Produced at IMA: Voice & Electronics
Thu, October 18, 2012 8 pm CEST, Concert

In the series “Produced at IMA”, electro-acoustic works from the archives of the ZKM | Institute of Music and Acoustics are presented in a loose series along thematically arranged lines.

As an artistic research center which actively accompanies and supports productions, the Institute of Music and Acoustics disposes over an extremely varied source of works that were produced at the studios by international artists of electronic music. Frequently, these are works composed especially for the unique Sound Dome, or else exist in special Sound Dome versions.

With “Produced at IMA”, the Institute of Music and Acoustics wishes to make its cooperation with artists publically visible and, above all, audible. Completed compositions are presented in programmatic compilation by a sound conductor. The thematic focus of the current edition is “Voice and Electronics” – which presents the most diverse applications of voice in electronic music.


Johannes Goebel – “Après les Grands Tours” (1993)
Nicolas Bernier – “Writing machine” (2005)
Tim Buhre und Felix Knoth – “38 cbm” (1993)
Kumiko Omura – “Flashback II” (2007)
Ludger Brümmer – “Gates of H.” (1994)

The title “Grand Tour” alludes to the migration of European artists to Rome during the eighteenth and nineteenth century. However, it is not the artists’ yearning for Mediterranean Italy which is the thematic concern of Johannes Goebels piece, but the Roman invasion of the North which took place around 2000 years previously. The acoustic- archaeological remains of this “Grand Tour” are constituted solely of a few sounds: steps, the sounding of a bell and short fragments from “Germania” by P. Cornelius Tacitus – a story of love and hate.

“Writing Machine”, by Nicolas Bernier, is an acousmatic concert piece for eight channels. It was inspired by the author William S. Burroughs and is based on observations of the relationship between his work and electro-acoustic music.

For the two artists Tim Buhre and Felix Knoth, the enactment of this radio piece in a closed container had two attractions: 1, the spatial projection of the sounds, which invariably plays a central role in their music, and 2, the stringently external form of the container reduced to a functionality which, owing to its standardized spatial dimensions, symbolizes the human-being’s drive for organization. They define the space and its content (the audience) in an ambivalent manner. Much like rented accommodation (produced to standardized norms), the container can mean both claustrophobic confinement or protection from a hostile external world.

Thematically, “Flashback” – because of what it signifies, also the title of the piece – is reflected in various musical scenes in which fragments repeatedly appear. In a first version, the piece “Flashback” was written for viola d'amore and playback tape, whereby the fragments of the playback tape are based primarily on sampled sounds of the viola d'amore. The remaining part is composed of Csound pure, generated electronic sounds. In the revised version, “Flashback II” for audiotape, Kumiko Omura drew on material from the previous piece and expanded it with the addition of new material so as to admit a higher density and finer sounds.

The source material of Ludger Brümmer’s “Gates of H.” comprises samples from a folk song interpreted by a Bulgarian women’s choir. The method of using an already existing piece of music for a new composition aims at establishing a tension between the original structure of the piece and the new structure, which is based on an algorithm.

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