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IMM Chronicle January 2015


Music for Düsseldorf
The first official Robert Schumann School of Music and Media image film can now be viewed online on YouTube and Vimeo. The two and a half minute long clip was created as part of two Bachelor theses in the Music and Audiovisual Media and Media Composition majors, in the Music and Media program.
Stefan Haupt took on the responsibilities of author, director and producer. His fellow student Sebastian Heuckmann composed the music and directed the music recordings as recording producer. The film was commissioned by Matthias Schwarz, the school’s press spokesperson.


Studio recording with Perfect Beings in Santa Monica
In 2014, Audio and Video Engineering graduate Dipl.-Ing. Julian David had already taken responsibility for recording the debut album of the Californian progressive rock band Perfect Beings , achieved 8th place in the album chart of the year on Prog Archives next to albums from established bands like IQ and Opeth. At the end of January, Julian David will be travelling to Santa Monica once again to work on the next album with guitarist, producer and USA expatriate Johannes Luley’s band, and accompany the creative process as a recording engineer. A making-of video of the last production explains how the band came to be and provides insight into the particular sound aesthetics and songwriting philosophy of this remarkable band.


IMM BASECAMP: Frank Kruse on the Orchestration of Sound Effects for a Movie
In his lecture on 29 January at 5 p.m. (IMM studio A 2.24), Frank Kruse explains the different methods and creative processes within the limits of tight schedules; the blurred boundary between sound design and mixing; how to still see the wood for the trees; the work of the supervising sound editor between production, direction, the composer, editor and sound team, taking the two feature films Cloud Atlas and Rush as examples.
Since completing his Sound program at the Film and Television University, Potsdam-Babelsberg, Frank Kruse has worked as a freelance recording producer, sound designer and supervising sound editor in the field of cinema films. He has worked on numerous German and international cinema productions as an original sound recording producer and as sound designer or supervising sound editor. For Tom Tykwer's film Perfume he received the German Film Award for best sound design and has been nominated in 2014 for a BAFTA Award for his work on Ron Howard's film Rush. He is currently working on Ron Howard's new film Heart of the Sea and Tom Tykwer's film A Hologram for the King.


Open house
On the occasion of the open house of the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf, the Institute For Music And Media will also be opening its doors on 21 January. In addition to guided tours through the Institute and presentations of students’ work, anyone who is interested will have the opportunity between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to learn about the bachelor programs at the IMM.
In the course of this open house, there will be an information event and a guided tour of the studios at IMM at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m.




From the IMM majors


Major Music and Media Management:
Internet-based business models
Which business areas in the music and media branch still have commercial development potential? This master question is being considered by a small group of students in the specialisation module Music and Media Management. Developing technological and social trends are the main focus. On the one hand, these trends predict increasingly mobile consumption and working methods by both the users and creators of media. On the other hand, due to the flood of offers in the media branch, an improved, individualised selection of media is more and more urgently required. With this background, the students are developing internet-based business models, which are both individually scaleable and clearly distinguishable from one another.


Major Music and Text:
Die vs. Dice
In the Music and Text seminars, the current topics are linguistic organisation and artistic expression in radio formats, situational methods and their musical applications, die vs. dice, radio dramas as language experiments, the various levels of text in (music) films, early spoken pieces by Helge Schneider, narrative with multiple perspectives and literature in the sound chamber.
In 2015 a few guests will once again be welcomed back into the seminars: the sound artist and radio producer Gabi Schaffner, who will give a workshop on acoustic text collages and automatic writing, the performance artist Jörg Steinmann, who will talk about his art installations in public places, and Raphael Smarzoch, music scientist and journalist, who will explain his features (for the German broadcaster WDR, among others).


Major Visual Music:
5th Visual Music Night
The students of the core module Visual Music are preparing for the fifth Visual Music Night. Traditionally, the IMM celebrates the last day of the winter term, which this year is the 20 February, in the Salon des Amateurs in Düsseldorf.
The students in the Visual Music major are creating posters for the event in Christian Schäfer’s Music Visualisation in Still Images seminars, while in Tim Fehske’s Music Visualisation in Animated Images seminars they are working on transferring ideas from their posters into the space.
On the night, Simon Behrendt, student in the Music and Media program will warm up the turntables, followed by a joint performance from the IMM assistant professors Andreas Kolinski (live) and Christian S (DJ). The special guest, internationally renowned DJ and producer Lena Willikens (Cómeme) will then take over the mixing desk.


IMM Chronicle December 2014


Christmas greetings
The Institute For Music And Media wishes all students, associates, partners und friends a merry Christmas and a happy new year!


Type as image in motion
As in no other genre has type in films been set in motion: whether as art, feature and promotional film or music video the type motion film has become firmly established and extended to other areas since the pioneering days of film in the late 19th century. Schriftfilme – Schrift als Bild in Bewegung [Type Films – Type as image in motion] recently published by the publishing house Hatje Cantz Verlag particularly deals with the artistic type motion film and presents examples of analogue- or digital-based films, in which animated, graphically designed and voiced type becomes the protagonist and which exceeds by far what is expected from conventional type and type motion.
This volume also includes an extensive interview with Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling on her work with type in motion and research about Visual Music.


Sibylle at the Berlinale
Production sound mixer Andrew Mottl and sound designer Jörg Elsner, both graduates from the Audio and Video Engineering program, were responsible for the sound post-production of the psychological thriller Sibylle. Director Michael Krummenacher’s diploma film from the Munich University for Television and Film will be screened as part of the Perspektive Deutsches Kino [Perspectives on German Cinema] at the Berlinale 2015.
The film shows the supposedly ideal world of the protagonists become out of balance, little by little, in a mix of psychological thriller, horror, mystery and drama. The sound design contributes significantly to the increasingly enthralling perception of the characters.


Musique Axiomatique
At the International Congress on Music and Mathematics in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on 29 November, Juan Sebastián Lach Lau presented a new sound synthesis method with Prof. Julian Rohrhuber, inspired by historical and philosophical observations. So-called generic additive synthesis takes the focus away from the search for correct parameters and instead experiments with combinations of higher order functions. As a musical version of axiomatic methods, it simultaneously questions foundation and structure, part and whole.


COPULA E - Laboratory of Language
Voice as an aesthetic sound object or as a carrier of meaning in a language – apart from those readings there is a third: the voice is neither language nor body, at their touching point, it constitutes a space apart. The voice is a rest, an object that provokes thought. COPULA E confronts considerations about (keno-)grammar, phonology, politics of the voice, and the metaphysics of indistinguishability and retranslates them into sound. Its points of departure are artistic and artificial voices on the one hand, and programming languages on the other. Radio piece by Prof. Julian Rohrhuber and Cologne-based composer Marcus Schmickler.


Creating sound from feedback
In 1894 Alfred Graham was granted the patent A new or improved method and means of producing sound, which details the use of feedback to create sound. For the 120th anniversary of this groundbreaking patent and as launch party for a double CD set and DVD featuring recordings of the 2004 lmc/cmn tour feedback: order from noise on mikroton, two events are taking place in London, which Hans W. Koch, assistant professor for Hybrid Sound Composition, has been invited to take part in: A live radio show on 7 December on Resonance104.4fm, one of the oldest art radio stations in the world, and a concert in Cafe OTO on 8 December.


Golden Bobby from the Verband Deutscher Tonmeister
At the Verbandes Deutscher Tonmeister awards for professional production, Audio and Video Engineering graduate Dipl.-Ing. Jonathan Hoffmann won the first prize in two categories. The old fashioned by Monophonist won in the Rock category, and in the Jazz category it was the title ASDF by C.A.R.. In total Jonathan Hoffman has already received four awards, after prizes at the Audio Engineering Society's student competitions in 2009 and the VDT in 2010.


IMM BASECAMP: Max Hattler on Filming between Abstraction and Figuration
In his work, the German artist Max Hattler concerns himself with the space between abstraction and figuration in animated imagery, where narrative is uncoupled from the limits of traditional storytelling. In his lecture on 11 December at 17.00 (IMM Studio A 2.24), Max Hattler presents some of his work and offers an insight into his way of working.
Max Hattler studied in London at Goldsmiths College (BA), the Royal College of Art (MA) and the University of East London (Doctorate in Fine Art). Max Hattler has collaborated with musicians and bands such as Basement Jaxx, Julien Mier, Jovanotti, Pixelord, The Egg, Jemapur and his father Hellmut Hattler. He is Visiting Assistant Professor at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.




From the IMM majors


Major Classical Music Recording:
Recording with the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media’s symphony orchestra
On 30 November, the symphony concert of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media’s school orchestra was recorded by students of the specialisation module Classical Music Recording. The concert took place in the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, led by Prof. Rüdiger Bohn. The pieces performed were Arnold Schönbergs Chamber Symphony No. 1, the Symphony No. 7 by Ludwig van Beethoven and the song cycle Les nuits d’eté by Hector Berlioz with vocal soloists from the school.
In the six-person sound team, supervised by Prof. Dagmar Birwe, Kathrin Lachenmaier took on the tasks of the recording producer and Fabian Bitter those of the audio engineer. The IMM’s sound broadcasting van was used in the recordings.


Major Media Composition:
Exercises in style
For the completion of a variety of exercises in the major, Thomas Forkert, assistant professor in Jazz and Pop Arrangement, combines three different topics in his seminar: design principles of the four-part brass section in jazz, the realisation of developed pieces by means of music notation software and the management of an ensemble that translates the various drafts into sound. In the new year the students of the major will have the opportunity to rehearse their computer-created arrangements with an ensemble.


Major Music Informatics:
A Mind-Reading (?) Machine
In 1953 a memorandum with this title, written by Claude E. Shannon, circulated in the Bell Laboratories. The electrical device it describes, inspired by early work on game theory and Edgar Allen Poe’s The Purloined Letter, easily wins against human players in the so-called game of even and odd. In the specialist module Music Informatics we performed a detailed assessment of the underlying algorithm, using its formalisation of the intuition of intuition as the basis for a generalised use as an improvisation algorithm. The principles of object orientation proved to be especially useful as a means of analysis. Various experiments with rhythmic structures made it possible to observe the relationships between musical improvisation and strategic expectations.


Major Music Production:
Bill Evans in BIX
On 14 November the saxophonist Bill Evans, winner of three Grammy awards, gave a concert in the BIX jazz club in Stuttgart, which was recorded as part of the specialisation module Music Production. The BIX is regarded as one of Europe’s most renowned jazz clubs. The live recording was managed on site by Prof. Werner Roth and Dipl.Ing.(FH) Stephan Friedrich.
In the week prior to the recording, the entire technical process was prepared and there was a trial run to completely test all of the equipment, including remote-controlled microphone preamplifiers and digital converters from RME, a Yamaha DM2000, a multitracker system and high quality splitters.


Major Music and Audivisual Media:
The finishing touch
In addition to creativity and team spirit, audiovisual productions particularly also require perseverance. Especially in the post-production phase the persons responsible need plenty of staying power. Currently a number of productions that were created during the two-term specialisation module are found in this phase of production. Before the end of this year the trailer Willkommen in Deutschland [Welcome to Germany] by Alex Kühn and the image film for the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media Music is..., which was created within the framework of the Bachelor thesis of Sebastian Heuckmann (music) and Stefan Haupt (script, direction and production) will receive finishing touches.
Both pieces of work will premiere on the occasion of the New Year's reception of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media on 8 January.


Major Music and Media Management:
Business start-ups
In the current winter semester, five small student groups are working on their business plans. This seminar brings the specialisation module Music and Media Management to a close and gives the students an opportunity to make use of the economic and legal knowledge acquired in the core module, by working on their own business start-up ideas. The ideas in this course are once again very varied and promising. They include a new concept for acoustic consulting, a special form of music journalism, a technology-supported method for teaching drummers, a special form of mastering, and commissioned compositions for a specific target market.


Major Music and Text:
Digital was better
Waltraud Blischke, assistant professor for Speaking and Writing about Music, makes her debut as a new co-editor of Testcard, the critical anthology of pop history and pop theory, in the issue Bug Report. Digital war besser [Bug Report. Digital was better]. In her own contributions and editorial work, she was responsible for, among other things, the topic of cultural, sociological and aesthetic aspects of digitalisation.


Major Visual Music:
Olympia by Orson Hentschel at tanzhaus nrw
On 10 January at 10:15 pm, the tanzhaus nrw is showing the live performance Olympia by Orson Hentschel (Music and Media program). Afterwards there will be a party in the tanzhaus nrw foyer, with live visuals from Tim Fehske, assistant professor for Visual Music Technology/Production, to music by Christian S (Cómeme), assistant professor for Visual Composition / Graphic Design.
Olympia combines video footage from the Olympic Games with electronic music. By cutting, looping and changing the speed of the video material, the movement of the athletes appears to be controlled and choreographed. The period between complete concentration and peak physical performance is extended by the looping process, and brought to a climax with music loosely modelled on the minimal music style. Loud, low-frequency musical structures make the physicality of the athletes tangible. The performance will be supported by the drummer Lukas Baumgart.
Olympia was created as a final project in the specialisation module Visual Music, supervised by Andreas Kolinski and Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling.