photos by Rebecca ter Braak

TRIO ABSTRAKT is a Cologne/Essen-based ensemble for contemporary music consisting of Salim Javaid (saxophone), Marlies Debacker (piano) and Shiau-Shiuan Hung (percussion).


The trio has dedicated itself to recent repertoire for their specific instrumentation but also for all their various duo constellations as well as to music theatrical pieces or performances with or without instruments.


The trio has worked on music by Georges Aperghs, Mark Andre, Hans Thomalla, Orm Finnendahl, Toshio Hosokawa, Brice Pauset, Carola Bauckholt, Johannes Schöllhorn, Elnaz Seyedi and others and has recently premiered works by Jing Wang, Corné Roos and Ioannis Gerhard Paul.

The trio also works with electric instruments, objects, video, voice and body as well as with electronics - be it tape, additive playback, delays, (guitar) effect pedals, amplifications or other kinds of electronic modulation.


Since the trio's musicians are also keen explorers of their instruments and avid improvisers, dedicated pieces for the trio often make use of their unique personal sound palette.




TRIO ABSTRAKT is a "working band" and the members consider it their main project.


The trio has performed at the Biennale del Arte Venice (2019), NOW! Festival in the Philharmonie Essen (2019), the Biennale Aktueller Musik Bremen (2018), the IMPULS Academy/Festival Graz (2019) as well as participated in 3x3x3 (a project of the KGNM, GNMR and GNMM - with concerts in Cologne, Essen and Münster) and self-organized and curated concerts including premieres of dedicated works for the trio.

who we are




Salim Javaid is a Czech-Pakistani saxophonist and improviser based in Cologne. He has studied classical and jazz saxophone at the HfMT Cologne as well as contemporary music at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen.


He works in settings ranging playing contemporary music solo or in ensembles to performing improvised music and free jazz.


In his solo work and compositions, Salim explores spatiality in music, the relation of acoustic events in time and the flexibility of all parameters, while still pursuing a playful and improvisational attitude and treatment of the material.


He founded the "Trio Abstrakt", an ensemble for contemporary music (saxophone, percussion and piano) which is based in Cologne.


He performed at the Biennale del Arte 2019 in Venice, the Biennale for Contemporary Music 2018 in Bremen, Nieuwe Noten Amsterdam and NOW! Festival 2019 @Philharmonie Essen and won a number of first prizes at competitions (Biberacher Jazzpreis 2018, Getxo International Jazz Contest 2017, European Jazz Competition Burghausen 2016).

Marlies Debacker is a Belgian pianist and performer of contemporary & classical music, improvised music and free jazz based in Cologne.


She does extensive research on the sound possibilities of her instrument with a focus on resonance, pedal work, inside piano playing and the use of various preparations, thus allowing her to move between the conventional sound of a piano and various percussive and pseudo-electronic sounds. Apart from playing the piano she often performs on vintage keyboards as well.


Following her bachelor studies at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Antwerp, she studied her masters degree at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, followed by a masters degree in Contemporary Music at the Folkwang UdK Essen, with Benjamin Kobler and Prof. Barbara Maurer.


Debacker is a curator of the 'Plattform Nicht Dokumentierbarer Ereignisse’ - a concert series for improvised music that has an over 15 year long tradition in Cologne. Debacker is also member of IMPAKT, Cologne’s young collective of improvisers. She is an active performer of contemporary music, solo and with Trio Abstrakt. Marlies has worked with ensembles Handwerk and S201 and has played at 'Depature', a festival and collaboration between the HfMT Cologne and ensemble Musikfabrik.


Debacker performed at various festivals such as Acht Brücken Köln, Biennale del arte Venezia, IMPULS! Graz, PGNM Biennale Aktueller Musik Bremen, Serious Series Berlin, Klangspuren Schwaz, NOW!-Festival Essen, has participated in theatre works of Schauspiel Köln ("Aus dem bürgerlichen Heldenleben") as well as other transdisciplinary projects and has been invited to residencies such as "human noise congress 2019".

Shiau-Shiuan Hung is a Taiwanese percussionist specialised in contemporary music.

Following her bachelor studies at the Chiayi University in Taiwan, she studied her masters degree in Professional Performance at the Folkwang University of Arts with Prof. Michael Pattmann, followed by a masters degree in Contemporary Music at the Folkwang UdK Essen, with Prof. Günter Steinke, Prof. Michael Pattmann and Prof. Barbara Maurer.


She is deeply interested in the sound world of the modern percussionist and her repertoire covers works ranging from playing traditional percussion instruments, body percussion to musical theatre, usage of electronics etc.

Together with Songyi Kim she forms a percussion duo, dedicated to contemporary music.


She was granted a scholarship by the Kunststiftung NRW for the Stockhausen Day 2017, and was awarded by the Stockhausen Foundation for her interpretation of "Schlagtrio".

2018 he performed as a soloist at the Ausstellungseröffnung of the Stockhausen Foundation at the Rathaus Kürten. She has played at the NOW!-Festival with her "Trio Abstrakt" as well as other chamber music groups.




photo by Stephan Wolke


Upcoming projects will include various tours, a programme featuring electronics and Uruguayan guitarist Mauricio Galeano as well as premieres by composers Mazyar Kashian, Hyelin Lee and the second piece of Corné Roos' Tryptichon of works for Trio Abstrakt - visit this website regularly to find announcements, dates and further info!