Macumbista May Events

Posted in Announcement on May 7th, 2015 by admin

nyak 4
PETRA DUBACH & MARIO VAN HORRIK [NL / Instrumente, Objekte]
DEREK HOLZER [USA / DIY Analog-Electronics]

mex im Künstlerhaus
Sunderweg 1, 44147 Dortmund
Workshop EUR 25/Concert 6 Euro


FRIDAY 22 MAY 2015
Unconscious Archives 17: Derek Holzer, Hangjun Lee & Chulki Hong, Ewa Justka, Rose Kallal
DEREK HOLZER (Texas/Berlin)
EWA JUSTKA (Poland/London)

Apiary Studios, 458 Hackney Road, London, E2 9EG
£8 advance, £10 door


SoundBoxes Workshop With Derek Holzer: A Two Day Instrument Building Workshop
Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th May
Apiary Studios, 458 Hackney Road, London, E2 9EG
12pm-5pm each day
£55 per person for 2 day workshop


SUNDAY 31 MAY 2015
BIS ZUM TOD (2014)

Bergsgatan 29
214 22 Malmö
Entrance: 195:- U26/stud 130:-

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Edith-Russ-Haus Residency NOV DEC 2014

Posted in Announcement on November 25th, 2014 by admin

Last spring, the Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, in Oldenburg DE, kindly decided to support my vocoder-based public speech encryption project DELILAH TOO with a working stipend, and if all goes well I look forward to showing it during the next CTM Festival in Berlin at the end of January. You can read the Edith-Russ-Haus jury statement here:

From now until 05 DEC, I will be working with the staff and new directors of the Edith-Russ-Haus, Edit Molnár and Marcel Schwierin to give further shape to the piece. And doing a bit of soldering on the way as well…

I have a few public presentations during my time here, as follows:

Präsentation der Stipendiaten 2014 (ERH): 27.NOV, 19:00
Komponist Colloquium (University of Oldenburg): 28.NOV, 20:00
Derek Holzer – Tonewheels performance (ERH): 02.DEC, 19:00

You can read more about the DELILAH TOO project here:

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Edith-Russ-Haus Grant 2014

Posted in Announcement on March 31st, 2014 by admin

Today I was informed that my application for a grant from the Foundation of Lower Saxony at the Edith-Russ-Haus 2014 was selected by the jury! I will be working on a vocoder-based sound art installation during the second half of 2014. Thanks to the jury for their kind support!

Derek Holzer, Delilah Too

With his project DELILAH TOO, the Berlin-based American sound artist Derek Holzer conducts media archeological research toward the development of a language cryptography instrument on the basis of a vocoder. This device from the history of electronic music constitutes the foundation for a multipart sound installation. It enables visitors to transmit encrypted conversations from one private space to another, where the listener can then decrypt them. The voices modulated in this way produce an abstract electronic spatial sound that can be perceived by all of the visitors in the surrounding public space.

With his experimental sound art project, Derek Holzer not only transforms an instrument from the early history of electronic music for current use in producing analogue compositions, he also creates an artistic transmission of the current debate concerning the protection of the personal and the boundaries of the public sphere. The jury was persuaded in particular by Holzer’s in-depth research on the history of electronic sound generation and his scheme for its artistic implementation in a do-it-yourself process as well as by his socio-political approach, which not lastly find expression in his eponymous reference to Alan Turing’s secure speech device Delilah.

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small update…

Posted in Documentation on August 4th, 2011 by admin

I just received my permit to stay in Germany for two more years. I expected five, so I was a bit disappointed. However, this permit allows me to actually take normal contracted work like any other normal person living in Germany. So I will be investigating some leads in that direction.

The only hitch this time was that I needed a declaration of my income from the last six months from a certified tax accountant. The lady I normally have doing my taxes is good, but not certified, so the Ausländerbehörde sent me home and told me to get a proper Steuerberater/in to sign the paper. So watch out for this, if you are going through the procedure.

Another thing to consider: they are not accepting any kind of international travel insurance, so do yourself a favor and do the KSK application now. Bad side: expect to pay 20% of your income for insurance, like every other normal German. Sorry kids, no way around that one. Just think that, combined with the other 20% the KSK or your employer pays, almost half the value of your income goes to health insurance, pension and nursing care (most of which you will never use unless you retire in Germany). This is before income tax is taken, by the way. And the Teabaggers back home thought Obamacare was steep! Welcome to the expensive safetynet of the welfare state…

Currently I am gearing up for a four month stay in Aarhus, Denmark as DIVA artist-in-residence at the Det Jyske Musikkonservatorium. I WILL NOT BE ACCEPTING ANY NEW GIGS OR WORKSHOPS until 2012. The break from travel will be good for creating some sort of daily routine. Wish me luck.

Now Playing

barn owl & the infinite strings ensemblethe headlands[2011 important]
bohren and der club of gorebeileid ep[2011 ipecac]
chief commander ebenezer obey & his international bros.miliki sound[1973 decca]
fever rayfever ray[2009 rabid]
joe colleydisasters of self 3xlp[2010 crippled intellect]
heckerspeculative solution[2011 editions mego]
jefre cantu-ledesmashining skull breath[2011 students of decay]
loscil-coast-range-arc[2011 glacial movements]
townes van zandtminneapolis mn[1973]

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Regenwald2011/ClubTransmediale photos

Posted in Documentation on April 2nd, 2011 by admin


Now Playing

bohren and der club of gorebeileid ep[2011 ipecac]
chief commander ebenezer obey & his international bros.-miliki sound[1973 decca]
expo 70death voyage[2010 dead pilot]
john macedochaotic analog synthesis #1[2011 the black plume][thx john!]
moussa doumbiakeleya: malian funk of the 1970s[2006 oriki]
various artistsbrass pins & match heads: international 78s[2011 mississippi]
various artistsivory coast soul: afro funk & soul in abidjan 1972-82[2010 hot casa]
various artiststhose shocking shaking days: indonesian funk 1970-78[2010 now-again]

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Sound+Space Awareness workshop @ Tuned City Nuremberg

Posted in Announcement on March 31st, 2011 by admin

Sound+Space Awareness
an acoustics workshop with Derek Holzer (US/D)
8-12 participants – please register!
(workshop language english)
11.-15.April 2011 daily 12-17

Buildings, urban locations and architecture are traditionally described in visual terms, but it is our sense of hearing that assists us in experiencing and navigating through the spaces we inhabit. Sound is an essential part of social experience, and that should be of the utmost concern to architects, planners and artists alike, yet this is overlooked all too often. When the sound in a space is disruptive or dysfunctional, then the aesthetics, communications and perceptions in that space are likewise disrupted.

Therefore, the first step for anyone wishing to work with sound is learning how to listen. We will spend the first workshop day doing a series of listening exercises, using a collection of field recordings to tune the participants’ ears to the various sounds present in them, to think about what kind of information those sounds transmit and to reflect on the effects they have on the listener.

The following book will provide participants with a list of concepts useful for discussing urban sonic experience:

Jean Francois Augoyard: Sonic Experience–A Guide to Everyday Sounds

The second day will focus on fieldwork out in the city, using new listening exercises, digital recorders and the observations on the nature of sound from the previous day to experience the city with new ears.

On the third day, we will listen to the recordings gathered by the participants to see what they can tell us about the locations each person visited. And finally, on the fourth day, participants will develop and present a one-sheet concept for a project related to the sonic experience of the locations we have visited.

This workshop is directed towards sound interested laymen as well to architects and planners.

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Photos: Neanderthal Electronics at NK Berlin 02.11

Posted in Documentation on March 15th, 2011 by admin

Photos by Stéphane Bombard. Locations: NK Project Berlin, my home studio RSS82 (last minute repairs), Madame Claude (final presentation). Workshop participants Stéphane Bombard, Julian Ringel, Antonio Cardenas. Thanks guys!!!!!!

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Hotels of Northern Europe

Posted in Documentation on March 11th, 2011 by admin

Yes indeed I have been traveling and working almost nonstop since the start of the Year. A quick rundown of my activities:

09-15 Jan 2011 – Mechanical Sound Instruments workshop, TAIK University of Art and Design, Helsinki FI

Workshop = awesome! Design students built Arduino-powered electro-acoustic instruments like this one below. I’ll be editing video docs I made in Helsinki soon.

Electro-Acoustic Musical Instrument from Palash on Vimeo.

Hotel room = passable. Töölö Towers is the University’s home for wandering academics, with a very institutional vibe, spotty wifi coverage and full length mirrors for me to shoot very serious-looking self portraits in…

18-21 Jan 2011 – Tuned City: sound+space workshop, Estonian Academy of Arts Media Dept, Tallinn EE

Workshop = 5.5 out of 10. I’m still figuring out what kind of tools are necessary to crack the shells of the Estonian oysters. After some prodding, most of the students really gave their best in making and discussing the recordings. One girl Facebooked and texted the entire workshop until I pointed out that her computer was “broken” and she’d be better off at home.

Hotel = decent. Maneezi house, guestrooms of the Estonian Arts Academy, has everything you would ever want in a post-Soviet flat…a long flight of stairs, some heavy metal doors, a warm radiator and even running water.

01-05 Feb 2011 — Regenwald2011 workshop+installation, West Germany/Club Transmediale, Berlin DE

Workshop = mostly good. Trying to wrangle seven very different artistic personalities into one piece in only five days is never easy. I have decided that giving them less freedom rather than more is the only solution. The audience response to the piece, on the other hand, was quite positive and enthusiastic.

Hotel = not applicable. One of the longest stretches I’ve been able to sleep in my own bed in ages!!!

07-11 Feb 2011 – Field Recording workshop, Royal Music Conservatory, Aarhus DK

Workshop = one of the best! Very high level of capabilities by these composition students at the Electronic Music department there. I gave them one hour to take three random one-minute field recordings from their neighbor and make a short piece out of them, and they all pulled it off! And that was only one of the exercises. If only every group I taught had their shit so together.

Hotel = comical. The Cabinn is a concept hotel, they told me. As near as I can figure, the concept was to make the hotel room itself as much like the sleeping couchette on an overnight train as possible.

A few weeks later I saw an exhibition of living/working spaces by French-Israeli artist Absalon at the KW Berlin. Made to the measure of his own body, and likely inspired by the fact that most of the artist’s short life was spent in the Israeli military, the constructions impressed me as the ideal prototype of future dehumanizing architecture for the 21st Century.

12-14 Feb 2011 – Tuned City:sound+space, Estonian Academy of Arts Architecture Dept, Tallinn EE

Workshop: another five and a half. The concept here was to teach architects to experience urban space through sound, and this worked pretty well. The students brought in recordings of various spaces around Tallinn for us to listen to and analyze. My mistake was in giving them “homework” for the last day. Despite assurances from everyone that they had time and energy to do it, only two came back the next day.

Also during this week I braved the -25C weather to investigate some locations for next summer’s Tuned City event, such as the lobby of the Linnahall, a disused auditorium/ice rink constructed for the 1980 Olympic games.

Hotel: deceptively posh. Somehow I was taken in by the spacious rooms, tall windows, tacky wallpaper and inoffensive framed prints of the Old Town Maestro. Until I realized that the strip-club-disco downstairs wouldn’t stop the party until 7am.

23-27 Feb 2011 – Neanderthal Electronics, NK Project, Berlin DE

Workshop = can I call this an 8? What should have been a warm homecoming was dampened by some kind of breakdown in publicity. The three guys that did show up for the workshop kicked some serious ass though, and made really nice boxes which they played the following Monday for the Experimontag at Madame Claude. Photos and such soon.

Hotel = forget it! I locked the door to my flat and stayed in bed for three whole days when all this was over.

Now Playing

ben frostlive at berghain, berlin 24.02.11
earthangels of darkness, demons of light I[2011 southern lord]
elehradiant intervals[2011 important]
flower travellin’ bandanywhere[1970 philips]
tim heckerravedeath 1972[2011 kranky]

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Video: Regenwald2011 at Club Transmediale

Posted in Documentation on March 10th, 2011 by admin

Regenwald2011 at Club Transmediale from macumbista on Vimeo.

By Derek Holzer & Mads Bech Paluszewski

Regenwald 2011 was a contemporary re-interpretation of David Tudor’s series of compositions from the 1970’s entitled “Rainforest”. It used different types of sonic transducers to play sounds through a series of resonant metal objects suspended in the space. Additionally, two 8×8 matrix mixers allowed the sound from any of the objects or performers to be sent to any other node in the network, making the whole piece an experiment in generative chaos.

Regenwald 2011 was developed prior to the festival in a workshop format over a period of five days. The opening night presentation featured a live session with the system,
while the installation running during the week employed recordings made with the system. The audience was free to move around the performance space, engage in conversations and explore the sonic objects, thus adding new life to the rainforest.

Regenwald 2011 was coordinated by Derek Holzer and Mads Bech Paluszewski, and was a joint production of CTM.11 and Tuned City / DOCK e.V.

The Players:

With Thanks To:

Robert Dahlke, Jan Rolf, Carsten Stabenow, Oliver Stabenow, West Germany

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Berlin Workshops Nov-Dec at NK

Posted in Announcement on October 8th, 2010 by admin

“Ich bin ein Objekt”: Learning Pure Data as a Language
DATES: 13-14 November 2010 12:00-17:00
LOCATION: NK, Elsenstr. 52/2.Hinterhaus Etage 2
12059 Berlin Neukölln

Pure Data (or Pd) is a real-time graphical programming environment for audio, video, and graphical processing. This introductory workshop is ideal for new users of Pure Data who are finding the “vocabulary” and “grammar” difficult to grasp. We will learn Pure Data as one would learn any other language, taking a series of very basic examples from the Pure Data FLOSS Manual. This workshop gives a good starting point for more advanced Pd workshops, or participation in the Berlin Pure Data users’ group. The workshop will be taught in English ;-)

Participation is limited to 12 participants.

Registration: Pre-registration is required and can be done by sending an email to



Neanderthal Electronics at your Fingertips
DATES: 27-28 November 12:00-17:00 / Presentation 28 November 18:00
COST: EUR 35 + EUR 10 materials fee
LOCATION: NK, Elsenstr. 52/2.Hinterhaus Etage 2
12059 Berlin Neukölln

Learn how to use simple objects from our modern environment (resistors, capacitors, transistors, LEDs, integrated circuit chips…) to design and build your own personal, touch-activated primitive noise synthesizer. Each is a tiny world of its own, using primitive analog computers in combination with feedback, sensors and audio inputs to create a unique sound. Even from the same plan, no two are alike! Participants should bring some sort of box, container or other creative enclosure to put their circuit inside of–past workshops have seen synthesizers made in suitcases, flashlights, film cans, coconuts, children’s toys, super 8 cameras, cigar boxes, knaackebrod, books and hand-sewn masks. Check the videos on the Macumbista website for some ideas and inspiration. This workshop will end in a free public presentation of the instruments you have created, invite your friends!

Participation is limited to 12 participants.

Registration: Pre-registration is required and can be done by sending an email to



Now Splice the Tape: Working with Soundfiles in Pure Data
DATES: 04-05 December 12:00-17:00 / Presentation 05 December 18:00
LOCATION: NK, Elsenstr. 52/2.Hinterhaus Etage 2
12059 Berlin Neukölln

Manipulating recorded soundfiles is one of Pure Data’s most powerful features. However, the process of doing this remains one of the most confusing tasks for newcomers. During this two day workshop, we will cover the basics of loading soundfiles to tables, live capturing and looping, adjusting tempo and pitch, changing the looping, starting and stopping points of your playback and an introduction to granular synthesis. We will also examine ParticleChamber as an example of a full-fledged soundfile manipulation application built entirely with Pd. Some previous experience with Pd and/or participation in the “Ich bin ein Objekt” workshop is recommended. This workshop will end in a free public presentation of the instruments you have created, invite your friends!

Participation is limited to 12 participants.

Registration: Pre-registration is required and can be done by sending an email to

Links: (ParticleChamber)


About the Instructor:

Derek Holzer (1972) is an American sound artist living in Berlin, whose current interests include DIY analog electronics, sound art, field recording and the meeting points of electroacoustic, noise, improv and extreme music. He has played live experimental sound, as well as taught workshops in noise art technology, across Europe, North America, Brazil and New Zealand.

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