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IMM Chronicle August 2014


Kunstpunkte Düsseldorf
In this year’s Kunstpunkte Düsseldorf, Florian Zeeh, a student on the Music and Media program, is once again taking part with his studio community. Since 2012, he has been organising the publicly supported off-space BETONBOX together with Mavi Garcia and Bernhard Kucken.
For the opening of the Kunstpunkte, Florian Zeeh and Mavi Garcia are showing the third part of their performance trilogy Schwarze Kiste [Black Box]. The Schwarze Kiste works like a reverse version of the Panopticon developed by Jeremy Bentham. It is a room, from which the private interior of the box can be monitored by many observers at once. The audience look through spy holes in the large, oval, black box – while they themselves remain unseen.
In the third part of the trilogy, a banal conflict is sparked inside the box. The observers invade the private togetherness with their eyes and are present during the existential struggle for respect and freedom. The performance series, which reaches its conclusion this year with the third part Schlafstörung [Insomnia], raises questions about the private sphere, freedom of self-realisation and work ethic.


Jazzmarathon at IMM
Audio and video recordings led by Johannes von Barsewisch and Richard Eisenach have been taking place at IMM under the title Jazzmarathon. From 31st July to 2nd August, there was a different band every day as a guest at IMM, each with a different ensemble, from either the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne or the Folkwang Universität der Künste in Essen. Each band played two 45-minute sets live in Studio 2, while the camera team filmed the event under the direction of Richard Eisenach. Johannes von Barsewisch was responsible for the audio engineering.
The camera team was made up of the IMM students Lukas Baumgart, Moritz Hils, Jonathan Kastl, Vitaly Kohmann, Sophie Körner, Tine Marzi, Nicki Schulze Frenking, Moritz Schuster and Frederick Weißel.
The musicians were Yannis Anft, Moritz Barancyk, Leif Berger, Alexander Dawo, Friedeman Dittmar, Bennon Gössel, Justus Heher, Philipp Humburg, Michael Knipschild, Torben Schug, Jonas Vogelsang, Fabien Witte and Sven Ziebarth.


Hans W. Koch at the National Chiao Tung University
The transArt team at the National Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan has for the second time invited Hans W. Koch, the assistant professor for Hybrid Sound Composition, to a workshop.
Just like in November 2013, this workshop is about the artistic guidance and support of student teams from the areas of architecture, applied art, and music as they prepare an exhibition in the Digital Art Center Taipei in September 2014.




From the IMM majors


Major Classical Music Recording:
Productions in Bayreuth – Young Artists Festival
This year, 12 IMM students once again had the opportunity to collect a variety of recordings in diverse areas of classical music at the Young Artists Festival Bayreuth. The choirs from Armenia, China, Iceland, Jordan and Portugal provided evidence of their skills in various locations in the Bayreuth area, such as churches and concert halls. By recording these performances, the influence of each hall’s acoustics on the resulting tone could be directly compared. A further highlight of the month-long festival was the consolidation of all five choirs into a 120-member ensemble.
In addition to a string quartet production and chamber orchestra recordings, the partially- staged performances of the opera class required flexibility and expertise from the participants.
This year, the IMM team was coordinated by Jeff Schiltz and Kai Detlefsen, students on the Music and Media program. Prof. Dagmar Birwe is responsible for the cooperation of the IMM with the Young Artists Festival Bayreuth and supervised selected recordings on site.


Major Media Composition:
Rise of the Titan
Production music, which is music composed and produced for use in many different types of media rather than being commissioned for a specific purpose, is the topic of the Music and Media student Markus Roser’s bachelor project.
He has analysed the history and parameters of the production music market, especially the trailer music segment which has an important function in the marketing of feature films, but is also used in advertising campaigns for computer games or sporting events. After detailed analysis of current examples of the genre, Roser applied the composition and production principles that he had analysed to develop his own piece of trailer music, Rise of the Titan. The work was supervised by Prof. Andreas Grimm and Andreas Kolinski, assistant professor for Computer-based Media Composition.


Major Music Informatics:
Epistemology and Music Informatics
In a two-day seminar from the Principles of Artistic Research series, Jochen Otten (ZKM) presented philosophical arguments that relate to a core area of epistemology. Working from a chapter out of Goodman’s Languages of Art, the participants discussed, amongst other topics, the effect of things in a piece of art that cannot be directly perceived, and by looking at the role of objects for Immanuel Kant, fundamental terms such as identity and synthesis became clear. Intensive discussion and analysis of philosophical texts has links with the study of programming, according to the new conclusion: in both areas, the aim is to solve problems that do not have a predetermined solution.


Major Music Production:
Firlefanz at IMM
On 6th and 7th August, the Cologne band Firlefanz were guests in IMM’s Studio 2 as well as the studio’s sound control room. Together with Music and Media student Charel Bourkel, in these two days, a total of 31 work hours, they produced five complete typical Cologne songs, two of which were original compositions and the rest covers.
Firlefanz is primarily established in the carnival scene. Their music is heavily influenced by bands like Kasalla, Bläck Fööss, etc.


Major Music and Text:
Philosophical Investigations and Sample-Poetry
During the semester break, the students of the specialisation module Music and Text are concentrating in more detail on the texts of the late Ludwig Wittgenstein, the Philosophischen Untersuchungen [Philosophical Investigations], in which the functions of language and words are critically and unflinchingly analysed. In addition, there is a debate taking place with the radio producer, book author and Sample Poet Gregory Whitehead, who lives on the east coast of the USA and is unfortunately little-known in this country. Whitehead developed an extremely original style in his radio essays and features, which is characterised by hybrid documentary formats as well as unconventional themes and sound design. He is the author of numerous audio poems, which are almost entirely based on speech samples from foreign sources. In his artistic research he is also focussing on the various forms of screams – for this he ran a telephone hotline over which people could supply their screams.


Major Visual Music:
Hikiko sucht die Einsamkeit [Hikiko searches for solitude]
Stop-Motion films require a clear concept and a lot of commitment. For his Bachelor project in the Music and Media program, Markus Zimmermann developed the story of Hikiko, who withdraws into his room and creates a world of his own.  In the Making Of Hikiko sucht die Einsamkeit the viewer discovers how both, not only Hikiko but also the filmmaker, shut themselves in their rooms, away from the outside world.
This outstanding Bachelor thesis was developed in the Visual Music major, and the Making Of as a project in the Music and Audiovisual Media major.
Gregor Keinenburg, Music and Media student, was responsible for the film score, which uses themes from Franz Schubert’s song Einsamkeit from the song cycle Winterreise.


IMM Chronicle July 2014


Pop culture today: Between theory & practice
As part of the c/o pop Convention Diedrich Diederichsen, Udo Dahmen, Hans Nieswandt, Ralf Niemczyk, Timo Kumpf and the Managing Director of the IMM, Prof. Andreas Grimm, will be talking about pop music and pop culture as forms of art and scientific disciplines on 22 August at the Kölnischer Kunstverein art association. The renowned panel will be asking itself whether pop culture can actually be learnt.
The c/o pop Convention on 21 and 22 August in Cologne will be hosting an extensive programme, with 90 speakers from 15 countries and exciting presentations, panels, workshops as well as networking events, welcoming some 1,000 trade visitors.


Even more Music and Text guests
On 31 July and 1 August, two further guests will be presenting their artistic work at the IMM.
The Düsseldorf painter, poet and performance artist Angela Fette is known for her individual combinations of readings and ritual-like actions in her own scenography, which she performs in self-designed costumes, masks and hats. In 2011, she founded the noise art duo WeisserWesten – an eccentric mix of vocals and granular walls of sound – together with Phillip Schulze.
Florian Meyer, musician and artist from Karlsruhe, where he studied Media Art at the University of Arts and Design. As a musician (The Durian Brothers, Don't DJ), he mainly works with polyrhythmic structures. Recently, he has also started researching circular systems in general and polyrhythmics in particular in written form. He will be introducing his thesis – Rhythmus als nicht-repräsentative Sprache (rhythm as non-representative language) – in the seminar.
These two seminars in the major Music and Text are open to interested guests, both start at 2 p.m. and will be taking place in the MMR.


Workshop: Opera Village Burkina Faso
On 19 July, Christin Richter from Opera Village Africa and her colleague Felix Dunkl and the photographer Marie Köhler are visiting IMM. At the invitation of Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling (Visual Music/ Digital Visual Media), the guests are presenting the concept of Christoph Schlingensief's Opera Village to all interested students.
Marie Köhler is showing her work with the school children on location, who photographed their world in workshops using analogue cameras. In this project, Marie Köhler asked herself whether her own aesthetics as a photographer are being enriched and changed by the visual language of the school children in the Opera Village. She is now summarising the results in a catalogue.
The Robert Schumann School of Music and Media and Festspielhaus gGmbH have both signed a wide-ranging cooperation agreement in May this year. Currently, the first student from IMM, Nicolas Neteler (Audio and Video program), is already on location to help set up the sound studio in the Opera Village as part of his Bachelor thesis.


3D visuals for the Open Source Festival 2014
For the Open Source Festival 2014 on 12 July at the Galopprennbahn horse racecourse, Düsseldorf, the moving pictures collective WARPED TYPE consisting of Florian Breuer (graduate of the Audio and Video program), two Music and Media students Andreas Huck and Roland Nebe and Stefan Hings are designing the live visuals.
On the new, fourth stage of the festival, the Teehaus Floor, the quartet are producing high resolution visuals in Anaglyph 3D across an area 13 metres wide. In addition, all festival guests are provided with red-cyan 3D glasses free of charge.
This year at the Open Source Festival, performers include the New York Club sensation
Hercules & Love Affair and Max Herre, Joy Denalane, Afrob and the Kahedi Radio Orchestra with their MTV Unplugged programme.


Chinese whispers
On 10 July, the thirteen students in the specialisation module Visual Music are presenting in the IMM from 1 p.m. their results from the seminar Visual composition and rhythm held by Christian Schäfer (Assistant professor for Visual Composition / Graphic Design).
Music visualisation in the form of notation systems outside of our traditional European notation system was addressed in the seminar. Alternative music notations of visual artists and musicians were examined.
In the Chinese whispers practical exercise, the students each drew a piece of music in a lottery process. This was to be visualised graphically – without using our conventional note or writing system. The 'notes' resulting from this were passed on without music, title or other indications of the piece to another participant who then recorded their interpretation of the notation. The new track that was produced was given a title and was in turn passed on for another participant to visualise, this time in the form of a cover.
Now the original covers and initial pieces of music, the alternative notations, the newly created music as well as the covers created on the course are being presented.


Live sound reproduction at summer festivals
This summer, Dipl.-Ing. Michael Ochs, graduate of the Audio and Video Engineering program and lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf, is also working as a local Front of House operator and systems technician for the Alterna Stage at the Rock am Ring festival. As local monitor operator for the Green Stage at Sommerjam 2014, Michael Ochs is also responsible for the monitor audio of 17 of the bands performing on this stage. In addition, he is responsible for the streaming mixdown of the 72 associated input signals of Oper für alle [Opera for all] in Düsseldorf.


CD production supported by the Foo Fighters
In June, BenjRose, the band of the Cologne singer and songwriter Benjamin Rose, released its CD debut BenjRose. Benno Müller vom Hofe (assistant professor for Radio Play) is drummer and co-executive producer.
The band is forming a musical friendship with the Foo Fighters. During their European tour in 2012, the Foos recorded a song in BenjRose's ArtFarm studio and their keyboard player Rami Jaffee produced four of the songs on the album. Ross Hogarth (Hoax Productions, California) mixed, the CD was mastered in Monoposto-Mastering Studio in Düsseldorf. In the autumn, the band will be going on a German tour.


Order from chance and playing with the future
On 8 July at 5 p.m. as part of the series Principles of Artistic Research, Hans-Christian Dany is giving a lecture in the experimental laboratory at IMM.
"In roulette, a machine for producing chance permits players the indulgence of an assured order. In the cybernetic model of the homeostat, the random noises of four generators keep the system principle ultra-stable.  In the control society, countless machines generate a random noise, which, as input energy, delays heat death in the control circuits. All three machines need uncertainty to remain stable. What happens if another machine, which I call the idiot, appears and starts to play with visions of the future?" 
Hans-Christian Dany, artist and author. He recently released his book Morgen werde ich Idiot. Kybernetik und Kontrollgesellschaft [Tomorrow I'll become an idiot. Cybernetics and the control society].




From the IMM majors


Major Classical Music Recording:
Bayreuth 2014
In August, at the same time as the Richard Wagner Festival, the Festival Junger Künstler [Festival of Young Artists] is once again taking place in Bayreuth. Young musicians from across the world meet to attend workshops and perform in concerts. This year, IMM students are once again responsible for the recording of the concerts. The project is being carried out by a total of 15 students, who are taking turns in two teams to be on site. The concerts and chamber music productions, recorded using mobile equipment, can be immediately post-processed and mixed using the school's own broadcasting van. In this way, particular concert highlights will be released on CD during the festival. In addition, a video documentary is being made this year about the work of the students in Bayreuth, which should give future teams an insight into the variety of recording possibilities.


Major Media Composition:
Booktrack – Reading music in e-books
The musical accompaniment of audiovisually-designed content – commonly referred to as a film score – occupies a key part of the lessons in the major. However, the prospects of media-related music and sound design are expanding year on year. One relatively new idea combines reading with multimedia support, called Booktrack.
Music and Media-student Frederik Weißel has investigated the theory behind the trend as part of his Bachelor's project for Prof. Andreas Grimm, with regard to physical and economic conditions, and further developed his analysis of existing booktracks into an exemplary musical scoring.


Major Music Informatics:
Total experiments and pop combinatorial combos
Playing music in an ensemble is one of the most important areas of Music Informatics, and bands such as The Hub were already realising interesting discursive situations with linked-up computers in the 1980s. In the form of a workshop with the Mexican live coding pop combo mico rex and their audiovisual work, we will discuss and experiment the ways of algorithmic improvisation, together with Jan Schneider (assistant professor for Ensemble: Jazz/Pop/Experimental) and Prof. Julian Rohrhuber (Music Informatics/ Media Theory) in one afternoon.
From the coming term onwards, there will be an experimental ensemble at the IMM, which will be supervised by Jan Schneider and in which the algorithmic improvisation with programming, instruments and vocals will play an important role and which will receive impulses from music informatics. The event on 2 July from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the experimental laboratory will be the starting point.


Major Music Production:
Band Recording workshop
On 1 July, there was a Band Recording workshop in the current specialisation module Music Production.
For the workshop, Johannes von Barsewisch (Audio and Video program) organised a band around the 15-year-old drummer Richard Münchhoff. The young talents performed as a rhythm group with a singer and a small brass section in the style of Snarky Puppy. In Sound control room 1 and Studio 2 various microphones, microphone positions and various positions of the band in the room were tested out.
Several songs were produced under the direction of Prof. Werner Roth and guest professor Dieter Falk.


Major Music and Audiovisual Media:
Working title The Merchant
Under the direction of the two Music and Media-students Franz Wüstenberg (script, direction) and Daniel Langemann (production), and involving a large number of other IMM students, a short feature film is currently being filmed on the premises of the former glass factory Gerresheim in Düsseldorf. Its working title is The Merchant. The production is, in part, a final project in the specialisation module Music and Audiovisual Media.


Major Music and Media Management:
Viral campaign
In the specialisation module Music and Media Management, the training focuses on the links between business and legal knowledge and the particularities of the media industry. Interesting project work pieces and final projects are continuously being created as part of this. The student Julius Natzel has developed a current concept for designing a viral campaign for a young classical music artist. The basis of this concept is a motivation-theoretical approach in connection with findings from neuromarketing. 


Major Music and Text:
Guest: radio artist Ulrike Janssen
The Cologne radio broadcasting director and radio artist Ulrike Janssen will be talking about her work on Friday 18 July in the Music and Text major. She is the author of various features, acoustic portraits and original audio collages, for example, about and with Peter Kurzeck, Reinhard Jirgl, Herta Müller and Nicolas Born. In 2011, she received the Karl Sczuka Prize for radio play as radio art for her experimental feature Vogelherdrecherche [Vogelherd research], which is based on the poet Thomas Kling, who died at an early age.


Major Visual Music:
Ear and eye
In the specialisation module Visual Music 2, which runs over two terms, students are for the first time creating a visual music production from the concept right the way through to the final implementation. This results in various pieces coming into existence each year, ranging from live Visuals via abstract experimental films to elaborate multidimensional events and interactive sculptures.
In order to emphasise that the composition of audio as well as video, and particularly the dialogue between these two levels of perception, are significant in the genre Visual Music, Andreas Kolinski (Computer-based Media Composition) and Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling (Visual Music/ Digital Visual Media) teach the students in the last summer term together. To conclude this seminar, students are now presenting their concepts, which will be implemented in the next term.