The DigiEnsemble Berlin - a group dedicated to exploring the possibilities of live performance with mobile music devices – is pushing boundaries with their arrangement of großer Herr, o starker König from Bach?s Christmas Oratorio.
The performance features baritone Tobias Berndt and a solo by DigiEnsemble Berlin founder Matthias Krebs.
While the group’s work is sometimes met with skepticism, Krebs says that the audience at “was pleasantly surprised and quickly won over.”
Krebs adds that the Bach performance is an important step in the group’s growth, due to the requirements of the piece. In order to achieve their goals for performing the work, the group had to incorporate new MIDI controllers and techniques. Details below.
This video is a profile of the DigiEnsemble Berlin – a group of musicians that are dedicated to exploring the potential of mobile devices for music.
The group meets regularly and arranges music, both classical and popular, for various mobile devices running music applications.
At the core of what they do is a provocative question:
Can we use mass-produced mobile devices to ‘convey the actual emotion and meaning that we feel in our bodies and which we wish to express? Or is this app music….for the players themselves?”
This question – whether mass-produced mobile devices can really be instruments – has been the source of much debate, here and elsewhere. What makes the work of the DigEnsemble Berlin interesting, though, is that they are trying to answer this question, not by debating – but by playing.