Thomas Köner

Thomas Köner at a performance
Year of birth, place
1965, Bochum, Germany

Thomas Köner is one of the most influential modernist minimal composers. He has been centrally responsible for electronic music’s fascination with depth and reduction. His signature sound is vast, seemingly endless, which at first seems homogenous and infinite, but once exposed to it, when our senses calibrate to the fine nuances of changes, we discover and immerse into abundance of textures, richness of modulations and almost infinite range of sonic titillations. He was awarded the Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica in Digital Musics category in 2004.

As Porter Ricks, and most recently with his new and critically acclaimed Motus project, he twists dub techno into wild, abstracted shapes influenced by underwater acoustics and tidal flux—an approach equally as radical as that of minimalist pioneers Basic Channel, whose Chain Reaction label published much of Porter Ricks early work. Almost two decades on from their 90s-era releases, Tresor Records released Shadow Boat and Anguilla Electrica, unleashing muscular rhythms and hypnotic sound design. His new Motus project is closing the gap between the vast, pulsating landscapes of his solo work and the bodily material of Porter Ricks.

He has remixed Nine Inch Nails (Nothing Records), Claude Debussy (Auraton), Low (Vernon Yard Rec) and Rødhåd (Dystopian). Recent collaborations include Steven Wilson (Bass Communion), Jana Winderen, Max Eastley and Asmus Tietchens. Thomas Köner is often collaborating with film makers and dancers. His score Dark Landscapes was commissioned for the Ballet of National Theater Zagreb.

For his audio-visual works, Thomas Köner was awarded at Prix Ars Electronica, Transmediale Award, Tiger Cub Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam, ARCO Award Best Young Artist in Madrid, among others.

Köner has been creating music for silent films since 1994, which he performs himself or with a small ensemble. So far and among others, he has created and performed scores for 30 silent films including Lotte Reiniger’s »The Adventures Of Prince Ahmed», F. W. Murnau’s »Nosferatu« and »Faust«. His music for the latter was commissioned by the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and was premiered there in 2013 and released as DVD by Potemkine Films in 2018.