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IMM Chronicle November 2014


Prize for young talent from the Association of German Sound Engineers
Dipl.-Ing. Michael Zöllner has been awarded a prize for young talent by the Verband Deutscher Tonmeister for his 5.1. surround mix of the 40 minute long Visual Music documentation toktek. The production was created with, a new music video production company, which he founded along with Florian Breuer and Maurice Graf, both of whom are IMM graduates.
The VDT prize for young talent in the Ton zum Bild [sound to image] category is already toktek’s second award. In 2011 it was awarded a prize at the 130th Student Recording Competition of the Audio Engineering Society in London.

Christians S on Boilerroom
Christian Schäfer is not just an art director and assistant professor for Visual Composition / Graphic Design at the IMM, he has also been an active house and techno DJ for 20 years, both in Germany and abroad. In October he was a live guest with the label collective Cómeme in London for the well-known Web TV format Boilerroom. His performance can be heard and seen again on all online channels.


Performances on the topic of the first world war
On 19 November 2014 the Thanatos. WK 1. performances on the topic of the First World War took place in the Institut Francais in Düsseldorf. Marc Matter, assistant professor for Music and Text, was also there, presenting the experimental audio piece Die toten Dichter / Les poètes mortes [The dead poets] together with Enno Stahl. An audio piece with live elements, that – with integrated sound art effects – once again gives voice to texts from 15 German and 15 French authors who fell in the First World War.
Thanatos. WK 1. Performances zum Ersten Weltkrieg [Thanatos. WW1. Performances based on the First World War] is an event from the Heinrich-Heine-Institut.


Thomas Ankersmit and Phill Niblock visit the IMM
On 18 November from 2:30pm to 6pm, two artists from this year’s Approximation Festival, Thomas Ankersmit and Phill Niblock, are visiting the experimental laboratory to present their work.
Thomas Ankersmit is a virtuoso of analog technology and will demonstrate his working methods with the experimental laboratory’s Hordijk modular system. Phill Niblock is known equally as a composer and a filmmaker. His magnum opus The movement of people working combines his extremely dense microtonal drone compositions with film recordings from all parts of the world, which use long camera shots to accompany people during their day-to-day routines. He will talk about and present examples of his work at the IMM.


IMM BASECAMP: Hauschka about the Use of Chance Operation
On 13 November at 17.00 (IMM Studio A 2.24) Volker Bertelman aka Hauschka discusses and challenges changes of direction in life, the coincidences and the unexpected in music and the wide range of possibilities in his biographical lecture. Based on his own life history he will pursue the question of why success is connected to perhaps the most unpopular move in his biography and how decisive turning points and changes in the perception of your surroundings help.
Volker Bertelmann began working with a prepared piano under the name of Hauschka without having heard of John Cage. Since 2005, the Düsseldorf pianist has researched sound spaces. The performance on the prepared piano is being turned into an Adventure in sound that is continued over several albums. Of all Volker Berlemann's numerous works, the Hauschka albums have had the greatest resonance with the public and critics.


Lectures from Julian David at the German Tonmeistertagung convention
For the coming 28th German Tonmeistertagung convention in Cologne, Audio and Video Engineering graduate Dipl.-Ing. Julian David will present no less than three workshops and lectures.
It starts on 21 November with a talkback lecture on album production with the Cologne singer Frau Karo, asking the question of how an album can be produced and recorded on a very limited budget while working with a producer on the other side of an ocean.
Titled It's not about the gear! Artist-centric recording strategies that put the performance first, on 22 November it’s all about artist-based recording strategies and techniques far removed from the famous 19 inch discussions – an approach that may be controversial, but despite this often produces the best possible presentation of the musicians.
In a product-related workshop for the American microphone manufacturer AEA Ribbon Mics on 23 November, Julian David will additionally demonstrate the advantages of the Nuvo series for project studios and sound reinforcement applications.
Julian David is a freelance music producer and sound engineer, and returned to Germany in May 2014 after several years in the USA, in order to run his own song writing, producing, recording and mixing studio in Cologne.


Aesthesis and Perceptronium: Experience as a State of Matter
On November 11th the Music Informatics major wil host a seminar with Alexander Wilson. He will look at aesthetics, media, technology, and the analog-digital divide from a materialist and information theoretic perspective, with the goal of illuminating the role of experience in the anthropocene, the age of ecological crisis and of the looming post-human. How might aesthesis be understood if subtracted from human judgment? What does experience consist of out there in the wild, beyond the human? What are its minimal criteria? The recent and under-examined materialist revival of panpsychism in the context of neuroscience and quantum physics (integrated information theory of consciousness) makes several claims about these minimal criteria of experience. We will compare these to the standard streams of discourse on aesthetics and subjectivity, articulating our investigation around examples drawn from the arts and media.


Marc Matter at the WDR Studio for Acoustic Art
On 14 November the WDR Studio Akustische Kunst is broadcasting the piece Entstehung dunkel [Developing Darkness], which Marc Matter, assistant professor for Music and Text, developed together with the poet Dagmara Kraus. The pair have used polyphonic pieces, lyrical structures and rhythmic sound textures to compose an acoustic picture puzzle made up of vocal sounds and text material.

Guest engagement at the Deutsche Oper Berlin

As part of the piece In Transit, Music and Media student Richard Eisenach is currently working at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Richard Eisennach (contrabass, electric bass), IMM alumnus Lukas Truniger (electronics) and Robert Schumann School of Music and Media alumnus Mischa Tangian (composition, arrangement, violin) are playing together with the musicians and singers of the opera ensemble, led by director Eva-Maria Abelein.
The stylistic spectrum of the pieces is as diverse as the backgrounds of the singers, ranging from Viennese songs to Broadway numbers, from Kosovo folk songs and romantic art songs to rock and hip hop. Based on this variety, the poetic potential of transit lounges unfolds into a kaleidoscope of short snapshots.




From the IMM majors


Major Classical Music Recording:
Tutor for concert recordings and chamber music productions
Starting from November 2014, Sarah Zabel is the tutor responsible for coordinating concert recordings and chamber music productions at the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media. Her tasks include taking recording requests from the students and finding a suitable IMM recording producer student. She also does the reverse, helping Classical Music Recording students to find suitable musicians and ensembles for their productions. In addition, Sarah Zabel organises recordings of as many concerts as possible at the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media. Now performers have a permanent contact person for when they are planning a recording of their concerts.
The goal of the newly created tutor position is to bring as many Robert Schumann School of Music and Media students and IMM students together as possible, and in the long term to achieve more regular and intensive exchange between musicians and audio engineers, as well as recording producers.


Major Media Composition:
Nomination for the European Talent Award
Moritz Laux, student on the Audio and Video program and graduate of the specialisation module Media Composition, is one of the 12 nominees for this year’s European Talent Awards. His music, written for the experimental animated film Contrast by Carmen Büchner (2013), will be presented in the Cologne Rautenstrauch-Jost-Museum on 22 November at SoundTrack_Cologne, where it will be judged by a prominent jury.
The film is like an abstract painting and also a detailed vision of the beauty of a wild, overgrown, flowery meadow. Under the surface of the thicket, however, a nightmarish microcosm and an action-packed battle of life and death are revealed. With Contrast, the organisers have for the first time chosen a more abstract film for the competition. The large amount of artistic freedom created a particular challenge for the participants to overcome.


Major Music Informatics:
The methods of Music Informatics
The subject matter of Music Informatics is algorithms in their broadest sense – systems of rules, which develop over time and become audible while doing so. In the first few sessions, the basic module gave an insight into their methods: Hybrid Sound Composition assistant professor Hans W. Koch, together with the students, laid the foundations for building a relay-based automaton and Prof. Julian Rohrhuber created a simple programming language with free word choice. Guests were also involved: Willi Sauter developed a chaotic system on an analogue computer and Oliver Wittchow spoke about artistic software development and the boundary between free experimentation and performance, between computer games and computer music.


Major Music Production:
This year, a production of the music program Music@Studio1 once again took place in collaboration with students and teaching staff of the specialisation module Music and Audiovisual Media. Over the course of three days various bands were recorded at the IMM. Music and Media student Kai Detlefsen took on the role of the recording producer. The audio production took place in Sound control room 1, which is adjacent to TV studio 1. The work was part of the project module of the Music and Media program.


Major Music and Audiovisual Media:
Multi-camera production of Berlioz and Beethoven
Location scouting in the Tonhalle, deciding on camera positions, meeting conductors, watching and analysing recordings, arranging music scores, writing cutting lists, setting up recording devices... the students of the specialisation module Music and Audiovisual Media are preparing for the multi-camera recording of a symphony concert: Big Bang 02 on 30 November starting at 6pm in the Tonhalle Düsseldorf. The Robert Schumann School of Music and Media’s symphony orchestra will be playing, led by Rüdiger Bohn. The program: Les nuits d'été op.7 by Hector Berlioz, Symphony No.7 in A major op.92 by Ludwig van Beethoven and Chamber Symphony op.9. by Arnold Schönberg.
Under the guidance of Prof. Manfred Waffender (production and direction), Prof. Ulla Barthold (camera) and Florian Boddin (video engineering), all roles have been filled by students. Production management: Armin Badde, technical management: Christoph Niemeier, direction: Daniel Langemann, Nadine Minderjahn, Sören Klitzing. Students from the major Classical Music Recording are responsible for the audio recording. Kathrin Lachenmaier has taken on the sound engineer role.


Major Musik and Media Management:
Basics of important income sources
Music Management assistant professor Frank Kühl will be analysing contract types specific to the music and media industries with students in the second semester of the Music and Media Law seminar, on the basis of German Civil Law and using knowledge of copyright laws. In this seminar Frank Kühl will discuss cases of contract or copyright law violation and explain the basics of important income sources for creators and performing artists, for example copyright collecting societies and their legal foundations and distribution plans. Other topics include current developments such as the increasing use of Creative Commons licences and the establishment of new copyright collecting societies.


Major Music and Text:
Johanna Dombois visits the IMM
At 3:30 pm on 7 November the opera director and author Johanna Dombois will be a guest in the Artistic Text seminar. She will be speaking about the interdependence between classical music theatre and new media technologies and different forms of text which result from the experimental within the repertoire of opera. She will also consider the question of what imbalances between text, voice, gesture, music and sounds exist in this genre, and how it might be possible to isolate these elements. A quote from Heiner Müller serves as the motto for her reflections: Zusammenhang - das ist die Lüge [Context – that is the lie].


Major Visual Music:
Visual music portrait of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media
A glance at the rear of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media in Düsseldorf, which is out of hearing range. Where the windows are closed and the curtains drawn to allow for anonymous practicing, striving to achieve concert level. This is the perspective that last year’s Kammermusik [Chamber Music] study by Music and Media student Katharina Blanken was created from in the major Visual Music. The idea of creating a visual sound portrait of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media, in which the independent rehearsals of musicians are brought together, examines and illuminates the inner workings of a music school.
Now a new level of sound and image is being created to develop this portrait. Working from the project original idea, IMM students Katharina Blanken (audio and images) and Gabriel Denhoff (audio) are composing a perspective on the renowned music school that is profound in the truest sense of the word. For the observer this creates a new insight and a questionable ensemble.
This project is being created as part of the project module in the major Music and Media and supervised by Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling.


IMM Chronicle October 2014


On the Edge of Perceptibility
At the sound art exhibition On the Edge of Perceptibility in the Kunsthalle Budapest, Hans W. Koch, assistant professor for Hybrid Sound Composition, is presenting his work circle_of_fifths [realtime clock version]. The exhibition, one of the largest of its type in Hungary, presents young Hungarian sound artists as well as selected international positions.


Computing with voltage: analogue computers in music electronics
The Cologne electronics expert Willi Sauter will be in the IMM’s Experimental lab on 22 October at 14:30, to provide an introduction to the world of analogue computers for the basic module Music Informatics. Unlike digital computers, analogue computers work using voltages and currents, an area that is once again drawing increased attention in the field of music electronics (analogue synthesizer) after a long period of hibernation.
Starting with the basic components and calculations, the introduction will lead up to the implementation of logistic equations in a module that creates chaotic control voltages for analogue systems.


Best Original Score for the short film In a Mirror
With his short film In a Mirror, Music and Media student Orson Hentschel won the competition for the best film score at the Kerry Film Festival in Ireland. The reason given was that the score is " original piece of work that was very effective in enhancing the film which it accompanied, and which achieved a high degree of emotional intensity with a remarkable economy of means."
The next film screening takes place on 18 November at the Camerimage Festival in Poland, which Alexander Kühn, who is the cameraman of the film and also a Music and Media student, and Orson Hentschel will both attend.
The film was created as final assignment in the major Music and Audiovisual Media and supervised by Prof. Manfred Waffender and Volker Anding.


Taster course 2014

This year’s taster course at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf is taking place in the week from 6 to 10 October. The Institute For Music And Media, which cooperates closely with the Media department at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf and is located in the same building, is also taking part in the action. In an information event on 9 October at 9 a.m., those interested will receive a brief insight into the bachelor program Audio and Video, which is offered jointly with the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf. Afterwards there will be a tour through the IMM’s studios and classrooms.


Image film for the New Fall Festival
Music and Media student Lilian Czolbe is filming at the New Fall Festival, which takes place from 9 to 12 October in five different locations in Düsseldorf, with acts like José González, London Grammar, Mogwai and SOHN. Lilian Czolbe has documented the festival in recent years, and now an image film will be created. This film is not just about the musicians, audiences and concert halls, but goes a step further. The clip tells a story about the central theme New Fall, in which the two words and their meanings are viewed separately, contrasted and then connected in unexpected ways: Ein neuer Herbst [A new autumn/ fall].


Image film for the Giant Evo
Audio and Video Engineering graduate Dipl.-Ing. Michael Wirtz works as a Product Leader Brake Test Systems for Horiba Europe GmbH. In this role he and his team are responsible for the future development of the brake test system portfolio.
Currently, the Horiba company is introducing this product line’s newest evolution, the Giant Evo. Horiba presented a video for the official market launch in September 2014 at Automotive Testing Expo in Shanghai, which was also used worldwide in subsequent sales talks as a technical product video for the new range of test systems. As the person responsible for the products in the new range, Michael Wirtz developed the concept for the entire video and worked together with barracuda film to produce it.




From the IMM majors


Major Classical Music Recording:
Film score recording
On 29 October a production by the orchestra of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media is taking place in Partika Hall. The orchestra is playing the film score for the school’s new image film. The composition was written by Music and Media student Sebastian Heuckmann, and Gregor Mayrhofer, a student in Prof. Rüdiger Bohn’s conducting class, leads the orchestra.
The technically demanding recording was organised by a team of students from the specialisation module Classical Music Recording under the guidance of Prof. Dagmar Birwe. David Ropertz, also from the Music and Media program, will take on the post-production.

Major Media Composition:
Associative Composition
Together with new Media Composition students, in the Associative Composition seminar Prof. Andreas Grimm is taking an approach to the media related composition process that treats it as a combination of external requirements and own decision making. Various small exercises involve working on specific musical tasks as well as exploring media specific changes of perspective. The focus is on transforming non-musical associations – whether they are local, emotional or historical – into a musical form.


Major Music Informatics:
Total Composition
Sound algorithms question the separation between score and instrument – a computer program can be a description and a realisation of a composition at the same time. In contemporary musc informatics, one moves more or less without effort between macro and micro structure, just as it was proposed by integral composition and total serialism. The Australian computer scientist and artist Andrew Sorensen gives an introduction to his programming language Extempore, which isn't only a widely respected live coding language, but also a system that radically shortens the long path between signal processing and algorithmic score. The workshop together with Prof. Julian Rohrhuber takes place on October 6th and 7th in the Experimental Laboratory at IMM.


Major Music and Audiovisual Media:
For the students of the specialisation module Music and Audiovisual Media, the winter term starts with the studio production music@studio1.
After editorial preparations have been made and the stage and lights have been set up, a total of three bands will be recorded over four successive days: NTSC, Moglebaum and Kong King. The audio recording and processing will be implemented as a project in the major Music Production.


Major Music and Media Management:
Foundations of civil law
The Music and Media Law lectures start in October. Over the eleven lectures the foundations of civil law will be explained on the basis of the German Civil Code. The topics include declarations of intent, conclusion of a contract, contractual obligations such as purchase, service and works contracts as well as types of companies. Practical cases, primarily from the creative industries, will be evaluated, and decision making aids for handling contracts and founding businesses will be outlined. The assistant professor for these lectures, which are part of the major Music and Media Management, is Frank Kühl.


Major Music and Text:
ROTH ELECTRIC - Spoken Performance - Sounds

Right at the start of the semester an excursion to the Graf-Adolf Platz square is taking place, during which the students of the Artistic Text in Music, Sound Art, Film and Radio Plays seminar will attend a public performance of ROTH ELECTRIC - Sprechperformance - Sounds [ROTH ELECTRIC – spoken performance – sounds] by the Düsseldorf artist Jörg Steinmann. In this performance Jörg Steinmann uses text from the artist Dieter Roth, who was active from the late 50s as a very original producer of experimental literature, but is nowadays known mostly as a visual artist.


Major Visual Music:
Dreamlike Visualisations
On 6 October the new album Transition from Egokind & Ozean was released by the Cologne electronic music label Traum Schallplatten. In addition to this release, the tracks on the album have been visualised by various artists, including two from the major Visual Music. Tim Fehske (Assistant professor for Visual Music Technology/ Production) took on the visualisation of Eclipse and Patrick Arnold the visualisation of We Float Around (And Hang Out On Clouds). Patrick Arnold’s clip was created as part of the project module in the Music and Media program.