Signals Festival

/// Workshops

Bringing together our own and our partner educators for specialist collaborative masterclasses. Your ticket also allows Onsite General Admission to Signals Festival on the day of your workshop.

General admission tickets and programme available here >>> Signals Festival 2021 Tickets

Friday 15th workshops & tickets

14:00 - 15:00: NowHere Media: VR Storytelling Masterclass tickets with Felix Gaedkte (NowHere Media)

15:00 - 16:30: The art of listening: Mastering tickets with Conor Dalton (Glowcast Mastering) (online)

16:00 - 18:00: Free signal liberation: no-cost modular synths tickets with Peter Kirn (CDM)

Saturday 16th workshops & tickets

14:00 - 15:30: Found objects and self-made instruments tickets with Pablo Diserens (Ōtone)

14:00 - 15:30: Audiovisual production: TouchDesigner tickets with Paulina Greta (Imaginaria)

15:00 - 17:00: XLR microphone cable soldering tickets with Stefan Knauthe

16:30 - 19:00: Impro Jam tickets with Akkamiau (female:pressure)

Found objects & self-made instruments as creative tools

with Pablo Diserens (Ōtone)

Saturday 16th, 14:00 - 15:30 / €9

This workshop is an introduction to the creative uses and possibilities of found objects and self-made instruments within electronic and electroacoustic composition and performance. Split in two parts, the first half of the talk will present the work of a variety of artists that compose with such practices. After mapping a genealogy, the second half will explore the various techniques and tools that one can use and combine with their objects for compositional and performing purposes. This will include a live hands-on demonstration by Pablo Diserens with a selection of microphones and objects (incl. from their 'Tetsu' series). The workshop aims to spark ideas on how one can create their very own sets of sounds and how to implement them within their respective practice.

/// About the artist host

Pablo Diserens (aka Ōtone) is an artist, field recordist, composer, filmmaker and photographer based in Berlin, who engages with various topo- and phonographies with a wide range of visual and sonic recording techniques. As a composer, they elaborate sonic environments and electroacoustic sound pieces embedded in sonic ecology and acousmatic forms by fusing and altering an array of field recordings, found objects and self-made instruments. Under their moniker ‘Ōtone’, Diserens investigates abstract industrial soundscapes by manipulating sounds from the real and from their series of self-made metallic objects, called 'Tetsu', that they use as compositional tools and performable instruments.

Pablo Diserens (Ōtone)

Free signal liberation: no-cost modular synthesis

with Peter Kirn (CDM)

Friday 15th, 16:00 - 18:00 / €9

Liberate yourself in how you imagine timbre, rhythm, tune, and pattern using signal flow - without money and space as being a barrier to entry. Let’s discover modular synthesis and its potential for musical expression using free and open-source tools. And let’s talk about how that can also be used to share, play together, and support one another in our music-making.

Modular synths look great with their custom racks and mess of wires, but they can also feel impenetrable - you need money for gear, you need space (and lifting power), and that's even before you figure out how to use them. But we can use free software to get over some of those hurdles. Using VCV Rack, we'll get started from scratch on any recent Mac, Windows, or Linux PC. No previous experience is required, but even then we may be able to learn some new tricks. We'll explore the fundamentals of modulation and how it can be combined into strange, new sounds, with some recipes for unique sound construction. And then we'll also get off the grid with techniques that allow free, open-ended composition entirely using signal. Then we'll look at how this can be combined into an improvisatory live performance to make it easier to jam without using pre-made patterns and sounds.

Expect to wrap up with some time for collective experimentation and answering questions, plus a full-ensemble noise/drone piece together.

/// About the artist host

Composer/artist, curator, and writer Peter Kirn produces music that is dark and playful, in cosmic fantasies brewed in modern dance studios and grimy dance floors. He explores the culture of making electronic music and motion technologies on his daily site, co-produces the MeeBlip line of electronic instruments, and creates collaborative performance laboratories including the MusicMakers Hacklab with CTM Festival. With a background in concert music composition including co-directing the Contemporary Ensemble at the CUNY Graduate Center, his music has appeared on Detroit Underground, Snork Enterprises, Wunderblock Records, Instruments of Discipline, and his own Establishment. He has also worked collaborations ranging from making field recordings with the European Space Agency to playing a techno live jam in a Moscow hologram gallery, from experimental performance and installation in kinky parties to explorations of architecture and spatial music.

Peter Kirn (CDM)

Methods for audiovisual production with Touchdesigner

with Paulina Greta

Saturday 16th, 14:00 - 15:30 / €9

The workshop seeks to explore the elements involved in the processing of audiovisual information, focusing attention on the parameters and the mechanisms underlying digital image structure and dynamics. Examples of classic methods of image processing, using audio as source of manipulation, will be presented and practically implemented.

Participants should bring their laptops with TouchDesigner installed. Work created during the workshop will be incorporated into the A/V live performance of ‘Ignes Fatui’, performed at the festival later that night by Imaginaria + Alessandro Adriani.

Beginner-Intermediate level knowledge of Touchdesigner.

/// About the artist host

Paulina Greta is a Berlin-based artist and creative director focused on interactive storytelling and its declinations between gaming and non-linear narratives. Her practice spans installation, performance, film direction, augmented and virtual reality. Her works have been featured at international venues and multimedia festivals such as Atonal Berlin, LCF at Macro (Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome), Milan Design and Fashion Weeks, festivals in the Netherlands, Cile, Russia.

Paulina Greta

The art of listening: Mastering

with Conor Dalton

Friday 15th, 15:00 - 16:30 / €9

An introduction to the concept of mastering modern music with cutting edge techniques and tools. 

This is an online workshop happening on Zoom and is meant to serve all musicians, studio engineers and enthusiasts out there! Some prior experience in making music, mixing, sound engineering, and an interest in mastering is a plus but not essential. 

/// About the artist host

Conor Dalton has 15 years of professional mastering experience with his company Glowcast Audio Mastering, working on music from Daft Punk, Jeff Mills, Marcel Dettmann, Ricardo Villalobos, Carl Craig, John Digweed, Maceo Plex, and many more.

He’s also one of the engineers at Calyx mastering in Berlin where his clients include Rødhåd, Dubfire, Moderat, as well as tutor at Berklee School of Music (Valencia), Tutor at Shoogle Studios (Glasgow) and musician in the band “Island People” (Raster).

Conor was the winner of “Sound engineer of the year 2012” from the Scottish new music awards. He is also a published writer in Music Tech Magazine worldwide and has previously worked at the world famous Joao Carvalho Mastering studios in Toronto.

Conor Dalton

VR Storytelling Masterclass

with Felix Gaedtke (NowHere Media)

Friday 15th, 14:00 - 15:00 / €9

​​NowHere Media is an award-winning studio in Berlin crafting virtual and augmented experiences that enable audiences to view contemporary issues through a critical lens. From covering war in Syria to chasing snow leopards in the Himalayas, they tell untold stories, breaking taboos and silences.

Join co-founder of Nowhere Media, Felix Gaedtke, for a special masterclass on his experience developing VR documentaries to engage audiences and create impact in the real world. 

Experience the full story

Participants of this masterclass will also have the opportunity to experience the full immersive VR story, Home After War and/or Kusunda, at Signals Festival (additional time-slot booking required).

Home After War tells the story of an Iraqi father who returns to Fallujah to face the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Through this virtual reality experience, join him in his home and discover the unfolding of a tragic event.

In the documentary VR experience Kusunda, you meet Hima as she reminds her grandfather of his forgotten mother tongue (Kusunda, Nepal). Navigate through the narrative by speaking words in the sleeping indigenous language, and join the fight for its revitalisation.

/// About the artist host

Felix Gaedtke is an acclaimed immersive storyteller and creative producer currently based in Berlin. He co-founded the immersive storytelling studio NowHere Media with an urge to create spaces for under-represented voices in mainstream discourses. His passion to convey different realities across the world has led him to working with VR and AR storytelling techniques. His most recent work Kusunda takes you into the lives of an indigenous group in Nepal and their fight for language reclamation. Kusunda recently won the prestigious Storyscapes Award at Tribeca Film Festival. He is a Sundance New Frontier alumnus and has also won ‘Best Use of Immersive Arts’ at SXSW as well as the Lumiere Award for ‘Best VR documentary’ among other accolades. Felix’s immersive works have been exhibited at the Venice International Film Festival, SXSW, Cannes XR, the UN, HotDocs, Bergen International Film Festival and beyond.

Felix Gaedtke

XLR Microphone Cable Soldering

with Stefan Knauthe 

Saturday 16th, 15:00 - 17:00 / €10

Professional cables are a must-have in every recording studio. Low quality wiring makes the best equipment useless. In this workshop you will learn how to professionally solder a symmetrical microphone cable. Catalyst’s very own Electronic Music Production tutor and music technician Stefan, will show you how to tailor a good quality cable from budget building parts and provide tips and tricks you need to DIY every cable in your home studio setup. 

This workshop is limited to 6 participants. Equipment & accessories will be provided at the workshop, self soldered cable can be taken home after!

/// About the artist host

Stefan Knauthe is a music producer, composer and synthesist with a lifelong passion for sound and electronic music, Ableton Certified Trainer and Electronic Music Production Tutor and Technician here at Catalyst Berlin. He teaches several music production workshops, including Audio Production, Sound Design, Mixing Practice and many more at Catalyst as well as outside at events and large conventions such as Superbooth and Loop. As a music technician he was involved in the setup of all large format studios and tailored many of the studio's electronic connections. As a musician he is interested in ambient music textures and structures and builds ambient music pieces with modular synthesis equipment.

Stefan Knauthe

Impro Jam

with Akkamiau and female:pressure

Saturday 16th, 16:30 - 19:00

An electronic jam session focused on learning improvisation techniques and creating an immediate (live) soundtrack for a visual narrative. A short movie will provide the context of the improv session, with the goal being a liminal performance.

The term ‘limen’ (latin, threshold) or liminal was used by Victor Turner in his work on anthropology and performance to describe a certain marginalised space, which holds the possibility of potential forms, structures, conjectures and desires, a space that the performance works occupy. Liminality can perhaps be described as a fractal chaos, a fertile nothingness, a storehouse of possibilities, not by any means a random assemblage but a striving after new forms and structure (Turner, 1990).

This workshop is limited to a capacity of 10. Small controllers will be provided, or for those participants who want improvise with their own sounds you can bring you own laptop + small controller.

/// About the artist host

female:pressure is a transnational online database and network of women*, AFAB, transgender, transfeminine, transmasculine, intersex [+gender optional], genderqueer, gender nonconforming, a-gender and/or non-binary DJs, musicians, composers, producers, visual artists, agents, journalists and researchers working in the realms of electronic music and visual arts.

Lena Kocisova (@akkamiau / hithertoo) is an audiovisual artist and event coordinator, resident in Berlin. Since 2013 she has been the coordinator and booker for the female:pressure circle, and the festival Perspectives Berlin. As hiT͟Hərˈto͞o she performs live experimental techno, with releases on female:pressure, Kashev Tapes, SPRINGSTOFF and Establishment records. As Akkamiau she released the EP Interjections [DETUND] and produced a/v performance Interjections (Liminal Act) in collaboration with collapsetofraction collective in 2019. Akkamiau’s latest EP Ediacaran was released on DETUND on March 30th 2021.

Lena Kocisova

/// About Signals Festival

Exploring art and technology, Signals Festival is an annual showcase of Catalyst Berlin’s emerging and diverse creative communities. A non-profit, educational event with live performances, installations, screenings, workshops and in-depth dialogue

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