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Bernd Härpfer combines musical and audiovisual composition with artistic research and software development. Recurring aspects in his works are the digital transformation of natural sounds, the use of computer-controlled acoustic instruments and the formal integration of image and sound. He creates algorithmic methods to shape his artistic practice at all levels, from material and form analyses to the synthesis of sound and musical scores. Participation in numerous concerts, exhibitions and video screenings worldwide. He is a board member of the Initiative Musik und Informatik Köln – GIMIK e.V. and regularly organises international concerts and exhibitions of computer music and video art. Based on his research on rhythm, he develops general-purpose rhythm generation software, which is currently in beta testing.

Studies and teaching

Studies in composition and music research at the Institute for Sonology in The Hague (Master of Arts), as well as musicology, philosophy and German language and literature at the University of Cologne (Master of Arts). Further studies in algorithmic composition and sound synthesis with Clarence Barlow. Research assistant at the Institute for Musicology and Music Informatics at the University of Music Karlsruhe, where he completed his doctorate with a dissertation on his quantitative research on rhythm and meter (“The Metric Malleability and Ambiguity of Cyclic Rhythms”). His teaching activities have included courses in rhythm and meter theory, creative programming (algorithmic composition, audio, video) and lectures in music and media theory. Associate Lecturer: Institute for Musicology, Humboldt University Berlin. Guest lecturer: Hamburg University of Music and Theatre, Korea National University of Arts (KNUA) and Hongik University, Seoul, University of California (UCSB), Santa Barbara, CalArts University, Santa Clarita, Institute for Music Informatics, University of Mainz.

List of works

Strings of Shared Memory – 14 strings: 6 vl, 3 va, 3 vc, 2 b (2021), 11 min
Mazwi II – electronic music (2018), 8:30 min
Velocity Delays – clarinet, live electronics (2016), 5 min
Lyndon Canyon – flute, live electronics (2014), 5 min
Red Forest – electronic music (2013), 3:40 min
Ascent – computer-controlled pipe organ or player piano, video (2012), unlimited duration
Stargate* – video, electronic music (2010/2011), 4:15 min
Unwinding – four percussionists (2010), 8:30 min
Science Fiction 2 – electronic music for a video by Siegfried Koepf (2009), 2 min
Crude Carrier* – video, electronic music (2009), 6:30 min
Crude Carrier* – 3-channel audiovisual installation (2008), unlimited duration
Trace Track Trail – electronic music for three videos/3-channel audiovisual installation by Tessa Knapp (2007)
Hustle and Bustle – five computer-controlled instruments of Logos Foundation Ghent (2006), 8:30 min
Breathless – video, soundtrack (2006), 2 min
Juliette – flute, piano, vibraphone (2006), 5 min
Birdsong II – electronic music/sound installation (2005), 52 min
Mime – two player pianos, video (2004), 11:10 min
Speed Crystal* – video, electronic music (2003/2004), 4:40 min
Shoes* – video, electronic music (2003), 3 min
Birdsong I – electronic music/sound installation (2002), 45 min
One for the Road II – prepared player piano (2000), 4:30 min
Mazwi I – electronic music (2000), 3:45 min
Musical Chairs – computer-controlled 48-keys-per-octave pipe organ (1999), 7 min
One for the Road I – piano, double bass or bass guitar, percussion/drum set (1999), 5 min

* collaboration with Pascal Fendrich

Scientific publications

The Metric Malleability and Ambiguity of Cyclic Rhythms. A Quantitative Heuristic Approach, Dissertation (2018/2020)
Computing Musical Meter – an Approach to an Integrated Formal Description, ICMC/SMC 2014, Proceedings p. 1024 ff

Web publications

GIMIK, Computing Music Series
• REO Software (currently under reconstruction)

Print media

Noise of Cologne 1 (CD Audio), distributed by a-Musik, 2010
• Clarence Barlow Educomposer (DVD Video), UCSB Primavera Festival 2007, University of California Santa Barbara, 2007
• Medienkunst Selection (DVD Video), Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln, 2006.
• 34th International Film Festival Rotterdam (Catalogue), Rotterdam 2005, p. 280
• Thai German Contemporary Art Exchange (Catalogue), Department of Fine Arts KMITL, Bankok 2005
• German Short Films 2005 (Catalogue), AG Kurzfilm, Dresden 2005, p. 82
• Deutsche Videokunst 2002-2004 (Catalogue), Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl / Uwe Rüth (Ed.), Marl 2004
• artCologne 2004 (Catalogue), Köln 2004, p. 77
• KunstFilmBiennale Köln 2004 (Catalogue), Heinz Peter Schwerfel / Detlef Langer (Eds.), Köln 2004, p. 62

Scholarships and Awards

• 2011 Special Award, International Split Film Festival For New Film
• 2010 Exhibition grant, NRW KulturSekretariat (exhibition “Team Play” at California Institute of the Arts and at University of California Santa Barbara)
• 2007 Travel grant, Staatkanzlei Nordrhein-Westphalen
• 2004 and 2007 Nomination for Bild-Kunst-Förderpreis for Experimental Film, KunstFilmBiennale Cologne
• 2004 and 2010 Nomination for Deutscher Videokunst-Preis, Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten, Marl
• 1998 – 2000 Scholarship Abroad, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)

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