The Collaboratory

The Collaboratory is a “collaboration laboratory” where teams can create a new live performance piece, live sound track to picture, or DJ set involving Kyma and acoustic or electronic performers.

[metaslider id=”389″]


The Musikhochschule Lübeck (MHL) offers unique opportunities to collaborate with conservatory-trained, world-class performers and improvisers including (but not limited to) organists, percussionists, string players, and vocal ensembles!

Building on the success of Rudi Giot’s InterFaceOff at KISS2013, the afternoons at KISS2014 will be dedicated to small teams of collaborators solving problems together and learning from each other in an open environment where anyone can drop in to observe or lend their expertise to the team.

Whether you are a composer, a sound designer, a DJ, a sound engineer, a performer, a programmer, a film maker, a playwright or (especially) some combination of all of the above, you are invited to participate in the KISS2014 Collaboratory!

If you’re not sure what’s possible, just ask! Our hope is to generate lots of discussions between the composers and players during the months leading up to KISS2014.  For more details on the vocalists and instrumentalists who will be participating in the Collaboratory, click the links below.

[showhide type=”profiles1″ more_text=”▶  The organists of St. Jakobi & the MHL” less_text=”▼  The organists of St. Jakobi & the MHL”]

Organists Franz Danksagmüller, Arvid Gast and their students are adventurous virtuosi, intimately familiar with the instruments in the MHL concert hall and in St. Jakobi church. When speaking of the pipe organ, one has to consider the venue as an integral part of the instrument. There is one large, 3-manual pipe organ installed in the MHL concert hall, and St. Jakobi features, not just one, but three historically important instruments: the large 4-manual organ in the west balcony, a “small” 3-manual organ in the north balcony, and a “Positiv” on the floor level on the east side.  Here are the full technical specifications on each of the St. Jakobi instruments.

Never written for organ before?  Here are some hints from Collaboratory organizer, Franz Danksagmüller.

For KISS2014, the large organs in the MHL Concert Hall and St Jakobi church will be prepared with microphones installed at various positions within the organ: the wind chamber, at the mechanical action and in the swellbox. Any or all of these signals can be available as an input to Kyma.

The MHL Concert Hall venue is ideal for ensemble pieces combining organ with other instruments.  Unlike in St. Jakobi, where the organist is hidden away in a loft, in the MHL concert hall, the organist is visible to the audience and the acoustics are crisp and clean.

On the other hand, if a long, 5-second natural reverberation time is desired, then St. Jakobi is ideal! Also, since there are three organs installed there, one could augment the large pipe organ with one or both of the other organs and, as if that were not enough, one could utilize up to eight organists playing on the multiple manuals, entirely filling the immense church with sound!

Note that the large organ is tuned in “modern” equal tempered tuning, the Stellwagen Orgel is tuned two semitones higher and is “well tempered” and the Positiv is tuned a halftone higher in meantone tuning. So be advised that combining the three could be a very interesting challenge.

Here are some links to give you a sense for the reverberation time in St. Jakobi and show some of the possibilities for video projection on the ceiling:


[showhide type=”profiles2″ more_text=”▶  The percussionists of Johannes Fischer’s studio” less_text=”▼  The percussionists of Johannes Fischer’s studio”]

Johannes Fischer and his students are incredibly fanciful players, often approaching their instruments as sound designers and Foley artists! Fischer and his students routinely use electronic devices during their performances and they are masters in the use of contact mics. It’s a true inspiration to work with them!


[showhide type=”profiles3″ more_text=”▶  More instrumentalists & vocalists” less_text=”▼  More instrumentalists & vocalists”]

Several other MHL instrumentalists & vocalists are enthusiastic about participating in the Collaboratory including:
  • An electric bassist comfortable with improvisation and extended techniques such as e-bow
  • A classically trained singer (female) with experience performing in contemporary operas & oratorios as well as experience with contemporary music improvisation and jazz improvisation
  • A pop singer (female) who also performs with a band
  • A pop vocalist/keyboardist, familiar with improvisation and with experience in pop, jazz , and extended techniques such as live-looping.  (Here’s an example of her vocal/keyboard work and an example of her work with her band.)
  • A small vocal ensemble,  not training as professional singers but very accustomed to singing in choirs  and small ensembles, able to read traditional notation, and open to experiments and improvisation
  • String players (three violinists, a violist, and a cellist available to perform as soloists, duos, or trios as well as a string quartet) who are trained in traditional musical notation, comfortable with improvisation, and open to graphical scores with some guidance & rehearsals.
  • A clarinetist/pianist, an exceptionally gifted improviser and performer
  • A flute player, classically trained


How does it work?  Three easy steps:

  1. Review the profiles (above) and choose your desired collaborator(s)
  2. Submit a proposal for a live performance
  3. If your proposal is accepted, you’ll be assigned to a Collaboratory team! At this point, you and your collaborators can decide whether to:
  • Do some long-distance collaboration to finish the piece before KISS in which case it can be submitted for consideration for inclusion on one of the evening concerts or one of the DJ sets
  • OR Propose to work together during KISS and present your work as an informal “open rehearsal” on an afternoon session during KISS

Either way, you’ll have a unique opportunity to work with musicians, instruments and venues that you may otherwise never have had a chance to experience!  And the collaborations and professional connections you form during the Collaboratory can continue long after the conclusion of KISS2014.

[showhide type=”inspire” more_text=”Looking for some inspiration for your Collaboratory proposal?” less_text=”Here are just a few of the (limitless) possibilities:”]

  • Sound designers & musicians performing a live soundtrack to a scene from a film or video (This is a specialty of Franz Danksagmüller & his colleagues!  Here are just a couple of examples of scenes from Nosferatu and Battleship Potemkin)
  • Acoustic instrumentalist(s) or vocalist(s) performing with live Kyma processing and/or synthesis controlled by the performers and/or composers
  • A DJ set combining live Kyma synthesis and processing with acoustic and/or data-driven instruments (for possible performance at  Parkhaus Lübeck)
  • An ecosystemic environment emerging from the acoustics of St. Jakobi cathedral in conjunction with Kyma, organists, percussionists, and/or other acoustic collaborators
  • Acoustic instruments and/or voices controlling Kyma synthesis
  • Ensembles of data-driven Kyma instruments
  • Small ensembles of acoustic & Kyma instruments positioned throughout the St Jakobi cathedral (21st century chori spezzati)
  • Structured improvisations for acoustic performer(s) and live Kyma interaction
  • Live radio plays for actors, musicians, and sound designers, all performing live with Kyma
  • Working with (or against) the long natural reverberation of St. Jakobi, playing the cathedral itself as an instrument

OR something else!  Make a proposal for something you would like to try and the committee will discuss the possibilities with you!