Alexandre Babel is a Swiss-born and Berlin-based drummer, percussionist, and composer. Regarded as a reference both in matters of interpretation of 20th and 21st-century repertoire and of the experimental scene, he feels equally at home in free improvised music as in the most complicated contemporary notated pieces.
Babel performs as a solo artist and with groups through the five continents, appearing in some of the leading venues and festivals of contemporary music. Principal percussionist of the contemporary chamber group KNM-Berlin, Babel also collaborates with ensembles such as Musikfabrik and Schlagquartett Köln. As a drummer, he has worked with the noise-rock unit Sudden Infant, guitar legend Caspar Brötzmann, and Aethenor, as well as the duo White Zero Corporation with French composer/bassist Pierre Jodlowski. He is a founding member of the performance collective Radial with the artist Mio Chareteau. His compositions have been presented at the Archipel Festival in Geneva, the Oberlin University, and the Mozarteum Salzburg.
Since 2013, he is the artistic director of the contemporary percussion collective Eklekto, with which he is constantly seeking to reinvent percussion music. Eklekto collaborates with living composers and contemporary artists through concerts, multimedia projects, and artistic events that question the listener’s expectations towards new musical forms. He commis- sioned numerous works from composers such as Billy Martin, Sven Åke Johannson, Jürg Frey, Tristan Perich, and Ryoji Ikeda.
Babel was awarded the Leenaards Cultural Prize, the Marescotti Foundation Prize, and the Friedl Wald Foundation Prize. He has been teaching and giving lectures at the University of the Arts in Berlin, the Geneva Conservatory of Music, the Western Australian Academy of performing Arts, and the Melbourne University.