Feb 06–08, 2009

Audio Poverty

Music and Poverty

A weekend of Discussions and Lectures, Concerts & Parties, Performances & Experiments

The upheaval in the world of music has created a quandary. Although the degree to which music is now being made available and listened to is unprecedented, we are also seeing a process in which individual works are becoming increasingly interchangeable. The economically and artistically autonomous music culture that has functioned as a significant social corrective since the end of the 1970s is under threat. Music criticism, journalism and scholarship are losing their status as opinion leaders in the face of the flat and globalized hierarchy of cyberculture. The category of musical education is being undermined by a new detachment in the way music is spoken about. Opening the archives gives rise to a supra-historical access to the musical repertoire that does not demand a historical consciousness based on epochs, styles and categories.

A paradigm shift is changing musical life at its foundation. These changes affect music‘s significance in public life, consumer listening behavior, the availability and ubiquity of music, and its creation of value. Or, as Jace Clayton, a.k.a. DJ Rupture put it, ”Hungry musicians and pleasures gone haywire“.

The artists respond globally, but in different ways: Prince presented his new CD as a give-away of the British newspaper Mail on Sunday and then played 21 sold-out concerts in London. Madonna signed her new contract at a value of 120 million USD not with a record label, but with the world‘s biggest concert agency. Losses in sales of the back catalog led to a flood of band reunions, in which bands like Led Zeppelin, Genesis, and My Bloody Valentine participated. More than one million unsold Robbie Williams CDs were crushed and went to China road construction material. Music is clearly going through a value crisis.

Audio Poverty is devoted to the fields of economics, reception, and production. For each day of the conference, one of these topics will be the subject of lectures, panel discussions, artist interviews, concerts, and DJ sets. Problems of the present are analyzed, bearing in mind historical phenomena like the music of the arte povera and the American mavericks bearing in mind aesthetic practice and aesthetic theory, popular culture and serious music.

Audio Poverty wants to address helplessness, overcome alienation, and outline political solutions.

Heinz-Klaus Metzger, Kode 9 (UK), Kodwo Eshun (UK), Mark Chung, Gudrun Gut, Achim Bergmann, Jay Rutledge, Joel Berger, DJ Rupture (USA), Awesometapesfromafrica (USA), Ensemble Zwischentöne, Ensemble Asamisimasa (NOR), Sabine Sanio, Ensemble Mosaik, Thomas Meadowcroft (AUS), Alan Hilario (PHI), Enno Poppe, Oyvind Torvund (NOR), Goodiepal (DK), Christine Lemke-Matwey, Helga de la Motte-Haber, Jonathan Fischer, Max Dax, Chris Bohn (UK), David Keenan (UK), Diedrich Diederichsen, Kai Fagaschinski, Werner Dafeldecker (AT), Barbara Romen (AT), Eva Reiter (AT), Manon-Liu Winter (AT), Josephine Foster (USA), Hair Police (USA), DJ Vamanos (UK), Alvin Curran (USA), Golo Föllmer, John Eden (UK), Hartmut Möller, Orm Finnendahl, Serge Baghdassarians, Brian Duffy (UK), Christiane Rösinger, Modified Toy Orchestra (UK), Quarta 330 (JAP).

Curators: Ekkehard Ehlers, Björn Gottstein.

In cooperation with Wandering Star Association and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

Audio Poverty is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation

Kulturstiftung des Bundes