Michael Vorfeld
Foto: ©Michael Vorfeld
Michael Vorfeld - Glühlampenmusik Foto: ©Eric Dierstein

Michael Vorfeld


Homepage: www.vorfeld.org

My Instruments

I started playing percussion as a teenager and from an early age I was also very interested in the sonic aspects of the percussive world. So it happened that I soon used new playing techniques and instrumental preparations. In 1991, through a theatrical production in which I was involved as a live musician, I finally had the opportunity to have a piano maker build stringed instruments according to my ideas. At the beginning of the 2000s, my further focus as a media artist finally led to the project "GLÜHLAMPENMUSIK", in which light and sound merge in a direct symbiosis. I started collaborating with experimental musicians early on and exploring new and unknown worlds of sound in different constellations. One of these groups was the sound art group "Heinrich Mucken", which was founded in 1982 and focused on site-specific sound actions. In 1987 I was also present with this group at documenta 8 in Kassel.

My current permanent line-ups include the trio "SAWT OUT" together with Burkhard Beins and Mazen Kerbaj, the duo "HALF CLOUD, HALF PLAIN" together with Chris Heenan or the percussion duo "VORWOLF" together with the Swiss percussionist Christian Wolfarth. In addition, I often work with the vocalist Ute Wassermann in various duo projects, as well as in extended casts. I am also a member of the ensemble "IMAGINÄRE MUSIK" founded by Silvia Ocougne, but I also play in ad hoc formations from time to time. The combination of conventional and newly developed instruments is still the starting point for my musical work. In addition to the continuous engagement with these instruments, new acoustic works are created again and again, which are realized with unusual and again newly found or newly developed sound generators.


Michael Vorfeld - Percussion-String Foto: ©Michael Vorfeld

Percussion String Instrument

Set-up with conventional percussion instruments and a stringed instrument with piano-bass strings made by a piano maker according to my designs. Played with bows, sticks, brushes, picks etc., the stringed instrument develops an extremely wide tonal variety and an extremely large overtone spectrum.

Michael Vorfeld - Glühlampenmusik Foto: ©Eric Dierstein



Michael Vorfeld - Speaker auf Snare Foto: ©Michael Vorfeld

Speaker auf Snare

A large speaker that emits bass frequencies and thereby activates and vibrates the snare drum.

Michael Vorfeld - Percussion Tools Foto: ©Michael Vorfeld

Vorfeld Percussion Tools

Various tools for playing the instruments.

Michael Vorfeld - Glühlampenmusik Foto: ©Eric Dierstein


Audiovisual performance „LIGHT BULB MUSIC". The flow of electricity, which is influenced by electronic switching elements, can be experienced visually in the light of the incandescent lamps as well as acoustically by means of microphones and pick-ups. The change in light intensity, the glimmering of the filaments and the rhythmic variety of the flickering and pulsating lights are directly translated into a microcosmic and rich electroacoustic sound world.

Michael Vorfeld - Close up Foto: ©Cristina Marx


Michael Vorfeld - Close up Foto: ©Cristina Marx

Vorfeld_ Close_Up

Close-up of percussion playing.

Michael Vorfeld - Percussion Tools Foto: ©Michael Vorfeld

Vorfeld - Percussion_Tools

Various tools to play the instruments.

Michael Vorfeld - Glühlampenmusik Detailausschnitt Foto: ©Michael Vorfeld


Excerpt from the set-up LIGHT_ BULB _MUSIC.

Michael Vorfeld Foto: ©Juliane Heise

Michael Vorfeld


Michael Vorfeld is a musician and visual artist, plays percussion and self-designed string instruments and realizes electroacoustic sound pieces. He works in the field of experimental, improvised music and sound art, realizing installations and performances with light and sound, and working with photography and film. In addition to his solo activities, he is a member of various ensembles and collaborates with artists who work in many different art forms. Based in Berlin, his list of activities includes numerous concerts, performances and exhibitions in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.

Michael Vorfeld participated in the documenta 8, Kassel with the sound performance group “Heinrich Mucken“.

Concerts (among many others): in the Palais des Beaux Art, Brussel, at Experimental Intermedia, New York, in the Podewil, Berlin, in the t-u-b-e, Gallery for radiophonic Art, Munich, in the Academy of Arts, Berlin, in the Goethe-Institute, Hanoi, at the Outer Ear Festival, Chicago, at the Liquid Architecture Festival, Melbourne, Sidney and Brisbane, at MaerzMusik, Berlin, at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, at the Actual Music Series, Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University, USA, in the Center of Contemporary Art, Warsaw, in the Tesla, Berlin, at the P-Festival, Taipeh, in the Opera-Space, State Opera, Munich, at Rojo-Nova, Rio de Janeiro, at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Huddersfield, England, at the Tsonami Sound Art Festival, Valpareiso, Chile, at the Dark Circuit Festival, New York, at the Donaueschinger Musiktage, at the Moers Festival, Moers,at the Irtijal Festival, Beirut, at the AudioArt Festival, Krakow, Poland, at the Festival Densité, France, at the Oscillation Festival, Brussel, at the Biennial for Actual Music, Bremen, at the Festival for or Actual Music, Hamburg, at the Festival Le Bruit De La Musique, France, at the Festival Imaginaere Musik, Berlin, at the AFAC Summer Festival, Berlin, at the Masnaa Festival, Casablanca, at the Ultima Festival, Oslo, at the BAM Festival, Berlin…

Installations and exhibitions (among many others): in the Stadtmuseum Cologne, in the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in the arts and craft museum, Frankfurt, in the museum for archtecture, Basel, in De Fabriek, Eindhoven, at the Sound Art Festival, Osnabrueck, in the Goethe Institut, Hanoi, in the National Museum Szczcin, Poland, at Rencontres Paris-Berlin, Paris und Berlin, at Pulsar, Caracas, Venezuela, at Art in General, New York, in The Substation, Singapore, in the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, at the festival Bogong Electric, Australia, at Zerostation, Saigon at the Dallas Biennial, Dallas, USA, at the Weisse Haus, Vienna, at the Festival Contemporary Art in Traditional Museums, St. Petersburg, on the Zitadelle, Berlin, at the Murray Art Museum, Albury, Australia …


Site-specific works (among many others): in the Planetarium Kassel and in the Planetarium Hamburg, at documenta 9 in a swimming pool in Kassel, at the festival Kryptonale in the water reservoir Prenzlauer-Berg, Berlin, at the festival de fire Elementer in a swimmng pool in Kopenhagen, in an underground parking, Kassel, at the check point Nordhorn (D) – Enschede (NL), in the botanic garden, Metz, at the Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, in the main station, Berlin, in the former Kindl Brewery, Berlin, at the Light Promenade, Lippstadt…


Numerous releases and publications on records, CDs and in books.


External Links

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