Pauline Oliveros with Mazen Kerbaj & Karen Power / Sharif Sehnaoui, Omar Rajeh & Malek Andary "Seif & Sound" / Takuya Taniguchi

Part of CTM 2016


American composer and instrumentalist Pauline Oliveros’s ground breaking work in tape, electronics, and improvisation and her related writings and theory since the 1960s have earned her recognition as one of the most important voices in avant-garde electronic music. She performs with electronics and accordion, which she has played from a young age, often also making use of a signal processing system she developed, called the Expanded Instrument System (EIS). Influenced by Eastern philosophies, Oliveros’s ideas reach far beyond Western music tradition and have pioneered new ways of thinking about sound, significantly contributing to the theoretical cannon surrounding the concepts of sonic affect and transcendence. Her writing about “deep listening” proposes that concentrated emotional and corporeal attunement to sound can bring about transcendent and transformative experiences, and her theory of “sonic awareness” describes the act of focusing attention, over an extended duration, on an environment’s aural characteristics.

This evening Oliveros will be performing together with Lebanese Trumpet player Mazen Kerbaj and Irish improviser and composer Karen Power. Both artists currently live and work in Berlin thanks to a residency grant by the German Academic Exhange Service DAAD. Preceding the concert, Oliveros will share the thoughts and philosophies that have shaped her work over the years in an artist talk.

The day before, 3.2. at HAU1, Oliveros will premiere the piece “Mountain Above / Fire Below; Now”, performed on V-accordion through her EIS, joined by word artist Ione, who will deliver improvised vocals ((link)). Later in the week, on 6.2., Oliveros invites the audience to “Listening for Piece”, a one hour long musical meditation. All proceeds from “Listening for Piece” will be donated in support a neighbouring refugee shelter (link).

The achievements of guitarist and free improviser Sharif Sehnaoui’s musical career have been dependent on his equal role as pioneer and activist. With Mazen Kerbaj and Raed Yassin, Sehnaoui formed “A” Trio, who’s first album release in 2003 was allegedly the first dated recording of Arab free-improv music. Co-founding Irtijal, Lebanon’s only experimental music festival, was another ground breaking act of ambition and expansion in the face of Lebanon’s landscape of political tension. CTM has commissioned a collaboration between Sehnaoui, Omar Rajeh, and Malek Andary. Rajeh is a Lebanese dance choreographer and founder of BIPOD, the biggest contemporary dance festival in the Arab world. Malek Andary has widely expanded the notion of folklore in Arabic dance. They will perform a contemporary rendition of traditional Lebanese sword dances & dabkeh, propelled by Sehnaoui’s industrial oriental rhythms and swirling improvisations.

To close this special concert night, Japanese musician Takuya Taniguchi will perform a solo piece for Taiko drums. Continuing in the footstepos of his Master, Eitetsu Hayashi, who is regarded as Japans’s foremost solo drummer and co-founded the world renown ensembles Kodo and Ondekoza, Takuya Taniguchi bridges the Taiko tradition with influences of a variety of contemporary music cultures.

CTM Festival returns to HAU Hebbel am Ufer from 30 January to 7 February. The 17th edition’s music programme is elaborated through intensive collaboration with guest co-curator Rabih Beaini, while the exhibition and discourse programme is created in close collaboration with Swiss-based Norient. Special projects and commissions, as well as artists and sound cultures emanating from less familiar countries and localities and often operating on the fringes of the electronic circuit are featured in greater numbers than ever before. Under the shadow of a global conflict centered on increasingly radical disputes over drawing or dissolving borders, the festival’s “New Geographies” theme aims to explore music and sound practices that respond to these developments, and to provide the conceptual tools needed to approach the complexities of a polycentric, polychromatic, and increasingly hybrid (music) world with greater openness.

The full festival programme is available via:

Supported by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD, Goethe-Institut and the Federal Foreign Office.

CTM 2016 is funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media, the Musicboard Berlin and the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. In collaboration with transmediale, Kulturprojekte Berlin, SHAPE and SoCCoS.


  • Past
    Thu 4.2.2016, 19:00 / HAU2


Hallesches Ufer 34, 10963 Berlin

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