IMM Eingang


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IMM Chronicle November 2015

Spex premieres Noise of the Light music video
In November 2015, pop culture magazine Spex premiered the music video Noise of the Light by Orson Hentschel, who is completing a Music and Media course of study. The experimental music video features a duel between a horse and light. The music by Orson Hentschel gives expression to the struggle while mirroring contrasts visually. As a figural element, the black horse is counterposed with bright light and the abstract.
The music video was completed as part of a project module in the Visual Music major concentration supervised by Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling.


On the relation between sound and images
On November 20, Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling will be giving a presentation at the Münster School of Design of Münster University of Applied Sciences on the historical development of her discipline Visual Music and will be focusing on the significance of the close interrelation between sound and images. Heike Sperling initiated the Visual Music major concentration at the Institute of Music and Media (IMM) of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media and is also the founder and editor-in-chief of the important Visual Music Archive online forum.
Prof. Nina Juric and Prof. Gregor Kuschmirz are hosting the event, both alumni of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg who majored in Motion Design, a concentration Heike Sperling has been responsible for since 1998.


IMM Alumni at Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics
After the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics started its work already in 2013, it was officially inaugurated in October 2015. During the inauguration ceremony, the institute’s recently completed ArtLab was inaugurated as well. The ArtLab is a multi-purpose event location specifically designed for psychophysiological and behavioural reception research within the framework of speech, music and multimedia performances. Attached to the ArtLab, there is a control room to monitor the studies and the incoming measuring data as well as a sound control room with high-precision audio monitoring facilities which also can be used for auditory experiments.
Fabian Greb and Christoph Seibert – both graduates of the Audio and Video Engineering program – substantially contributed to its planning and design. Since 2013, they both work as research associates in the institute’s Department of Music. After receiving his doctorate at the University of Music Karlsruhe and in the context of his research projects as a postdoctoral fellow, Christoph Seibert deals with the application of music as stimulus within empirical practice, music and affectivity as well as with situated approaches to musical experiencing. In one of his research projects as a postgraduate student, Fabian Greb focuses on situational factors influencing the functions of music and everyday music listening behaviour. IMM alumnus Jochen Steffens – who currently works as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics – is also involved in this project.


Hans W. Koch on Tour
On November 11, Hans W. Koch, IMM’s assistant professor for Hybrid Sound Composition, and the composer and recorder player Pia Palme will present the result of their collaboration entitled a warning commentary on resonance III at Museum Essl, Klosterneuburg near Vienna.
On November 18, the theatre performance when in doubt, duck by Tine van Aerschot – the sound design and show control system of which was developed by Hans W. Koch – will have its premiere at Kaaitheater Studios in Brussels.
Furthermore, on November 20 and 21, Hans W. Koch will present his installations rendez-vous and drumstick at the tectonics Festival in Tel Aviv. Moreover, his piece keys+knives will be performed there and he will present a solo performance.
Finally, together with his Ensemble für nichtgekonnte Musik, he will participate in the project Leerstand [vacancy] in Cologne from November 23 to 29 – a project in which Music and Media student Florian Zeeh will be involved as an artists as well.


IMM BASECAMP: Florian Hecker on Sound as an Immaterial Art
In the context of his lecture on sound as an immaterial form of art, Florian Hecker will present his dramatization of synthetic sounds on December 3 at 5:00 p.m. (IMM Studio A 2.24).
In his performances, installations and published works, Florian Hecker deals with specific compositional developments of post-war modernity, electro-acoustic music as well as other, non-musical disciplines. He dramatizes space, time and self-perception in his sonic works by isolating specific auditory events in their singularity, thus stretching the boundaries of their materialization. Their objectual autonomy is exposed while simultaneously evoking sensations, memories and associations in an immersive intensity.


Listening attentively
On November 11, as part of the annual Intra Muros week at the Peter Behrens School of Arts in the Architecture department of the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling, chair of the Visual Music major concentration at IMM, will give a lecture on attentive listening. In her workshop she will juxtapose the concept of Silence by John Cage, the piece I am sitting in a room by Alvin Lucier and the graduation commencement speech This is water by David Foster Wallace and together with students practice listening while reserving judgement.
Oliver Kruse, Professor of Perception and Design Theory at the Peter Behrens School of Arts already initiated workshops and presentations on the topic of attentiveness and concentration as part of the Intra Muros week last year. This year he shares responsibility for the program with graduate designer Nicola Richter.




News from the IMM major concentrations


Classical Muisc Recording:
BigBang Orchestral Productions
In the winter semester, the teaching in the upper-level module Classical Music Recording will focus on the topic Orchestra recordings.
On December 6, the BigBang concert of the University Orchestra will be recorded at Tonhalle Düsseldorf in close collaboration with a video team of the upper-level module Music and Audiovisual Media. Under the baton of Prof. Rüdiger Bohn, the Symphony Orchestra of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media Düsseldorf will perform works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Claude Debussy.
The audio team around the students Maximilian Sauer, Lennard Schubert und Fabian Torka will record the concert in stereo and surround sound format.
Moreover, the recording will be converted in IMM’s broadcasting van directly after the concert and will be available for the musicians as CD or as WAVE file the same evening.


Music Production:
Music Production Refugee Project at IMM
On October 27, the band Sound of Freedom under the supervision of Björn Frahm was produced by Music and Media student David Ropertz in IMM’s Sound Control 2 and Studio 1. Sound of Freedom consists of five refugees on piano, çifteli, violin and vocals.
The band was supported by Audio and Video student Matthias Kulow on drums. Audio and Video student Lucas Grey captured the production in a film.
Reporters from CenterTV and Deutschen Welle were on the spot and released a report and an article about the production.
The project was supervised by Prof.Werner Roth.


Music Informatics:
Tobias Grewenig and Marcus Schmickler
As an intermediary between artistic and scientific methods, Music Informatics embeds the development of new technologies and schools of thought in compositional work. This is not the only reason why the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media is pleased to welcome Tobias Grewenig and Marcus Schmickler as new members of the IMM faculty. Together with other instructors in the Music Informatics major concentration, Grewenig and Schmickler will further develop the curriculum for Hybrid Sound Computing and Extended Systems.


Music and Media Management:
Mandate contracts and licensing agreements
Along with cost calculations for commissioned film or advertising productions, students taking part in the Music and Media Law course also become familiar with related mandate contracts and licensing agreements. For commissioned productions in particular, not only must a fee be paid for the production work but exploitation rights (licenses) for the transfer of ancillary copyright (the relevant industrial property rights of the performing artists) and the right to use copyright work must be obtained. It is important to regularly assess the fairness of payments, which are subject to many variables. This ensures that legal certainty for both contractual parties is achieved. Anticipated broadcast fees are also considered in assessing contracts and agreements of this kind. As part of such assessment, seminar participants are involved in founding the Düsseldorf-based C3S Genossenschaft, a cooperative association for collecting and distributing performance royalties. This gives students the rare opportunity to see how a copyright collective is founded while still completing their studies.


Music and Text:
Booty Camp by Lisa Spielmann at tanzhaus nrw
Together with Marie-Lena Kaiser (student at Folkwang University of the Arts), Music and Media student Lisa Spielmann is currently working on further developing her dance performance Booty Camp which was created during the Kolleg für Musik und Kunst Montepulciano and which – after having been an artists-in-residence project at Tanzfaktur – will be featured at tanzhaus nrw on November 26 and 27.
During the performances, the composition based on voice samples of the dancers will be performed live. In Booty Camp, the bootyshake – which has a connotation of being a feminine kind of advances – is deconstructed in a playful way in order to make room for shifts in meaning and thus to put gender stereotypes up for discussion.


Visual Music:
Workshop: vvvv – a Multipurpose Toolkit
On November 7 and 8, IMM alumnus Dipl.-Ing. Gerrit Kress will offer an introduction to vvvv at IMM. vvvv is a graphical development environment for Creative Coding developed by the vvvv group (Joreg, Max Wolf, Sebastian Gregor, Sebastian Oschatz). vvvv is intended for real-time generation and manipulation of video, graphics and data streams.
On the first day, the workshop will deal with the basics and principles of vvvv and node-based programming in general. On the second day, live visuals will be generated using vvvv. Due to the node-based visual programming, vvvv is also an opportunity for people so far having had reservations about programming.


IMM Chronicle October 2015


CD Production with Peter Orth
Marcus Reineboth and Sebastian Geier, graduates of the Audio and Video program, produced the CD 24 Préludes Op. 11 – Sonata No. 1 Op. 28 with the US pianist Peter Orth. Among others, Peter Orth – pupil of Rudolf Serkin for many years – worked with the Auryn Quartet and has been appointed Professor of Piano and Chamber Music in Detmold.
In September 2015, the Dutch label Challenge Records released the 24 Préludes by Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin as well as the Piano Sonata No. 1 by Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff. The music was recorded in Wuppertal’s Immanuelskirche (Immanuel church) and then edited and mixed by zimmerli sounds.


IMM BASECAMP: Florian Opitz on the Work of a Documentary Filmmaker
In his lecture on November 5th at 5 p.m. (IMM Studio A 2.24) Florian Opitz is a documentary film director, author and journalist Florian Opitz will introduce his work and discuss the tasks and challenges of a documentary film director.
Since 1998, Florian Opitz has made numerous documentaries and documentary films. His films dealt with political, historic and social topics. Florian Opitz was awarded the Grimme-Preis in 2009 for his cinematic debut The Big Sellout. His second feature-length documentary film Speed: In Search of Lost Time (2012) was one of the most successful documentary films shown in German cinemas over the past few years. In 2015, he received his second Grimme-Preis for his film Die Macht der Stromkonzerne [The Power of Energy Corporations] for script and direction.


Tel Aviv – Düsseldorf
Since 2012, Florian Zeeh, student of the Music and Media program, is one of three owners of the Betonbox in Düsseldorf. Their current joint project Lichtung [Clearing] is a cooperation with the Alfred Cooperative, one of the first non-profit artist cooperatives in Tel Aviv.
For the first part of Lichtung, five Israeli artists visited the Betonbox for two weeks. The joint work on ideas and concepts can be experienced in an exhibition at Betonbox. There you can also see and listen to the audiovisual installation Nichtung auf allen Kanälen by Florian Zeeh.
At the end of this year, the Betonbox team will visit Israel together with ten German artists to continue their international dialogue considering the experience gained in Düsseldorf. During their stay of two weeks and in addition to lectures and workshops at Kalisher Art Academy in Tel Aviv-Yavo and in several museums, the artists from Betonbox will create an exhibition on the premises of the Alfred Cooperative.
The project is publicly funded and is part of the program to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany.


Kammermusik wins the Sydney Architecture Festival Shorts 2015
The Visual Music film Kammermusik [chamber music] by Katharina Blanken, student of the Music and Media bachelor program, has won in the category Best International Film at the Sydney Architecture Festival Shorts 2015. The jury’s statement: "Beautiful both musically and visually. Combining the voyeurism of Hitchcock’s 'Rear Window', with the allegory of apartment blocks (and by extension, cities) as orchestral arrangements – seemingly random, but with an inherent harmony from each individual playing their part. The time lapse transforming the windows  from spotlighted vignettes into a connected building fabric is lovely."
In Kammermusik, Katharina Blanken is taking a look at the rear wall of the Robert Schumann Hochschule. Whoever watches the building from the outside by night sees 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 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.


Publication for ISMIR 2015 in Málaga
Within the framework of the ISMIR 2015 conference [International Society for Music Information Retrieval] in Málaga, the publication New sonorities for early jazz recordings using sound source separation and automatic mixing tools by Daniel Matz, graduate of the Audio and Video bachelor program, will appear shortly.
The work was created in the context of his bachelor project in the winter semester 2014/15 and was supervised by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dieter Leckschat and Prof. Dr. Michael Oehler. For this, at the Fraunhofer IDMT in Ilmenau, Daniel Matz investigated the issue of rearranging an existing audio mix without having available the underlying sound sources as isolated signals. Such a rearrangement can hardly be done by means of state-of-the-art methods of music production and its automatization currently represents a relatively young field of research.
Within the framework of his bachelor thesis, Daniel Matz developed a prototype approach to accomplish this task as a modularized overall system for the automatic remixing of old jazz recordings. A final evaluation taking into consideration the aspect of different acoustic quality parameters – carried out in the form of subjective audio tests – illustrated that this new procedure is generally appropriate.




News from the IMM major concentrations


Classical Music Recording:
Orchestral Productions in the Upper-level Module
In the winter semester, the teaching in the upper-level module Classical Music Recording will focus on the topic Orchestra recordings. On November 7 and 8, a concert of the Youth Symphony Orchestra Cologne will be recorded in the concert hall of the University of Music and Dance Cologne (HfMT) under supervision of graduate Tonmeister Christian Schmitt, assistant professor for Creative Audio Editing. The concert will be recorded by an audio team of four people using IMM’s broadcasting van.
At the weekend of November 28 and 29, another team of four students under supervision of Prof. Dagmar Birwe will have the opportunity of making an orchestral production with the University Orchestra of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media Düsseldorf under the baton of Prof. Rüdiger Bohn in the Partika hall. Here, the students will have to face the special challenge of musical recording production and of communicating with the entire orchestra and its conductor. This is the first time that such an intensive cooperation between the University Orchestra and the upper-level module Classical Music Production will take place.
The presentation of an independently performed orchestra recording forms part of the final exam in this upper-level module.


Media Composition:
The Loop as a Structural Element of Film Music 
For his bachelor thesis, Moritz Laux – student of the Audio and Video program – examined the modes of operation of loops and loop-like structures in the audiovisual context. For this, he mainly focused on their use in film music. Laux’ investigations covered physiological principles, dramaturgical and technological aspects as well as intermedial influences on the creative process of film scoring. The thesis was supervised by Prof. Isolde Asal and Prof. Andreas Grimm.
After his final degree, Moritz Laux will start a project study course in the Film Music major concentration at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg.


Music Informatics:
Apparently just a technical detail: A text editor allowing the program text to be executed where it is written – the so-called Read Eval Print Loop (REPL) – is clearly not available for all programming languages. In fact, it changes the idea of what a program actually is: not so much a constructional drawing for a virtual device, but rather a moment of conversation. The same applies to programs being scores: Thus, in Music Informatics the text may become an instrument and an integral part of musical thinking: not a means to an end, but content of the music.


Music Production:
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 Audiovisual Production:
Recording of the Sparda MusikNetzWerk Award Ceremony
This year again, the ceremonial presentation of the Sparda-MusikNetzWerk award in the Partika hall of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media Düsseldorf on November 14 will be recorded by a team of students from the major concentration Music and Audiovisual Media under supervision of Prof. Ulla Barthold. For this recording, the new HD cameras and the video broadcasting van – now converted to HD technology – will be used for the first time.


Music and Media Management:
Differentiating Consideration of the Economic Order
In the Music and Media Management basic module, the students are provided with basic qualifications of business economics and law which increasingly find their way into the job profiles of media professionals. Moreover, however, the basic module also has to be considered as a teaching unit providing general education in the best sense of a holistic higher education. Thus, a basic understanding of our economic order is a major prerequisite for a responsible participation in sociopolitical processes. The students will be provided with key competences for a differentiating consideration of the economic order and – on this basis – will be able to develop individual strategies for their further self-determined and meaningful life.


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.