Next Level – Festival for Games
Curating music performances at the interface of trans-digital art
Since 2020 Brigitta Muntendorf is curator of the music performances in frame of the Next Level Festival for Games at Zeche Zollverein. Next Level – Festival for Games explores interactive and participatory models of digital game culture and spotlights their potentials and perspectives and combines this field with process-oriented, intermedia musical performances that are performed as a practice of artistic production, artistic research and open community. In doing so, the audience is deliberately invited to interact and is involved in the production processes in such a way that they become inscribed in the work being created.
F*MN Festival (FRAU* MUSICA NOVA)
Queer Music Performance Festival
F*MN (FRAU* MUSICA NOVA) presents forward-looking composers, performers and interpreters whose artistic language evokes a confrontation with the present and the contemporary. The focus is on an experimental approach to music and its interaction with media, digitality, performance and theatricality. F*MN continuously expands the spectrum of transmedial productions and is in favor of overcoming the boundaries of genre and gender. In addition, F*MN stands for the opening of the genre “contemporary music festival” towards an open stage for encounters between the arts.
Germany’s tradition-rich festival of female composers was founded in 1997 by music journalist Gisela Gronemeyer and pianist Deborah Richards. In 2013, composer Brigitta Muntendorf took over the artistic direction with Ensemble Garage and since 2020 FMN has a dual artistic leadership consisting of Muntendorf and dramaturg and producer Beate Schüler.
Throughout its existence, F*MN has been closely associated with Deutschlandfunk. All concerts are recorded, produced and subsequently broadcast as moderated programs on Deutschlandfunk.
In addition, F*MN develops an important and forward-looking network in cooperation with other festivals and institutions in order to disseminate the work of selected current artists. Current partnerships include Heroines of Sound Festival and Radialsystem Berlin, Byte FM and HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts, HfMT Cologne or the Academy of Media Arts, Auckland University of Music.
Contemporary Music Ensemble
Founded in 2009 by Brigitta Muntendorf, the ten-member Ensemble Garage seeks answers to artistic, social and aesthetic questions that shape our time. At the same time, it seeks means and methods for creating compositional fields of expression today.
Since its founding, it has set innovative artistic impulses by focusing on the reflection of the (post)-Internet society with all its digital-media manifestations and by decisively shaping the development in New Music towards transmedial, theatrical and performative forms of production.
The ensemble regularly performs at renowned festivals in Germany and abroad, such as the Acht Brücken Festival Cologne, Eclat Stuttgart, Ruhrtriennale, Kunstfestspiele Herrenhausen, Warsaw Autumn, SPOR Festival Aarhus, GAIDA Festival Vilnius, Musica Strasbourg or Mixtur Barcelona.
An important part of Ensemble Garage’s work is the collaboration and exchange with other artists, especially composers of the younger generation. It has organized numerous exchange concerts with young composers from Germany, Poland, Finland, the USA, Turkey and France.
Since fall 2019, Ensemble Garage has been presenting its own concert series (Acts ‘n Sounds) several times a year with events on very different topics, issues, and concepts at various venues in Cologne.
It is also a permanent partner of the FMN series, which develops transmedial concerts between club culture, experimental music theater and performance, and especially supports the artistic work of female and queer artists.
artistic productions at the interface of music and performing arts
With the ECHO FACTORY, an initiative for the development of hybrid, analog-digital formats at the interface of music and theater/performing arts is emerging in NRW. Founded in 2021, ECHO FACTORY works in the form of a community of practice, networks internationally with research labs for digital productions, and is a non-profit company with the goal of promoting trans-digital art and culture.
COVERED CULTURE is an audio-visual multichannel installation, in which Brigitta Muntendorf and Moritz Lobeck explore cultural imprints, individual interpretations and collective appropriations as potentials of the choric forms. The installation was already presented at Kyoto Experiment, BankART Temporary/TPAM Festival Yokohama, Duolun Museum Shanghai, 798 Art District Beijing, LOOP Alt Space Seoul, Interculture Space Guangzhou and Radialsystem Berlin.
With MELENCOLIA, a new experimental music theater performance at the interface of the new digital hybridity for Ensemble Modern will be premiered at the Bregenz Festival 2022. Central to the project are collaborations that establish a process-oriented, long-term and sustainable exchange between art, technology, science and society to accompany and support the planned use or development and adaptations of augmented reality, live video technology, motion capturing and 3D audio.
MELENCOLIA is hypertext that has become space, in which sound, light, body and image sources establish themselves as elementary particles and continually reform themselves in an ongoing process of transformation. In the liberated, playful and yet strict handling of stereotypes from digital romanticism, pop and kitsch, in caricatures, blurs, decouplings and confrontations with digital transformations, MELENCOLIA establishes a parallel world to the indifference of the universe.
laboratory for interdisciplinarity
NULLNULLEINS is a laboratory for interdisciplinary interaction at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Cologne, which focuses on artistic experimentation and joint critical reflection with guests from the fields of composition, performance, choreography, directing, as well as philosophy and sociology. The use of new technologies and transdisciplinary work in the form of a community of practice play a special role, as do “open-heart operations” – tryouts and joint rehearsals of musical sketches with students from the fields of composition, interpretation, musicology and dance.