c o m p o s e r
v o c a l  p e r f o r m a n c e  a r t i s t
a r t i s t - r e s e a r c h e r
a u t h o r


photo: Mariya Boyanova

Alex Nowitz (PhD) is a composer and vocal performance artist from Germany. His compositions comprise chamber music, vocal music, orchestral miniatures, two full-length operas, electroacoustic music, installation concerts as well as music for dance and spoken theatre. Both in his compositions dedicated to others and in his vocal performance art he explores the notion of multivocality. While applying extended vocal techniques in experimental punk rock, noise, jazz and improvisation projects (dating back to the early 1990s), he studied the classical singing voice (tenor), composition, jazz and music education at various universities in Germany and USA until he graduated from the University of Potsdam in 2000. As soloist, but also collaborating with numerous musicians and vocal performers, he appears in different contexts, including festivals for composed new music, improvisation and jazz as well as stage productions, such as music and spoken theatre or dance. The range of his voice covers the countertenor, whistling, speaking and a variety of experimental voice types. Expanding the field of vocal performance art, he applies custom, gesture-controlled live electronics, such as the strophonion developed at STEIM in Amsterdam. During the annual festival of the ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music) in Gothenburg 2009, he wins the first prize of the ECPNM for performing his composition ‘Minotaurus’ featuring voice and live electronics, the stimmflieger [voice kite]. Alex also receives a number of fellowships and grants, such as the six-month artist residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2014, the three-month residency at the Cultural Foundation Schloss Wiepersdorf in 2020 or at the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles upcoming in 2021. In April 2019 he was awarded his doctorate in Performative and Mediated Practices with Specialisation in Opera at the Stockholm University of the Arts.

current events in 2020/2021:
Summer 2021 Three-month artist residency at the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles, funded by the Federal Foreign Office and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media of Germany. (Originally in spring 2020, it was postponed due to COVID-19 crisis.)
23 August 2020 'The bird that did not return' for voice and live electronics (strophonion)
composed and performed by A.N.; premiere at the intersonanzen 2020—Brandenburgisches Fest der Neuen Musik: 20 years of intersonanzen
20 August 2020 'Der Geist Von Gestern. Oder: wenn der mensch den menschen nicht mehr trifft' 
[The Spirit/Ghost From Yesterday. Or: when human beings no longer meet human beings] for soprano and six instrumentalists

composed for Katia Guedes and the Modern Art Ensemble Berlin (flute, clarinet, piano, violin, viola, violoncello); premiere at the opening concert of the intersonanzen 2020

24 June 2020 'Ferngespräch: Vielstimmige Stimme und Klangtanz'
[Long-distance Call: Multivocal Voice and Sound Dance]
Live stream discussion with new music curator and cultural manager Matthias Osterwold on
concepts, strategies and examples of A.N.'s work between solo performances and instrumental theatre, composed structures, improvisation and gesture-controlled live electronics
. This event is part of the online series of the Cultural Foundation Schloss Wiepersdorf.

https://vimeo.com/433895157
27 May 2020 'über die kulturlose zeit'
[About times without culture] ​​​​​​​

an essay published on the website of the Foundation Schloss Wiepersdorf
https://schloss-wiepersdorf.de/de/showcasereader/kulturlose_zeit.html


June - Aug. 2020 The three-month artist residency at the Cultural Foundation Schloss Wiepersdorf has been turned into a online residency, funded by the Ministry for Science, Research and Culture of the Land Brandenburg, Germany. (Originally in autumn 2020, it was brought forward due to COVID-19 crisis.)
Cancelled due to COVID-19 crisis: 12-13 May 2020 Concert Performance For Amplified Flutes and Other Things, Voice and Live Electronics by Sabine Vogel and Alex Nowitz at the Experimental Theater of the University of California San Diego and, the next day from 2 until 6 pm, a workshop at the Recital Hall, curated by Wilfrido Terrazas.
Cancelled due to COVID-19 crisis: 4 May 2020 Concert Performance For Amplified Flutes and Other Things, Voice and Live Electronics by Sabine Vogel and Alex Nowitz and talk at CalArts, Los Angeles, curated by Vinny Golia.
Cancelled due to COVID-19 crisis: 22 April 2020 Solo Concert/Lecture Performance For Voice and Live Electronics at the Denver University, curated by philosopher Thomas Nail.


past events in 2019:

18 January 2019 as part of the closing concert 'Best Practice', curated by Horst Konietzny, within the festival '100 Jahre Bauhaus' [100 years of Bauhaus] at the Berlin Academy of Arts:
'Vocal Space Lines' for voice and live electronics (strophonion) with four loudspeakers, composed and premiered by Alex Nowitz
27 February 2019 defending a documented artistic research project A.N. receives the doctoral degree from the Stockholm University of the Arts, a PhD in Fine Arts in Performative and Mediated Practices with Specialisation in Opera:
'Monsters I Love: On multivocal arts'


31 May 2019 festival 'intersonanzen' at the Kunsthaus sans titre Potsdam:
'Luftnummer' for voice solo, composed and premiered by A.N.


05 June 2019 festival 'intersonanzen' at the Kunsthaus sans titre Potsdam:
'Improvisations' together with the BVNM 'ad hoc Ensemble'


21 June 2019 festival 'Shapes of Haiku' at the Lettrétage Berlin:
'Ha-I-Ku'—a musical Haiku-Slam with Alex Nowitz and Tomomi Adachi


19 September 2019 'Musikfest Eroica' at the Alte Oper Frankfurt:
'Eroica-Dialoge' by Michael Wollny and Alex Nowitz

12 October 2019 'Münchner Gesellschaft für Neue Musik' [Society for New Music in Munich] at the Seidlvilla:
Symposium: Neunzehnhundertneunundachtzig - Musikalische Biografien und der Mauerfall 
[Symposion: 1989 - Musical Biographies and the Fall of the Berlin Wall] 
Musicians, composers and musicologists discussing the meaning of the system change for their artistic work: Anke Kies, Gisela Nauck, A.N., Nicolaus Richter de Vroe


14 October 2019 'Stockholm Explorative Talks':
2019 Theme: Boundaries
The Nobel Prize Museum and the Stockholm Academic Forum (18 universities from and the city of Stockholm) invites A.N. to join the TEAM consisting of six scholars from different disciplines and various backgrounds, to take part in the discussion of the second edition of the 'Stockholm Explorative Talks' on the topic BoundariesThe event takes place at the Stockholm Royal College of Music. 'Stockholm Explorative Talks' is an official event of the Nobel Prize Calling programme.
21 November 2019 lecture at the Academy of Music (Akademia Muzyczna W Krakowie):
Multivocal Arts: Strategies towards radical vocality
as part of the Audio Art Conference Krakow curated by Marek Chołoniewski

22 November 2019 solo performance at Audio Art Festival Kraków:
Vocal Space Lines for voice and live electronics (strophonion) with four loudspeakers

9-11 December 2019 DARE 2019: Machinic Assemblages of Desire, 3rd International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic REsearch at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, Belgium:
Unleashing The Machined Voice: A lecture-performance on schizophonic practices and assemblages of new vocality (p. 38)