in my case its a bit different, more naive…i took a folding of my daughter and used it to advertise my trio called „koi trio“ first (hence my japanese middle name and my personal taste for japanese aesthetics http://www.koi-trio.de) then I got into the structure/geometry of the folding and figured I want to „translate“ it to actual notes, and play it with guest musicians: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAh9Fy4UR9M currently i am planning to release a cd and looking for the artwork. what I am thinking, is an reverse project, a music inspired folding, maybe from the time of paper sonics, that you would be willing to share? i feel that the journey has not endet here, I am very keen to go on researching „foldability in jazz and improvised music“.

you have such a brilliant view on the art of folding and I would love to „pick your brains“ about it. and well, hopefully you like the music a bit…i am looking forward to your reply, your opinion and possibly ideas!“


hi matthias,

„the music on YT sounds great!  congratulations to everyone. there are many ways in which origami, or some element of it, can be made audible. the way I chose was simply to showcase the acoustic properties of folded paper, so the link is very obvious.


„on the extreme other hand, listening to your music, I wouldn’t know its origin was in origami …but I know that doesn’t matter! i’m not sure i have anything useful to say that would be of help to you, but i will be very happy to discuss various ideas and approaches that have occurred to me in the past. despite my fine art background, i am a trained musician and in my 20’s participated in many performances that may variously be described as music, sound performance and performance art. i have worked with john cage, christian wolff, performed with evan parker, derek bailey and other improvising musicians, as well as done a lot of my own stuff, of which the paper music performances are perhaps the best remembered.  i am telling you this to let you know that I’ve dabbled in a lot of unorthodox musics, so i am very open to new and unusual ideas.“

since paul agreed to improvise a origami folding for us, as a form of „reverse engeneering“ translating music into an origami I would love to share his work:

paul explains:

i`ve listened several times more to your music, trying to evolve some kind of folded image in my mind that represents it. after quite a lot of experimentation, I came up with something that to me at least, evokes what you wrote.

i made 2 versions of it.  one is clean and tidy with gentle colours, the other is a little rough (on purpose) and more vibrant.  i can’t decide which I like more, so I’m sending them both. of course, they’re not typical ‚origami models‘, but then, your music isn’t typical, either. 😊

the square grid represents the tightness of the music and origami. the 2 colour/white pieces across the middle are measured negative/positive equivalents, which to me represents the interplay between the musicians.

the yellow paper is a fixed 12 x 12 grid (we actually manufacture it ourselves!), so if your designer wants 13 x 13, that would be a problem.  the coloured/white papers can be changed as regards how they are folded, so if you have a particular reason to have – say – 4’s and 3’s everywhere, I could probably make something. i chose that particular set of numbers because they looked right

if you think it’s a pile of garbage, I’m completely OK with that.  If you don’t want to use it, I’m not at all offended.  I know it’s highly unusual, but that’s the both of us, I think.“


„…looking at both foldings I tend to use the „cleaner“ one as a cover, but its a tough choice to make- 

the grid of twelve is great, representing our available notes,as well as the groups of 2,3,4,5, mirrored, tweaked and layered. its really nice!  If I read into the roughed up version, it underlines our individual performances through your improvised foldings…“

last but not least:

we are close to finish the process of producing a new cd called koi septet, „how does origami sound?“ and i will share in the coming days more about that!