Wednesday evening’s programme features artists who test the limits of sound’s power.
Berlin composer, sound artist, and performer Maximilian Marcoll will present “H A C K”, a new work closely modelled on procedures developed in his “Amproprification” series, which takes works of other composers and transforms them using computer-controlled, lightning-speed volume manipulation. The piece features the electric guitar duo AAA—AAA. Both the musicians and the audience will be situated between two walls of amplifiers and thereby subject to powerful aural and psychoacoustic turmoil as the guitar’s cascading drones are violently “hacked.”
Turkish drummer and conceptual artist Cevdet Erek will give a solo performance in association with the release of his first full-length LP, Davul, on Subtext. In his performances, Erek plays a large drum known in Turkey as the davul, using an individually developed, idiosyncratic method that maximizes the textural profile of the sound. Erek’s improvisations reference the tradition of shamanic healing rituals as well – in his own words, he plays “to get the negative and aggressive away from inside of me, hoping that I could do the same for the other people surrounding me.”
Prolific avant-garde cellist Okkyung Lee’s expressive vocabulary is made up of self-designed and well-honed extended techniques, and draws from extreme noise, jazz, Western classical, and traditional Korean music.
Hugo Esquinca will create a special site-specific piece for Berghain, calibrating his system to the cavernous venue’s resonant frequencies. Titled "Study of (In)operable Rigour," his performance is a stress test of the audience’s and Berghain’s sonic limits through feedback between spatial resonance, the venue’s sound system, and Esquinca’s own programmed musical disturbances and glitches.
Marcus Schmickler co-opts a public domain algorithm used to model gravity as a tool for sonification. When dealing with large systems such as a model of the collision of galaxies, the auditory domain has certain limits. While it’s hardly possible to listen to billions of objects at once, it’s arguably possible to visualise them. "Particle/Matter-Wave/Energy" explores the borders of a scientific universality of sonification towards something that becomes a singular experience – sound.
Also included in the night is access to the impressive Halle am Berghain, which will be the site of "Physical Rhythm Machine_Boem Boem", an immersive, playful installation by Dutch artist Philip Vermeulen. With the visceral acoustic instrument, the Physical Rhythm Machine (PRM), Vermeulen shoots balls at speeds of up to 150 km/h into large resonant boxes. Because the shots can be fired at precise intervals, the machine can generate intricate rhythmic patterns. Various artists will be invited to create short rhythmic compositions to be brought to life via the momentum of the balls. Alternatively, the machine itself can also create non-metric, free rhythmic structures on its own using pre-programmed algorithms. The PRM visualises violent compositions while resonating the space and the bodies of the audience.
"Physical Rhythm Machine_Boem Boem" at CTM 2018 is kindly supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands. Philip Vermeulen is also supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL. Marcus Schmickler's "Particle/Matter-Wave/Energy” is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.
The work of composer, sound artist, and performer Maximilian Marcoll is concerned with the political implications and potential of sound and music. His pieces have been performed by renowned ensembles and interpreters worldwide and broadcast on ORF, Deutschlandfunk, SWR, HR, WDR, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, and NDR, among many others.
As a musician, DJ and co-founder of the Leisure System label, Sam Barker has helped push the boundaries of dance music in Berlin, looking beyond the realm of 4/4 techno to explore left-field sound design and rhythmic complexity. His musical approach – both solo and in the duo Barker & Baumecker with longtime Panorama Bar resident nd_baumecker – combines bass music tropes, breakbeat, dub and ambient elements while still maintaining a strong connection to the dance floor.
Soweto, South Africa native Lerato Khathi, or Lakuti, was influenced by her mother’s soul & funk music collection as well as her grandfather’s affinity for jazz. She developed an interest in early Chicago house and has since become a prominent house DJ.
Cologne-based multifaceted composer and producer Marcus Schmickler’s interests revolve around the brain and its adaptation to multiple auditory stimuli. From explorations of difference tones to stimulations of otoacoustic emissions produced by the cochlea, Schmickler’s work exists in the liaison between performance and science.
Cevdet Erek is an Istanbul-born artist and drummer. In 1989 he was one of the founders of the lauded four-piece experimental band, Nekropsi, whose eclectic style has run the gamut from thrash metal to noise to psychedelic to electronic.
Hugo Esquinca is a Berlin-based sound researcher from Mexico. He investigates the diverse spatio-temporal relations deriving from transductive interactions between technology and the sonorous, expanding within and beyond audibility.
The “preternaturally gifted” cellist Okkyung Lee, a New York-based artist and South Korea native, has created a body of work blurring genre boundaries through collaborations and compositions while pushing the limits of contemporary performance techniques. Her music draws from extreme noise, extended techniques, jazz, Western classical, and Korean traditional and popular music.
As AAA—AAA, Thilo Ruck and Timm Roller perform contemporary music on electric guitars, guitars, ad-hoc instruments, and electronics. The duo is named after a performance by Marina Abramović and her former partner Ulay in which the couple screamed repeated vowels at each other until their voices gave up.
Philip Vermeulen is a young and upcoming artist from The Hague. He studied at the ArtScience Interfaculty at the Royal Conservatory & The Royal Academy of the Arts in The Hague, NL.