Prof. Dr. Ute Holl (A1)
Main Applicant, Sinergia-Project Radiophonic Cultures
Leading Researcher, Project A (see project description).
Ute Holl is Professor of Media Studies at the University of Basel. Her research focuses on the history of cinema and perception, the intellectual history of audiovisual media and the media history of acoustics and electro-acoustics. After studying in Freiburg (Germany) and Rome, she had worked as filmmaker and as editor for the radio-broadcaster NDR in Hamburg, before she wrote her dissertation on cinematic perception and experimental cinema against the background of an archaelogy of 19th century psycho-physical experiments (Kino, Trance und Kybernetik, Berlin 2002/ Cinema, Trance and Cybernetics, Amsterdam 2017). In her habilitation on the topology of cinema, Holl has analzed the relations between music, electro-acoustics and politics in Straub/Huillet's adaptation of Arnold Schoenberg’s opera Moses and Aron (Der Moses-Komplex, Zürich 2014/ The Moses Complex, Zürich 2017).
Tobias Gerber (A2)
PhD Project, Subproject A2:
Engineering Sound. Labore des Radiophonen in den 1920er und 30er Jahren
The Project ”Engineering Sound – Labore des Radiophonen in den 1920er und 30er Jahren” investigates early artistic practices related to the medium ”radio” within the BBC. The leading question is how – at the intersection of new technologies, discourses, institutional conditions, artists and technicians – an understanding and an awareness for ”the radiophonic” or ”the radiogenic” as a media-aesthetical category emerged in this time in the BBC's ”Drama Department” and ”Music Department”, respectively in the fields of drama and music.
The focus of the project lies on artistic approaches that are intertwined with the specific discovery of the possibilities of a ”sound” that emerges and becomes available and editable by the media-technological means of the radio (and the gramophone). At the time considered – eary 1920s until the early 1940s – Radio as a live-medium is a terrain vague: standards hardly existed, little experience was gained. So, for example the studio as a concept and mode of production is not yet fully shaped as well as classical functinal sharings – e.g. between technician and artist/musician – soon become irritated in the realm of radio production.
Assuming radiophonic production taking place within a heterogeneous and unstable configurations of discourses, technologies, techniques, personalities etc. the project asks how radiospecific artistic practices and strategies that emerged in the distinct fields of drama and music – at the same time – constructed and dealt with the radiophonic sound and its dispositifs.
Tobias Gerber studied Saxophone at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Zürich and Art Theory at the Zürich University of the Arts. Besides his research activities in the field of Media Studies he's reviewing music as a journalist and playing contemporary music (mainly as member of the trio WERKTAG). He's artistic director of the Zürich based concert series GENERATOR and artistic co-director of the biennial festival for electronic music 2 TAGE STROM.
Tatiana Eichenberger (A3)
PhD Project, Subproject A3:
Experimental Sound Laboratories of the Radio. Electronic Studios at Broadcasting Corporations in Europe after World War II
The recording of sounds beyond scripture and notation, the recording “of the real” possible through gramophone recordings and the audiotape opened up new techniques of processing and new means of expression and can be described as the most important musical advance in the 20th century. The subproject “Experimental Sound Laboratories of the Radio” examines the possibilities of aesthetic experiment under conditions of technical media arrangements in the electronic studios of the European broadcasting corporations in Paris, Cologne, Milan and London during the introduction phase of the magnetic tape after the World War II. The research focus on the techniques and practices as well as technical “inventions“ which were used or developed in the early times of the studios – even before their official foundation – in collaboration of technicians, engineers and composers and concentrates on the following three issues: technical arrangements (transformation and repurposing of equipment, construction of new equipment), investigation of composition processes through analysis of audio productions (aesthetic innovation through the use of new technology) and personnel arrangements (relations between engineers and composers, redistribution of competencies, exchange between the studios).
Tatiana Eichenberger has been working since September 2015 as a PhD student at the University of Basel at the Department of Media Aesthetics with Prof. Ute Holl as part of the Sinergia Project «Radiophonic Cultures». She studied music at the University of Arts in Berne, followed by studies in media and musicology at the University of Basel. Magister artium 2014 with master thesis on musical authorship between composition and interpretation in the music of the European and US-American avant-garde in the 1950s. Her research interests lie on the intersection of musicology and media studies, e.g. on the stylistic features of psychedelic rock, on the interactions between sound and image in the experimental film, on sound design in science fiction film, on visualisation of music through the medium of music notation or on the medial function of the tablatures.
Prof. Dr. Matthias Schmidt (B1)
Leading Researcher, Project B (see project description).
Matthias Schmidt is professor of musicology at the University of Basel. His work focuses on the history and the aesthetics of music of the 18th until the 21th Century. Schmidt studied musicology, German philology, art history and philosophy at the universities in Bonn, Berlin and Vienna. His doctoral dissertation at the Freie Universität Berlin focused on Ernst Krenek and the twelve-tone technique (Theorie und Praxis der Zwölftontechnik, Laaber 1998). In his habilitation he traced the historical reception of Mozart by Arnold Schönberg (Schönberg und Mozart, Vienna 2004.) In addition to his academic work, he is also active as a music journalist, curator of exhibitions and concert dramaturge. He is the editor of the Schriftenreihe der Internationalen Schönberg-Gesellschaft, co-editor of the journal Musiktheorie as well as a member of the editorial management of the Anton Webern Gesamtausgabe. In 2017 he has been elected as corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW).
Prof. Dr. Camilla Bork (B2)
Associated Research Project, Subproject B2:
Visions and Experiments of Radiophonic Composing in the Weimar Republic
The project questions the effect the introduction of radio had on the sonic materiality as well as the aesthetic conception of music in that it became possible to transmit sounds across a chronological and spatial distance. The focus lies on the experiments of the Berlin Office for Radio Experimentation, a laboratory at the Berlin conservatory, where composers such as Paul Hindemith and Walter Gronostay, performers and engineers collaborated to develop a radio specific composition and performing style. The state-organized radio broadcasting of the Weimar Republic was in equal measure supporter and the responsible agency of this radio music culture, for example through awarding contracts and radio experimentation. The project’s assumption is that radiophonic music is concerned with an experience-based experimental culture, in which traditional media practices and aesthetic concepts as well as new radio-specific approaches are superimposed. Starting from this hypothesis, three interfaces of music, radiophonic arrangement and discourse move into the center:
- 1. Music as noise/noise as music (Flesch, Ruttmann, Gronostay, Hindemith, Weill);
- 2. Social and aesthetic reflection of the radio’s global dimension (Goehr, Bischoff, Varèse),
- 3. Search for a musical form corresponding to the technical character of radio (e.g. assembly, sequencing, potpourri).
PD Dr. Antje Tumat (B3)
Post-Doc Project, Subproject B3:
The Radio Opera in Post-War-Germany
The project focusses on German radio opera since 1945, not only because of the lack of research about the genre in general, but also because it seems significant for radiophonic music in the 1950s. Accessible radio operas are collected, the scores and recordings will be analysed. Radio archives are to be visited to analyse sketches and working conditions in German radio studios in the 1950s. For most of the composers, the request to write an opera for the radio became an experimental ground for the artistic potentialities of the new medium (still always keeping in mind the listener and his or her interest in popular music). Traditional forms and orchestration are combined with electroacoustic music, and many radio operas were produced with the help of special radio effects and techniques. In these cases, tradition meets innovation in dramaturgy, theory and production. A special focus lies on continuities in the transmission of artistic ideas from the Weimar Republic and the Neue Sachlichkeit to postwar Germany.
PD Dr. Antje Tumat, at present visiting professor at Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media since 2013, was awarded a PhD in Musicology and German Philology and at Heidelberg University, with a thesis on Hans Werner Henze's opera ‚Der Prinz von Homburg’ (Ruprecht-Karls Prize, Heidelberg University, Walter-Witzenmann Award, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences). She was head of a junior research group in Heidelberg and received a Margarete von Wrangell-fellowship, her second book is about Music and language in Incidental music on the Nineteenth Century German Stage (Habilitation 2016, venia legendi Musicology).
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Siegert (C1)
Leading Researcher, Project C (see project description).
Bernhard Siegert is professor for the history and theory of cultural techniques at the Faculty of Media at Bauhaus-University Weimar and co-director of the Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM) in Weimar. His research focuses on cultural techniques - that is, the catenations of operations in which come about basic differentiations, such as between culture and nature, signal and noise, or medium and message – that he has analyzed in such diverse fields as architecture, seafaring, painting, and radio (see his Cultural Techniques, New York 2015). Bernhard Siegert studied German Literature, Comparative Linguistics, Philosophy, Judaic Studies and History at Freiburg University and received his PhD from the Ruhr-University Bochum in 1991 (Relais, Berlin 1993/ Relays, Stanford, CA 1999). His habilitation connects the history of symbolization in modern sciences with an archaeology of media from paper to electronic circuits, excavating a genealogy of discontinuity in the principle of mediality (Passage des Digitalen, Berlin 2003). Siegert is co-editor of the journals Archiv für Mediengeschichte and Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung (ZMK). Since 2013 he also is the speaker of the DFG-Research Group Medien und Mimesis.
Jan Philip Müller (C2)
Post-Doc Project, Subproject C2:
Experimental Feedbacks of Radiophonics
This project aims at a history of experimental radiophonic practices, namely sound installation art and radio activism, that explore radiophonic spatialities. Thereby, two motifs in the history of radiophonics are taken up: (1) Experiment. Radio has recurrently been understood in the form of experimental arrangements – from physics to perceptual, social, political, or aesthetic tests. (2) Disconnections. Discourses of radio refer to a double interval between sender and receiver: Radio has been called 'schizophonic' or 'acousmatic' because its sounds are heard as removed from their – invisible – sources or contexts – at the same broadcast radio interrupts the connection to the scattered listeners that cannot be present at the place of the broadcaster and have to stay silent. Radiophonics then can be described in terms of spatial relations and specific separations and connections; e.g. of acoustic, electromagnetic, geographical, cultural or network spaces. When, for instance, Max Neuhaus installs his Drive-In Music (1967/68) by arranging low-range transmitters along a road that emit different sounds on the same radio frequency, or when in 1977 Radio Alice opens its transmissions to voices phoning in from the streets of Bologna, such aesthetic and political strategies 're-experimentalize' radio: the spatial arrangements, the (dis-)connections of radiophonics are reconfigured, the potentialities of technology reverting into culture and vice versa are tested out, the definition of radiophonics is renegotiated.
Jan Philip Müller studied cultural studies and economics in Berlin and graduated with a thesis on the cultural and media history of the x-ray image. In 2015 he finished his doctoral dissertation in media culture on "Audiovision and Synchronization. Seeing, Hearing, and Simultaneity in Technical Arrangements of the 19th and 20th Century: Astronomical Observatory – Psychological Experiment – Sound Film" at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.
Andreas Feddersen (C3)
PhD Project, Subprojekt C3:
Radiophonic Archives as Experimental Laboratories
This artistic-scientific PhD project, located at the Chair for Experimental Radio, follows a commitment to the experimental potential for reuse and new appropriations of radiophonic archives.
Radio art as part of the cultural heritage can only be understood by including its intermedial references (e.g. collaborating studios, engeneers and composers, culture techniques dissolving of original technologies). Moreover it requires a presentation that meets the volatile, non-visible world of the auditive. The research question is how radiophonic archives could be organized, structured and finally be presented in order to be understood not only as a pure data storage facility, but as living organisms that can be used both for as a repository for scientific research and artistic exploration.
The EXPA, a collection of more than 8.000 pieces of radio art at the Chair for Experimental Radio, will serve as basis of examination. The extensive media scientific as well as cultural scientific literature of archive theories still leaves out radio art and will serve as a research base in order to be extended to the case of radio art.
Prof. Nathalie Singer (C4)
Leading Researcher, Project C (see project description).
Nathalie Singer is professor of Experimental Radio at the Bauhaus University Weimar. In addition to the theoretical and practical transmission of radio art through teaching, her interests are above all on the connection of radio artistic practice and academic research, as well as the question of radio in the age of media convergence and digitization. Singer studied musicology, communication and psychology at the universities of Berlin and Paris. Since her master's thesis on the Pierre Schaeffer and the Studio d'Essai in the 1940s Singer has worked as a writer, director and producer for German and French radio stations, as composer of radio drama, theatre and movie and as scholarly writer on sound and radio art. From 2002 to 2007 she worked as editor at the radio drama and documentary department of Deutschlandradio Kultur. In 2004 she introduced the new mini radio drama format WURFSENDUNG into the program, for witch she was awarded the Radio Journal Broadcaster’s Prize in 2005. At the Bauhaus-University she has established two archival platforms of radio art: sonosphere.org (public) and EXPA (for research) in order to enable the scientific as well as artistic and curatorial work with the archive of radio art. In 2017 she has been elected as Vice-President of the Bauhaus-University Weimar.
Prof. Erik Oña, PhD (D1)
Leading Researcher, Project D (see project description).
Simone Conforti (D2)
PhD Project, Subproject D2:
Data-mining archives and networks in search of compositional strategies
The aim of the project is to develop a resource for automatic Musical Data Retrieving and sonic description based on techniques stemming from data mining, big data analysis, artificial neural networks for unsupervised learning and categorisation based on perceptually relevant feature extraction. The tool has the goal of analysing musical databases and allow researchers and artists to deal with the sonic matter contained in the databases, reducing the amount of time needed in the case in which the same search is made through the human listening classification.
In detail the research project aspires to confront this problem by developing a software that, based on particular avenues of enquire, reduces the searching space and pre sorts its results in terms of relevance to the asked questions, aural analysis can then follow but now limited to an hopefully more manageable endeavour.
There are two main branches into which the project is subdivided, one is aiming at producing a graphical interface, in order to permit an efficient interaction with the neural network; the other one is based on the development of an artistic project which utilises profoundly the automatic sonic description.
We intend to do this by means of re-purposing techniques already existing in computer science for the search of patterns or the discovery of subjacent structures in the midst of immense multidimensional datasets. We will also look for novel solutions to problems endemic to the sound medium, particularly the problem of segmentation, and the measurement of similarity between segments in a time independent fashion.
Graduated in Flute and Electronic Music in Florence, Simone Conforti works as professor in the Electronic Music department of the Cuneo Conservatory and the Florence Conservatory and on his PhD Project in the context of Radiophonic Cultures at the University of Basel.
Specialised in interactive arts and multimedia, his work passes also through an intense activity of music oriented technology design, where he has developed many algorithms for sound spatialisation and virtualisation, noise masking and generative music.
Co-founder and CTO of MusicFit and MUSST (multisensing space studio), he has worked for the company Architettura Sonora as sound designer and software developer and as a researcher for the MARTLab in Florence and the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne. He published for AIB, ISTI Institute, Biennale Musica (Venice), Suvini Zerboni, Mudima Music, ET'CETERA, die Schachtel, Cramps, Stradivarius, Dissonance, Artestampa and A14.
Keitaro Takahashi (D)
Programmer, Project D (see project description).
Keitaro Takahashi is a composer, media artist, and programmer born in Japan in 1986. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Kunitachi College of Music, Tokyo, Japan, in 2009 and M.A(2011) and MASP(2013). of music composition in Basel Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel. He studied composition and computer music with Professors Takayuki Rai, and Erik Oña, Music theory with Qiming Yuan, and computer programming with Shu Matsuda. His works, both chamber music and electronic music were awarded and selected by IRINO prize, grand prize by ISB Composition Competition/chamber division, WerkJahr 2014 by Christoph delz Foundation, ICMC, finalist from Musica Nova 2011 and so on.
As a researcher and programing developer, he has been engaging in “Recorder Map” project in Forschung und Entwicklung Basel during 2013-14, “Recorderology” Since 2014, “Radiophone” by SINERGIA project between Basel and Weimar university since 2014, and DIPS project in Kunitachi Music collage Tokyo since 2008.
Currently, Takahashi is at the Basel (Switzerland) Musik-Akademie working on his Ph.D between Basel and Catolica Porto University in composition and Technology of Art with Professor Erik Oña.