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Course in Collaborative Music Creation / Process Composition with Sandeep Bhagwati and Catherine Milliken

June 30th – July 5th, 2020

Whilst western classical and contemporary music-making largely relies on the work of a lone composer creating a score, other musical traditions and music makers in other social environments make and perform their music in a variety of different ways; sometimes collectively in a large egalitarian group, sometimes as a collaborative process spanning several generations or several communities, sometimes with purposes other than a public performance for paying audiences. In this praxis-oriented course, we will discuss, explore and develop collaborative processes of composition and music-making in a both conceptual and practical manner. We will investigate the different tools needed for such compositional processes, thereby finding new paths, skills as well as insights regarding the interconnectedness of all the elements of any musical event. This may enhance our own compositional process, open up possibilities of engagement with different compositional art forms or provide helpful tools when working with people not from the same musical tradition or who come to the process with widely varying musical educations and skill sets.

We invite creative music makers of all genres and traditions who are interested in collaborative, comprovisational, collective ways of discovering new musical experiences. The entire course will itself be such a process – we will also learn by self-experimentation. Bring all your favourite sound-making skills, tools and instruments with you, even if you are not normally a performer. Your full participation is essential to this course.

Fee: Course fee for active participants is 250 €. The fee includes participation in the course, open lessons and workshops, and free entrance to all of the festival concerts.

We also offer a chance to take part as a passive student in this course. With a fee of 100 €, you can participate to the course as a listener, but you will not be able to take any private lessons. The passive participant fee does not include free entrance to the festival concerts. 

Sandeep Bhagwati

Sandeep Bhagwati is a composer, poet, academic researcher, theatre director and media artist, born in Bombay/India in 1963. His works are regularly performed worldwide at prestigious festivals and venues (he already was composer-in-residence at Viitasaari in 2014). He has led many trans-traditional projects with Asian soloists and prominent European ensembles and many evening-length multi-disciplinary projects. At the same time, he also is a leading artistic proponent of interactive and immersive computer music. He has curated and directed new music festivals in Munich, Berlin and Karlsruhe. He writes on music in society, cultural globalization, algorithmic composition and artistic research for radio, press, academic journals and in books. 

After several years as professor of composition and multimedia at Karlsruhe Music University, he was appointed Canada Research Chair for Inter-X Art at Concordia University Montréal in 2006. At Concordia, he founded and directs matralab, a research/creation center for live arts. Over the years, he also has been invited as Composer-in-Residence/Fellow/Guest Professor at institutions such as the IRCAM, ZKM, Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, IEM Graz, CalArts Los Angeles, Heidelberg University, University of Arts Berlin and Tchaikovsky Conservatory Moscow. His current work centers on comprovisation, trans-traditional aesthetics, gestural & sonic theatre and works using situative, non-visual, technological scores. 

Since 2013, he also is the music director of the trans-traditional “Ensemble Extrakte” [Berlin] in which every musician is a leading proponent of a different musical tradition or genre. In 2015, he also founded the first ensemble for experimental Indian music “Sangeet Prayog” in Pune. In both ensembles, exploration and mutual inspiration is at the heart of the creative process. Beyond these two, Bhagwati has led and participated in numerous collaborative music and theatre projects with groups of various sizes, traditions and expert levels in many contexts around the globe. A lot of his music can be streamed at http://matralab.hexagram.ca/music/. His work is published by mode records New York, noland and dreyer gaido records Berlin.

Catherine Milliken

Born in Brisbane, Australia.

Cathy Milliken completed her music degree in Australia majoring in performance (piano and oboe) and continued her studies in Europe under Heinz Holliger and Maurice Bourgue as well as completing her studies in the Dalcroze Method of teaching music.

As a founding member of the renowned group for contemporary music, Ensemble Modern Germany, she has worked with leading composers and conductors of this century including Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, Frank Zappa, György Ligeti and Karlheinz Stockhausen (who produced her performance of “Spiral” on CD – Stockhausen Verlag Nr. 45).

She was also a member along with colleagues Dietmar Wiesner and Hermann Kreztschmar of the group HCD Productions. Together they created group installations, performances and recording projects.

She has composed for theatre, opera, radio, film and created installations. She has been commissioned by the Berliner Staatsoper, Staatstheater Darmstadt, South Bank Centre London, the ZKM (Centre for New Media) Karlsruhe, The Experimental Electronic Studio of Freiburg, as well as the CCMIX(enakis) Centre in Paris, the German Public Radio Stations of Saarland, Hessen and the Deutschlandfunk and the Concerto Köln. Her orchestral work “Earth Plays” premiered by the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in December, part of the Music Viva Series for 2015.
A later performance at the Tectonics Festival in Adelaide conducted by Ilan Volkov and featuring the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Jessica Azsodi won the Australian ArtMusic Award in 2016. She was also a finalist in the 2017 Mario Merz International Music Prize for composers. Other Awards include “Prix Marulic” and “Prix Italia”.

She was director of the Education Program of the Berliner Philharmoniker from 2005-2012 and is internationally recognised as a leading creative director and composer. She performs regularly with voice and oboe and is a member of Ensemble Extrakte, a Berlin based group noted for its diverse musical cultural practice.

Recent participatory compositional projects have led her to South Africa, Japan and Oman. Positions held now include being part of creative team for the Munich Biennale for Music Theatre as well as honorary member of advisory boards for the German Music Council and the Goethe Institute.

She was recently honoured by being appointed Associate Composer for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra from 2018-2020 involving the creation of a new orchestral work each year.

She lives in Berlin as a freelance performer, composer, creative director and educational program consultant.

Sign up for the course here: Registration for Time of Music Summer Academy 2020.

Sandeep Bhagwati
Catherine Milliken
Catherine Milliken