Mark Dorf | untitled28, from the series PATH, 2012
Is music conceivable without musicians, instruments and recordings? “Traditional” instruments are becoming less and less important; easily accessible programs now make it possible to produce professional tracks even on a smartphone and software tools like auto-tune are becoming normalized. How does this change music, how does it change the live experience? And how are musicians dealing with the actual disappearance of concerts during the current pandemic?
Universally available, easy-to-use music tools are creating a new kind of musician: Anyone can produce music without any basic musical knowledge. In electronic music in particular, artists are breaking new ground in performances. The physical object of the sound carrier is also becoming a memory – files don’t develop a patina. What is this shakeup doing to the character of music? What new forms of live concerts will arise? The discursive music festival The Disappearance of Music in November 2020 revolves around these questions.
The festival’s title takes on an additional edge in the current COVID-19 pandemic: Music has actually disappeared from public life; concerts are only possible as live streams or under strict protective measures. In the run-up to the festival, a video series beginning in May 2020 shows how musicians are using the current restrictions productively: They digitally produce a new piece of music and document the process using DIY video. A new “making of” is issued every week. This allows the audience to experience the creation process – precisely what is otherwise impossible with digitally produced music since it is often created in several layers over a longer period of time.
Festival with concerts by s t a r g a z e, Andi Toma & Jan St. Werner (Mouse on Mars), Olivia Block, DeForrest Brown Jr., Forbes Graham, Bonnie Jones, George Lewis, Adi Gelbart & KNM; talks and installations by Holly Herndon & Mat Dryhurst, Agnès Gayraud, Interspecifics and many more
Video series with contributions from, among many others, Lucrecia Dalt, Barbara Morgenstern, Matias Aguayo, Lamin Fofana, Tellavision, Eblis Álvarez (Meridian Brothers)
Video series and festival curated by Zuri Maria Daiß and Detlef Diederichsen
Part of The New Alphabet