Di, 02/11/2021, 19:00 Uhr
Echtzeitmusik / Klangkunst / Sound Art / Diskurs / Performance


Internationales Festival für vokale Performancekunst, Klang und Musik


International Festival for
Vocal Performance Art, Sound and Music

2 – 7 November 2021

Französische Kirche Potsdam (2 – 3 Nov., each day 7 pm)
St. Matthäus-Kirche Berlin (4 – 6 Nov., each day 7 pm)
Nordic Embassies Felleshus Berlin (7 Nov., 11 am)


DESIGNING VOICES*** presents a series of sound and music performances focusing on vocal performance art that, in 2021, is granted funding by the Musikfonds e.V. and the Ministry for Science, Research and Culture of the Federal State of Brandenburg (MWFK), as well as it is supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy Berlin and the Swedish Embassy Berlin.

DESIGNING VOICES features vocal performance artists as well as musicians who use their voice as integral part of their performance practice. The theme of 2021 revolves around the pipe organ, the voice and gesture-controlled live electronics.

DESIGNING VOICES is taking place during the first week of November 2021 in the form of a festival with daily presentations in two churches, the Französische
Kirche Potsdam (2 - 3 Nov.) and the St. Matthäus-Kirche Berlin (4 - 6 Nov.), and with a closing event at the house of the Nordic Embassies, the Felleshus (7 Nov.).

The music performances of DESIGNING VOICES are accompanied by lecture-performances and audio-visual works, all of which illuminate the characteristics and peculiarities of contemporary vocal performance art.

The featured artists of DESIGNING VOICES are, at first, STEN SANDELL (Stockholm, SE) on organ, piano, voice and electronics and ALEX NOWITZ (Potsdam) on voice and live electronics (strophonion). In combination with their voices they bring together the tradition of pipe organ playing with the innovative performance practice of applying gesture-controlled live electronics. This year they launch the duet project called SAM.

Inviting the vocal performance artists TONE ÅSE (Trondheim, NO), FRANZISKA BAUMANN (Bern, CH), UTE WASSERMANN (Berlin) and the musicians MATTHIAS BAUER (Berlin), FRÉDÉRIC BLONDY (Avallon, FR), SABINE VOGEL (Potsdam) and BILIANA VOUTCHKOVA (Berlin), the duet of Sandell & Nowitz delves into an intriguing and intensive exchange with extraordinary, internationally renowned performers. Also, this way the instrumental range is expanded by bird call objects, double bass, prepared piano, a variety of flutes and the violin. DESIGNING VOICES showcases all of the invited artists as soloists as well.

Each day of the festival is themed differently. DESIGNING VOICES thus stresses those aspects that the invited artists are experts in or have an exceptional and unique approach to.


— 2 Nov. 2021 (7 pm), Französische Kirche POTSDAM:
b i r d s
SAM: Sten Sandell (pipe organ, piano, voice, electronics) & Alex Nowitz (voice, live electronics: strophonion), special guests: UTE WASSERMANN (voice, whistles), FRÉDÉRIC BLONDY (prepared piano, organ); audio-visual works by Alex Nowitz, Sten Sandell and Ute Wassermann

— 3 Nov. 2021 (7 pm), Französische Kirche POTSDAM:
b o w s
SAM (Sten Sandell & Alex Nowitz), special guests: MATTHIAS BAUER (double bass, voice), BILIANA VOUTCHKOVA (violin, voice); lecture-performance by Alex Nowitz together with Matthias Bauer

— 4 Nov. 2021 (7 pm), St. Matthäus-Kirche BERLIN:
p i p e s
SAM (Sten Sandell & Alex Nowitz), special guest: SABINE VOGEL (flutes, voice, objects); lecture-performances by Sten Sandell and Sabine Vogel; audio-visual work by Sabine Vogel

— 5 Nov. 2021 (7 pm), St. Matthäus-Kirche BERLIN:
m o u t h s
SAM (Sten Sandell & Alex Nowitz), special guest: TONE ÅSE (voice, live electronics); lecture-performances by Franziska Baumann and Alex Nowitz

— 6 Nov. 2021 (7 pm), St. Matthäus-Kirche BERLIN:
o p e r a d i c a l s
SAM (Sten Sandell & Alex Nowitz), special guest: FRANZISKA BAUMANN (voice, live electronics: sensorglove); lecture-performance by Tone Åse

— 7 Nov. 2021 (11 am), Nordic Embassies Felleshus BERLIN:
h a p p e n i n g t a l k s
Tone Åse, Franziska Baumann, Alex Nowitz, Sten Sandell and moderated by ELKE MOLTRECHT

*** The English title of the festival DESIGNING VOICES entails two interpretations, one of which emphasises on ‚voices that shape something’ stressing the authorship of the performing artists who present themselves as composer-performers. If composers are at the same time the performers, the traditional approach to music making of interpreting the work of somebody else becomes irrelevant but, instead, it enables the production of genuine and authentic sonic results.
The other implication that the title entails is the ‚shaping of voices’ alluding to an exploration of the human voice’s vocal potential that is characterised by diversity and variety, flexibility and allure—be it through the explicit application of multivocal expressivity or through the use of state-of-the-art technology, such as gesture-controlled live electronics. The objective of these emerging and unique performance voices – who, chameleon-like, perfectly know how to constantly and gradually change their way of expression – is to expose their characteristic traits and fascinating peculiarities by interacting with other voices, instruments, media and technology. It is the aim of the festival DESIGNING VOICES to transform unprecedented sonic moments into novel musical compositions and, by doing so, to do nothing less than to re-cultivate vocal performance art within the context of contemporary performing arts.

For more information on the festival please visit the bilingual website in German and English: https://designing-voices.nowitz.de/

Press: maria@ko-hum.com
Information: designing-voices@nowitz.de
Tickets: designing-voices@nowitz.de

Addresses of the venues:

Französische Kirche P O T S D A M
Am Bassinplatz, Charlottenstraße 55-58
14467 Potsdam

St. Matthäus Kirche B E R L I N
10785 Berlin

Nordische Botschaften B E R L I N
Gemeinschaftshaus ‘Felleshus’
Rauchstraße 1
10787 Berlin

Funded by the Musikfonds e.V. by means of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM), as part of the NEUSTART KULTUR recovery programme, by the Ministry for Science, Research and Culture (MWFK) of the Federal State Brandenburg, as well as supported in collaboration with the Royal Norwegian Embassy Berlin and the Swedish Embassy Berlin.


Ute Wassermann, Stimme & Pfeifobjekte
Frédéric Blondy, Klavier & Pfeifenorgel
Sten Sandell, Pfeifenorgel, Klavier, Stimme & Elektronik
Alex Nowitz, Stimme, Live-Elektronik/Strophonion


  • Einführung: DESIGNING VOICES stellt eine Reihe von Klang- und Musikperformances mit einem Fokus auf vokale Performancekunst.
  • Französische Kirche Potsdam
  • Am Bassinplatz Charlottenstraße 55-58, 14467 Potsdam, Brandenburg
  • Barrierefreiheit: motorische Einschränkungen
  • Ticketpreis: Potsdam-Einzelticket: 13 € (ermäßigt 8 €) / Potsdam-Festivalpass (2 Tage): 18 € (ermäßigt 12 €) / Berlin-Einzelticket: 15 € ermäßigt 10 € / Berlin-Festivalpass (3 Tage): 35 € ermäßigt 25 € / Potsdam&Berlin-Festivalpass (5 Tage): 50 € (ermäßigt 35 €
  • Kartenvorbestellung: Informationen zu Online-Tickets befinden sich auf der Homepage
  • Ticketverkauf