Grafik: Sophia Schach

With the publication »anwesend«, we would like to present the free experimental music scene in Cologne
in all its artistic diversity: Who are the musicians, composers, authors, organisers and politicians who
form a scene? Where can new experimental music be heard? What is the history of the independent
scene in Cologne?

»anwesend« brings together five individual perspectives on the new music scene in Cologne. Rainer Nonnenmann illuminates the historical development of the independent scene and new music in Cologne. Spread throughout the issue, his brief insights into institutions and city politics provide
context and introduce important players. Friedemann Dupelius looks at experimental music from the
perspective of the DIY scene, which has formed independently of institutions and academic new
music. In the fictional short story »Ingrid Kaufmann«, Maria Wildeis takes us into the mind of an artist
shortly before the premiere of a new performance. In an interview, Gisela Gronemeyer gives us
insights into her many years of work as a music editor, organiser and publicist of new music. And in a
photo series by Frederike Wetzels, ten other musicians, composers and actors from all over the city
have their say. The booklet is supplemented by a city map with venues for new music.

»anwesend« is primarily aimed at a broad audience outside of new music and can be ordered by post on request:


Doing something different from what people do
Gisela Gronemeyer in interview

Gisela Gronemeyer has been a strong supporter of New Music in Cologne for decades. As a journalist, on the board of the KGNM and above all as editor of MusikTexte. Actually, she prefers to stay in the background, but for present she gives her first interview and looks back on her career, the confrontations with famous composers and why she has stood up for women in New Music.

Genesis of the Archipelago
A journey through the Cologne new music scene in the structure of institutions, people, ideas, money
by Rainer Nonnenmann

Despite or perhaps because of his professorship at the University of Music and Dance, Rainer Nonnenmann is very close to the musical landscape in Cologne and has accompanied and documented new music in particular for many years. Under the title »Genesis of the Archipelago« he looks back in five vignettes at the development of the independent scene, its status quo and its future.

Speech bubbles that say what you want them to say
Portraits of actors from the independent scene
by Frederike Wetzels

In 10 portraits, actors from the free new music scene are introduced. In the style of Gillian Wearing’s well-known photo series »Signs that say what you want them to say and not what everybody else wants you to say«, the people portrayed share their thoughts and offer some food for thought.

Ingrid Kaufman
A short story
by Maria Wildeis

Ingrid Kaufman, the main character of Maria Wildeis’ short story, is an artist, but what exactly she does is as difficult to name as her art. Between art discourses and self-doubt, Ingrid Kaufman prepares for the performance of a new play centred on bathtubs.

We don’t know it yet, but when we hear it, we recognise it
An approach to the free experimental music scene in Cologne
by Friedmann Dupelius

In Cologne, the boundaries between new music, electronics, improvisation and sound art are fluid, so a multitude of different players and currents combine in the independent scene, which are currently intertwining and becoming less and less distinguishable to the outside world, but which set their origins elsewhere. In his text, Friedemann Dupelius looks at the history of the experimental music scene from the perspective of the DIY scene, its questions and challenges and its self-image.

All the texts in »anwesend« are in German.

anwesend is a project of »Wir bringen die Blase zum Platzen« as part of BTHVN2020, made possible with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.