Alexander Schubert

Composer Talk

Alexander Schubert (photo, Alexander Schubert)

Date: 15 April, 2pm
Venue: CMC, 19 Fishamble St
Duration: 1 hour
Entry: Access limited to workshop participants

Alexander Schubert is surely one of the most engaging composers working in music today. His works are imbued with his own boundless energy and are at the same time inventive, thought provoking, radical, witty and mesmerising. While often displaying the outward brashness of popular culture, his compositions are earnestly engaged with the relevance of music material, the role of music in society and the role of technology in music. In this talk, he presents on some of his recent compositions and discusses the influences for his on-going work.

Please note, this event is open only to composers and musicians participating in MUSIC CURRENT 2020 FESTIVAL workshops (AI Music, Spatial Music or Collaborative Composition workshops).

"Alexander Schubert is one of the leading German composers to have emerged in recent years. He is also one of the most significant figures in an international generation of composers who draw on a variety of other artistic disciplines, technological trends, and popular culture to create a much wider definition of what live music can be." (Zubin Kanga, Contemporary Music Review)

Alexander Schubert studied bioinformatics in Leipzig and Multimedia Composition with Georg Hajdu and Manfred Stahnke in Hamburg. He's a professor at the Musikhochschule Hamburg and the artistic head of the electronic studio at the conservatory in Lübeck and was a guest professor at Folkwang University in 2016.

The most characteristic feature of his work is the combination of different musical styles (like hardcore, free jazz, popular electronic music, techno) with contemporary classical concepts. The use of the body in electronic music and the transportation of additional content through gestures are key features in his pieces, which aim at empowering the performer and at achieving a maximum of energy. The constant aim to pursue the search for the highest intensity in a musical performance is a driving force in his work. This also leads to the regular questioning of the border between notated and improvised music. Several pieces can be understood as highly structured improvisations.

Since 2009 he focuses on sensor-based gestural composition in both his writing and research activities (as a PhD student). His technical training as a computer scientist is the basis for a fearless dealing with technology in general and sensors in particular.

Schubert is also a founding member of ensembles such as "Decoder". He has curated a festival for contemporary electronic music for several years and runs the contemporary music label Ahornfelder. He's an organizing member of the VAMH - a collective maintaining a broad network for contemporary music and organizing an annual two-week long festival.

He received prizes and scholarships from ZKM, Giga-Hertz-Prize, Bourges, ICMC, NIME, JTTP, Darmstädter Ferienkurse and commissions from NDR, International Musikinstitut Darmstadt, Ensemble Resonanz, IRCAM, ZKM, HCMF, Kulturstiftung Hamburg, Piano Possible and Ensemble Intégrales amongst others.

His works have been performed by Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ictus Ensemble, Nadar Ensemble, Ensemble Mosaik, Ensemble Nikel, Klangforum Wien and Decoder Ensemble in over 35 countries, including: IRCAM Paris, NIME Sydney, ICMC, ZKM, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, Steinhardt School New York, Essl Museum Wien, Deutschlandfunk Köln, SMC Porto, MDR, Wiener Festwochen, Rainy Days Festival, Acht Brücken, TU Berlin, Kunsthalle Hamburg, Akousma Montreal, Klangwerktage Hamburg, EMM Kansas, ARD Hörspieltage, Ljubljana, USA, England, Spain, Tunisia.