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Keynote Speakers

ALEXANDER SCHUBERT

Alexander Schubert was born in 1979 in Bremen and studied bioinformatics in Leipzig and Multimedia Composition with Georg Hajdu and Manfred Stahnke in Hamburg. During his studies he has worked as a musician and composer in a variety of different environments. In addition, Schubert worked at the ZKM (Centre for Art and Media) in Karlsruhe for one year.
He’s a professor at the Musikhochschule Hamburg and the artistic head of the electronic studio at the conservatory in Lübeck and was a guest professor at Folkwang University in 2016. Mainly he’s working as a freelance composer.

Schubert’s interest explores cross-genre interfaces between acoustic and electronic music. The most characteristic feature of his work is the combination of different musical styles (like hardcore, free jazz, popular electronic music, techno) with contemporary classical concepts. He incorporates these influences based on his personal experience rather than theoretically approaching the topic. Schubert has participated in his youth and early career in all above-mentioned genres both in groups and as a solo artist.
Furthermore performance pieces are a major focus in his work. The use of the body in electronic music and the transportation of additional content through gestures are key features in his pieces, which aim at empowering the performer and at achieving a maximum of energy. The constant aim to pursue the search for the highest intensity in a musical performance is a driving force in his work – and this always in a subjective and barely ever conceptual way. This also leads to the regular questioning of the border between notated and improvised music. Several pieces can be understood as highly structured improvisations.

Since 2009 he focuses on sensor-based gestural composition in both his writing and research activities (as a PhD student). In this work field he is contributing to international conferences and researches with various institutes worldwide. The combination of aesthetic, technical and scientific aspects of this interdisciplinary approach have encountered a very positive reception. His technical training as a computer scientist is the basis for a fearless dealing with technology in general and sensors in particular.

Apart from working as a composer and solo musician Schubert is also a founding member of ensembles such as “Decoder“. He has contributed to a variety of different projects as a musician, composer and programmer (e.g. Wiener Festwochen, Staatsoper Berlin, SWR), curated a festival for contemporary electronic music for several years and runs the contemporary music label Ahornfelder. He’s an organizing member of the VAMH – a collective maintaining a broad network for contemporary music and organizing an annual two-week long festival. He’s been a jury member of conferences and competitions (e.g. SSSP Conference, JTTP competition), jury head (ICMC) and held composition workshops (e.g. Mexico City, Stockholm). He is the artistic head of the electronic studio at the conservatory in Lübeck, teacher at the conservatory in Hamburg and was a guest professor at Folkwang University in 2016.
He received prizes and scholarships from ZKM, Giga-Hertz-Prize, Bourges, ICMC, NIME, JTTP, Darmstädter Ferienkurse and commissions from NDR, International Musikinstitut Darmstadt , Ensemble Resonanz, IRCAM, ZKM, HCMF, Kulturstiftung Hamburg, Piano Possible and Ensemble Intégrales amongst others. His works have been performed more than 400 times for example by Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ictus Ensemble, Nadar Ensemble, Ensemble Mosaik, Ensemble Nikel, Klangforum Wien and Decoder Ensemble in over 35 countries, including: IRCAM Paris, NIME Sydney, ICMC, ZKM, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, Steinhardt School New York, Essl Museum Wien, Deutschlandfunk Köln, SMC Porto, MDR, Wiener Festwochen, Rainy Days Festival, Acht Brücken, TU Berlin, Kunsthalle Hamburg, Akousma Montreal, Klangwerktage Hamburg, EMM Kansas, ARD Hörspieltage, Ljubljana, USA, England, Spain, Tunisia.

JESSIE MARINO

Jessie Marino is a composer, performer, and media artist living in Berlin. Her work explores the repetition inside common activities, ritualistic absurdities, and uncovering nostalgic technologies. Jessie’s pieces score out sound, video, physical movements, lighting, and staging, which are then placed within organized temporal structures, fractured narratives and musical frameworks. Much of Marino’s interdisciplinary compositional work eschews conventional instrumentation, with scores that ask performers to use their bodies—using precisely articulated gestures, facial expressions, and quotidian physical movements—both as an alternative and a complement to musical sounds. Her work maps out the way humans communicate with their bodies on a performative timeframe, revealing the musicality hidden within everyday gesticulations, signs, and demonstrations, transmitted both consciously and unconsciously. Marino finds humor and profundity in personal interactions and the way humans navigate physical space—an improvisational act that can invoke a ballet, a dinner party or a demolition derby.
Her compositions and solo performances abstract ideas drawn from all stripes of popular culture and political discourse, girded by a definitively humanistic sensibility rife with equal doses of wit and pathos. Marino’s work employs video, lighting, performance art, and comedy, but it is rigorously constructed using musical time, even when a piece is utterly silent. She transcends the conventional materials of composition to help audiences locate music in the most commonplace activities and relations.
Marino’s work has recently been commissioned by Pinquins Percussion/Ultima Festival (NO), Darmstadt International Summer Course (DE), Borealis Festival (NO), G((o))ng Tomorrow Festival (DK), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK), Transit Festival (BE), and Look/Listen Festival (NYC). Her work has made recent appearances at the BAM! Festival for MusikTheater (Berlin), Festival Musica (Strasbourg), Heroines of Sound (Berlin/MX) , Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Contemporary Series and her pieces have been performed by formidable new music ensembles such as KNM Ensemble (DE), SCENATET (DK), SoundInitiative (FR), TAK Ensemble (USA) We Spoke Percussion (UK), Line Upon Line Percussion (USA), Wild Up (USA), eighth blackbird (USA), Decoder Ensemble (DE), Ensemble Adapter (DE), Die Ordnung Der Dinge (DE), Zwerm Electric Guitar Quartet (BE), Retro Disco (CH), and Ensemble Pamplemousse (USA).
Jessie has parlayed her interest in expanding compositional practice beyond sound into educational pursuits, teaching and guest-lecturing at academic institutions like the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Chicago, the Hochschule Für Musik und Tanz Köln, and the Staatliche Hochschule Für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart – as well as co-teaching for the Chicago chapter of TECHNE, a non-profit organization devoted to introducing female-identified youth to the rudiments of technology-focused art making, musical improvisation, and community collaboration.
In 2018 Marino received the Luciano Berio Rome Prize for musical composition at the American Academy in Rome. She has been an artist in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts (CA), Avaloch Farm Music Institute (NH), and the Albatross Artists Residency Program. Jessie has performed internationally as a solo artist as well as a member of Ensemble Pamplemousse (co-artistic director and member from 2006-2019). She has worked closely with composers such as Alvin Lucier, George Lewis, Klaus Lang and Steve Takasugi, and has been a guest performer with prominent contemporary music and theater ensembles such as Object Collection (NYC) and Wet Ink Ensemble (NYC).

THOR MAGNUSSON

Thor Magnusson is a Professor in Future Music at the University of Sussex. His work focusses on the impact digital technologies have on musical creativity and practice, explored through software development, composition and performance. He is the co-founder of ixi audio (www.ixi-audio.net), and has developed audio software, systems of generative music composition, written computer music tutorials and created two musical live coding environments. He has taught workshops in creative music coding and sound installations, and given presentations, performances and visiting lectures at diverse art institutions, conservatories, and universities internationally.

In 2019, Bloomsbury Academic published Magnusson’s monograph Sonic Writing: The Technologies of Material, Symbolic and Signal Inscriptions. The book explores how contemporary music technologies trace their ancestry to previous forms of instruments and media, including symbolic musical notation. The book underpins current research, where, as part of the MIMIC project (www.mimicproject.com), Magnusson has worked on a system that enables users to design their own live coding languages for machine learning.

Further information here: http://thormagnusson.github.io

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