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 June 2015


From RTW to Synthax
After a over two years in the development department of the Cologne-based audio metering manufacturer, RTW, engineering graduate Yann Texier, an Audio and Video Engineering graduate, has joined Synthax GmbH. As a product manager for the distributor of audio technology brands operating throughout Germany such as RME, MOGAMI or EVE Audio, Yann Texier is now looking after manufacturers and project customers. He also provides support to the startup company sonible in development and production management of new products.


Hans W. Koch in Brno and Berlin
Two installations by Hans W. Koch, assistant professor in Hybrid Sound Composition, are currently on display at the EXPOSITION OF NEW MUSIC - Brno International Music Festival: camera obscura acustica transfers the unique way camera obscuras create an upside-down image to the sound domain by inverting tonal frequencies as well. The leichte muse installation deals with the question of the weight of music.
On June 14 his work katalogos (1999) will be featured in a recital of New Music by the Miranda Quartet and Christopher Williams (string bass) at the INFEKTION! Festival for New Musical Theatre of the Berlin Staatsoper. 


No Border live at INTERVENTIONS - Refugees in Arts & Education
The band No Border was founded as a gesture opposing prejudice against foreigners, and has the purpose of raising awareness about refugee policy. Their music is influenced by rap, pop and Latin American music. No Border consists of seven refugees and, in addition to them, Paul Wunder, Mariella Laubengeiger, Sebastian Fecke, Marek Forreiter and Thomas Holz, all students at the IMM, are involved.
On 13 June the band will be playing as part of INTERVENTIONEN - Refugees in Arts & Education in Berlin.


Bodymind Control at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf
On June 25, Orson Hentschel, who is in his final semester in the Bodymind Control degree program, will present his Bodymind Control live performance as a warm-up act for Big Bang 4 at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf.
This live performance blends video material of athletic sports with electronic music and a live set by the drummer Lukas Baumgart, also in his final semester in Music and Media. Starting at 6 p.m. an energetic, high-volume performance can be looked forward to, which emphasizes the physicality of athletes.
The work was created as a final exam project for the Visual Music major. The premiere took place in January at the Festival Temps d’Image at the Tanzhaus NRW.


Double pendulum music at Departure 8 - 50 Years of the Studio for Electronic Music
Starting at 5 pm on June 26 multimedia performances will be given at various places on the campus of the University of Music and Dance Cologne to celebrate 50 years of the university's Studio for Electronic Music. Among the performances will be Double pendulum music by Johannes Leppkes, a generative audiovisual installation with a pendulum as the moving element and six loudspeakers to present the results.
The work was created in the two upper-level modules, Visual Music, supervised by Prof. Heike Sperling and Andreas Kolinski, and Music Informatics, supervised by Prof. Julian Rohrhuber and Hans W. Koch.


Marc Matter performs in reiheM series in Cologne
Marc Matter, chairman of the Music and Text major, will be presenting his solo project Voiceover as part of the reiheM concert series at the Kunststation St. Peter in Cologne on June 5. Using DJ technology and special effects, he will create a modern form of sound poetry based on speech and voice recordings. In this project, the area between deformed speech, which tends towards musicality, and staged noise, which is structured by para-semantic constellations, is of particular interest.
The project was recently presented at the Vienna Poetry School.


Berlin Music Video Award for Time In-Depth
The bachelor degree project Excessive Visage - Time In-Depth, a stop-motion animated music video by Torsten Lang, won the Berlin Music Video Award in the Most Bizarre category. The video was created in collaboration with Larissa Blau, the singer of the Excessive Visage band.
During the three-month-long video, production project members experimented with a large number of analog materials and digital tricks. The sometimes diffuse and quirky contents reflect the band’s music and depict it in film.
The music video was created as a bachelor's thesis for the Music and Audiovisual Media major.




From the IMM majors


Major Classical Music Recording:
Oder-Nach Hause radio play
Upper-level students taking part in the Word Production seminar are producing a radio play during this summer semester. After individual stories by Daniel Kehlmann from the short story collection Ruhm [Fame] were processed and produced over the past three years, a drama written especially for the practical seminar is being created this semester. Oder-Nach Hause [Oder-Going Home] is about losing, re-finding and a chase scene in eastern Germany in the style of a road movie.
The author is the WDR assistant director and writer Sophie Garke. Radio Plays assistant professor Benno Müller vom Hofe was director.
The piece was recorded with students and well-known Cologne actors at WDR Cologne's Hörspielstudio 7. Further coursework involves students creating their own version based on taped material, including editing, sound design and mixing, and optional music by the students themselves.


Major Media Composition:
Bangalore Beats
For their bachelor's thesis, Music and Media students Simon Busch and Hanno Poths focused on the topic of Sound design in documentaries and in the applied portion of the thesis worked on the sound for the documentary Bangalore Beats by Iris Fegerl, a student at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg.
The film examines economic and social change in India’s third largest city by focusing on four people from different backgrounds. The work of Simon Busch and Hanno Poths ranged from reconstruction of the original sound, via the suggestive design of a surround-sound city sound space to the musical design of dramaturgically conceived sequences.
The project was supervised by Prof. Andreas Grimm and Olaf Mierau, assistant professor for Sound Design.


Major Music Informatics:
The knotted threads of the quipus
The knotted textiles of quipus served the Inca as a mathematical, astronomical and administrative recording device. Because only partial records about their use exist, the meaning of most quipus is unknown and is an actively researched field. A digitized database has been created to clarify research questions – such as whether narrative structures can be read in the rhythmic arrangements.
Together with British programmer, artist and researcher Dave Griffiths, assistant professor for Critical Programming, students and instructors in Music Informatics are converting the archive to sound, which may allow the knots to be understood in sonic form and as a musical form. The blog, which is dedicated to the connection between weaving and programming, provides a more detailed description: Quipu coding with knots seminar at the Institute for Music and Media Düsseldorf.


Major Music Produktion:
Silver Award at the 138th AES Convention in the Student Recording Competition
At the world's most important competition for students in the audio engineering industry, Audio and Video student Johannes von Barsewisch earned second place honors with his production of the jazz/hip-hop title Do it all (working title Rise and shine) by the Cologne band Salomea-Project. Salomea-Project members are Rebekka Salomea-Ziegler (vocals), Leif Berger (drums), Jannis Angst (keyboards), Olli Spielberger (bass) and Nick Reinhartz (percussion), all students at the University of Music and Dance Cologne.
An extended play release of six songs was produced in Sound control 1 and Studio 2 of the IMM and was also a final thesis for the upper-level Music Production module. Johannes von Barsewisch was responsible for production, recording and mixing. Fellow students Lukas Lohner, Kai Schlegel and Daniel Langemann were sound assistants. The project was supervised by Prof. Werner Roth.


Major Music and Media Management:
Drafting contracts in the music business
With fundamental knowledge about civil and copyright law as well as the law regulating copyright collecting societies, the Music and Media Law course introduces participants to the complex area of drafting contracts in the music business. Various types of contracts are analyzed while giving consideration to legal mechanisms, standard market conditions and key figures from the distribution schemes of collecting societies. Coursework also includes reformulating unfair offers so that they are based on fair licensing models with an appropriate scope of license granted.


Major Music and Text:
Music and Text at the Experimentale
On June 19 students majoring in Music and Text will be part of the Experimentale – Börse für Literatur und Medien [Literature and Media Expo] at the Heinrich Heine Institute in Düsseldorf. There will be examples of student works and a video documentary by Music and Media major Florian Zeeh of the Wortsampler Festival held in April at the IMM and at the Betonbox.
The Experimentale is committed to present, support and network literature in formats going beyond the book: network literature, visual poetry, text-sound compositions, radio plays, performances and much more.


Major Visual Music:
First German exhibition of Raumlichtkunst by Oskar Fischinger
There has been an official cooperation agreement between the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media and the Center for Visual Music in Los Angeles since 2012. The director of the CVM, Cindy Keefer, is also the curator of the Fischinger Trust, the legacy and archives of Oskar Fischinger, the notable German-American abstract animator known for his seminal work in the Visual Music genre.
From June 4 through 6, 2015, Cindy Keefer is presenting a threefold projection of Oskar Fischinger’s Raumlichtkunst (c. 1926/2012) at the klingt gut! Symposium für Tongestaltung [sounds good! symposium for sound design] held by the Hamburg University for Applied Sciences (HAW). The projection is a HD reconstruction with music by Edgar Varèse and John Cage. The installation is being shown for the first time in Germany.
At this event Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling, Chair of the Visual Music program of studies at IMM, and Cindy Keefer will be meeting to plan future collaboration.


IMM Chronicle May 2015


IMM BASECAMP: Michael Beil on Strategy as Compositional Technique
On 2 July 2015 at 17h00 (IMM Studio A 2.24) Michael Beil, professor and head of the electronic studio at Hochschule für Musik Köln [University for Music and Dance] in Cologne, will talk about his strategies in composition.
In order to escape the dominant formalism in contemporary music, Michael Beil uses musical effects in his compositions, which are less appreciated in this genre. He assumes that music is always perceived emotionally at first. This effect is used, for example, in advertising as well as in conservative or commercially oriented music. But also irritating the audience requires existing meanings to be used as foundation. It is only possible to create confusion, if something known can be identified. From Michael Beil's perspective, stereotypes, images and quotes are most suitable in music. He regards audio recordings and videos as practical devices to enhance this effect as well as the confusions.
Michael Beil
studied piano, music theory and composition in Stuttgart from 1984 to 1993; from 1996 to 2007 he taught at the Berlin music schools in Kreuzberg and Neukölln. From 2000 to 2008 Michael Beil hosted the festival Klangwerkstatt in Berlin.
Michael Beil combines his compositions beyond music with other audiovisual media.


Live visuals for Nigel Kennedy at the Jazzfest Bonn
Tim Fehske, Assistant Professor for Visual Music Technology/Production, will be playing the live visuals for the performance of British violinist Nigel Kennedy at the 2015 Jazzfest Bonn.
Nigel Kennedy's Hendrix Project concludes this year's festival at the Telekom Forum and is based on the works of US guitarist Jimmy Hendrix. Tim Fehske will have a 62 m² LED wall as an instrument for structuring the staged auditorium space and creating music visuals during the performance. 


Silver Award for Johannes von Barsewisch at the AES Recording Competition
Audio and Video major Johannes von Barsewisch won a Silver Award in the Traditional Studio Recording category at the 138th AES Convention held in Warsaw this month for his competition entry Rise And Shine by Salomea Project. His recording was thus recognized as one of the three best recordings by students in Europe in 2015. Award winners also receive prizes such as acoustic modules, software, plug-ins and books.


The 138th AES Convention in Warsaw
IMM students Lukas Hierl, Charel Boukel, Johannes von Barsewisch and Niklas Dalheimer represented the AES Student Section Düsseldorf at the 138th AES Convention in Warsaw. The annual convention for international audio engineers offers seminars, workshops and includes an exhibition by major manufacturers, as well as competitions for recording and device design and much more. In addition to learning opportunities at the convention, the IMM and the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf both presented their degree programs during an Education/Career Fair. The convention agenda included parties with students from all the most important universities offering degree programs in audio engineering. These gatherings enable the active exchange of ideas for workshops and projects jointly organized by universities.


Die Kunst der Überwachung [The art of surveillance] at Acht Brücken 2015
Tonverbrechung and artist collective RaumZeitPiraten [SpaceTimePirates] gave a joint performance of Die Kunst der Überwachung at the Acht Brücken 2015 Contemporary Music festival in Cologne. In the work, audience members become an object in the collected audio and visual material while also acting as a shaping subject when the material is included in the final musical product. This creates an ambivalence that is frighteningly similar to our role in worldwide electronic data traffic.
Music and Media alumnus Lukas Truniger was responsible for electronics, generative composition, and installation in the performance.


CD Presentation Tour: Martin Sasse Trio feat. Steve Grossman
The trio of Pop Keyboard/Jazz Piano professor Martin Sasse has not only performed with the Who's Who of European jazz such as Ferdinand Povel, Philippe Catherine or Dusko Goykovich, but has also gone on tour and completed recordings with the likes of American soloists Dick Oatts, Peter Bernstein, Vincent Herring and Scott Hamilton. The collaboration with jazz legend Steve Grossman which Sasse began three years ago in the Al Foster Quartet not only marks a high point in the career of the Cologne-based trio: It also makes considerable demands of musicians because the repertoire developed on the two tours consists not only of three works by Steve but also classic hard bop repertoire and jazz standards. This means there is no high-wire safety net or cushioned floor; no showy arrangements or hastily sketched out compositions. The emphasis is on creative improvisation: the essence of jazz.

The recently released CD Take the “D” Train showcases jazz at the highest level in its purest and essential state: Swing. Improvisation. Expression. The CD presentation tour starts on May 13.


Remix for Elenka
Berlin-based vocalist and DJ Elenka is releasing her own self-titled debut album on the Chimperator Department label (Sony). Music and Media student Lambert Windges produced a remix version of the song Zurück as a vinyl release. For over eight minutes, the remix reinterprets the musical elements of the song rhythmically and harmonically, adds its own tonal and sampling aeasthetic, while still retaining the overal shimmering electro sound of the 13 album tracks produced by Feeling Valencia and Robot Koch. This is Lambert Windges's first remix release in a physical recording format.


Mind Your Business at the ICLC 2015
Jonas Hummel, a graduate in Audio and Video Engineering, will be presenting his laptop quartet Mind Your Own Business at the 1st International Conference on Live Coding at the University of Leeds, UK, from July 13 through 15. In his composition for four networked computer musicians no musician can produce notes alone. Instead, this is only possible if they all assume their role in the group. The performers exchange these roles during the piece. The music is coded live, meaning it is shaped on a textual and not a gestural or haptic computer interface.
Jonas Hummel is currently enrolled at the Institute For Performance Research of Manchester Metropolitan University in Great Britain, where he is writing his PhD thesis in Music Informatics on Navigation, Agency, Presence - how to improvise with laptop computers.




From the IMM majors


Major Media Composition:
Learning objectives and course content
Students majoring in Media Composition focus on composition and arranging music to complement images. The foundation and upper-level coursework in this program of study includes practical seminars on associative composition, computer-aided composition, dramturgic sound design and studies and tutorials in style as well as seminars on the virtual orchestra.
The learning objectives for degree program include gaining proficiency in working with applied music as well as satisfying media/music requirements under real-world production conditions. This undergraduate course of study can lead to completing a master's degree in Film Music.


Major Music Informatics:
Bitwise music
Our thinking and argumentation are marked by logical connections which also serve as basic functions for electrical circuits. That is where they collect, sift through and exchange binary data. For many decades it has been a regularly rediscovered form of music which applies logical operations to digital acoustic signals, generating surprising and unanticipated sounds. With an expansive time scale covering many orders of magnitude, these signals are a flowing intermediary between tone color, tonality, rhythm and larger compositional form. Thus, a single line of C programming code is often enough.
The Amsterdam-based artist and programmer Jan-Kees van Kampen, Assistant professor for Programming as Improvisation at the IMM, is giving a seminar on this topic.


Major Music Production:
Phat Cool Bigband makes guest appearance in Studio 2
Music and Media major Dario Große (audio engineer) and Audio and Video major Philipp Weber (assistant) completed a recording and mixing project of Phat Cool Bigband at the Sound Control 2 and Studio 2. The 19 students from Arnhem, Holland play jazz, funk and fusion directed by Peter Engels. The titles Night in Tunesia, Slow Hot Wind and New State of Mind were produced in two days of recording and several days of post-processing.


Major Audiovisual Media:
Multi-camera production in Studio 1
The second all-day workshop in the upper-level course will focus on multi-camera production.
Led by Jakob Gengenbach, course participants will be recording the Frederik Raumann Trio featuring pianist Frederik Raumann, Valentin Link on electric bass and drummer Philipp Reimann. The students will be assisted by Prof. Ulla Barthold (DOP), Prof. Manfred Waffender (director), Martin Störkmann (video engineering) and Peter Dombrowski (audio engineering).


Major Music and Media Management:
The magic triangle of project management
Media projects traditionally involve people from various disciplines. In addition to artistic project members, those with a background in technology, business and law must also be integrated within the team. These varied backgrounds are not only a challenge but also an opportunity when it comes to project success. The direction the pendulum swings within the magic triangle of project management depends a lot on the communicative and integrative abilities of team members and the project manager. The upper-level course on Music and Media Management raises student awareness about these issues and introduces them to methods for goal-directed, creative team cooperation.


Major Music and Text:
Aesthetics of Diversity
The Berlin electronic musician, sound/audio artist and composer Florian Meyer (IFF, Diskant Label, Don’t DJ) is presenting his conceptual approaches on the cultural phenomenon of exoticism developed while producing his latest album. A central reference for his views is the short but visionary work Essay on Exoticism: An Aesthetics of Diversity by French naval doctor, world traveler and writer Victor Segalen. On May 16 he presents and discusses his ideas in the subject major of Music and Text.
The retrospective on pop art figure Sigmar Polke at Cologne's Museum Ludwig offers the opportunity to ask to what extent works of art which may not seem to be closely related to music or text at first sight can in fact provide inspiration to the Music and Text discipline. The exhibition will be read against the grain, so to speak, while keeping the critical paranoia concept of Salvador Dali in mind.


Major Visual Music:
Field trip to the IRCAM
On June 5 and 6 students in the Visual Music upper-level course will join Tim Fehske, Assistant Professor for Visual Music Technology/Production, and Andreas Kolinski, Assistant Professor for Computer-based Media Composition, on a class excursion to the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM), which was co-founded by composer Pierre Boulez, at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
The internationally respected research institute is hosting an open house on June 6. The day before, IMM students will already have the chance to learn from IRCAM reserchers and developers about the technical implementation of exhibition projects. This includes a visit to the Espace de Projection auditorium at IRCAM, a completely variable, experimental 375 m² (6,800 m3) acoustic space.


Major Classical Music Recording:
Anniversary CD for the State Ministry
The State Ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia has commissioned Robert Schumann School of Music and Media and Hochschule für Musik Detmold to produce a double CD to mark the 70th anniversary of North Rhine-Westphalia statehood.
Production work for the CD by the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media has already started and will be done by students majoring in Classical Music Recording. The recording will be prepared in several sessions at the Partika auditorium and sound studio. Ten different soloists and ensembles from the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media will be recorded by various sound teams. A unique challenge in producing the CD is to achieve a consistent sound with so many ensembles and performers involved. Sarah Zabel, a tutor for the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media, is in charge of production work coordination. Recordings and post-production will be coordinated by Prof. Dagmar Birwe.
The commemorative CDs will be presented at official state functions by North Rhine-Westphalia Minister-President Hannelore Kraft and also distributed on the state’s official online shop.