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David Moss

David Moss
Image Credit: © Eric Black

Interweaving Performance Cultures

Fellow 2008/09, 2016/17

When my father, Roy Moss, put his arms around me in 1959 and played the drums, I was touched by the mystery that music contains. As my percussionist life mutated into a singer’s life, I explored the power of the voice through its multitudinous utterances. I’ve now worked with performers of every genre, around the globe (at Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Carnegie Hall, Whitney Museum, Walker Art Center, Salzburg Festival....). I’ve received the recognition and help of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a DAAD Artist-in-Berlin grant. As director of the Institute for Living Voice (Berlin), I can embody voice and presence in a dramatic way—enabling people and ideas to commingle. I may be the only performer who has sung the music of Luciano Berio, Carla Bley, Uri Caine, Heiner Goebbels, Olga Neuwirth, Bach, and Coltrane. And now I simply want to make each new performance a surprising necessity. 

Research Project

Performance: the most unnecessary act

The research that I began during my first residency in 2008-9 is becoming a book. After that early process of accumulating/writing, my goal underwent irresistible transformation: By writing about the invisible and unspoken concepts and generative kernels—space, pre-sets, negotiation, power, personalities and the public(s); from Berlin to Beijing, Bamako to Bogotá to Bucharest; from personal to political — that (before, during, and after events) shape the growth process of a particular 21st century performer on the cusp of avant-garde, experimental, music-theater, international networks, performance-art, opera worlds — I’ll be able to use multi-generational storytelling forms that are the dwelling places, or non-notational systems, of much of our conscious and subconscious performative creativity.

This two-month residency will allow me to develop the first draft and edit it.

Selected Publications


  • “Musiktheaterschaffende im Gespräch: David Moss,” in R. Simon Labor oder Fließband? Produktionsbedingungen freier Musiktheaterprojekte an Opernhäusern, Berlin: Theater der Zeit, 2013.

CDs/Installations/Radio Plays:

  • “At the Beach: music for voice and electric bass”, with H. Strobl, Warszawa: MonotypeRec., 2014.
  • “Like Likes Like,” by Denseland (David Moss, voice/texts; Hanno Leichtmann, percussion; Hannes Strobl, bass), M=minimal, 2013.
  • 23 ways to remember silence, but only 1 way to break it, installation/radio play for Tonspur/ORF, Wien, 2012.



Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung