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Symposium "(Virtual) Presence"

Symposium "(Virtual) Presence"

"(Virtual) Presence!? Musical performances in hybrid spaces"

When talking about performing music, the focus is usually set on an audible realization of sonic ideas within a physical space – a concert hall or performance location. However, this physical space has been extended by means of media in various ways on acoustic but also on visual levels, e.g. with the integration of audio recordings, video footage, and real-time implementation of audio-visual processing. With the developments in digital networks and the growing bandwidth for online-streaming, new possibilities opened up to extend concerts and performances to performers and listeners who are no longer necessarily physically present at the concert venue. And since the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic at the latest, complete musical performances in virtual space have become a new normal. But what do these new forms and formats mean for performing music and the music performed? What does change for composers, performers – and the audience? How does the very same performance change when being perceived in real, hybrid and virtual space? What does “presence” mean in these different settings?

The interdisciplinary and international Symposium "(Virtual) Presence!? Musical performances in hybrid spaces" will explore these questions and is especially interested in bringing together perspectives of humanities research disciplines such as musicology and theatre studies and artistic positions from composers and performers on the staging of the performance, the aspect of co-creation, the role of music technology, and intended, desired or neglected effects for the audience.

The Symposium will take place on July 17th and 18th , 2024 at FU Berlin, Institute for Theatre Studies.
Participation is free of charge. Online participation is possible, the corresponding link will be published on this website shortly before the event.

The Symposium is organised by Prof. Dr. Miriam Akkermann (Ernst-von-Siemens Musikstiftungsprofessur) and students of the MA Music Sound Performance

Wednesday, July 17th                                                                                                                                    

Symposium (Seminarraum SR1, EG Altbau, Institut für Theaterwissenschaft)    

14.00                  Welcome and Introduction
Miriam Akkermann, Ernst-von-Siemens Musikstiftungsprofessur, FU Berlin 

The audience’s perspective                                                                                                                             

14.30                  “Being Together / Alone: Theatre Audiences in Hybrid Performances”
Doris Kolesch, Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Theatre Studies, Germany

15.15                  “The Orpheus Project: Psychological, Aesthetic, and Technical Challenges of Virtual Presence in a Live Concert Setting”
Mats B. Küssner, Department of Musicology and Media Studies at HU Berlin, Christian Stein, Cluster of Excellence Matters of Activity and heads the Object Space Agency, and Till Schwabenbauer, Germany            


16.00                  Pause      


Performing in Hybrid Spaces                                       

16.30                  “Hybrid Spaces and Chilean Virtual Voices: Reinterpreting History through Electroacoustic Composition”          
Rodrigo F. Cádiz, Music Institute and Department of Electrical Engineering at UC in Santiago, Chile, and 
Daniela Fugellie, Institute of Music at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chile

17.15                  “Bridging Physical and Virtual Realms: Aesthetics of Audiovisual Immersion in Telematic Composition and Performance”
Cássia Carrascoza Bomfim, Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters at Ribeirão Preto-University of São Paulo - USP, Brasil, and
Paulo C. Chagas, Professor of Composition at the University of California, Riverside, USA

18.00                  “Opaque Technology and Contemporary Network Arts: Artistic and 
Technological Strategies”

                           Juan Parra Cancino, Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium                        


18.45                  Pause                            


19.30  Concert 1 (Hörsaal, EG Altbau, Institut für Theaterwissenschaft) 

Stefan Prins                                                             PianoHero #1 (2011-12) for midi-keyboard, live-electronics & video, Performer: Sebastian Berweck                

Paulo C. Chagas                                                    Virtual Studies #3 and #4 (2020/21) for flute, live-electronics, and 3D video, Performer: Cássia Carrascoza Bomfim, flute, Paulo C. Chagas, video

Paulo C. Chagas & Cássia Carrascoza Bomfim     Mojave (2020/21) for flute, live-electronics, and 3D video; Performer: Cássia Carrascoza Bomfim, flute, Paulo C. Chagas, video

Greg Beller                                                             Air Sampling #006 (2024) for spatial sampling in VR, Performer: Greg Beller

Alexandra Cárdenas                                               Live coding performance, Performer: Alexandra Cárdenas



Thursday, July 18th                                                                                                                                        

Symposium (Seminarraum SR1, EG Altbau, Institut für Theaterwissenschaft)   

13.45                  Doors open    

Beyond a bodily presence        

14.00                  Virtuality will save us all
Sebastian Berweck, Berlin, Germany

14.45                  "devoiced" 
Agustín Genoud, Fellow Berliner Künstlerprogramm DAAD

15.30                  “Becoming Presence in Live Coding”                 
Alexandra Cárdenas, Berlin, Germany            


16.15                  Pause                                  



16.45                  “Playing Loud: In-game Concerts and Digital Music Performance”                                         
Karina Moritzen, University of Oldenburg, Germany

17.30                 Everything, Everywhere, All at Once - The Conundrum of Hybrid Music Performance   
Georg Hajdu, Ligeti center - HfMT Hamburg, Germany 

18.15                  Sum Up and Outro                                                                                                              
Miriam Akkermann                                    


18.45                  Pause                              


19.30  Concert 2 (Hörsaal, EG Altbau, Institut für Theaterwissenschaft) 

Studierende des MA Music Sound Performance    Reality Chat (2024), Performer: Joëlle Balan, Eli Vardzhiyska, Theresa Osburg, Benjamin Skorov, Max Tönshoff

Rodrigo F. Cádiz                                                     Vox Populi (2023), 8-ch fixed media piece

Juan Parra Cancino                                                Artifacts of not-here, networked performance, Performer: Juan Parra Cancino (networked electronics), Jonathan Impett (networked trumpet), Chris Chafe (networked celleto) and Brice Soniano (networked double bass)

Agustín Genoud                                                     Devoiced, performance, Performer: Agustín Genoud 


  • Virtual presence, Music performance, hybrid spaces