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 July 2015


Patrick Kabré feat. Palanteeroo
In March this year the four IMM students, Audio and Video majors Nicolas Neteler and Maximilan Sauer and Music and Media majors Valentin Link and Simon Stimberg toured Christoph Schlingensief's Opera Village Africa in Burkina Faso. The purpose of the journey was to set up the local sound studio, get into contact with musicians from the nearby capital of Ouagadougou and network with people in the local music scene.
On July 16, one of the most exciting young artists from Burkina Faso, Patrick Kabré, is coming to Düsseldorf on his European tour and will be giving a concert with Valentin Link (string bass), Max Sauer (violin, guitar) and the Burkinabé drummer Ezekiel Nikiema at the Filmwerkstatt Düsseldorf. Their style of music is somewhere between Afro jazz, blues and folk.
Simon Stimberg will document the evening as part of the undergraduate project for his Music and Audiovisual Media major.


Marc Matter to guest curate in New York City
The ISSUE Project-Room, one of New York City's definitive institutions for new music, sound and  performance, is currently working in close collaboration with Marc Matter, who is responsible for the major concentration Music and Text at the IMM, on a contemporary sound poetry and acoustic literature festival and conference. In a genre at the intersection of poetry and music, texts, voices, sounds and both poetic and musical concepts are variously combined in often surprising ways.
A similar festival – the Wortsampler –  already took place this year at the Betonbox and the IMM and was curated and organized by Music and Media major Florian Zeeh.


Netwars wins Grimme Online Award
The interactive web series netwars / out of CTRL from the cross-media production of the same name, which addresses cyber war and cyber terror on the Internet, has won the Grimme Online Award in the Knowledge and Education category – only a few days after the media reported a hacker attack at the German national parliament, the Bundestag.
Andrew Mottl, graduate in engineerin, was responsible for sound design of the Web doc, the TV documentary and the graphic novel app and fellow engineering graduate Christian Barth composed and produced the music. Both Mottl and Barth earned degrees in Audio and Video Engineering from the IMM.


Concerts: Jazz, Pop, Experiment and Improvisation
There will be concerts in the Instrumental/Vocal (Jazz/Pop) course to conclude the semester.
On July 13, all the ensembles from the combo seminar are performing at the 3rd IMM Ensemble Evening at the Café Freiraum of the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf. From Jobim to Jessie J to George Duke and Bruno Mars, there will be a wide range of styles on the program.
On July 7, the improvisation/experimental ensembles will already be getting together for a session at the 1st IMM ImprovSession in the Experimentalabor. Only own compositions by the students will be played, which were worked out in the present semester in collaboration with the program of studies in Music Informatics.

Second Place at Düsseldorf on Stage
Maike Gönnemann, a student in the B.Mus. Music and Media program earned second prize at the Düsseldorf on Stage competition with her song Made of Steel, which she composed during her semester abroad at the McNally Smith College of Music. In the US she also made the acquaintance of Adi Yeshaya, who arranged the track, and Chopper Black, who produced the song. Maike Gönnemann has made a positive impression with a band before a large audience at the Düsseldorf Mitsubishi Electric Hall.


Drone and Drum Synthesizer at the Rapid Ear Movement Festival
On June 28 Milan Schell, a graduate of the B.Mus. program Music and Media, played his electro-acoustic drum synthesizer with the Duo Pixanfonax of Jürgen Palmtag and Emmerich Györy at the Rapid Ear Movement (REM) Festival in Bremen. In Charlemagne Palestine’s Mischpoke he played the analog virtual drone synthesizer with VB Schulze’s Bernsteinzimmer,, Reinhart Hammerschmidt, David Wallraf and several Fisher Price toys dubbed singing assholes.


Sampling in Pop Music
On July 16 Waltraud Blischke, lecturer in Speaking and writing on music, will be a guest of the Student Council of the Technical University Chemnitz, and will speak on Sampling in pop music. A lecture on the aesthetic standards and attributions of a cultural technology between homage and distinction, and how, on the eve of culture jamming, storage devices translate a destructive demolition of the original into an anti-consumer practice of recognizable citations. In the aesthetic free-trade zone the mantra of technical possibilities may corrupt the fetish Pop and its high cultures of the virtuoso, but when even the anti-illusion lands on the compost heap of musical history, what is the point of sampling any more?




News from the IMM major concentrations


Classical Music Recording:
Auditory perception of the Auro-3D 9.1, 5.1 surround and Stereo 2.0 formats
Charel Bourkel, a Musik and Media major is investigating Auditory Perception of the Auro-3D 9.1, 5.1 Surround and Stereo 2.0 formats in his bachelor’s thesis. His research topic focuses on the question of whether Auro-3D 9.1 offers a considerably better listening experience than conventional stereo and surround sound formats. In order to answer this question, three different ensembles were recorded and produced in three separate rooms in their respective format, all at 96 KHz. Excerpts from these productions formed the basis for a listening test in which the three formats were compared in terms of the following parameters: the listening space, localization and tone color.


Media Composition:
Support for Nepal
The Freundeskreis Nepalhilfe e.V. [Circle of Friends Nepal Help] group has been operating two institutions for needy children and young people in the crisis-ridden country of Nepal. In the context of the project module, Music and Media majors Philipp Reimann (composition) and Patrick Arnold (sound design) are currently working with Nepalhilfe director Ulrike Schmidt. In addition to covering the current crisis in the wake of earthquakes in recent months, Reimann and Arnold are preparing a documentary about the work of the association in Nepal, including the story of two children given shelter by the Nepalhilfe program.


Music Informatics:
Modalities of sonic interaction
A mode of interaction is the circumstance of a situation that makes certain moves possible, some impossible, some easy, and some difficult. Electronic music instruments can be played not only within one mode, but an instrument can also give access to mode changes while playing. This is particularly interesting where the instrument is combined with a computer music language. The workshop by the artists and composers Marije Baalmann and Wouter Snoei gave an introduction into the Modality toolkit, a programming language library, which simplifies creation of highly personalised electronic instruments by introducing a common code interface. It unifies the access to HID, MIDI, OSC and GUI-based controllers, as well as switching of functionality, even at runtime.


Music and Audiovisual Media:
Cassadó Piano Trio
In the third full-day workshop in the summer semester, upper-level Music and Audiovisual Media students worked on multicamera production techniques. Students Wonyoung Jung (violin), ChiHo Choi (cello) and SeoJin Yoon (piano) played the piano trio by Spanish composer Gaspar Cassadó. The ensemble is mentored by Prof. Georg Schenck. Supervised by Jonas Geyersberger (director), the recording was prepared with the help of detailed cut lists and completed on July 1 in Studio 1 of the IMM. Kai Detlefsen was the recording producer.


Music and Media Management:
Contractual agreements for commissioned compositions and production services
Agreements for commissioned compositions and production services in the music industry are unique because they include elements of service or work and licensing agreements. Musicians are already confronted with this kind of agreement during their studies or at the latest when first beginning work as freelance professionals. Cases involving commissions for TV jingles, film music and commercials are examined in relation to projects and their practical implications because problems repeatedly occur regarding the scope of supply, warranty against infringement or acceptance.


Music and Text:
Musicians and DJs visit from Brussels
On July 25, IMM students majoring in Music and Text will be meeting with the following musicians and DJs from Brussels: Catherine Pleinvaux, label operator and DJ, Ernesto Gonzales aka Bear Bones Lay Low, Mike Crabbe aka Weird Dust and Eva van Deuren aka Orphan Fairytale. The visitors will talk about their lyrics, liner notes for recordings and the never-ending search for the prefect album title. They will have music, records and flyers along to help explain the relationship of text to sound and visuals.
The guests will perform at the Salon des Amateurs that evening at 10 p.m.


Visual Music:
Halfway There
The upper-level course in Visual Music runs for two semesters. After the first semester, the twelve students present their concepts for their first extensive Visual Music production. In the lecture series Concept, Planning, Production by Andreas Kolinski and Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling, the group worked on conceptualization, realization and communication related to audiovisual production practice for visualization of sound and music, and will now apply this knowledge in the coming semester.
The outstanding projects completed in recent years can be viewed online.


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.




News from the IMM major concentrations


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.