Photo by Ben Tran

ARNOLD DREYBLATT - KONRAD SPRENGER — Music for Excited Strings

June 29 — June 29, 2024

Performance – Concert
Presented by Yellow Solo at R50
Ritterstrasse 50, 10969 Berlin
(Club room in the basement of the residential  building)

June 29, Saturday
Door opens: 8:30 pm
Starts: 9 pm
Free admission

In his upcoming concert at YELLOW SOLO, Arnold Dreyblatt, joined by longtime collaborator Konrad Sprenger, performs his seminal work: Nodal Excitation, first presented in New York in 1979, with recent compositions for his Excited Strings instrument and tuning system along with live electronics and percussion.

Dreyblatt’s ecstatic live performances emerge from the artist’s decades-long practice of building and preparing his own instruments, and exploring the incidental harmonic discoveries made when they are played. A student of first-generation minimalists Pauline Oliveros, La Monte Young, and Alvin Lucier, Dreyblatt invented his own tuning system early in his career. He enacts this method in his work as a solo artist, often percussively playing on prepared string instruments, and with his ensemble, the Orchestra of Excited Strings.

Arnold Dreyblatt’s current performance project involves a newly developed amplified “Excited String” instrument fitted with an audio transducer system in performance with live digital electronics.

Recent solo and ensemble concerts have included the CTM Festival, Berlin; Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn; Viernulvier Festival, Ghent; Conservatoire Pierre Barbizet in Marseille and the Neue Berliner Kunstverein in Berlin. He has recorded for numerous labels such as Tzadik, Hat Hut, Table of the Elements, Cantaloupe, Important, Choose, Drag City and Black Truffle.

Arnold Dreyblatt
Photo by Cécile Braneyre

Arnold Dreyblatt (b. New York City, 1953) is a composer, performer and visual artist. He studied music with Pauline Oliveros, La Monte Young, and Alvin Lucier and has been based in Berlin, Germany since 1984. Among the second generation of New York minimal composers, Dreyblatt developed a unique approach to composition and music performance. As he began his music in the late 1970’s in New York, he invented a set of new and original instruments, performance techniques, and a system of tuning and has formed and led numerous ensembles under the title “The Orchestra of Excited Strings.”

Dreyblatt has been composing music for his own and other ensembles for over thirty- five years. Often characterized as the most rock-oriented of American minimalists, he has cultivated a strong underground fan base for his transcendental and ecstatic music with his Orchestra of Excited Strings. The New York native studied film and video at SUNY Buffalo with Woody and Steina Vasulka. In the mid-70s, he studied composition with Pauline Oliveros and LaMonte Young, then with Alvin Lucier at Wesleyan University. By that time, Dreyblatt had already been directing his own music ensemble. In 1984, he moved to Europe where, in addition to composing, he began activities in erformance and the visual arts. He has received numerous grants, stipends and commissions including the Philip Morris Art Prize, Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art and from the Irish Arts Council. Since 2022, Dreyblatt is vice-director of the Visual Arts Section of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.

His music has been performed by the Bang On A Can All-Stars in New York, Jim O’Rourke, The Great Learning Orchestra in Stockholm, Pellegrini String Quartet, and the Crash Ensemble Dublin. He has recorded for such labels as Tzaddik, Hat Hut, Table of the Elements, Cantaloupe, Important, Choose and Black Truffle. His most recent LP on Drag City: “Resolve” by the latest Orchestra of Excited Strings in Berlin involves musicians Oren Ambarchi, Joachim Schütz and Konrad Sprenger.

Dreyblatt has been guest composer at “The Music Gallery,” Toronto; MIT Boston, Serralves Foundation, Porto; Austin New Music Ensemble, and the Great Learning Orchestra, Stockholm and many others.  He has performed with and without his ensemble at the Whitney Museum, New York; the Maerz Music Festival, Berlin; the Angelika Festival, Bologna; The Lab in San Francisco , Berghain Berlin and countless other festivals and concert venues in Europe and in North America.

FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE ARTIST

Konrad Sprenger the pseudonym of Berlin-based composer, artist, music producer and instrument builder Joerg Hiller. In his own work and in numerous collaborative projects, Hiller works in the intersection of performance, installation, composition and research. Hiller’s work is characterized by gradually unfolding patterning of precisely controlled harmonic and rhythmic structures, and makes use of both synthetic sounds and acoustic instruments of his own creation. Recent work includes multi-channel live performances centered around a computer-controlled electric guitar continuously tuned and strummed by electronically driven mechanics. Since 2017, Hiller and his collaborator Philip Sollmann have been developing and presenting Modular Organ System, a large-scale sound installation integrating both conventional organ pipes and extended pipes and horns of their own design. Other long-standing collaborations include work with Arnold Dreyblatt, Ellen Fullman, Oren Ambarchi, Rom, Ei, Ethnostress and the artist collective Honey-Suckle Company. As a producer and engineer, Hiller has also worked on solo records for Ambarchi, Dreyblatt, Fullman. Hiller’s work has been presented in exhibitions and performances internationally, and released on renowned record labels such as PAN, A-Ton and Schoolmap.

FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE ARTIST

Special thanks to Péter Barta, György Jaksity, Maya Schweizer, Clemens von Wedemeyer and to the residents of Ritterstrasse 50.