Activity Center 30 years (DE) Michael Renkel – strings & percussion Burkhard Beins – percussion & strings
espresso & mud – a (virtual) double bass duo between improvisation and composition
A musicologist and music journalist who not only devotes herself to writing on (free) improvised music, but is also active as a double bass player, and a composer whose electronic compositions have much in common with the tonality and texture of many free improvisation and experimental music. Since 2012 they work together as an improvisation duo. Nina Polaschegg uses in her play next to the purely painted and plucked bass sound numerous preparations to rethink the instrument and to develop nuances of tonal color. Bruno Strobl works with samples of different origins – some of them were written as part of his compositional work, many of them are close-up microphoned double-bass sounds by Nina Polaschegg. Pur played samples are next to heavily electronically alienated and thus form an equivalent to the multi-dimensional sound on the double bass. Third in the league is always the room. Its architectonics, its acoustics, its atmosphere, what they specifically include.
Activity Center 30 years Over the course of 30 years Activity Center has developed a unique style of musical performance. Their distinctive way to “create spontaneous compositional structures” has been referred to as “improvised sound art” or “hand-played musique concrete” and described as “almost hyperactive yet never busy or overbearing, lining out a clear, highly defined space in which their sounds float about and bang into one another”. Their long sold out double-CD Möwen & Moos (1999) has been regarded as a milestone of its genre, while they have managed to build bridges between generations and styles with their CD Activity Center & Phil Minton in 2005. With Lohn & Brot, their most recent release from 2010, they have summed up their wide range of musical experience with electro-acoustic grit. Activity Center was founded in 1989 when post-war Germany stumbled into a new era and post-punk finally felt worn out. Michael Renkel and Burkhard Beins played their first concert in the legendary Hannover underground club Silke Arp bricht, and their second one as part of a Günter Christmann VARIO project. After the duo had been the core of the Hamburger Salon for a while it re-established itself within the freshly evolving Berlin Echtzeitmusik scene around 1995. Their Berlin version of the 2:13 Club at Vollrads Tonsaal became a central meeting point of the so-called Berlin Reductionism and its like-minded companions from London throughout the late 1990’s – at a time when this musical episode didn’t have any names yet. Activity Center gained some recognition for playing its idiosyncratic version of it and consequently became one of the original ingredients of the reknown Berlin septet Phosphor at the turn of the millennium and throughout the decade of the group’s existence.
Admission: 12 / 10 / 6 Euro (normal price / reduced / Berlin Pass)