Thomas Ankersmit
Portrait of Thomas Ankersmit. He sits in the spotlight of a lamp at his mixing desk.
Sat, May 14, 2022 8 pm CEST, Concert

Thomas Ankersmit invites you to a very special sound experience at the ZKM_Cube with an analog synthesizer and special acoustic phenomena.


The Dutch sound artist Thomas Ankersmit works as a performer especially with analog synthesizers. Since 2006, the Serge modular synthesizer has been his main instrument. This, along with the Buchla synthesizer, is generally considered one of the most experimental electronic instruments of the pre-digital era. In addition to his solo performances, Ankersmit has also frequently appeared in various duo constellations with other artists such as Phill Niblock or Valerio Tricoli.

In the performance at the ZKM, his work »Perceptual Geography« will refer to the American composer Maryanne Amacher, who very early on referred to special perceptual properties of quasi-inaudible sounds. These phenomena, called "otoacoustic emissions", can be provoked especially with synthesizers and require a special perceptual situation on the part of the listeners. Acoustic phenomena such as infrasound and otoacoustic emissions (sounds emanating from inside the head, generated by the ears themselves) play an important role in his work, as does a deliberate, creative misuse of the equipment.

Before the performance by Thomas Ankersmit, the Hertz-Lab presents a version of Éliane Radigue's »Occam Delta XIX« spatialized especially for the Sound Dome. The instrumental version of this piece was recorded in March 2021 in the studios of ZKM | Karlsruhe. 

Trigger warning: Increased volume

Biography and Tracks

press reviews

“»Perceptual Geography« is acutely visceral, brilliantly dynamic electroacoustic music […] Play this loud and it starts to feel like a crack opening in reality.” – The Quietus

“The effect is seismic. This is a high point of the year, and of Ankersmit’s career to date.” – Tone Glow

“Ankersmit sounds like the best damn noise artist on the planet. […] »Perceptual Geography« contains some of the most challenging, absorbing, and masterfully executed sound art that I have ever heard.” – Brainwashed

“A deeply perception-altering experience that doesn’t just mess with your mind, but extends from the inside of your skull to the air around it.” – Magnet

“Gorgeous and visceral […] Supernovas of sound.” – Peter Margasak, The Wire

“Ankersmit’s tribute to Maryanne Amacher swims right through you […] Activating the body of the listener, creating phantom tones seemingly from within my head and making my chest cavity feel like a speaker itself […] One of the festival's highlights.” – Robert Barry, The Wire


ZKM | Hertz-Lab
Ludger Brümmer (Artistic director)
Dominik Kautz (Project manager & program)
Benjamin Miller (Sound director)
Hans Gass (Light & stage technician)
Vincenzo Nanni (Erasmus student)

ZKM | Video Studio
Andy Koch, Lisa Michel (Camera)

ZKM | Communication & Marketing
Tanja Binder (Head of ZKM | Communication & Marketing)
Samira Kaiser, Ida Kammerer, Svenja Liebig, Anouk Widmann (Homepage & Communication)

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe