IMM Eingang


Welcome to the Chronicle of the Institute For Music And Media (IMM) at the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media (RSH) in Düsseldorf.

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IMM Chronicle March 2015


39 - WDR HörSpiel [39 – WDR radio play] nominated for the German computer game prize 2015
The company Dear Reality, founded by Dipl.-Ing. Christian Sander, graduate of the Audio and Video Engineering program, and Achim Fell, has been invited to the awards ceremony for the Deutschen Computerspielpreis 2015 [German computer game prize 2015] in Berlin. Their radio play app 39 for iOS and Android, which has been downloaded more than 78,000 times, has been nominated for the category Best Staging. This category is awarded for the best use of stylistic staging elements such as sound, graphics and/or storytelling, in a game created in Germany. A special feature of 39 is the implementation of the company’s audio VR engine DEar API for headphones, with which the sound sources are positioned virtually in space, allowing entirely new auditory narrative forms to be realised. at Documentary Campus Masterschool 2015
The young music film production company, made up of the IMM alumni Florian Breuer, Maurice Graf and Michael Zöllner specialises in documentary music visualisation. After being supported with a foundation scholarship from the Mediengründerzentrum NRW in 2014, the founders have now successfully applied and been accepted into the Documentary Campus Masterschool 2015. The program supports young documentary filmmakers over ten months on the journey from concept through to successful pitching and finally to realisation on the international documentary film market.
The project from, with the working title Cosmopolitan - Musical Conversations around the Globe, is a concept for a TV format that considers the question of how far music can be the language of the cosmopolitans and how musicians can use it to overcome cultural and language barriers.
Documentary Campus is an international support organisation for the European film foundations as well as for a strong network of international production firms and TV programs.


Interactive exhibit for the Geneva International Motor Show
IMM alumnus Dipl.-Ing. Daniel Höltscher has been working at XL Video in Düsseldorf since mid-2014 as Multimedia Application Manager, where he is mainly responsible for media servers, playout solutions and interactive applications, from technical conception through to production. This includes, among other things, pioneering technology for virtual and augmented reality productions.
Now he is responsible for the car company Opel’s interactive exhibit as part of the Geneva International Motor Show. This is made up of 8,000 LEDs, spread over 27 panes of glass to produce the shape of a small car.

Mixing and sound design for the documentary film Süchtig nach Jihad [Addicted to Jihad]
The documentary film Süchtig nach Jihad by Hubertus Koch celebrated its premiere in Cologne last year. Music and Media student Christoph Niemeier was responsible for the restoration of original sounds, the sound design and the mixing of the film. He used the sound studio Raum 7 [Room 7] in Düsseldorf for this, which he runs together with the IMM alumni Markus Zimmermann and Lukas Wiesemüller. Clips of the production have already been shown on the German broadcasters Stern TV and WDR.
In the film, the director accompanies Munich inhabitant Mahmuod Dahi on an aid shipment to Syria. Once there, the young German is shocked by the conditions in the refugee camp Bab Al Salameh. With no action scenes or bloody reports from the front, Süchtig nach Jihad removes western fear from the ISIS debate and is sensitive to the powerlessness and poverty of the local people.


Schlingensief’s opera village in the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media’s yearbook
The Robert Schumann School of Music and Media’s new yearbook will be released at the beginning of April. In the current edition, Matthias Schwarz, head of public relations for the renowned music academy, writes about the African opera village:
On 8 February 2010, half a year before his death, artist and director Christoph Schlingensief laid the foundation stone for the opera village in bitterly poor Burkina Faso. The West African country, with its 17 million inhabitants, is among the least developed states on Earth. The political situation is currently unstable. There was a revolution in Burkina Faso at the end of 2014. There are currently four students visiting the opera village. For Nicolas Neteler, from the Audio and Video program, it is already his second time. Together with fellow students Valentin Link, Maximilian Sauer and Simon Stimberg, he created the Palenteeroo project. The four musicians want to offer workshops to the students in the opera village and play music with African artists. The results will then be documented in the new sound studio. The young musicians are once again supported by Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling. She was able to convince the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media’s Förderverein [Friends and Supporters of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media] to support the initiative with around 7,000 Euros. The professor would like to further support the exchange, and for African artists to also visit Germany. “This isn’t about development aid,” she emphasises. “I think we can learn a lot from Africa.”


On tour in the USA and Mexico
IMM assistant professor, designer and DJ Christian Schäfer is going on tour in the USA and Mexico for two weeks with the internationally successful, electronic dance music label Cómeme. He’ll be playing in New York, Philadelphia, Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Tijuana together with Matias Aguayo and Lena Willikens. One important stop is the renowned music, film and interactive festival SXSW in Austin/Texas where they have three gigs lined up.
For a small taster, Christian Schäfer’s latest mixes can be found here.


DOP for Pulheim Jam Session
On 12 March the film Pulheim Jam Session, from swedish artist Johanna Billing, celebrates its premiere in the Hollybush Gardens gallery in London. The production was created in cooperation with the Pulheim culture department and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne as part of the Stadtbild.Intervention [Town Image Intervention] project.
Johanna Billing’s video pieces thematise the interaction between individual experiences and social changes, and use performance in particular as a means of exploring both public and private questions. Music, movement and rhythm are central elements of her performative, cinematic pieces.
As chief cameraman, Jan Höhe, assistant professor for Creative Editing, was responsible for image composition and lighting design.




From the IMM majors


Major Classical Music Recording:
Two recordings of St John Passion
On 22 February, the St John Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach was performed in the Friedenskirche Düsseldorf, led by Prof. Timo Nuoranne from the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media, at the end of the semester. The students from the vocal classes and the school’s Oratorio Choir were supported with historical instruments played by musicians from the Düsseldorf baroque orchestra. Using historical instruments created a challenge for the recording team, because, among other reasons, the lower tuning of the orchestra and the sounds of the historical instruments no longer fit with expectations of the sound of a contemporary orchestra. IMM students Julian Meyer and Jonas Geyersberger carried out this production as part of their final project in the specialisation module Classical Music Recording, using the school’s sound broadcasting van.
Another recording of St John Passion is taking place in March at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München [School of Music and Drama Munich]. Students from the Audio and Video program, including Bernhard Eurich and Nicolas Sünn, will record the piece. Students, assistant professors and the Hochschule für Musik unf Theater München’s madrigal choir will all be singing and playing, directed by Prof. Martin Steidler. An edit of both concerts and the dress rehearsal should later be released on a CD. The cooperation with the Hochschule für Musik und Theater is taking place on the initiative of IMM alumnus Dipl. Ing. Michael Zöllner, who works as a recording engineer at the school. Prof. Christian Böhm, Dipl.Ing. Michael Zöllner and Prof. Dagmar Birwe will supervise the recording.


Major Media Composition:
Working to finish the module
The media-related programs at the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media are interdisciplinary – versatility is a great asset when working in Music and Media. As a consequence, the final projects in the specialisation module of the major Media Composition present a wide range of form and content. This year, they range from short film scores to stage music, sound design for cartoons and music for image films through to audio branding for a radio station.
Outstanding projects will soon be shown in the IMM project archives.


Major Music Informatics:
SuperCollider 3.7 Alpha
The programming language SuperCollider, which focuses on sound, has now been open source for exactly eleven years and is one of the biggest projects of this kind. This language combines interesting formal and musical concepts with sophisticated signal processing and the work in the Music Informatics major is unimaginable without it. With the current state of development only being accessible to insiders for quite a long time, the developers, including Prof. Julian Rohrhuber, are currently preparing a new release of SuperCollider 3.7, the beta version of which can already be tested. A comprehensive mass of programmes is continuously increasing at


Major Music Production:
Popular music production in Auro 3D format
The theme of Music and Media student Felix Dobrowohl’s bachelor project for the Music Production major is a popular music production in Auro 3D format (9.1). Felix Dobrowohl produced his own composition, which was influenced by the genres post-rock, shoegazing, stoner doom and black metal. For the recording, he experimented with three-dimensional microphone installations on the drum kit, guitar amp, organ and orchestral percussion. Planning for appropriate signals due to their specific characteristics began with the composition, even relating to their position in the three-dimensional acoustic space. The work was supervised by Prof. Werner Roth.


Major Music and Audiovisual Media:
Spoilt for choice
Music and Media students Alexander Kühn (direction) and David Füsgen (camera and editing) have been in the editing room for weeks, assembling a 52-minute documentary film from hours of recorded video and audio material. In autumn 2014, together with Moritz Hils (sound) and Prof. Manfred Waffender (project supervision), they accompanied a group of young artists of various disciplines from seven North Rhine Westphalian art and music colleges to Tuscany. The participants of the College for Music and Art Montepulciano‘s annual project Übersetzen. Die zeitgenössischen Künste als fremde Sprache(n)? [Translation. The contemporary arts as foreign language(s)?] worked together for two weeks in Palazzo Ricci, home to the European Academy for Music and Arts.
The documentary film was created as a project in the Music and Audiovisual Media major.


Major Music and Media Management:
Examination topic Distribution agreement
Amongst questions on author contracts, band takeover contracts and artist contracts, a core element of the final work for the Copyright and Contract Law seminar was the analysis of a distribution agreement. This contract type is becoming increasingly significant for freelance artists during the transformation of the music industry and the consistently increasing independents' market. It was great to see students not only examining traditional contract models, but also modern contract content and to an appropriate extent also the transfer of rights.


Major Music and Text:
Final projects
The students of the specialisation module Music and Text are currently working on projects in which they work with found, sampled or recycled acoustic speech material:
Lisa Spielmann is using recorded audio material on the topic of speeches for her study Eine Rede reden [Speaking a speech]. She is analysing the structure of available speeches, and editing these using her own systems to create a series of 1-5 minute long audio collages.
Tim Abramovic is currently working on Je sui autocomplete. It‘s a short experimental radio play in the form of a talk show. The participants include, among others, Michael Schumacher’s clone and P.D.Q. Beethoven’s handwriting. Pre-existing text material is recontextualised to create the dialogue for the short radio play.
On 11 and 12 April, a conference on Speech Sampling, Original Sound Collages and the Use of Foreign Material will be taking place at the IMM, and performances will also be taking place in the Betonbox, in which the students will present their final projects.


Schwerpunkt Visual Music:
Percussion and live visuals for DIE GROSSE 2015 [THE BIG 2015]
At 7pm on 26 March the drum ensemble Repercussion and the moving image quartet WARPED TYPE will be creating the final exhibition of the Donnerhall series in the renowned art exhibition DIE GROSSE in the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf.
The members of the Repercussion ensemble, Veith Kloeters, Stephan Müller, Johannes Wippermann and Achim Buschmann – all alumni of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media – impress with a diverse sound pallet from classic drumming through vibraphone and marimbaphone through to clapping music, and share stages with classic stars like Martin Grubinger.
The moving image collective WARPED TYPE are dedicated to the Visual Music art form, the artistic relationship between sound and images. Andreas Huck and Roland Nebe, both students on the Music and Media program, as well as Florian Breuer, graduate from the Audio and Video program, and Stefan Hings, stage the evening with live visuals in projection, lighting and installations.
The evening will be curated by Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling, professor for Visual Music / Digital Visual Media at the IMM.


IMM Chronicle February 2015


Heterochronous Sounds
The 14th issue of the German online film magazine Nach dem Film has its focus on Audio History. Among others, it includes an article by Volko Kamensky und Professor Julian Rohrhuber, who discuss their work on documentary film sound with regards to the underlying conceptual background. From the dichotomy between anachronous and synchronous historiography, a possible alternative arises, exemplified in heterochonous sounds [Heterochrone Töne. Zur Frage der Historiographie im Dokumentarfilm Alles was wir haben]


Music, sound design and dialogue editing for the film Cabaret Crusades - The Secrets of Karbalaa
IMM students Moritz Laux and Raffael Seyfried created the sound design and music for Egyptian artist Wael Shawky’s film Cabaret Crusades III - The sectrets of Karbalaa, while Matthias Krämerwar was responsible for editing the dialogue. The two-hour film uses elaborate blown-glass marionettes to retell the history of the crusades from the perspective of the Arabs. The special aesthetics, particularly the material of the marionettes, were also a strong influence on the sound design and music. For example, all the Foleys were created using glass, and these glass sounds were integrated into the music using various self-programmed techniques.
The film premiered on 1 February in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and in the course of the year will be shown in Doha (Qatar) and at the K21 in Düsseldorf in April.


Embodied neurocontrol and autonomous sound robots
The senses not only situate living beings in their environment, they also embed them within time: already very simple models neuronal systems can be surprisingly unpredictable and show a complex dynamic behaviour, in particular where they involves bodies and surroundings. On 3 April from 11am until 5pm Prof. Frank Pasemann will introduce to this subject matter. Together with students and teachers of Music Informatics we will try to find methods that render audible the temporal behaviour of small neuronal modules. Such sonifications may become an interface between questions regarding cognition and those concerned with composition.


IMM alumni film a music video for Warner
Nils Wülker has published his new video Season, featuring Max Mutzke, from his new album Up, which features Max Mutzke, Sasha, Xavier Naidoo, Jill Scott and Craig Armstrong. IMM alumni Stephan Telaar (direction), Manfred Borsch (camera) and Florian Breuer (lights, projection), among others, were involved in the production of the music video. The project was supervised by Miho Nishimoto from Warner Music Group, graduate of the Audio and Video Engineering program.




From the IMM majors


Major Classical Music Recording:
Auro 3D and 2+2+2 stereophonic sound workshop
On 12 and 13 February, a workshop on Auro 3D and 2+2+2 stereophonic sound took place for the students of the Classical Music Recording major with Dipl. Recording producer Werner Dabringhaus. Werner Dabringhaus has been producing recordings in this format for years with his label Dabringhaus und Grimm and reported on his results in a presentation.
The second part of the workshop included an Auro3D recording in Partika Hall with flutist Antje Thiele (Prof. Michael Faust’s class) and pianist Akiko Sigfridsson. Both musicians interpreted the Suite op. 34 by Charles-Marie Widor. The production was led from the connected Partika hall sound control room, which was equipped with four additional Geithain loudspeakers especially for the workshop. The participating students carried out the production along with Werner Dabringhaus, obtaining good insights into his working methods in the process, as well as during the final cooperative mixing.


Major Media Composition:
Sound design
Sound design is an important and popular part of the Media Composition major. Since 2007, Olaf Mierau has been teaching at the IMM and supporting the student’s numerous projects, which are often created in collaboration with students from the IMM’s cooperating partners, such as the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne or the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg [Baden-Wuerttemberg Film Academy].
Olaf Mierau works in Berlin as a freelance music and audio postproduction supervisor, as well as in the product and environment sound design field. He enthusiastically passes on his experience from productions such as Die Nachrichten (music supervising), Jenseits (sound supervising), Black Box – Das Experiment (music production and special audio sfx supervising), Die Fälscher (sound supervising), Dolphins (sound supervising), and Voodoo-Mounted by the Gods (postproduction sound supervising) to the students.


Major Music Informatics:
Conversations with Oliver II: Ringing phones - designing disturbance
Ring tones belong to the class of signals whose main task it is to disturb, to interrupt. The seminar with Oliver Wittchow introduces their historical context from an aesthetic and technical perspective. It discusses whether ring tones can be music, and investigates in the specific possibilities of disturbance design. Subsequently, together with students and teachers of the major Music Informatics, we will experiment with the design of algorithms for signal synthesis.


Major Music Production:
Pop piano workshop
On 14 January, the second session of Prof. Dieter Falk’s pop piano workshop took place using both grand pianos in Sound control room 2 at the IMM. With him were ten students, including two from the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media, who wanted to study the topic of Pop and Jazz Piano Improvisation further. The last of the three workshops, part of the project module in the Music Production major, will take place on 11 February in Dieter Falk’s studio using, among others, an original Wurlitzer electric piano, a Rhodes piano and a Hammond organ.


Major Music and Audiovisual Media:
quartett/fragmente for Die Große 2015
Music and Media student Moritz Hils is currently working on an audiovisual installation titled quartett/fragmente, which will be presented on 19 March as part of the Die Große 2015 exhibition in the Donnerhall series at the museum kunst palast in Düsseldorf. For this he has invited the converse string quartet from the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media to the IMM’s Studio 1. Working together with Charel Bourkel and Leon Müller, both of whom are also students in the Music and Media program, and Raphael Janzer from the Folkwang University of the Arts, audio and video recordings of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s String quartet No. 15, d minor were made. The installation uses 16 monitors hanging freely in the room to show individual frames of the four musicians. The content of these images is focused on the creation of the sound, the interaction within the ensemble and the individual playing styles of each musician. The layout of the images is based on the real spatial relationships in the seating layout, while separated audio playback from the loudspeakers that are spread around the room is positioned according to the sound radiation characteristics of each instrument. Visitors to the installation can move freely around the audiovisual ensemble and in every moment of the performance decide where they want to stand, what they want to see, and how they want to listen. This creates a sovereignty and freedom that isn’t found in an ordinary concert situation, but which for the audience also becomes an obligation. It’s about paying attention and taking responsibility for listening to the music, far removed from the conventions of a traditional concert setting. About finding a personal relationship with the music.
This work is a project in the Music and Audiovisual Media major.


Major Music and Media Management:
Business models on online platforms
Transferring traditional business models to online platforms is a common method of founding a business, but often doomed to failure – especially in the creative industries. Within the specialisation module Music and Media Management in this winter term, internet based business models will be developed that use the potential of digitalisation, without, however, neglecting factors critical to success in the process. These factors are primarily related to the analogue (personal) relationships between the service provider and their potential customers. For example, in a business plan for online music education, further services are defined, based on personal contact and events that provide the customers (music students) with real added value and increase their motivation to learn.


Major Music and Text:
Radio journalism, features and audio plays
On 6 February, Raphael Smarzoch from Cologne, who has been producing radio features for the WDR for many years as well as writing for numerous music magazines (Spex, Neue Zeitschrift für Musik) and is writing a thesis about the avant-garde music composer Christian Wolff, will be visiting the Music and Text major.
In the core module, Music and Text students are currently working on a radio format on the topic of Computer Games and Music, under the guidance of Waltraud Blischke, assistant professor for Speaking and Writing about Music. An artistic analysis of the forms of expression in radio journalism, features and audio plays is planned. After completion, the production will be presented on the Music and Text major’s Mixcloud channel.


Major Visual Music:
Multi-dimensional installations
At the end of the specialisation module in the Visual Music major, the students are creating their first large project in this genre. In their projects they are composing on both the acoustic and the visual levels. In the last few years more and more students have chosen to work with space as a third design element. On 14 and 15 February, six students will present their final projects in the Filmwerkstatt Düsseldorf [Düsseldorf Film Workshop].
An additional installation, Milan Schell’s bachelor project for the Visual Music major, can be viewed on 11 February from 5pm in Studio 1 at the IMM. The students were supervised by Prof. Ulla Bartold (Visual Composition / Camera and Lighting), Tim Fehske (Visual Music Technology / Production), Andreas Kolinski (Computer-aided Media Composition), Christian Schäfer (Visual Composition / Graphic Design) and the head of this major, Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling.