20 Years Of Ghanaia – The Composer Matthias Schmitt

Header - Matthias Schmitt

On December 16th, 2017 my documentary about German Composer Matthias Schmitt was released as episode #5 of The Nicolas Unger Show. I did the filming and editing. Hope you enjoy it!

English subtitles are provided via YouTube´s subtitle functionality!

For 20 years the composition Ghanaia for Solo Marimba by Matthias Schmitt is a hit amongst percussionists around the world. Just watch the numerous interpretations (more than 150!!) on YouTube alone (Playlist).

Watch the video here:

German public television station “BR” used some material from the “Ghanaia Special Version” video and the documentary:

“Ghanaia 20 Years Special Version”, “How Have You Been” and “Abschied” from the studio sessions with Matthias Schmitt:

Get the following news release as a PDF here.

Gallery with impressions from the documentary and it´s production:


Global success from German composer Matthias Schmitt

On film documentation about the composer and his composition´s anniversary

Meckenheim, Germany, 12/08/2017 – A new documentary presents German composer Matthias Schmitt in his own words and shows many of his musical occupations.
We hear about his first attempts in composing, playing in bands and recording in the studio with Juergen Gerner in Hirschfeld where he is still working today on percussion compositions and pop songs.
Schmitt recorded a special version of „Ghanaia“ and two more songs. We see him singing and playing piano, drums, guitar, bass and percussion. The marimba is played by Evgeniya Kavaldzhieva.

Schmitt studied at Musikhochschule Wuerzburg, Germany with Professor Siegfried Fink. He composed numerous musical pieces for percussion instruments and „Agnus Dei“ for choir and marimba which was – after the first performance in Wuerzbug – also presented in New York at St. Michael´s Episcopal Church both time conducted by Christian Kabitz.
Subsequently the composition toured the world and was performed by choirs in England, Austria, Luxembourg, Argentina and Spain.

Nicolas Unger produced the documentary. He studied with Matthias Schmitt at Musikhochschule Wuerzburg. He accompanied the composer for four days and collected stories and informations in a personal interview. Matthias Schmitt also gives an insight into his music school „Clavis“ where he teaches different instruments in an authentic way regardless of whether it´s Mozart played on piano or AC/DC on electric guitar.

After an incubation time of 10 years „Ghanaia“ was published in 1997. The player has to use four mallets to play the composition which was immediately recorded by Katarzyna Myćka who is telling the story on how she presented „Ghanaia“ at different festivals around the world.

In a minimum of time Schmitt got requests from all over the world. The composer had to find another solution to get the then self-published composition in marimba players hands, so the Norwegian publishing house „NORSK Musikforlag“ took care of it.
The more than 150 interpretations of „Ghanaia“ on YouTube only show the immense impact of the composition even after 20 years. It´s a hit for many marimba players because it´s combining driving rhythm with nice harmonies and a flowing melody.

Update 1: The documentary was made public on December 16th, 2017.

Update 2: Read the article (in German) by editor Markus Rill about Matthias Schmitt in German newspaper “Mainpost”.


Nicolas Unger
Phone +49 63 26 – 91 90 94
Email: info@nicolasunger.com

Matthias Schmitt im Tonstudio Hirschfeld

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>