Valentin Link

Brain Sensing Music
February 2016

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 module, and supervised by Andreas Kolinski, assistant professor of Computer-based Media Composition, and me at the Institute For Music And Media.

[ Teachings ]

Magdalena Sojka

VeeMee
February 2016

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 module, and supervised by Andreas Kolinski, assistant professor of Computer-based Media Composition, and me at the Institute For Music And Media.

[ Teachings ]

David Füsgen

WUT, FREUDE, TRAUER
February 2016

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 module, and supervised by Andreas Kolinski, assistant professor of Computer-based Media Composition, and me at the Institute For Music And Media.

[ Teachings ]

Rebecca Himmerich

Zwischenraum
February 2016

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 module, and supervised by Andreas Kolinski, assistant professor of Computer-based Media Composition, and me at the Institute For Music And Media.

[ Teachings ]

Lucas Grey

Quad²
February 2016

The Quad² project by Lucas Grey is an interactive space installation in surround sound. The narrators stand in a space generated by three beamers, a space which can be distorted with the help of custom-built Midi cube. The Midi cube interface depicts the projected space of the audience or public. Each of the six faces of the Midi cube represents both a sound as well as a pictorial effect. All the effects can be combined with each other and change according to how much of the cube is covered by a hand.

The final project by Lucas Grey was created in the upper-level Visual Music module, and supervised by Andreas Kolinski, assistant professor of Computer-based Media Composition, and me at the Institute For Music And Media.

[ Teachings ]

Moritz Hils

knockout
February 2016

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 module under the supervision of Andreas Kolinski and me at the Institue For Music And Media.

[ Teachings ]

Workshop @ Peter Behrens School of Arts

Listen, Simply Listen.
November 11th, 2015

I gave a lecture on attentive listening 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. In my workshop I juxtaposed 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. The students and I also practiced listening whithout 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 awareness and concentration as part of the Intra Muros week last year. This year he shared the responsibility for the program with graduate designer Nicola Richter.

[ Teachings ]

Roland Nebe

Six visual music clips for Grandbrothers
August 2015

How can artistically shaped worlds of images and the live performance of a band be combined into a music video? The motion picture designers WARPED TYPE, who specialize in Visual Music, explored this question. The group, which includes the two Music and Media graduates Andreas Huck and Roland Nebe, and the Audio and Video alumnus Florian Breuer completed a series of clips for the Grandbrothers duo, who also studied at the IMM.

The track Naive Rider marked its video premiere as a pre-release to the Grandbrothers' debut album Dilation on the website of British music magazine FACT TV. The video for the piece Arctica was presented by the US music magazine XLR8R and  reviewed in the well-known music blog Stereogum and elsewhere. The images prepared for the clips were also used as visuals during the release concert at Düsseldorf's Salon des Amateurs and at the Contre-temps Festival in Strasbourg.

Visual Music major Roland Nebe prepared the series of six visual music clips as his bachelor thesis under my supervision at the Institute For Music And Media.

[ Teachings ]

Workshop @ Academy of Art and Design Basel

The Self and the Other
March 30th and 31st, 2015

Regine Halter invited me to give the 2-day seminar The Self and the Other at the Academy of Art and Design in Basel for their Conceptional Design Masterstudio students. Had the repeated great pleasure of co-teaching with Ralf Neubauer.

In the two days of the seminar the students critically reflected, analyzed and discussed creating an identity for a client in the broader context of corporate identity projects.

[ Teachings ]

Katharina Blanken

Kammermusik [Chamber Music]
February 2015

The visual music film Kammermusik [Chamber Music] is an audiovisual portrait of a building by Visual Music artist Katharina Blanken. The film won the prize for Best International Film at the Sydney Architecture Festival Shorts in 2015 as well as the Best Experimental Film award at the 2016 Tehran International Silent Film Festival.

In Kammermusik [Chamber Music], Katharina Blanken makes the rear wall of the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media, where listeners would not be expected, the canvas of her short film. A person standing in the dark outside the building can see musicians practicing in their separate illuminated cells. Each night a visual blend of parallel worlds results – a kind of mosaic or sequencer emerges where auditory interplay is scarcely perceptible.

The project came into existence in the Visual Music major concentration under my and Andreas Kolinski's, assistant professor of Computer-based Media Composition, supervision at the Institute For Music And Media.

[ Teachings ]