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IMM Chronicle April 2014


Call for participants: Alumni network
The so-called Düsseldorfer Ausbildung [Düsseldorf education] is already looking back over 60 years of success. It constitutes the former Audio and Video Engineering program and now predominantly refers the Audio and Video bachelor program. Since 2008 the Institute For Music And Media has also offered the artistic degree Bachelor of Music with the Music and Media program. In addition there are two Master programs about to start.
The Robert Schumann School of Music and Media relies on an intensive exchange with their former students and so IMM is also actively engaged in promoting a continually growing network of alumni.
To expand this network and step up the dialogue between the generations of graduates, IMM is asking all those who have studied at IMM in the past six decades to get in touch and also join the IMM alumni group now.


Microphone workshop at the 136th AES Convention in Berlin
As part of the Project Studio Expo lecture series at the upcoming 136th AES Convention in Berlin, Dipl.-Ing. Julian David, graduate of the Audio and Video Engineering program, will be giving a workshop on the subject of Microphones and recording techniques. Under the title Fix It In The Mic - Using Microphones As Your EQ, the main focus on 27 April will be the prevention of recording errors and tips on microphone selection. The aim of the workshop is to impart strategies and concepts in which the sound design of the final mix is considered at the recording stage. This traditional approach often takes a back seat in favour of a Fix It In The Mix mentality, mostly in home and project studios, which results in easily avoidable problems in the majority of cases.

Concert in Cologne's Kolumba museum
On 12 April, Hans W. Koch, assistant professor for Hybrid Sound Composition, together with Frank Gratkowski (saxophone and clarinet), Seth Josel (electric guitar), Anton Lukoszevieze (cello) and Lucia Mense (recorder) is presenting the double CD West Coast Soundings at a concert in the Kolumba museum in Cologne. The CD is released on the Edition Wandelweiser Records label in Düsseldorf and presents a group of composers from Los Angeles that work on the online publication the experimental music yearbook. Hans W. Koch got to know the composers during his time as a visiting professor at the CalArts in spring 2007.


Music and sound design for NETWARS
Graduates of the Audio and Video Engineering program, Dipl.-Ing. Christian Barth (music) and Andrew Mottl (sound design) were responsible in the cross-media production NETWARS on three platforms for the entire sound layer design.
Cyberwar, the modern type of warfare and terror in the digitally interconnected era, is being examined on 15 April at 8.15 p.m. on arte in a TV documentary. At the same time, the first episode of the five-part interactive Webdoc starts, in which users come into close contact with the work of hackers. The graphic novel app also addresses the topic as a work of fiction. NETWARS was produced by Filmtank GmbH.


Scholarship for the Cité Internationale des Arts Paris
Florian Zeeh, student in the Music and Media program, has been invited for a three-month artist's residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. Sponsored by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media Düsseldorf, this scholarship provides Florian Zeeh with the opportunity of working and living in a Cité atelier for three months. The Cité Internationale des Arts accommodates about 300 visual artists, musicians, composers, dancers, writers and film-makers and provides them with space for creative work and further artistic training.




From the IMM majors


Major Music Informatics:
What is Space?
Artistic methods enable us to question self-evident, seemingly unchangeable givens. In a two days workshop on April 15th and 16th in the experimental lab with the artist, composer and philosopher Jost Muxfeldt, we will explore how one of the most basic categories of experience can be understood in new ways: space. Starting from experiments and theoretical considerations, we will not only playfully and critically consider methods of spatialization and sound algorithms, but also take time to discuss the relation between aesthetic experience and artistic practice.


Major Music Production:
My Curse and Schmerzen
David Joris, student in the Music and Media program, has rearranged and reproduced the two pieces My Curse, by Killswitch Engage in the original form, and Schmerzen [Sorrows], by Richard Wagner in the original, for his final year project in the Music Production specialisation module. An orchestral movement was composed for My Curse, which was recorded over many overdubs with two violins and a cello. The production took place in sound control room 1 and studio 2 at IMM. Schmerzen, actually a classical song, was recorded using drums, electric bass, keyboards and electric guitar. Only the vocals retained their classical note. The project was supervised by Prof. Werner Roth.


Major Music and Media Management:
Self-marketing using social media
The right form of self-marketing by musicians is a key factor for success. Against this background and as part of his Bachelor thesis, Julius Natzel (Music and Media program) is developing a pragmatic concept, which incorporates scientifically founded recommendations for self-marketing. The emphasis here is on campaigns which are aimed at the social media or viral marketing domain. The project is being produced in the Music and Media Management major in which, in the current summer term, the seminars Project Management and Media Law 2 are being offered. The core aim of the major is to equip students with the skills for effective cooperation and for managing media projects.


Major Visual Music:
The specialisation module
In April the two-term specialisation module starts in the major Visual Music. Prof. Ulla Barthold (Visual Composition/ Camera and Lighting), Tim Fehske (Visual Music Technology/Production), Andreas Kolinski (Computer-based Media Composition), Christian Schäfer (Visual Composition/ Graphic Design) and the professor responsible for this module Dr. Heike Sperling, are supporting the 12 students in the conceptual design, design and implementation of the audio and video level for a visual music production (linear or non-linear). This production completes the specialisation module in spring 2015.
This year, two of the final projects have been nominated for the Visual Music Award 2014.


IMM Chronicle March 2014


IMM BASECAMP: Robert Henke on Art Made by Machines
On 17 April at 5 p.m. (IMM studio A 2.24) Robert Henke, one of the three Abelton founders, talks about the dream of a universal tool, full of unlimited and unexplored possibilities.
When the composer is simultaneously the creator of the instrument, where does the process of composition begin? And conversely, when the instrument is so special, and so profoundly influences the end result, who is the owner of a work that has been produced using very specific software, of a specific parameter setting of the same, and where it was not the artist but some unknown technician who prepared the software or these settings? In this context, what role is played by the exchange of ideas and technical concepts?
Robert Henke
oscillates between producing software, composing and performing a wide variety of different forms of electronic music, and the exploration of audiovisual worlds. In summer 2013 he is teaching as an artist-in-residence at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), and together with his students is developing a complex virtual sound machine.


Product specialists at Musikmesse
Paul Große-Schönepauck (Music and Media program) and Steffen Sennert (Audio and Video program) were working at this year's Musikmesse music fair in Frankfurt am Main as product specialists for the InMusic Group. Paul Große-Schönepauck was responsible for the new product range of M-Audio and Alesis and Steffen was responsible for Akai’s products. In addition Steffen presented the new electronic wind instrument EWI5000 on the stand's stage. Tony Lotta and David Haynes also performed there.


Remix for Glen Check
In 2013, the indie pop band Glen Check from Seoul won the Korean Music Award for the Electronic/Dance Album of the Year with their album Youth!. They are now releasing remixes from the single I’ve Got This Feeling, including a House Remix by Lorenz Rhode, graduate of the Audio and Video Engineering program. Glen Check is currently working in Hollywood with the five-time Grammy Award winner Steve Lillywhite on new material, which Peter Gabriel, U2, the Rolling Stones, Talking Heads and Dave Matthews have produced.


Conceptual poetry of the 20th century
On 18 March Marc Matter, module leader of Music and Text, is giving a lecture on conceptual poetry of the 20th century at the art college Ecole de Recherche Graphique in Brussels. In his lecture, he particularly focuses on so-called poésie sonore, i.e. sound poetry in which language is consistently used as sound material.


Two Visual Music Award nominations
Patrick Arnold and Fabian Scharpf, both students in the Visual Music major, have been nominated for the Visual Music Award 2014. The audiovisual installation Neon was nominated for the Visual Music Live Contest category and the clip Lust by Fabian Scharpf for the Visual Music category. The award presentation takes place on 28 March in Geinhausen, the birthplace of the originator of this genre, Oskar Fischinger.
Both projects were produced as part of the specialisation module Visual Music run by Andreas Kolinski and Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling.


"Audio recording of the edition"
On 24 February Christian Schäfer, assistant professor in the Visual Music major amongst other roles, released his EP Pitch Rider on the Cómeme label. The five tracks on this EP are devoted to electronic dance music in the broad sense. In the current edition of the German magazine about Electronic music and club culture – GROOVE – the record is featured in the section Tonträger der Ausgabe [Audio recording of the edition] as one of three singles: "...far away from the usual house monotony."


The Adventures of Musicella - Pitch at the Financing Forum for Kids Content 2014
Between the 11 and 13 March the 8th Financing Forum for Kids Content is taking place in Malmö, Sweden. At this year's pitching event Stefan Haupt (Music and Media program) is presenting the Ukrainian-French-German co-production The Adventures of Musicella. A 2D animation series concept for children, which aims to communicate to young generations the joy of playing music in a humorous and amusing way. Stefan Haupt is contributing to the project as creative producer and is responsible for the production in Europe.


Multimedia installation as part of the Marrakech Biennale
Based on the piece by the same name of the minimal music composer Julius Eastman, the exhibition If If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich? reflects on power struggles and the discrepancy between knowledge and economics. It is running from 26 February until 31 March and is an official parallel project of the fifth Biennale in Marakesh.
As part of this exhibition, Ali Tnani, visual artist, photographer and media artist from Tunisia and B.Mus. Lukas Truniger, graduate of the Music and Media program, are exhibiting their project Crackling Data Machine. The object made from steel plates extracts texts from news websites using an algorithm and produces abstract, absurd interpretations of this data in the form of prints and sounds.


Finale of the Hard Dance Music Awards
Raphael Düsterhus (Audio and Video bachelor program), with his label Infected Section Records, has been selected as one of the best three newcomer labels globally in the Hardstyle category of the Hard Dance Music Awards. In the last round, online votes decide which label wins the award.




From the IMM majors


Major Classical Music Recording:
Chamber music productions
In the specialisation module of the Classical Music Recording major this term, chamber music productions are being made with the participants competing in the Schmolz&Bickenbach competition. The productions are taking place on three full days during the summer term and will be managed in each case by a group of five students. The groups are being guided as part of the Classical Music Productions seminar by Prof. Dagmar Birwe.


Major Media Composition:
From the Syrian Desert to the cold Siberia
Markus Roser, student in the major Media Composition of the Music and Media program, has completed a wide range of compositional work commissioned for several TV formats. This included the composition and production of music for the documentary series TerraX and Geschichte im Ersten and for the science magazine programme Quarks&Co.
The musical spectrum of the work produced as part of the project module ranges from marching music in the style of the early 20th century through to orchestral sounds with an Oriental and Russian feel and electronic music.


Major Music and Media Management:
Business models for establishing a company
The business models for establishing a company developed by small groups of students in the 2013/14 winter term are currently being prepared as business plans. Again, the range of the models is very broad. These include, for instance, a business development of the idea of a culture café, an approach as part of the trend of shared economy related to the audiovisual field of entertainment. The concept for viral marketing also looks very promising. The students are supervised by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Klinkenberg, the module leader for Music and Media Management.


Major Music Informatics:
At the end of semester a talk was given by Prof. Ingbert Kupka, who has been instrumental since the 1970s in founding informatics programs at German and Mexican universities. Machines accompany people like demons – Using this thought as a basis, his introduction into the history of informatics shows how the narrow dialogical relationship has produced the need for diverse programming languages and sensomotoric couplings. Fittingly, the core module Music Informatics was concluded with a thoroughly demonic ensemble session with improvised computer music in the experimental laboratory under the direction of IMM assistant professor Marc Matter.


Major Music Production:
New high-quality effect devices at IMM
IMM's sound control room 1 has recently been equipped with some new high-quality effect devices. The analogue SSL 4000G+ console completes the studio's analogue design throughout. Even in the choice of the new outboard devices, only the highest quality analogue devices have been purchased. These include a Vertigo VSC-2 compressor, two Empirical Labs distressors, four SPL Transient Designers, an API 500 Rack and a Universal Audio 6176. Students are hereby given the option of still creating analogue complex mixes even in the digital era.


Major Music and Audiovisual Media:
BASECAMP recording
In the specialisation module of the Music and Audiovisual Media major, the BASECAMP lectures in the summer term will once again be recorded by the students. Under the direction of Prof. Ulla Barthold, Florian Boddin, Wolfgang Schukrafft and the module administrator Prof. Manfred Waffender, the students are undertaking a multi-camera production using IMM's video broadcasting van.
The BASECAMP lectures have been curated by Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling since 2006 and the recordings are available to view, free of charge, on the BASECAMP's own Vimeo channel.


Major Music and Text:
Concerning the Gradual Formulation of Thoughts while Speaking
To avoid students getting bored in the time between semesters, in the Music and Text major they are reading and listening: Heinrich von Kleist's essay Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden [Concerning the Gradual Formulation of Thoughts while Speaking] has long been a classic in German studies and literary studies and is of key significance to the seminar Talking and writing about music with Waltraud Blischke right now as it shows that the idea often comes while speaking (Kleist). In addition, two documentary or essay formats from television are carefully examined – the Sendung ohne Namen [programme without a name] and the BBC documentaries by Adam Curtis, with which the complex relationship of data, facts and narration in mass media can be analysed.


Major Visual Music:
Beauty of the darkness

Beauty of the Darkness is the personal account by Stephan Telaar (Music and Media bachelor program) of failure and perfectionism. The clip discusses the acceptance of imperfection and the search for beauty in the unknown. Trial and error at the same time. Some things only reveal their true beauty when they are viewed in an unconventional way.
The project is an experiment that deals metaphorically with the creative process and was produced as part of the project module in the Visual Music major.