Farištamo Eller

Pianist, improviser


Farištamo Eller (1985, Tajikistan/Estonia)

Farištamo Eller is a pianist and an improviser. She performs with different singers and instrumentalists.

Her improvisations are born on the spot, reacting to the moment and to the people around her. Her sound aspires to beauty but is also thrillingly odd and strange, and she is influenced by early music and by different forms of ethnic folk music. All of this is tied together by a need to always discover something new about the sound-world of her instrument.

Farištamo studied improvisation with Fred Frith, Alfred Zimmerlin and Rudolf Lutz, at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel, Switzerland. She continued her studies also in accompanying with prof. Jan Schultz, chamber music with Anton Kernjak, orchestra conducting with Rodolfo Fischer. Previously, she has studied piano (solo and chamber performance) at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, with Marko Martin and Valdur Roots. For a year, she was also an ERASMUS exchange student in Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy, studying with Jussi Siirala.

She has worked as a teacher (improvisation, accomponying, piano), has given free improvisation workshops, has conducted improvisation orchestras. She was a conductor of the Estonian Academy of Arts Chamber Choir for 5 years. In July-August 2013 she did a Praktikum in Neuköllner Oper Berlin as a Festival Assistent. She tought piano in Kehra Music- and Artschool 2014-2017.

Farištamo has worked with numerous composers (Pärt, Andriessen, Alvarado, Penderecki), dancers, actors, animators and free improvisers. In Estonia, she has a piano duo KeAmo with Merike Poom, and in Switzerland was, with Judith Wegmann in years 2012-15. In early 2013, she participated in a musical art project “Songs for a Mad King”, in Basel Kunsthalle.

She had a lied-duo with mezzo soprano Jane Tiik 2012-2017.

She has participated in various mastercourses and competitions, and collaborated in different projects with other artists, e.g. dancers (in Contemporary Dance Academy in Copenhagen), actors (play: Piano, Clown, and Harri – music and piano), played in many chamber ensembles (“Alternatives” with guitarist Theodore Parker and actress Aita Vaher; “Parallelwelten” with saxophonist Anna Röser, “Music, Gold and Cats” with cellist Eva Kuster and violinist Luke Wilkins).

In autumn 2014, she was touring Switzerland with the quartet New4Art. In 2016 she recorded a solo album with free improvisations on piano “Paths”. She was an Artist in Residence in Stadl an der Mur, Austria in 2017 August where with six other musicians.