IMM Eingang


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

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IMM Chronicle June 2016


360° music video for Moglebaum
The Moglebaum band, including Music and Media students Simon Ebener-Holscher and Jonas Geyersberger, is producing a 360° video of their new release Forever Wild at Studio 1 of the IMM.
The event service company PRG XL Video made the newly developed virtual reality camera Nokia Ozo available for the session. The camera, with eight lenses  and a real-time monitoring function, will soon be released on the market. In collaboration with audio engineer Fabian Knauber, a 3D representation of the room will also be created, making a 360° listening experience possible.
Düsseldorf University students Niklas Petau and Lars Emmering are responsible for lighting and will be using LED trees developed especially for the band.


Studio5 Open House
On June 24, the Media Department of the Universitay of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf will be holding its traditional Studio5 Infotag [open house] so prospective students can familiarize themselves with programs of study offered by the university. Those interested must register for the event.
The IMM will also be on hand with an information booth and is offering tours of the institute's sound broadcasting van and video broadcasting van. In addition, Prof. Andreas Grimm, Dean of the Institute For Music And Media, will give a talk highlighting the Bachelor degree programs Audio and Video as well as Music and Media.
The course of study in Audio and Video is offered in cooperation with Düsseldorf's Robert Schumann University of Music and Media and the Media Department of the University of Applied Sciences HSD in Düsseldorf.


The Other The Self
As part of the The Other The Self series Marc Matter, assistant professor of Music and Text at the IMM, is giving a workshop at the Klangkunstraum QO2 (Brussels) in which various aspects of the voice will be explored in artistic texts, film, radio as well as in everyday use of language. Special attention will be given to the use of synthetic voices in communication media and a focal point will be the relationship between voice, language and gender. In addition, two sound poems by Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven and Beth Anderson will be performed as group improvisations.


Students earn awards at the 140th AES Convention
From June 4 to 7 the 140th AES Convention was held in Paris by the Audio Engineering Society. A small delegation of students completing a Bachelor's programs in Music and Media or Audio and Video who had qualified for the final rounds of the Student Recording Competition and Student Design Competition went to the convention.
Lukas Lohner won a Silver Award in the Student Design Competition. Lukas Hierl and Max Bier won a Gold Award.
In the Student Recording Competition Simon Schwär earned an Honorable Mention in Traditional Acoustic Recording while Simon Ebener Holscher won a Gold Award in the Modern Studio Recording & Electronic Music category and Patrick Arnold also won a Gold Award in the Sound for Visual Media category.
With a tally of three Gold Awards, a Silver Award and an Honorable Mention, the students were the most successful delegation from Düsseldorf to ever compete in this competition.


Neo Magazin Royale: Live in Concert with IMM students
Jan Böhmermann and his ensemble performed a farewell Music Special on the well-known German satirical late-night talk show before the summer break. The 14-member Ehrenfeld Rundfunktanzorchester [Radio Dance Orchestra] was founded for the Neo Magazin Royale: Live in Concert broadcast and featured conductor and arranger Albrecht Schrader as well as IMM graduate and arranger LLorenz Rhode. Taking turns with the regular show band, Dendemann & die Freie Radikale, the orchestra performed the top music videos from two and a half years of Neo Magazin such as Ich hab Polizei, Be Deutsch or V for Varoufakis.
Many IMM students were involved the production: Kai Holzkämper was in charge of sound, Alex Werth collaborated as a composer on many pieces, Tom Vermaaten was recording engineer and sound mixer. Others involved in the broadcast were Julian David as sound mixer, Christian Kreymborg as live FOH sound mixer and Michael Hohnstock as sound assistant. Ehrenfeld Rundfunktanzorchester guitarist Matthias Krämer performed a contemplative rendition of the protest song, Der Marder [The Marten].
The entire episode is available on the ZDF-Mediathek and as an Album on iTunes, Spotify, etc.


Musical image film for Volvo CE
The film team of the Cologne-based design agency GROSSE8 including IMM alumni produced a musical image film about factory workers at the Volvo plant in Hamelin, Germany. With their supervisor Manfred Borsch (directing, editing, camera), others involved in the project were Stephan Telaar (camera, editing), Julian Scherle (composition), Robert Keilbar (sound design) and Markus Rosensträter (drone operator).




News from the IMM major concentrations


Music Informatics major concentration:
Inca telefax. Listening to pre-Columbian administration without understanding a word
The Open Data Institute of London is to include a site-specific installation within its Thinking Out Loud exhibition. The installation will be based on the system used for sonification of archaeological data developed within the Music Informatics major concentration at IMM with Dave Griffiths, Hans W. Koch und Prof. Julian Rohrhuber. The sound installation places contemporary day-to-day office administration of open data side by side with largely still not understood quipu, administrative data from the Inca civilization stored in plaited threads. The Thinking Out Loud exhibition is supported by Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and runs from July 15, 2016 to March 31, 2017.


Music Production major concentration:
Band recording workshop with the Cologne band Pulsar Tales
On June 14, a band recording workshop supervised by Prof. Dieter Falk and Prof. Werner Roth will be held as part of the upper-level Music Production module. The song The World Is Shutting Down by the Cologne-based fusion pop band Pulsar Tales will be produced using an overdub method, with a rhythm group, strings and a brass section. An SSL 4000G+ in Sound control room 1 will be used for recording with Studio 1 (for the rhythm group and brass section) Sound control room 2 (for strings) used as  recording venues.
For several weeks after the workshop, students will post-edit the material and create a final mix. Next semester, the production will be mixed again in a joint workshop under the supervision of the instructors.


Music and Audiovisual Media major concentration:
Multi-camera video production
The courses in the two-semester, upper-level Music and Audiovisual Media module are grouped around five one-day seminars on different audiovisual recording methods. In this context, on June 22nd those participating in the module will use a multicam setup to record two chamber ensembles directed by Shushan Hunanyan (piano). The program features the Liebeslieder Waltzes by Johannes Brahms for four singers and piano for four hands, as well as the opening movement of the Sextet for Woodwind Quintet and Piano, Op. 100, by Francis Poulenc.
The solo vocal quartet features students Anna Raabe (soprano), Sarah Breslin (mezzo-soprano), Lorenz Rommelspacher (tenor) and Johannes Wedeking (bass). The woodwind quintet features Sophia Aretz (flute), Rafael Aguilar (oboe), Jeremy Chua (clarinet), Ermir Quirici (horn) and Enrico Toffano (bassoon). Robert Weinsheimer will perform on piano as well. Lukas Prinz is the sound engineer and Sarah Zabel and Tobias Kemper will be in charge of video control.
The recordings will take place at Studio 1 of the IMM. The video broadcasting van, which was recently upgraded for HD productions, will also be deployed.


Music and Text major concentration:
The relationships between the voice, individual use of language, identity and gender are currently the focus of discussion in the upper-level Music and Text module. Among other areas, students explore the general issue of identity as an individual and as a member of social groups, and the extent to which identities are necessary as social functions.
In addition, selected poems by the poet and artist Christopher Knowles will be heard and discussed, with a  focus above all on the collaboration of Knowles with stage director Robert Wilson and the Philip Glass opera, Einstein on the Beach.


Visual Music major concentration:
Alternative forms of music notation
As part of the Visual Composition and Rhythm course taught by Christian Schäfer, Assistant Professor of Visual Composition and Graphic Design at the IMM, music visualization in the form of notational systems are dealt with outside our classic European systems of notation. Alternative forms of music notation are explored, including those used by musicians such as Anthony Braxton or the Notations collection compiled by John Cage.
In the practical workshop Stille Post [Chinese Whispers] students prepare their own graphical system of notation, which other participants set to music. At the beginning of the winter semester, these works will be exhibited at the SITTart-Galerie of the Verein Düsseldorfer Künstler [Association of Düsseldorf Artists].


IMM Chronicle May 2016


IMM BASECAMP: Manuel Schmitt on the eternal battle between art and commerce
In his lecture on June 16 at 5 p.m. (IMM Studio A 2.24), Manuel Schmitt will be discussing the balancing act between art and commerce. In his opinion, one must come to grips with the question of authenticity, integrity and credibility time and time again.
Manuel Schmitt studied at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and has been working as a freelance director, motion designer, editor and author for eight years now. Since 2012, he runs a YouTube channel under the alias SgtRumpel. Together with two of Germany’s top Let’s Players (Gronkh and Sarazar), he founded the game developer Looterkings in 2014 and currently is in charge of the development of their first computer game. Among others, his films were broadcast on ARTE and WDR.


Ensembles introduce themselves
Each semester as part of the Instrument/Voice (Jazz/Pop) module, there is a richly varied group of ensembles performing many different styles of music. This summer semester, there will once again be a Big Band phase led by Jan Schneider, Assistant Professor for Ensemble (Jazz/Pop/Experimental). The band will perform pieces from the legendary Miles Davis album Birth of the Cool. The unusual nonet arrangement by Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan, which includes horn and tuba, will lend the IMM Big Band a dark and floating atmosphere despite the summer warmth.


New disco/funk single by Moullinex and Lorenz Rhode
The new disco/funk single What U Do has been released on the Discotexas label in collaboration with Portuguese artist Moullinex (Luis Clara Gomes) and Audio and Video Engineering major Lorenz Rhode. The recordings took place in Red Bull Studios in Berlin during filming of the soon-to-be-released Moullinex documentary Elsewhere.
What U Do is the second collaboration between Moullinex and Lorenz Rhode since the remix of the single Superman on Gomma Records in 2010. The two will join up in July for the Super Bock Super Rock Festival in Lisbon.


Debut album by Nunuk
The Tearin’ Down Walls debut album by the German-Iberian band Nunuk will be released in early June on the Hey!blau Records label. It was mixed by Audio and Video Engineering graduate Julian David at his Cologne studio, The Satellite. The music by Nunuk combines electro sounds with acoustic guitar, percussion and folk characteristics. Jenny Thiele sings (in German and English) of longing for distance places, philosophical breakfasts and sensing as time goes by. The album tour will take the band through Switzerland, the Netherlands, France and Germany. The Record Release Konzert will be given on May 29 at the YUCA Club in Cologne.


Kammermusik wins second award
The visual music film Kammermusik [Chamber Music] by Music and Media student Katharina Blanken has just been named the Best Experimental Film at the Tehran International Silent Film Festival. Kammermusik has now been screened at twelve international festivals and won a second award in Tehran.
The DVD publication of the film was supported with grants from the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media and Zülow AG. Katharina Blanken worked on the DVD artwork with cover designer Pablo Lütkenhaus.
In Kammermusik, Katharina Blanken makes the rear wall of the Düsseldorf State Music Conservatory, where listeners would not be expected, the canvas of her short film. The project came into existence in the Visual Music major concentration under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling and Andreas Kolinski, Assistant Professor of Computer-based Media Composition.


IMM students present projects in Rome
By invitation of the University of Rome Tor Vergata a portrait concert of works by Christian Banasik is being given at the Auditorium Ennio Morricone. The program also features audiovisual works by IMM students and those studying at the Peter Behrens School of Arts, which Christian Banasik selected for the evening exhibit to introduce the campuses of the two institutes.
IMM works on exhibit include limbic(2012) by Manfred Borsch and Johannes M. Arend, Shifting (2015) by Julian Priessen, LC-0 (2013) by Stefan Wolf, and Noise of the Light (2015) by Orson Hentschel.
The seminar by Christian Banasik, visiting assistant professor for Composition / Audiovisual Media, is being given at the Master in Sonic Arts institute. At a further event he will speak on the history, development and today's music scene in Düsseldorf.


Girl's Day at the IMM
On April 28 a group of 22 female students came to visit the IMM as part of the nationwide Girl’s Day  initiative. The objective of the event was to provide the girls insight on courses of study at the IMM and to spark their interest in the areas of work between music and media. After an introduction to the contents of the degree programs offered and a detailed tour of the facilities, the pupils had the chance to do hands-on work under the guidance of undergraduates in some programs of study. For example, a multi-track recording was mixed at the Control Room 2 and the sound design for an animated film was prepared in Control Room 4. In Control Room 3 the visiting students worked on editing a guitar production while in the Experimental lab experiments were done on the subject of Strom klingt, wie er schwingt [Electrical current sounds the way it vibrates].
The pupils, who were between the ages of 11 and 15, were very interested in the program offered.




News from the IMM major concentrations


Classical Music Recording major concentration:
Radio play production at WDR Köln
On May 7 at WDR Köln recordings will be made of this year’s project work for the Radio Play Productions seminar. The students are taping scenes from the short story Super-Frog Saves Tokyo by Haruki Murakami in Hörspielstudio 6. Actors Jürgen Sarkiss, Martin Bross and Tom Jakobs as well as Sophie Garke and Ellen Versteegen are speaking the respective parts. Benno Müller vom Hofe, Assistant Professor for Radio Plays at the IMM, who also developed the radio play version of the story, was the director.
Later in the seminar the recordings will be edited by the students, the sound track for individual scenes composed and a sound design and music concept developed. Finally, the scenes will be adapted to form a cohesive whole of all the scenes.


Music Informatics major concentration:
Lambda calculus
The history of disciplines where the focus is progress is not usually explored. But the state of the art is often only a small portion of what is possible today and covers up many of the original motivations for making advances. In the upper-level Music Informatics module students and teachers use a historical text to study the necessity of formal Lambda calculus, a model of computation/logic allowing us to treat musical compositions on the same level as mathematical expressions.


Music Production major concentration:
Recording a brass section
As part of the upper-level Pop Music Production module, on May 3 Prof. Werner Roth and Prof. Dieter Falk gave a workshop on Recording a Brass Section. In addition to stylistic aspects and arranging, other areas covered included ensemble placement and types of microphone techniques. Afterwards, a brass section consisting of IMM students performing a song by Dieter Falk was recorded in Control room 1 and Studio 2. The upper-level module participants now have the opportunity to experiment with the recorded material.


Music and Audiovisual Media major concentration:
Long-term observation and live concert recording
On May 22 the second orchestra meeting of Liebhaberorchester NRW [Amateur Orchestras of North Rhine-Westphalia] is taking place at the City of Essen's Folkwang Musikschule. Over the past few months, Audio and Video student Sören Kitzing has been making sound and film recordings of the preparations. The main focus of the filmed observation is the creative process of a work commissioned for the meeting from Japanese composer Yasutaki Inamori as well as rehearsals by various ensembles. The final concert will then be filmed and recorded by a team of 19 IMM students using the video broadcasting van and the sound broadcasting van.
The film documentary is a project in the Music and Audiovisual Media major concentration and generously supported by the Kunststiftung NRW [North Rhine-Westphalia Art Foundation].


Music and Media Management major concentration:
Calculations and project controlling
Calculating effort and costs for media projects is a key aspect of successful project management, but is often given insufficient attention. In the Project Management seminar, students are introduced to the fundamental concepts of systematically classifying primary cost types and categories (prime costs and overheads as well as variable/fixed costs), central calculating methods such as profitability calculations and cost-plus pricing. Among other things, this allows the requirements for film project calculations to be met. At the same time, calculations like these are indispensable for effective project controlling.


Music and Text major concentration:
Polyphonic writing - Biographies - Epic theater
In the upper-level Music and Text module students are currently studying various textual forms and their relationship to music and sound: polyphonic writing and sonic strategies as tools of decomposition and desemanticizing – while relying on narrative structural principals from literary formats, existing texts are filtered, deconstructed and reworked; as a literary genre, biography is explored using various musical examples; and the concept of epic theater according to Bertolt Brecht and Erwin Piscator is considered for possible uses within acoustic lyric genres.


Visual Music major concentration:
Composing for Visual Music projects
At the beginning of the summer semester composer Marcus Schmickler began teaching Visual Music / Composition as part of the Visual Music major concentration. He teaches students in the upper-level module and provides them with support in audiovisual production practice. Normally, the upper-level module is taken after two semesters by completing a Visual Music project in which students must create visual images and compose music as well as place these in relation to each other.
Together with Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling, Marcus Schmickler introduces students to the compositional techniques and provides advice on the development of their projects.