Posted in Announcement on June 18th, 2011 by admin





Tuned City in Tallinn started already with a series of workshops earlier in spring. In close collaboration with our partner Ptarmigan (http://ptarmigan.ee), we are offering a series of workshops short before and during the event in July. Invited artists will each share their individual tools for listening to the city, and offer both a deeper insight into their artistic practice and a chance for the participants to become actively involved in the program of the event. And whether those tools be telephones, acoustic tubes, electronic transducers, radio waves or physical movement, the participants in these workshops will never hear the city the same way again.

These workshops are open for registration right now:

Methaphones workshop / July 4 + 5 2011
with Unsworn Telecom (Stockholm, SE)

12-tone filter / July 4 – 10 2011 (during the event)
with eyland 07, René Rissland, Jürgen Lehmeier (Nürnberg, D)

Tuning the City / July 5 – 10 2011 (during the event)
with Mads Bech Paluszewski (Copenhagen, DK)

framework radio – documentation and production / July 7 – 10 2011 (during the event)
with Felicity Ford (UK) and Valeria Merlini (IT / D)
on behalf of Patrick McGinley, framework radio (US / EE)

City sounds concerts / June 28 – July 3 2011
with Ici-Même (Grenoble, F)

An overview can be found here:http://www.tunedcity.net/?lp_lang_pref=en&page_id=950



07.07.2011 20:00
Charles Curtis (US) – Naldjorlak (by Eliane Radigue)

08.07.2011 21:00
Charlemagne Palestine (BE) – Schlingen Blängen (organ performance)

09.07.2011 21:00
Thomas Ankersmit (NL/D) – Saxophone and Synthesizer Improvisation

10.07.2011 21:00
Maja S.K. Ratkje (NO) – Electro-acoustic Vocals

Traditional and classical music often treat the performance hall as a tabula rasa to be inscribed with sound, and even improvised music can overlook the site it is performed within as an important factor. So what happens when a musician decides to play a duo with space as the partner?

Tuned City has invited four vibrant, innovative and influential contemporary performers to address the topic of sound and space through four individual music performances. Each artist has developed a special relationship over their career with their chosen instrument–the cello, the organ, the saxophone and the voice–which becomes like a spoken idiom to them. Using this unique language, the performers will engage in dialog with a variety of spaces, from the warm, wooden intimacy of a 14th Century horse mill to the cold, concrete depth of Soviet-era industrial structures.

Read more: http://www.tunedcity.net/?lp_lang_pref=en&page_id=1268

Buy Tickets: http://www.piletilevi.ee/est/piletid/tallinn_2011/muusika/?show=22397



This series aims at drawing correspondences between ‚architecture‘ and ‚sound‘ to a more primary relation between notions of ‚place‘ and ‚practices of listening‘. In other words to underscore an interplay between the sense of being ‚situated‘ and the intentionality of what is being ‚heard‘. It is from within this primary level of interactions that a sense of ‚sound‘ as well as a notion of ‚site‘, and by extension ‚architecture‘, are derived in the first place. For the current constellation of talks and presentations a particular emphasis is placed on an understanding of listening, not a biological constant, but rather a ‚practice‘ that both shapes and is shaped by various contexts. In this sense every mode of hearing is understood to be distributed across a diversity of practices and disciplines.

Talks and presentations as well as pertinent artist projects and presentations included in this Tuned City event draw upon recent developments in such diverse fields as urbanism, art and architecture history and theory, philosophy, sensory history, sensory ethnography, archaeoacoustics and musicology, getting closer to what may be at stake in auditory models of ‚situated-ness‘. One common approach, shared by the various practitioners, understands the ‚sonic imagination‘ to be an operative mode of thinking. It is this mode of thinking that potentially engages the social, aesthetic and even ethical, political implications of an attentiveness to the sonority of place. Please have a closer look:




To properly explore the sonic effects possible within the cityscape, it is often necessary to move beyond the traditional model of the seated conference- or performance-audience. For Tallinn 2011, we aspire to present a selection of innovative and fresh sound experiences across several specially-selected locations in the city.

Taking place each afternoon, the Site Specific Projects are a modular series of parallel programs featuring soundwalks, performances, installations and interventions. These projects involve the audience in a new way of experiencing sound and space through the use of sculptural, graphical, musical and sonic means. Some of the projects are designed for a small group of people, keeping the experience of the project both participatory and intimate. Such projects may be offered several times during the Tuned City event. Other projects may only be offered once within the context of the conference program, and some may require registration to keep the audience within a certain size. Please check the project descriptions at our website for more information:


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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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Tuned City Tallin on Touch Radio

Posted in Documentation on September 30th, 2010 by admin

Touch Radio 56 | Thomas Ankersmit

29.09.10 – Hangar Performance, Tallinn, May 29th 2010 – 19:02 – 192 kbps

Solo saxophone performance inside abandoned seaplane hangar, Tallinn harbour, Estonia. Recorded by John Grzinich, May 29 2010, at the introduction event for Tuned City Tallinn 2011.

Now Playing

keiji haino & pan sonicin the studio 2LP[2010 blast first petite]
kevin drummthe obstacles of romantic exaggeration[2010 karl schmidt verlag]
pete swansonwhere i was[2010 self-released]
robin foxa handful of automation[2010 editions mego]
swansmy father will guide me up a rope to the sky[2010 young god]
watainlawless darkness[2010 season of mist]
wolvserpentblood seed[2010 20 buck spin]

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Tuned City: Sonic Surveys of Tallinn

Posted in Announcement on May 5th, 2010 by admin

Hear Tallinn with new ears! Buildings and architecture are usually described in visual terms. But it is often our sense of hearing which assists us in experiencing and navigating through the spaces of urban cities. There is no sound without space and no space without a sound. In every day life we are surrounded by the sounds of diverse nature and various origins. Language, sounds of nature and civilisation – sound as a carrier of information or as a factor of disturbance permanently encircles our consciousness.

During the month of May 2010, and over the summer of 2011, Tuned City Tallinn will undertake an acoustic exploration of Tallinn. The goal will be to identify and explore the sonic landmarks of the city which define its identity, shape its communication and transform the perceptions of its visitors and inhabitants. A fascinating cross-section of international artists, performers, scientists and thinkers will be brought together to present their ideas about sound and space. In addition, the public will be invited to participate directly through a series of workshops and sound walks and experience diverse site specific installations, performances and demonstrations. Tuned City Tallinn builds on ideas developed during the first ever event of its kind, held in Berlin during the summer of 2008.

Events may 2010

Tuned City Tallinn starts off with two workshop projects in the week 18.-22. may 2010, a series of artistic/scientific research projects in the following week and a first public project presentation on may 29th.

Program details:

week 17-22 may

workshop I
Sonic Surveys of Tallinn

exploring, location hunting, mapping and field recording of urban soundscapes
May 18-22, 2010

workshop led by: John Grzinich, Derek Holzer, Patrick McGinley
registration: jg[ät]maaheli.ee

This interdisciplinary workshop (of artists, architects, urban planners, social geographers) concentrates on exploring working methods for mapping and documenting urban spaces and architectural structures of the city of Tallinn. The methods used will combine research and practical skills in surveying and recording the “sonic geographies” found throughout the city. As Tallinn has radically different zones, both architecturally and socially  our research aims to reflect expose and reflect the variety of soundscapes to be found there.

This would include the practical elements of an overall “field recording” and “listening” workshop with an introduction to sound, soundscape and field recording techniques. The structure of the workshop divides the overall group of participants into several small scouting teams (3 groups of 4 or 5 people) that make excursions to different districts of the city. A range of locations could include the Soviet ‘plattenbau’ districts like Lasnamäe and Õismäe, the park areas of Kadriorg and Nõmme and the seaside districts of Pirita and Kopli (or whatever else can be introduced) for example.

Mapping the possible overlays of sonic regions or even specific sounds will help define potential “sonic landmarks”, as one of the main themes for the Tuned City conference to be held in July of 2011. Afterward we can pool the coordinates and recordings into a “map” or Survey of Acoustic Geography of Tallinn.

Workshop II
Form and Sound
with students of the EKA, the Conservatory and students from Kuvataiteakatemia Helsinki and KUNO
May 18-22, 2010

workshop led by: Lukas Kühne

The idea is to carry out a multidisciplinary laboratory building bridges amongst the different arts and genders. The proposal of this idea is interactive, an adventure that has to do with phenomena of natural laws and the ultimate technology. Sound does not exist without material support: it requires sources in space in order to have some kind of form and it needs ears in order to be heard. Sound depends on the material and the form of sound sources. This workshop explores the relationship between the form that creates sound and the sounds that create form.

This workshop project is meant to create artistic and scientific explorations of the unique acoustic situation of the old waterplane hangar and to find ways to preserve lively and illustrative
documentations of an outstanding spatial experience. The hangar will be changed  into a maritim museum, this development process causes a certain responsibility for the monument. A scientific analysis of the given frequencies and wavelength, the characteristics of the reverberation and diffusion in the space of the 3 domes and an investigation of the direct and related phenomena should provide a profound explanation. In close collaboration an artistic reflection should interpret, force – translate and visualize this unique sonotop.

(The artistic reflection could be build around the topic of the echo, starting with the cultural history, the mythological background – the story about the nymph ‘echo’ and ‘narcissus’ as an explanation model of the dispartment of the acoustic and the visual world. Going over to a natural scientific and musically artistic exploration with the above mentioned research project, guided tours through the architecture and artistic performances. And ending with a metaphorical and poetic view on the topic of reflection. (as reaction on causation, repetition, return of history, echos from beyond …)


In the week 24-28 of may the artists Raviv Ganchrow (NL), Thomas Ankersmit (D) and Anthony Hall (UK) will explore the old hydroplane hangar.


May 29 2010
seaplane hangar, Lennusadama port, (Küti Street) Tallinn
>>> see map

The first public event introducing the “sonic landmarks tallinn” project in 2011 will take place at and around the seaplane hangar as it serves as a great example for the deep relation of architecture and sound and would illustrate in a nice way the main idea of tuned city – to make the acoustic dimension of space and architecture perceptible.

One lasting impression from the Berlin event was of the specific acoustic qualities which each of the spaces used for the conference and performances possessed – whether it was a room designed from the acoustic perspective (such as the anechoic chamber at the Technical University or the giant radio concert hall at the Nalepastrasse), an improvised situation (such as the disused repair hall of the Wriezener Bahnhof) or a temporary public situation (such as on Alexanderplatz). These acoustic qualities provided each site which a specific identity which defined that location in space, assisted or inhibited communication and changed one‘s awareness of their surroundings and illustrated in a great way the debated topics very plastically.

In the same way as tuned city explores the different topics in direct relation to the actual spaces this pre-event in the hangar will give a taste of how the Tallinn event in 2011 will shape. In a mixture of theory, artistic presentation and direct experience we will present the results of the artistic/scientific research and documentation project as well as the results of the workshops to the audience. Some lectures will introduce the concepts of aural architecture and acoustic awareness.


start 4pm

Opening and welcome – Mikko Fritze, Director of Tallinn 2011, European Cultural Capital

Introduction to the Estonian Maritime Museum project – Ott Sarapuu (EE) (enquired)
History of the seaplane hangar, future plans and architectural vision.

Sonic Landmarks – tunedcity in Tallinn 2011 – Tunedcity research group (int)
A preview of  the program for Tallinn 2011 introducing the general idea behind tunedcity, the research network, the artist and projects planed for the european capital project Sonic Landmarks.

Sonic garden in the urban sphere – Valeria Merlini (I)
Lecture on acoustics aspects of landscape architecture

presentations by artist involved in the planing for 2011:

Raviv Ganchrow (US/IL/NL)
Crescents and Bent on Listening

Thomas Ankersmith (NL/D)
presentation and talk

Antony Hall (UK)

presentation of the workshop results:

Sonic Surveys of Tallinn
Workshop with MoKS (EE) – location hunting, mapping and field recording of urban soundscapes
– short performances and soundwalks

Form and Sound
Workshop by Lukas Kühne (D) together with The Estonian academy of arts EKA, The Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki and KUNO
– performances, demonstarations, soundwalks

Tuned City is part of the official program of the European Cultural Capital Tallinn 2011 and is co-produced with MoKs – center for art and social practice and is supported by the Tallinn 2011 Foundation, Estonian Cultural Endowment, Hasartmängumaksu Nõukogu, Eesti Vabariigi Kultuuriministeerium. In cooperation with The Estonian Academy of Arts, Kunshogskoleutdanninger i Norden KUNO and The Estonian Maritime Museeum.

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Posted in Announcement on April 8th, 2010 by admin


FRI 16 April: Buffalo NY–SoundLab, 110 Pearl Street: TONEWHEELS performance + Affecting Animate Nerve Organs (16 artist multi-media installation) [8pm]

(UPDATE!!!!) SUN18 April: Syracuse NY–Spark Contemporary Art Space: TONEWHEELS performance + Heavy Hymns [8pm]

TUE 20 April: NYC, NY–Electronic Music Foundation, 307 7th avenue ste 1402: “A Brief History of Optical Synthesis” lecture [7pm]

WED 21 April-THU 22 April: NYC, NY–Harvestworks: Soundtransit-The Art of Field Recording workshop [6:30pm each night] SOLD OUT!!!

FRI 23 April: NYC, NY–Bent Festival, Dumbo, 81 Front Street: TONEWHEELS workshop [12pm] performance [8pm]

TUES 27 April: NYC, NY–Electronic Music Foundation, 307 7th avenue ste 1402: Tuned City lecture [7pm]

THU 29 April: Providence, RI–Rhode Island School of Design: TONEWHEELS workshop

FRI 30 April: Providence, RI-AS220: TONEWHEELS performance + Black Pus (1/2 Lightning Bolt), Humanbeast and Shawn Greenlee [9pm]

(UPDATE!!! NEW LOCATION!!!) SAT 1 May: Cambridge, MA: Existence Establishment @ MIT Building N52, 265 Massachusetts Ave: TONEWHEELS performance + Karlheinz, Shawn Greenlee, Animal Steel, Brandon Terzakis, Benjamin Nelson, Bombings [8pm]




TONEWHEELS is an experiment in converting graphical imagery to sound, inspired by some of the pioneering 20th Century electronic music inventions. Transparent tonewheels with repeating patterns are spun over light-sensitive electronic circuitry to produce sound and light pulsations and textures. This all-analog set is performed entirely live without the use of computers, using only overhead projectors as light source, performance interface and audience display. In this way, TONEWHEELS aims to open up the “black box” of electronic music and video by exposing the working processes of the performance for the audience to see.


TONEWHEELS is an experiment in converting graphical imagery to sound, inspired by some of the pioneering 20th Century electronic music inventions such as the ANS Synthesizer (Murzin USSR 1937-57), the Variophone (Sholpo USSR 1930) and the Oramics system (Oram UK 1957). In this workshop, participants will learn to construct their own optoelectronic synthesizer using two different circuits: a simple light-to-sound converter and a variable motor speed controller, as well as how to design and print their own tonewheel patterns using the FLOSS software Inkscape.


The technology of synthesizing sound from light is a curious combination of research from the realms of mathematics, physics, electronics and communications theory which found realization in the industries of motion picture films, electronic music, surveillance technology and finally digital communications.

This lecture will touch on various points in the development of optical sound synthesis in these various contexts, referencing the work of Joseph Fourier, Hermann von Helmholtz, Rudolph Koenig, Arseny Avraamov, Thomas Wilfred, Evgeny Scholpo, Nikolai Voinov, Oskar Fischinger, Boris Yankovsky, Edwin Emil Welte, Evgeny Murzin, Norman McLaren, Lev Theremin, Daphne Oram, Jacques Dudon and Iannis Xenakis, among others.

This lecture is given in the context of the opto-electronic performance TONEWHEELS, by Derek Holzer at the Bent Festival the following Friday.

Soundtransit-The Art of Field Recording

Wednesday & Thursday, April 21 & 22 6:30 – 9:30pm $100
Field recording, or phonography, is the art of recording sounds as they are found “in situ”, rather than those created in a studio or concert hall. There are as many ways of approaching field recording as there are field recordists, with interests ranging from recordings of natural or urban environments to improvised situations or soundwalks to the resonance of solid objects or the Earth’s atmosphere.

The first session of this workshop provides a theoretical introduction to the various microphone techniques and recording strategies used for field recording, as well as special tools which allow phenomenon such as physical motion, electromagnetic waves and light can also be converted into sound. This will be followed by a night-time recording excursion into the city.

The second session consists of a critical listening session of the sounds gathered the night before. Key concepts to be explored include musical and cinematic metaphors of sound, composing the cityscape and communicating senses of place and space through sound.

Participants may wish to upload their finished recordings to the Soundtransit.nl website, where they can be used to plan sonic journeys between hundreds of locations around the world.

While the instructor can provide one shared recorder and microphone, participants should bring their own recording equipment when possible. Derek Holzer can provide a simple pair of binaural microphones for sale at a cost of approx $35. They terminate in a right-angle stereo minijack plug, and use the plugin power from the stereo microphone input of the recorder. Please indicate before the workshop date if you would like to buy a pair, and please check that your recorder provides this plugin power (most with minijack stereo mic inputs do) before requesting them.

“Tuned City – Between sound and space speculation”

“Tuned City – Between sound and space speculation” was an exhibition and conference project taking place from July 01.-05. 2008 in Berlin which proposed a new evaluation of architectural spaces from the perspective of the acoustic. It’s next edition is scheduled to take place during the Cultural Capital summer of 2011 in Tallinn, Estonia.

In this lecture, we will see and hear some of the projects from the Tuned City event by Mark Bain, Raviv Ganchrow, Will Schrimshaw, John Grzinich, James Beckett, Akio Suzuki, Barry Blesser, Randy H.Y. Yau + Scott Arford, Thomas Ankersmit + Antoine Chessex, Bernhard Leitner, CRESSON, Farmers Manual, AGF, Chris Watson + BJ Nilsen, Jacob Kirkegaard, Martin Howse, Ralf Schreiber + Martin Kuentz and Staalplaat Sound System will be discussed, among others, as well as related projects covering the themes of Temporary Architecture for Sound, Buildings as Instruments and Composing the Cityscape. A limited number of catalogs and program guides will also be available.


Huge thanks go to Alexis Bhagat of ((audience)) and Shawn Greenlee of RISD for their monumental efforts to get this thing off the ground! Thanks also to Brendan Byrne of Bent, Joel Chadabe of EMF, Hans Tammen of Harvestworks, Egan Budd of Existence Establishment, Natalia Mount of Red House, Michael Baumann of Soundlab and Sean Donaher of CEPA for actually booking me, and to Gill Arno, Raphael Lyon and Tristan Perich for putting up crash space in NYC.

Now Playing

Carl Gustav JungDreams[book 1910-1952]
Pierre KlossowskiRoberte Ce Soir & The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes[book 1953]

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[Club]Transmediale scorecard

Posted in Announcement on January 31st, 2010 by admin

Newsflash: I’ll be taking part in the Tuned City panel discussion at Club Transmediale next Friday with Carsten Stabenow, John Grzinich and Sam Auinger. FRI 05.02. 19:00, HBC-Berlin.

Besides that, here’s my scorecard for the upcoming Transmediale/Club Transmediale events this week. Accept my advice at your own risk…


Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2-7 Feb

White Noise–Žilvinas Kempinas: floating bands of unspooled video tape

Optofonica Capsule–TeZ: unique viewing and listening environment for synaesthtic works

A Parallel Image–Gebhard Sengmüller: speculative media archaeology

Chernobyl Project – The Invisible Stain–Alice Miceli: photographing the lingering radiation

Artvertiser–Julian Oliver: playful urban intervention to replace public advertising with artworks

Coincidence Engines–[The User]: homage to Ligeti from the creators of the Symphony for Dot Matrix Printers and the Silophone (Transmediale award nominee)


Agnes Meyer-Brandis–Cloud Core Scanner: Inside the Tropospheric Laboratory: Schering Stiftung Berlin, Unter den Linden 32-34 15 Jan-27 Feb 11:00-16:00

Julius von Bismarck & Benjamin Maus–Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus: Gallerie Art Claims Impulse, Lübbener Str. 5, 20 Jan – 13 Mar, Wed–Sat, 16:00 – 21:00

Exhibition curated by Hicham Khalidi, produced by Den Haag art space <TAG>.  CLUB TRANSMEDIALE: Spandauer Strasse 2, 30/01 – 06/02, 15–21:00

Exhibition with works by students of the Sound Studies program of the Berlin University of Arts, curated by Professor Robert Henke. CLUB TRANSMEDIALE: Spandauer Strasse 2, 30/01 – 06/02, 15–21:00


radio aporee ::: sound/tracks
Workshop by Udo Noll [DE] 31/01–02/02 > CLUB TRANSMEDIALE .HBC > 14–18:00

Constructivist DIY workshop series, by NK, Martin Kuentz & Jo FRGMNT Grys [DE] 01–06/02 CLUB TRANSMEDIALE > SPA > 14–21:00

Martin Howse, Verena Kuni, Danja Vasiliev, Oswald Berthold, 04-06/02 TRANSMEDIALE,  .CHB – Collegium Hungaricum Berlin



Yokomono-Pro (Staalplaat Soundsystem, Ilpo Väisänen, Mika Vainio)

Keiji Haino (JP)

MON 1.2.2010

Keiji Haino  / Ilpo Väisänen / Mika Vainio (JP / FI)


Charlemagne Palestine (US) –Tintinnabulations For Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Charlemagne Palestine: a concert for the outdoor carillon tower in the Tiergarten from a composer who needs no introduction (TRANSMEDIALE, Tue, 2.2.2010 – 19:00-20:00 Tiergarten carillon, next to the House of World Cultures)


Interface and Instrument-Design – How Technology Affects Music–Takuro Mizuta Lippit [JP] / Robert Henke [DE] / Yutaka Makino [JP] / Christopher Salter [CA/US] / Moderation: Tony Herrington [UK] (CLUB TRANSMEDIALE 19:00 HBC)

Pe Lang–cl_loop: audio improvisation based on the manipulation of an electromagnetic field (TRANSMEDIALE, Wed, 3.2.2010 – 22:00, Haus der Kulturen der Welt)

Habsyll (FR)
Hildur Gudnadottir (IS)


artificiel–POWEr: audiovisual performance for Tesla coil (Thu, 4.2.2010 – 20:30, Haus der Kulturen der Welt)

Alex Nowitz (DE)
dj sniff (JP)
Justin Bennett (NL)
Tok Tek (NL)


Presentation: See This Sound: Sound–Image Relations in Art and Media Sandra Naumann [DE] / Dieter Daniels [DE] (CLUB TRANSMEDIALE HBC 18:00)

19:00 Talk: “Put Your Ear on the Wall – Tuned City: Platform for Examinations in the Field Between Architecture and Sound“, Carsten Stabenow (DE), John Grzinich (US/EE), Sam Auinger (AT/DE), Derek Holzer (US/DE) (CLUB TRANSMEDIALE HBC)

Studies in Light and Space screening
Studies in Transfalumination, Peter Rose, us 2008, 5min
Black Rain, Semiconductor, uk 2009, 3min
The Moon Goose Experiment, Agnes Meyer-Brandis, de 2008, 5min
Ascension (Woschosdenije), Pavel Medvedev, ru 2008, 50min
(TRANSMEDIALE, Fri, 5.2.2010 – 18:30-20:30, Haus der Kulturen der Welt)



“Spectroscopy” – Open Studio Installation: Sound art lab NK, Jo FRGMNT Grys, Martin Kuentz and the participants of the “Spectroscopy” workshop invite visitors into their scientific laboratory of experimentation and present the various devices conceived and constructed during the workshop days. (CLUB TRANSMEDIALE SPANDAUER STRASSE 2 15:00 – 21:00)

Agnes Meyer-Brandis–Making Clouds or On the Abscence of Weight: Sophiensaele 18:30

radio aporee ::: sound/tracks: Presentation by Udo Noll [DE], John Grzinich [US/EE] and participants. (CLUB TRANSMEDIALE HBC 19:00)

Spectroscopy II: Presentation and Performance by Jo FRGMNT Grys [DE], Martin Kuentz [DE] and participants. (CLUB TRANSMEDIALE HBC 20:00)

RASTER.NOTON.UNUN CLUB TRANSMEDIALE: WMF Floor 2 – in collaboration with Raster-Noton and transmediale 22:00
Atom TM (DE)
Aoki Takamasa (JP)
Senking (DE)
Grischa Lichtenberger (DE)
Ulf Eriksson (SE)

SUN 7.2.2010

Invisible Cities Salon–Verena Kuni (de), Julian Oliver (nz), Martin Howse (uk), Oswald Berthold (de), Danja Vasiliev (de/ru), Bengt Sjölén (se), Julius von Bismarck (de) TRANSMEDIALE Sun, 7.2.2010 – 12:00 House of World Cultures

MYTHS OF THE NEAR FUTURE CLUB TRANSMEDIALE: HKW Auditorium – in collaboration with transmediale 22:00
eARTS Shanghai Showcase
FM3_Zhang (CN)
Xu Wenkai (AKA Aaaijiao, CN)
Feng Mengbo (CN)
Ben Huang (CN)


Ulver: DISK/CTM: Volksbuhne 20:00

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KHM, Cologne 14-18 Dec 2009

Posted in Announcement on December 12th, 2009 by admin

I’ll be back in Cologne next week for my fellowship at KHM. Two lecture/workshops have been planned…

Tuned City:Sound+Architecture lecture

(Will Schrimshaw’s “Little Helpers”, photo by poportis)

11.00-13.00, Monday 14 December 2009
Klanglabor, KHM, Cologne

“Tuned City – Between sound and space speculation” was an exhibition and conference project taking place from July 01.-05. 2008 in Berlin which proposed a new evaluation of architectural spaces from the perspective of the acoustic. In this lecture, we will see and hear some of the projects from the Tuned City event, as well as related projects covering the themes of Temporary Architecture for Sound, Buildings as Instruments and Composing the Cityscape. Following the lecture, from 14.00-18.00 the participants of the Materialize ISEA/Tuned City project will meet in a working group to discuss the projects and concepts shown.

The lecture is open to the public, however the working group is by arrangement with Materialize participants only.

Analog Synthesizer Workshop: Vocal Processing

Frequency plot of Doepfer Vocoder

(Frequency plot of Doepfer Vocoder module)

14.00-17.00 Thursday 17 December 2009
Klanglabor, KHM, Cologne

Building on the basic introductory workshop given in November, this special topic workshop will investigate using the Doepfer A-100 analog modular synthesizer for processing an external input–in this case the human voice. Modules such as the vocoder, ring modulator, envelope follower and various filters (voltage controlled & fixed frequency/equalizer) will be used to analyze and transform the sounds from a microphone. Previous knowledge of analog synthesizers, either from my earlier workshop or personal experience, is helpful since we will not spend much time explaining what was covered last time (voltage controlled oscillators, voltage controlled amplifiers, envelope generators, keyboards/sequencers, triggers/gates, etc etc).

Workshop instruction will be in English, and will be limited to 12 people. Preregistration required! Contact: derek AT THE DOMAIN umatic.nl

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Tuned City Cologne at KHM

Posted in Announcement on September 29th, 2009 by admin


Klanglabor, Filzengraben 8-10, Hinterhof links
Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln, Cologne, Germany
Monday 19 October 19.00-20.00

Tuned City – Between sound and space speculation was an exhibition and conference project taking place from July 01.-05.2008 in Berlin which proposed a new evaluation of architectural spaces from the perspective of the acoustic. Event co-organizer Derek Holzer will present selected topics and documents from Tuned City, and introduce his TUNED CITY COLOGNE workshop to take place over the next several months at KHM.

More info on Tuned City can be found at: tunedcity.de


Klanglabor, Filzengraben 8-10, Hinterhof links
Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln, Cologne, Germany
Tuesday 20 October & Wednesday 21 October 10.00-17.00

There are limited places in this workshop! Please register ahead of time with Martin Rumori: ..

This workshop–envisioned as a starting point towards the creation of a long term project aimed at ISEA 2010–aims at investigating the interrelation of sound, architecture and urban space in the city of Cologne.

The conceptual starting point of this workshop is two different but similar lexicons of the kinds of acoustic effects created in real environments. The first is Barry Truax’s Handbook of Acoustic Ecology (1978, second edition 1999, available online: http://www.sfu.ca/sonic-studio/handbook/) and the second is Sonic Experience: A Guide to Everyday Sounds by CRESSON researchers Jean Francois Augoyard and Henry Torgue. Each work combines terminology from a number of disciplines, but most notably acoustics and sound/music composition, as a way of defining the acoustic effects and experiences found in the everyday soundscape.

Using these books as “field guides”, participants will seek out different examples of the various acoustic effects within the urban experience. From there, we could consider site-specific projects which call attention to these effects (the “urban intervention” component) and installation/performance projects which explore the sonic effects/features in a more controlled environment i.e. the gallery or concert hall (the “laboratory research” component”). My own expertise in environmental sound, soundscape composition, field recording and the Pure Data programming language will be a great asset to the students in any of these situations.

During the first two day session in October 2009, a “laboratory” day will introduce some of the tools and concepts of field recording, including binaural, stereo, quadraphonic, 5.1 and ambisonic/soundfield recording techniques. Following this, participants will explore the city of Cologne, putting the concepts and techniques discussed into action. Finally, after a critical listening session, post-production techniques will be explored to present, spatialize or manipulate the collected recordings. Later workshop sessions in Fall 2009 will concentrate on participant-initiated installations and site specific works.

Workshop Schedule

Tuesday 20 Oct

10.00-12.30: Lab session–discussing conceptual approaches to urban soundscape from Truax, Augoyard & Torgue + introduction to field recording techniques
12.30-13.30: Lunch
13.30-17.00: Field work–exploring/gathering urban sounds

Wednesday 21 Oct

10.00-12.30: Lab session–playback and discussion of recorded sounds
12.30-13.30: Lunch
13.30-17.00: Lab session–post-production editing, spatialization, manipulation of recorded sounds + discussions for future sessions


Derek Holzer [USA 1972] is a sound artist with a background in radio, webstreaming and environmental recording. His work focuses on the often unpredictable details to be found in field recordings and self-built analog electronic sound synthesizers, as well as strategies for collaborations and free and open source software such as Pure Data. He has released tracks under the Nexsound, Mandorla, Sirr, and/OAR and Gruenrekorder labels, and has co-initiated several internet projects for field recording and collaborative soundscapes including Soundtransit.nl.

Holzer has performed live, improvised electronic music in many venues and festivals in Europe, the US and Brasil. He is a fellow at Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln, Cologne during 2009-10.


Tuned City event, July 2008, from top:

* Anechoic Chamber at Technical University Berlin (St. Ander)
* Recording Studio, Funkhaus Nalepastrasse Berlin (Pablo Sanz)
* Curved Hallway, Funkhaus Nalepastrasse Berlin (Pablo Sanz)
* Acoustic Model, Staalplaat shop Berlin (Pablo Sanz)
* Recording gear, Chris Watson field recording workshop, Pfefferberg Berlin (Pablo Sanz)
* Participants, Chris Watson field recording workshop, Pfefferberg Berlin (Pablo Sanz)
* Recording gear, Chris Watson field recording workshop, Pfefferberg Berlin (Pablo Sanz)

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Full Pull, Malmö

Posted in Announcement on September 3rd, 2008 by admin

I am presenting the Tuned City Festival along with Carsten Stabenow next Saturday at the Full Pull Festival in Malmö. And with a little luck, I’ll be performing TONEWHEELS there as well. I’ll be first up on the Saturday night program, so don’t be late!!!!

Concert/performance schedule 5 & 6 September

Schedule, Friday 5.9

Doors open 20.00

21.00 Novi_sad
22.00 Shenggy
23.00 Antti Rannisto
00.00 Hild Sofie Tafjord

Schedule, Saturday 6.9

Doors open 20.00

On stage:
20.30 Derek Holzer
21.00 BJNilsen
22.00 Lost in Hildurness
23.00 Mark Bain
00.00 Pixel

Talks/presentations schedule 6 September

Schedule, Saturday 6.9, 14.00–17.00

14.00 Mathias Holmberg: Presentation of Full Pull 08 and Scaniaparken 2008
14.15 Brandon LaBelle: Social Music
15.00 Carsten Stabenow & Derek Holzer. Tuned City
16.30 Mark Bain: Sonic Architecture
17.00 End

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Tuned City interview for Digicult.it

Posted in Text on July 26th, 2008 by admin

So, next week more than a year of planning finally come together in the Tuned City event, which runs from 1-5 July in Berlin. I helped organize a large chunk of the performance program, along with Carsten Stabenow and Gesine Pagels from the Garage Festival and Carsten Seiffarth, of Tesla Berlin and the Singuhr sound art gallery. Also on board are Anne Kockelkorn of Achplus Magazine and Anke Eckardt as our tireless production director.

The program is simply massive, and covers all sorts of ground between the fields of sound art, acoustics, urban planning and architecture. To see more, please visit the website:


Digicult.it magazine will send Bertram Niessen to cover the event, and he sent a few questions ahead of his visit to help set the stage for his writing.

Bertram Niessen: Can you tell us more about the artists that you have invited? How have you selected the artists that will take part in the events?

Derek Holzer: There are more than 50 artists involved in the Tuned City program, either in creating installations or giving performances, presentations or workshops. It would be very difficult to describe each one, and the process by which we arrived at the decision to invite them! But since I’m responsible for most of the performance program, I can speak about that area the best.

When we started considering works being made relating sound and architecture together, and especially once we started to receive submissions of works from artists, we started to notice that many fit together into certain groups–certain approaches towards sound and space which were common to many of them. You have the artists that want to play tones or noise into a space and play with the acoustic reflections or reverb of the space. Then you have the ones who want to activate objects or structures in the space to produce sound. The field recording approach is also quite common: to make recordings of one space and play it back in another. And finally you have works in the public sphere… provocations, interventions or subliminal messages placed in city streets, squares or tunnels. So based on our own experiences with the artists whose work we know and those we have worked with personally, as well as some of those who sent proposals to the open call, we started to select outstanding examples from each of these categories.

Infrasound – Scott Arford and Randy Yau

The opening night features Scott Arford and Randy Yau, two Americans who have been working in the field of sound art, performance and noise for a long time. I’m quite excited to have the chance to invite them, since I’ve been hearing about them in certain circles for many years now. Their “Infrasound” work is perhaps one of the most powerful examples of the idea of filling a space with pure sound and making a intense physical effect. I’m personally very interested in sound works which affect the body, and that focus on this physicality, rather than being merely cerebral or “clever”. The Dutch duo BMB con. (Roelf Toxopeus and Justin Bennett) will also stage an improvised action that evening. Their work is consistently unpredictable, and they approach each location and setting they perform in with the same energy and humor.

Antoine Chessex

Thomas Ankersmit and Antoine Chessex are two of my personal favorite artists working currently in Berlin. Both play saxophone in very similar and quite different ways, often using circular breathing techniques which extend their playing into almost endless tones. Often, their live solo performances rely on powerful amplification and electronics, however for Tuned City we asked them to present their recently-formed acoustic duo. This performance will take place at the Funkhaus Nalepastrasse, the old East German radio recording studios, and they will acoustically examine various rooms in the hall, from the small instrumental recording rooms to the massive orchestra hall, and use their saxophone drones to map out the resonances and reflections of the building.

Bucky Media – Farmers Manual

We strongly felt that works which operate in the public sphere were very important, and the day we have scheduled for Alexanderplatz (the central square of old East Berlin) gave an excellent opportunity to explore different ways of working this way. We approached German software musician Antye Greie (better known as AGF) with the idea of performing over the public address system of the new Alexa shopping mall, and she was delighted with the idea! Her electronic music has always been filled with spoken texts, many of which relate to the experience of growing up in the East Germany and the shock of the arrival of Western capitalism. So we couldn’t imagine a more ideal setting. Also on this day, the art-hacker group Farmers Manual will present their “Bucky Media” project: two 8 meter high metal-frame spheres, which respond to the audience’s moving them around. Architects love (or hate!) Buckminster Fuller, and the sight of these massive metal balls getting rolled around a public square and emitting these insane noises should really make a big impression on them! Also on that day, UK “electromystic” Martin Howse will conduct an electronic seance near the former site of the Palais der Republik, a Communist-era building for culture which was recently demolished. He will drill through the pavement and pound long rods into the earth, tapping them with an amplifier and a speaker in an attempt to hear what the architectural ghosts of the Palais might have to say.

BUG – Mark Bain

Another artist with a history of powerful, physical works with sound and space is Mark Bain. We invited him already for the preview event last February at Club Transmediale, and during that week he negotiated with architect Arno Brandlhuber and the firm b&k architects to make a permanent installation in a new building of theirs. This project, BUG, references the old East German Stasi surveillance techniques on an architectural scale. Bain will place geological sensors in the foundations of the building, and provide headphone jacks in each room so that occupants can listen in to the sounds of the building, whether that be footsteps, mechanical noise or the sound of cars passing in the street or the UBahn which runs directly underneath the building. And on a smaller scale, Will Schrimshaw will use his “Little Helpers”, small microprocessor-controlled motors, to resonate objects and structures in the various event locations, acting like a kind of sonic signpost guiding the way to the performances and symposiums taking place.

Storm – Chris Watson & BJ Nilsen

Naturally, the area of field recording is well-represented. We asked Rinus van Alebeek if he would like to organize an edition of his Berlin institution Das Kleine Field Recordings Festival, which he has been running almost monthly with no budget to speak of for three years now. This will take place outdoors, at a disused train station which is being renovated from urban wasteland into a park. And for the closing night, legendary field-recordist, BBC soundman and former Cabaret Voltaire member Chris Watson will give a live performance with BJ Nilsen of their “Storm” project, which takes field recordings of powerful storms from Britain and Sweden and spatializes them through the big concert hall of the Nalepastrasse. We also invited Chris Watson to give a workshop, where the participants will explore the day and night time sounds of the city of Berlin with him, and present a multichannel installation of their work at the end. And finally, Estonian-based American sound artist John Grzinich will screen his “Sound Films” as a running installation. Grzinich has recorded countless hours of sound explorations in Estonia, Latvia and Portugal to a video camera, and the often static visual settings where the sounds take place are often contrasted by a very active sonic environment picked up by sensitive microphones, hopefully encouraging people to listen more closely to their own environments.

Jacob Kirkegaard

Perhaps the artist whose work for Tuned City least fits into our preconceived categories is Jacob Kirkegaard. His “Labyrinthitis” piece works with tones generated by his own ears during a medical examination, and which can produce a sympathetic resonance in the ears of the audience. I’ve always been interested in the architecture of the body as well, and this piece highlights the role of the listener in the production of sound, taking them from a passive position into a very active state where the sound they hear is in fact coming from themselves.

Of course there are many more artists, performances and installations in the program, as a quick glance at the program on the website or in the catalog shows!

Bertram Niessen: In the festival, several different spaces are involved. How and why have you made this selection?

Derek Holzer: This is really my own take on it, but it’s all too common for academic conferences to discuss things without having any genuine connection to the things they are discussing. Perhaps it’s in the name of “scientific objectivity”, but Brazilian rainforests get discussed in London or New York, punk or noise music gets discussed by elbow-patched professors who have never been to an underground concert in their life, open source software gets discussed in Microsoft Word and Powerpoint files, and architecture gets discussed in boring little white classrooms with ugly fluorescent lights and bad acoustics. So we really wanted to “break down the conventional conference format” by staging the lectures and performances in the kinds of spaces that architects really work in and on: construction sites, renovated buildings, urban wastelands, public squares and buildings which were designed for specific acoustic features and purposes.

Some of the locations suggested themselves out of certain needs, such as the anechoic and echo chambers at the Technical University, or out of specific organizations interested in hosting specific works, such as the installation at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum garden, the works commissioned by the Singuhr soundart gallery for the Prenzlauerberg Wasserspeicher or the building which Mark Bain will wire up with sensors and microphones.

Fehrnseturm – Alexanderplatz

But the decision to use several of the locations was quite deliberate, based on what we wanted to discuss during each day. So the topics of discussion on the day we occupy Alexanderplatz will center around questions of working in public space, urban space and sonic experience and sound as a system of social communication. Likewise, the next day in the disused Wriezener Bahnhof train station, where tx architects are working with local residents to design a city park which responds to their needs and interests, will focus on the design of acoustic environments.

Main concert hall, Funkhaus Nalepastrasse

Perhaps the most astonishing architectural work featured in the event is the Funkhaus Nalepastrasse. This building was designed and built in the 1960’s as home for the East German radio, and two full concert halls (one small, one massive) form the core of this building. The rest of the structure was engineered around these halls as a kind of acoustic buffer, to prevent outside noise from trains or airplanes, for example, from getting in, and every aspect of the interior design, right down to the decorations on the wall panels, was calculated for its effect to absorb, reflect or diffuse sound.

One of the things we encountered quite often when speaking with architects about this project, was that architects are highly visually-oriented, and not very well educated about sound and acoustics, preferring to leave this particular “pain in the ass” to the acousticians, who come to clean up the mess with panels and such, later on. So to situate our final day in a building whose entire purpose was to sound good and to produce good sound, is a powerful statement that acoustic design should not be relegated to a secondary role, but rather should be an integral part of the architectural process from the beginning.

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