Silvia Ocougne
Foto: ©Foto Lachinger
Silvia Ocougne Foto: ©Renata Chueri

Silvia Ocougne



My Instruments

When I came to Germany from Brazil in 1987, some of my guitars and other instruments broke due to the dry European winter. For this reason I could no longer play them in a traditional way. That's when I started modifying and preparing this instruments instead of throwing them away. This decision allowed me to discover many other sound possibilities that have led to many new compositions and ways of composing. At that time I did not know that this type of work would be an important aspect of my musical career.

In 1991 - because of an order for a dance piece - I composed and many pieces for PVC pipes and prepared guitars together with the wind instrument inventor Werner Durand. A little later we continued our project with the newly formed group The Thirteenth Tribe (1991-1998) and so I became a member of The Thirteenth Tribe; Another member was Erik Blake, Pierre Berthet was a guest. Major influences for "The Thirteenth Tribe" have come from minimalism, resulting in a non-existent art of "Ethnic Industrial Music".

In 1999 I was a member of the ensemble "Armchair Traveler". Also present were Hella von Ploetz, Werner Durand and Sebastian Hilken. The quartet further developed the concept of abstract ethnic music and worked together until 2012.
In 2017 I founded a platform for musicians/composers who work with self-made and prepared instruments in the field of new/experimental music: "Imaginary Music". In the meantime, I have curated an “Imaginary Music” festival and several concerts with variable line-ups, and I have also played there myself. The concerts performed compositions/ impulses by all musicians, including free improvisations, which were very closely related to the sound.

Over the years I have also played in various other line-ups, as well as composing and performing many solo pieces for primed guitars.
This homepage represents an extension of the original project "Imaginary Music", which is intended to enable contact and exchange between a large number of musicians/ composers and instruments inventors.



Silvia Ocougne, born in São Paulo (Brazil), studied composition at the University of São Paulo with Willy Correa de Oliveira and Gilberto Mendes. In 1984 she received a scholarship from the Brazilian Ministry of Culture (CAPES) to study Third Stream Guitar, Instant Composition, at the New England Conservatory, Boston, USA. Silvia Ocougne has lived in Berlin since 1987, where she works as a composer, performer and curator in the fields of new, experimental and Brazilian music. Since 1988 she has been working with prepared guitars and other plucked instruments. In addition to acoustic guitars, she prepares and plays all kinds of plucked instruments.

Experiments with timbres and new, unusual techniques characterises Ocougne's music. Ocougne created numerous instrumental compositions, site-specific compositions and interdisciplinary works for installations, dance, film and radio plays. Concert tours have taken her as a composer and performer through Germany, Europe, North and South America and Asia. Silvia Ocougne is the initiator and artistic director of the project “Imaginary Music”.

Concerts (selection):
Podewil, Berlin; ZKM Multimediale, Karlsruhe, Germany, Festival Memories in Music, Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Goethe Institut Hong Kong; Festival GMEM Nancy, France; Festival du Musique dÁujourd ́hui, Marseille, France; Festival Maerz Musik, Berlin; Audio Art Festival, Warschau, Cracrow, Polen; Goethe Institut Budapest, Hungary; Experimental Intermidia, New York, USA; Musika Viva, Munique, Germany; Guitar Festival Istanbul, Turkey; Guitar Festival Belgrad, Serbien; SESC Consolação,/Vila Mariana/Belenzinho; Pompéia, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Festival Imaginaere Musik, Ufer Studios, Berlin, Germany; Neue Musik Rümlingen, Swisserland; Festival Experimenta, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Musik Instrumenten Museum, Berlin; Schloß Moyland, Kleve, Germany; Espaço Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany; Festival Quasi Amazonia, HKW/Freunde Guter Musik, Berlin; Festival Paralelo, Madrid, Aielo, Spain; Orkub, Bucarest, Rumenia; Festival Experimentelle Musik, Munique, Germany; Kontraste, Klangraum Krems, Austria; Alte Schmiede, Viena, Austria; Hamburger Banhof, Berlin.


CD Recordings (selection)

  • Schöne Aussicht, with Armchair Traveller, 2010 (Staubgold)
  • The perfect record, with Armchair Traveller, 2001(No Man‘s Land)
  • Violao de dois, with Chico Mello (Oaksmus), 2001
  • Musica brasileira de(s)composta, with Chico Mello (Wandelweiser), 1996
  • Animal Magnetism, with The Orchestra of Excited Strings (Tzadik), 1995
  • Water Music, with Carlo Domeniconi (Classic Berlin), 1995
  • Ping Pong Antropology, with der Gruppe The 13th Tribe (No Man‘s Land), 1993

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