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Tag: Music

Neurons living in a Petri dish perform duets with human musicians: Australian-based artist Guy Ben-Ary had his cells extracted and grown into a culture of 100,000 living neurons. Lined with electrodes, these neurons form output via an analog synthesizer, cellF, allowing them to “jam” with human musicians. Ben-Ary talks about the blending of art and science, joint ventures, and non-human consciousness. To article...

The Mexican-American composer Conlon Nancarrow (1912–1997) lived in relative isolation in the suburbs of Mexico City, where he created an extremely innovate œuvre on a player piano. It was only at a late age that he gained international recognition with his scores that, to this day, are almost too complex for modern music technology. Some of his works will now be performed on an original player piano at the festival Free! Music. A rare treat. To article...

From “Freedom Now” to “White Zulu”: Writer Max Annas spent several years at the University of Fort Hare in East London, researching South African jazz. In this interview, he speaks about the political importance of jazz for the history of the country, from Freedom Now to White Zulu. To article in German...

In an interview with Max Dax, the curators of the HKW’s Free! Music program, Detlef Diederichsen and Björn Gottstein, discuss their selection of music and its capacity to express liberational impulses – both musical and political. From the music of Conlon Nancarrow and Harry Partch – pioneers who freed compositional music from the restrictions of traditional instruments and tonality – to the musical freedom fighters under South Africa’s Apartheid regime, by way of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison concert, Free! Music explores the diverse experiences of “freedom, emancipation, delimitation, resistance, and protest” in music. To article in German...

Class, race, and Pop: How a marketing professional in the USA invented the racial division between “black” and “white” music. The musician Dom Flemons, himself affected by this pigeonhole thinking, speaks about a little known aspect of American Folk music. To article...

Whether it’s heavy metal or pop, doesn’t really matter: Tore Tvarnø Lind, music anthropologist at the University of Copenhagen, researches the methods of “modern” music torture. His work shows how, through structural violence and cruelty, music’s intended purpose is perverted and employed for human torture. An excerpt from his contribution to the newly published book “Krieg singen. To article...

Thoughts in the aftermath of “Technosphere X Knowledge”

A new component of the Earth system is emerging today, comparable in scale and function to the bio- and hydrosphere: the Technosphere. It is being driven by the intertwining of natural environments with vast socio-technical forces and increasingly diverse technological species. The “Technosphere X Knowledge” event brought together scientists and artists in cross-disciplinary settings. In the aftermath of this encounter, the writer Adania Shibli reflects on the techniques and practices of knowing, sensing, and experiencing concurrently shaping the Technosphere. To article...

A conversation with the gramophone expert Ralf Schumacher about buried treasure and fascination with non-electric technology. To article in German...

From radio propaganda in Rwanda to torture in Guantanamo Bay, bloodshed accompanied by a soundtrack of reggae during the civil war in Sierra Leone to the calls to battle of the Marseillaise: What does music have to do with war? The cultural anthropologist Angela Dreßler explores this question, and in the process discovers how music is supposed to put fears of another military putsch to rest in war-torn Guinea-Bissau. To article in German...

About the festival "Singing the War"

The connections between war and music are as diverse as they are many. 100 years after the First World War, the project “Singing the War” looks at these relationships in their manifestations since: from technologies developed for use in war that would later take on a central role in music (radio, loud speakers, recording, etc.) to music as war propaganda, as a form of resistance, as a means of processing, etc. „Singing the War“ draws an arc over the century to draw attention to just how close war is to Europe today. A Discussion with Bernd Scherer and the curators of the project Detlef Diederichsen and Holger Schulze. To article in German...

Thomas Meinecke, front man of the band F.S.K. talks about music in an age of mobilization and propaganda. To article in German...

It is in the experiment that we are closest to time’s traces, and time can always, only be grasped up to a point. In Time’s Attack on the Rest of Life, a diverse palate of artists and scholars such as molecular biologist and science historian Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, composer Sandeep Bhagwati, and installation artists Evelina Domnitch and Dimitry Gelfland reflected on the constant shifting and multiplicities of the shaping of time in the context of the opening of 100 Years of Now. To article in German...