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In recent years, discussion in the field of contemporary music has been dominated by the question of how to promote it. Dealing with the music itself has seemed secondary to the “goal [of] strengthening the presence of new music in cultural life, so as to increase public awareness and reach a new audience” (New Music Network). With the festival Relevante Musik, we kick the ball back to the artists and ask about the social and political relevance of their works. In comparison to contemporary visual art, with its social-analytic or political-structural focus, contemporary music – unless text is set to music – generally has fewer means at its disposal to communicate extra-musical content. The Relevante Musik festival means to demonstrate a variety of the techniques that have been used in socially engaged music and sound-dominated media art, spanning a period from the political upheavals of the 1970s to the present day. In the process, it will highlight such disparate themes as censorship in the GDR, violence against homosexuals, the Iraq War, society’s response to the atomic catastrophe at Fukushima, migration and the phenomena that accompany it, digital surveillance, and the economics of the media industry. With concerts and installations in Villa Elisabeth and the neighboring church as points of departure, musical events in urban space and panel discussions will test and assess the forms, aims, and effects of politically motivated music and media art.

Friday, 19 July 2013, 7 p.m. – Villa Elisabeth
opening: installations

installations on view:  20 – 21 July 2013, 5 – 10 p.m.


One program detail:
Gerhard Schultz: Care Of Merchandising (2013) with Lucrecia Dalt, who is working on her new album for Care Of Editions:

An installative presentation of the conceptual record label that subverts the music industry’s current business model. Online record store and live production of a new release.

Realized with the support of the Electronic Music Studio TU Berlin and the Graduate School of the Arts and Sciences, co-funded by Einstein Foundation Berlin.