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IMM Chronicle October 2015


News from the IMM major concentrations


Music Produktion:
Communication Between Producer and Artist
Currently, Oliver Czarnecki is working on his bachelor thesis in the Music Production major concentration. In his thesis, he investigates the communication between producer and artist to achieve an excellent sound and optimum artistic results for music production. For this, various producers and artists – including IMM alumni – shall be interviewed. What is the best way to reach certain goals and to avoid problems? In this context, psychology also plays a significant role. The results of Czarnecki’s research shall be proven by a recording produced especially for this purpose and serving as a practical example.
The thesis is supervised by Prof. Werner Roth.


Music and Text:
Slam Poetry, Gertrude Stein and Synthetic Voices
In the winter semester, the students of the upper-level module Music and Text will focus on their final projects: a slam poetry performance, artistic work with advanced techniques of synthetic voices, a text/sound composition as well as reflections on repetition and circularity as applied by Gertrude Stein, Friedrich Nietzsche and Judith Butler.
Furthermore, work on the blog musikundtext [music and text] will be stepped up in order to present results from the various seminars as well as students’ projects. Moreover, there is a prospect of an exchange with students from the new Pop program at Folkwang University of the Arts.


Visual Music:
Philipp Lauer at Visual Music Night 2016
For the 6th time already, the Visual Music Night will take place in the Salon Des Amateurs on February 19, 2016 – the last day of the winter semester. This time, as special guest of the evening, Philipp Lauer will appear who can look back on a long and successful career as a label owner, musician and DJ in the field of electronic dance music. In May, he released his second LP on the label Permanent Vacation. Philipp Lauer is touring internationally both with his solo project and together with Gerd Janson (Tuff City Kids).
To begin with, on October 15, he will attend the course Music Visualisation in the Silent Picture by Christian Schäfer, IMM’s assistant professor for Visual Composition / Graphic Design where students of the Visual Music major concentration will design posters and flyers for the Visual Music Night. Philipp Lauer will present his music, introduce current projects and offer a glimpse into his artistic career.


IMM Chronicle September 2015


Neon at the Fresh Minds Festival in Texas
For the third time already, the Fresh Minds Festival will take place at Texas A&M University in October. What makes this festival different is that all works presented during the festival will be selected solely by students of the Department of Performance Studies.
This year, the documentation of Music and Media major Patrick Arnold’s installation Neon will be one of the works presented at the festival.
This installation was created for Patrick Arnold’s final examination in the upper-level module Visual Music and was supervised by Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling as well as by IMM assistant professors Andreas Kolinski and Tim Fehske.


Lecture Recital by Elisabeth Lohninger
On October 5 at 6:00 p.m., Elisabeth Lohningerwill give a lecture recital in IMM’s Studio 1 within the framework of her current tour with the New York Electric Trio. Before, at 5:00 p.m. already, the jazz singer – who has been living in New York for more than 20 years now – will give a masterclass for Jazz / Pop Vocals students in IMM’s experimental laboratory. Both events will be open to the public.


New CD by Heiner Rennebaum
On September 25, JazzSick Records will release Pianavia – the new CD by Heiner Rennebaum, IMM’s assistant professor for Jazz Guitar. He considers his music to be “close to silence”. It contains unusual tonal systems and rhythmic structures, has been played exclusively on acoustic and electro-acoustic instruments and arranged on the computer. The CD was financed by crowdfunding.
Pianavia is dedicated to the recently deceased Bernd Renn who joined the project as a guest musician together with Hayden Chisholm and Roland Peil. The CD was mastered by Fritz Hilpert, member of Kraftwerk and graduate of the Audio and Video Engineering program.


Touring, Festival Summer, Classical and Electronic Music
During this year’s festival summer again, Dipl.-Ing. Michael Ochs, graduate of the Audio and Video Engineering program and assistant professor at Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences, is responsible for numerous festivals as systems engineer and operator. Among others, he worked for the Jazzrally Düsseldorf (monitor sound in the Burgplatz marquee), Rock am Ring (FoH for Crater Stage) and South Side Festival (systems of Blue Stage).
Before, Michael Ochs was responsible for the touring PA system during the MTV Unplugged tour of reggae artist Gentleman.
In early September, he played a leading role as planner and FoH operator of the sound concept for the NRW Sommerkonzert of the State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia. More than 80 microphones were used to achieve an optimum level control for the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie orchestra in the Gerry Weber Stadion in Halle.
At the end of November, Michael Ochs will act as Technical Director for three concerts of artist Karl Bartos (former member of Kraftwerk).


Doctoral Scholarship at Dublin City University Ireland
Mounir Mahmalat, Music and Media graduate with major concentration in Music and Media Management, has been granted a doctoral scholarship at Dublin City University in Ireland. He will start his doctoral studies in the field of Political Economy in January.
His research addresses the question why and how governments of developing countries reform their industrial policy in response to social crises. As an example for this, he will investigate the Arab Spring. Thus, the issue of his research is directly linked to current developments in the Middle East and tries to put these developments into a tangible context of economic policy.


Philip Catherine and Martin Sasse in Concert
Martin Sasse, Assistant Professor for Pop Keyboard / Jazz Piano will perform together with the exceptional Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine at Cologne’s Alten Pfandhaus on September 12, 2015.
Philip Catherine received numerous awards as a jazz musician: in 1978 as Artist of the Year by Deutsche Phono-Akademie, in 1995 the Belgian Django d’Or as well as the French Django d’Or in 1998. He accompanied artists like Stéphane Grappelli, Dexter Gordon, Charles Mingus and – among others – recorded six LPs with Chet Baker and three LPs with Tom Harrell. Philip Catherine is one of the world’s most famous jazz guitarists.




News from the IMM major concentrations


Music Informatics:
Even More Algorithms in the Wild
During this year’s Kolleg für Kunst und Musik Montepulciano project [College for Arts and Music Montepulciano], students worked intensively on developing algorithms in the wild. Thus, Music Informatics major Juliane Blum – together with Naomi Abukha (Folkwang University of the Arts) and Tina Dunkel (Academy of Fine Arts Münster) – developed a performance in the course of which a dancer is following certain simple rules in strictly prosaic movements while their non-trivial combination is created by ring tones from mobile phones in the audience. The performance was presented in the Palazzo Ricci.
Philipp Lack (University of Music and Dance Cologne – HfMT) worked on two live sound collages in the Teatro Poliziano and San Biagio by means of the Steno programming language developed at IMM.
Both projects were supervised by Prof. Julian Rohrhuber.


Music und Audiovisual Media:
Documentary with the North Rhine-Westphalia Youth Orchestra
In additional to conventional symphony concerts, the Landesjugendorchesetr NRW [North Rhine-Wesphalia Youth Orchestra] also appears in new, alternative classical music concert formats. One of the new settings initiated by the orchestra’s general manager Agnes Rottland is this year’s project: Klangfarbe Bruckner [Bruckner's Orchestral Colors]: A staged performance of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 for which the Duisburg Theater stage will be transformed into a white cube.
Music and Media major Moritz Hils is completing a documentary film of the project while using the youth orchestra example to ask about the future of classical music concerts. The film is being completed as a project in the Music and Audiovisual Media major concentration and supervised by Prof. Manfred Waffender.


Music and Media Management:
A Riddle Wrapped Up in an Enigma
Very often, for small-scale independent production managers and directors, cost calculation of privately financed film projects is a closed book and a rather annoying task, though it is indispensable in today’s fiercely competitive market. Thus, both pre- and post-calculation in terms of cost accounting determining planned and actual costs are strongly recommended. Therefore, all costs arising – divided into direct and indirect costs – have to be allocated to the cost unit (i.e. the project). The cost types relevant for a film project can be determined systematically, e.g. as an extended contribution margin accounting. As a result, there are several at least cost-covering quotation prices serving as a basis for acceptance or rejection of an order.
Students of the upper-level module Music and Media Management will be provided with basic knowledge of cost accounting supplemented by project-specific calculation methods.


Visual Music:
A tonal portrait of the Robert Schumann Hochschule building
Katharina Blanken, who is completing a Music and Media degree program, is taking a look at the rear wall of the Robert Schumann Hochschule with her chamber music project. Well away from listening ears, where windows are closed and curtains drawn shut, there it is possible to anonymously play music on your way to professional performance proficiency. Whoever watches the building from the outside by night see the students in their individual, illuminated practice cubicles, playing music. Each night a visual interplay of parallel worlds results – a kind of mosaic, but one which can scarcely be heard as tonal interplay.
In the audiovisual tonal portrait by Katharina Blanken, 14 musicians and a conductor perform a piece composed for her project. The Kammermusik film is the result of a deliberate interjection into the parallel events and thus creates a novel depiction of the life of the building.
The film was created as a project in the Visual Music major concentration and supervised by Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling, Prof. Andreas Grimm and Andreas Kolinski.




News from previous months and still current


Classical Music Recording:
IMM students at this year’s Young Artists’ Festival Bayreuth
The Young Artists’ Festival Bayreuth involves young musicians from various nations, and has the goal of fostering international contacts as well as promoting artistic studies in master classes, chamber music, choir and orchestra projects. 
Once again, in August this year, students from the Audio and Video and Music and Media bachelor programs will be taking part in the audio engineering workshop as part of the festival which has the motto Culture: in crisis. Peace? this year. Not only do these workshops bring musicians together from a wide range of countries, the exchange of experience in all areas of popular music production is also a key area of focus. The coordination of this year’s workshops will be in the hands of the IMM students Nadine Minderjahn and Jonas Geyersberger. A total of 21 IMM students will be taking part this year.
The image film on the audio engineering workshop in Bayreuth made last year by Matthias Kulow provided a good impression of the work of the students in Bayreuth.


Media Composition:

European Talent Award Confers Best Sound Design Prize
The cooperative work of Armin Badde and Raffael Seyfried, students completing the Music and Media degree program, made a very positive impression on the European Talent Award, a key event of Soundtrack_Cologne. Their jointly created soundtrack score for the film Oma by Karoline Raeymaekers was recognized by the international jury members.
Composers Bruno Coulaid (The Chorus / Les choristes), Aleksandr Pantykin (Musulmanin), music supervisor Pia Hoffmann (Schoßgebete), music journalist Kai Löffler and sound designer Oliver Achatz (3 Türken & ein Baby) awarded Armin Badde the Best Sound Design Award, commending his work for “truly bringing the figures and settings of the story to life. His approach of combining sound effects and ambience makes the images breathe. The sound design is very organic, well balanced, and convincingly tells the story of the film.”
Raffael Seyfried received an Honorable Mention for “a fragile, effective and economical composition which interacts with the sound design in perfect synchronicity. His music supports the story with pleasing simplicity and a high degree of sensitiveness."


Music and Text:
CD by Armin Mieth released
Motivated by the aesthetic quality of Foley samples, especially those with a (para) linguistic level, Armin Mieth has composed an hour-long noise composition, which is accompanied by an additional, constant melody fragment performed on a synthesizer.
Armin Mieth, a former Music and Media student, makes systematic use of an entire foley sample database of film sound effects in his piece. During the course of the composition, the sounds appear to become more and more similar to the human voice and speech, but without saying anything concrete – an open-ended piece of art in the best sense. The track has now appeared as a CD on the Chocolate Monk label, and Matt Krefting, a prominent figure in the noise music scene, said the following on the label's website: “Weirdly hypnotic, the kind of thing that lets your ears perk up to eagerly pick up detail while the rest of your body melts into the couch.”
The work was produced in the project module of the Music and Text major concentration.


Music Production:
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.