Studio for electronic music and acoustics

The Studio for Electronic Music and Acoustics (selma) is directly connected to the composition degree programs, but is also available to interested students from other courses of study. A technical director and two tutors provide support for studio work and concerts. The studio consists of two rooms plus storage at the university and two rooms at the Atelier Frankfurt on Schwedlerstrasse.

Both locations are equipped with workstations, a variety of electronic-instrumental devices, concert grand pianos and multi-channel monitoring systems. Thus they offer the necessary, specialized basis for the instruction of music forms, which are based on these very components. Moreover, as the natural life dream of composers in the field of electroacoustic music, the studios provide the indispensable working environment.

Students can use the space as well as material for recordings, rehearsals in connection with electronic music/live electronics, and more generally as a laboratory for experiments in the use of technology in performative situations. The studio thus serves a variety of uses in the context of composition education at the HfMDK Frankfurt:

  • Teaching in seminars and individual lessons in the context of working with technological means (also in instrumental composition)
  • Work opportunities for students in the practical development and testing of their artistic ideas with special attention to multi-channel applications and the use of technological means
  • Preparation for concerts in connection with the use of electronics, including rehearsals with instrumentalists and electronics; but also for the presentation of student work.
  • Teaching the basics of sound synthesis and live electronics
  • Introduction to working with technical media (computer, live electronics, (live) video, installative works, interaction)
  • Development of strategies of computer-aided composition and their application(algorithmic composition computer music systems, programming languages, music informatics)
  • Negotiation of notational issues related to compositional work in a technological context
  • Introduction to musical acoustics
  • Sound reinforcement technology

All of these topics focus on the aesthetic reflection of working with technology. The field of technology-based music production requires this to a great extent, as compositional work is often inextricably linked to practices of instrument development, the handling of spatial and acoustic conditions, recording and post-production processes, and even interpretive artistry. Questions concerning these craft categories must be able to be negotiated in terms of content through this interconnectedness.

A place for meetings, discourse, dialogue

The structure of the studio is designed to ensure that these reflection processes do not have to take place exclusively in classic classroom situations. The rooms function as a meeting place for the class when the workstations are used, work is done together and rehearsals are held. In addition, when dealing with concrete technical as well as technical-artistic questions from students, the studio staff look for open alternatives to individual lessons, where students can consolidate and develop discourses through a hands-on approach. In this way, students find themselves not only in the advancement of artistic dialogues but also in a network of a young generation of composers. Last but not least, the proximity of the studio directly opposite the Ensemble Modern creates low-threshold exchange opportunities with the students of the MA IEMA CoMP program.

Two student tutors have the opportunity to acquire in-depth knowledge and a wealth of experience in dealing with music technology as well as in studio operations in general, in addition to earning extra money during their composition studies. In turn, the entire class can benefit from their time and knowledge by assisting them with a wide range of concerns. The latter is supported by the tutors and the teaching assistants as well as the studio management. The technical management is staffed by an artistically active position and is thus in a position to assist the students not only with technical and technical questions, but also with their aesthetic positioning.

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