Ultima Academy is an international symposium that takes place each year during Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival. A program of lectures, workshops and debates offers music enthusiasts, professionals and students insight into the connection between contemporary music theory and practice.

Ultima Academy takes place September 9 – 14 at various locations. Notam is one of the Academy’s collaborative partners, and this year there are three events during the symposium on Monday September 9 that are co-produced by Notam:

Debate: the creative environment

Monday, September 9, 2013
Levinsalen 10.00 – 13.00

With Peter Weibel (ZKM), Robert Henke (Ableton/UdK Berlin), Stefan Prins (Nadar), Christian Blom, Alvise Vidolin (Centro di Sonologia Computazionale,University of Padova) and Jøran Rudi (NOTAM)

The topic for this debate is the digital environment for the creation of sound-based art. The debate aims to shed light into the digital domain and to map evolving tendencies, new media and expression types in contemporary digital and interdisciplinary arts practice.

The pre-stockhausen era: wdr and the beginnings of electronic music

Monday, September 9, 2013
Levinsalen 14:30 – 16.00

This presentation takes a close look at a forgotten proponent of German post-war music; Herbert Eimert (1897-1972). Eimert played an influential role in establishing electronic sound production as a contemporary compositional practice; however, the significance of his contribution soon paled in the shadow of Karl-Heinz Stockhausen. While the possibilities of electronic music might seem self-evident today, the situation for Eimert and the pioneers of new music in the aftermath of the catastrophic events of WW2 was very different. Eimert was the first to perceive the creative potential of radio techniques – assembling tape recorders, mixers, acoustic filters and sound wave generators – not for the sake of recording, testing, editing, and transmitting acoustic sound material, but as a creative toolbox for exploring the genuine aesthetic potential of the electronic devices themselves.

In this presentation, Markus Aust and Arnulf Mattes will present their newly commissioned video documentary of the remains of the famous WDR electronic studio, including an interview with its last sound engineer, Volker Müller, who will also demonstrate how the studio’s early experiments transpired. Moreover, the audience will experience Eimert’s intense, yet, mellifluous radio voice, explaining the newest experiments at the WDR studio with pedagogical rigour.

Finally, the audience will be invited to enter the stage in order to compose an electronic ‘etude’ following Eimert’s instructions. This will be a “hands on” experience, featuring original devices brought together in a historical reconstruction of the electronic studio.

Have you ever cut tape before?

Monday, September 9, 2013
Levinsalen all day

One of Academy´s main attractions this year is the reconstruction of a 50-60s sound studio with original equipment. The studio in Levinsalen will be setting for a number of lectures and seminars, including a back to köln 1951 “hands on” experience with Markus Aust and Arnulf Mattes on monday afternoon (yes, you might be able to cut tapes yourself) and a talk by Ableton Live´s developer Robert Henke.

The team behind the reconstruction includes Notam, Nordheim-Senteret and the Department of Musicology at the University of Oslo. A special thanks goes to sound enginner Kjell Carlsen, who has helped us find precious equipment hidden all over Oslo!