Visual Music

At the IMM, students in the Visual Music major acquire knowledge of design principles and techniques by producing visualisations of sound and music – e.g. in the form of music videos, VJ sets, installations or computer games/ applications.

In their projects the students use concept and design of the sound and image level as an expression of individual artistic attitude.

Music visualisations are located somewhere between media art and club culture, where the question whether they are art or service, club culture or highbrow no longer presents itself. The sharp delineation between audio and video is shifting. And since the new media have started to make real-time coordination processes between visuals and sound possible, there are more and more audiovisual teams being formed, or individuals themselves engaging in audiovisual work.

For further information on this particular genre check out the Visual Music Archive.


Brain Sensing Music

The audiovisual performance for string bass solo, Brain Sensing Music, by Valentin Link visualizes the brain activity of the player during a freely improvised music performance. Using an EEG (electroencephalography) headband, the focal point of the musician is measured by four sensors on the forehead and ears. This influences the size and deflection of the points on a predetermined circular path.
The visual concept is based on the important hand-drawn ensō circle from Zen-Buddhism, which expresses a moment when the artist's mind is in a free state. The blinking of the performer distributes dots on the image, and the muscle traction on the jawbones generates a stroboscope effect. An individual image of the mental state during performance is thus created with each new improvisation.
Brain Sensing Music was completed in the 2015/16 winter semester as Valentin Link's final project in the upper-level Visual Music 2 module and supervised by Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling and Andreas Kolinski.



VeeMee is an interactive mirror by Magdalena Sojka, which translates the utterances of the audience into sounds and images and projects these back. VeeMee is an audiovisual puzzle the recipient engages in through a concentrated internal dialogue. In the process, the work examines the multimodal interpretation of text. This follows strict rules which are similar to our use of language. The underlying thought is that sense only emerges based on a pool of building blocks which are always the same, much like letters in language. For example, “regal” and “large” consist of the same letters, but it is in their composition that the words take on their respective meanings.
The project was completed as a final project in the upper-level Visual Music 2 module.



David Füsgen went in search of ways to transfer music into the language of the camera in his work WUT, FREUDE, TRAUER [RAGE, JOY, MOURNING]. After an extensive phase of research, three video clips emerged which depict three different musical moods. The audience is given the opportunity to experience music only visually. The music underlying the video clips remains concealed from the beholder until the very end.
The work was completed as part of an upper-level Visual Music 2 module supervised by Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling and Andreas Kolinski.


Zwischenraum [intermediate space]

The Zwischenraum sound and space installation by Rebecca Himmerich confronts and challenges clearly defined spaces.
In this work, Rebecca Himmerich focuses on gray zones, transitions and the absence of structure, which predominate between these usually conventionally declared central concepts. With the help of sound and light elements, some of which are produced in advance and some generated live, four rooms (or spaces) allow the public to have an immersive experience and confrontation with the topic. In the approx. thirty-minute performance, there are intermediate states such as waiting, the prenatal stage or the subset of what is certain and what is uncertain.
The project was carried out in collaboration with several other artists. The unique dynamic which develops among the performers through their live improvisation is part of the concept and supports the variety and unlimited nature of one of the main characteristics of the intermediate space [Zwischenraum]: its uncertainty.
Zwischenraum is the final project of Rebecca Himmerich in the upper-level Visual Music 2 module.



The knockout video installation by Moritz Hils links the ideas of instrumental theater with the long fixed attitudes of structural film. In two video projections and two soundtracks, his installation depicts a battle between cellist Elisabeth Fügemann and saxophonist Moritz Schuster. Freely improvised, they play until one or the other capitulates. In the process, the musicians become actors who freely act out their roles as adversaries in a battle and determine the content as well as the structure of the work through their playing. In this way a three-hour chamber music performance featuring harmony and cacophony, irony, provocation, fighting spirit and mockery emerges.
knockout was completed in the 2015/16 winter semester as a final project by Music and Media major Moritz Hils for the upper-level Visual Music 2 module under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Heike Sperling and Andreas Kolinski.