Giga-Hertz Award 2016: Award Presentation
Gigaherzpreis 2016
Sat, 26.11.2016, 8 pm CET

This is the ninth time that the ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustic together with the SWR Experimentalstudio has awarded the Giga-Hertz Award for Electronic Music.

From approx. 80 international submissions, the jury, consisting of Atau Tanaka (artist and developer at Goldsmiths College, London), Björn Gottstein (musicologist and Artistic Director of the Donaueschingen Music Festival), Ludger Brümmer (Head of ZKM | Music and Acoustics Institute), Detlef Heusinger (Artistic Director of the SWR Experimantalstudio) and Peter Weibel (Executive of ZKM | Karlsruhe), nominated two outstanding pieces for this. The two international Giga-Hertz Production Prizes, each awarded €5,000, focus on composers of electronic and acousmatic music and serve to initiate and promote new projects. This year, the range of subjects relating to sensor technology was given particular attention during the selection process. An Honorary Mention is also a special feature. The jury awarded this to an additional piece for the first time this year.

The Giga-Hertz Award for Electronic Music is being awarded to Curtis Roads this year. Curtis Roads is considered one of the most influential composers in the electro-acoustic genre and has aesthetically and theoretically developed granular synthesis in his compositions. Just as impressive as his compositions are his published oeuvre: Curtis Roads has published both »The Computer Music Tutorial« (1996) and the book »Microsound« (2001). His last publication »Composing Electronic Music« (2015) is subtitled as »A New Aesthetic«, with which he highlights the current demand of this medium. His creativity has led him to almost every important studio, including the MIT, IRCAM, Les Ateliers UPIC and the CREATE in Santa Barbara, at which he currently works.

Giga-Hertz Awards for Production 2016 and Honorary Mention: The Production Awards are awarded to Elvira Garifzyanova with her »ARCANE-II« piece for four flutes, four Paetzold flutes and live electronics and to Huihui Cheng for »Me Du Ça« for vocal and live electronics. For his interactive, audio-visual piece »The Fuck Facebook Face Orchestra« for four performers, Daniel Zea Gomez receives an Honorary Mention. The piece can be heard and seen following the award ceremony.

Main Award Winner 2016 | Curtis Roads (USA)

Curtis Roads has been a leading figure in computer music since the 1970s as a composer, writer, and researcher. His artistic output traces the history of the field, with each work reflecting the technologies of the time, from offline composition on mainframe computers in »nscor« (1980), to mixtures of digital sound with ancient instruments, to combinations of sound and image »Point Line Cloud« (2005), to compositions using granular and pulsar analysis/synthesis, »Epicurus« (2010). He has maintained a singular aesthetic throughout, to explore the microscopic structures of sound. The pioneering nature of this vision has been confirmed with the explosion of electronic music in popular culture, where Roads has been sought out as a mentor by musicians like Russell Haswell, and performed in concerts with groups like Autechre. Roads has theorized his work and that of the broader field as editor of the Computer Music Journal (1978-2000) and as author of an influential series of books including »The Computer Music Tutorial« (1996), and »Microsound« (2001). He has carried out his work in the important studios of the world, including MIT, IRCAM, Les Ateliers UPIC, and CREATE Santa Barbara. The Giga-Hertz lifetime achievement award recognizes the foundational contributions Curtis Roads has made to the history of computer music.

– Author: Atau Tanaka

Curtis Roads

Curtis Roads

Production Prize Winners 2016

for »ARCANE II« (2014), for 4 recorder, 5 Paetzold recorder with live electronics controlled with sensors

for »Me Du Ça« (2016), for soprano and live electronics

Honorary Mention

for »The Fuck Facebook Orchestra« (2015), for 4 perfomers, 4 computers, 4 Kinects abd 4 video projectors


Ludger Brümmer (Composer, Head of ZKM | Hertz-Lab)
Björn Gottstein (SWR2 editor for New Music and artistic director of the Donaueschinger Musiktage)
Detlef Heusinger (Artistic Director of the SWR Experimentalstudio)
Atau Tanaka (Professor at Goldsmiths University London)
Peter Weibel (Artistic Director of ZKM | Karlsruhe)