Mouse on Mars (Jan St. Werner

Profile

Since their debut album Vulvaland (1994), the duo has released 11 albums as well as numerous solo projects and collaborations, all of which have further enhanced their genre-defying sound. Alongside making music, Werner also works in education and academic research. He was the artistic director of STEIM Amsterdam from 2005 to 2007 and currently works as a teacher at the New York University in Berlin and at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. The duo have often worked with other artists, such as Stereolab, Matthew Herbert, Helado Negro, Bon Iver and The National. Since 2011, Mouse on Mars have also become much more active in the world of contemporary classical music. In 2011 their collaboration with Ensemble Musikfabrik, conductor André de Ridder and composer Stefan Streich led to the orchestral piece Paeanumnion, which has been performed in Cologne, Berlin, London and Chicago. The duo has also often worked with Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop and in 2013 Werner made the electronic opera Miscontinuum for the Bavarian Radio (Bayerische Rundfunk). In 2016 De Umbris Idearum… The Acousmatic Memory Palace was premiered in Cologne, an electro-acoustic composition in which midi-driven robots are among the players. Ensemble Musikfabrik is a Cologne-based ensemble for contemporary music known as a leading group in this field. Ensemble Musikfabrik was established in 1990 and made its debut in 1991 under the name New Music Ensemble North Rhineland-Westphalia during the Wittener Tage Festival for New Chamber Music. The mission of Ensemble Musikfabrik is to bring to life little-known and new compositions, in many cases commissioned by the ensemble. Over the course of its relatively short existence the Ensemble Musikfabrik has also built up strong working relationships with leading figures in the world of contemporary music, including Louis Andriessen, Stefan Asbury, Richard Ayres, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Peter Eötvös, Vinko Globokar, Heiner Goebbels, Toshio Hosokawa, Nicolaus A. Huber, Mauricio Kagel, Helmut Lachenmann, Klaus Lang, Diego Masson, Martin Matalon, Zsolt Nagy, Emmanuel Nunes, Henri Pousseur, Wolfgang Rihm, Rebecca Saunders, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sasha Waltz, James Wood and Hans Zender. The ensemble performs its repertoire in about eighty concerts per year both in and outside Germany and has its own series of premieres on West German Radio (Westdeutsche Rundfunk). Interdisciplinary projects involving live electronica, dance, theatre, film, literature and visual art have broadened the usual form of the conducted ensemble concert just as much as chamber music, discussion concerts and improvisations. Since 2013 the ensemble owns a complete replicated set of the Harry Partch instruments. Furthermore, the double bell brass instruments are another outstanding trait of the ensemble's eagerness to experiment. The Ensemble Musikfabrik is as open as its mission: to create music that does not yet exist. The German conductor André de Ridder (1971) is known for his eclectic programmes and projects, which aim to engender a dialogue between different musical styles and genres. He has worked with such contemporary music specialists as Ensemble Musikfabrik, but also with the band Gorillaz, the Danish indie rockband Efterklang and jazz musician Uri Caine. In 2012, De Ridder formed stargaze, an international ensemble of young musicians who break down the barriers between pop, classical, electronic and contemporary music. De Ridder is frequently active in Great Britain, where he is a regular guest of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, the BBC Philharmonic and the Britten Sinfonia. He has been a guest conductor with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden Baden und Freiburg and the Camerata Salzburg. He has also frequently performed at the Holland Festival. He conducted 2001: A Space Odyssey and Sunken Garden (both in 2013) and In C Mali (2016). In 2013 he played violin in Brooklyn to Berlin together with Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop and Lee Ranaldo. In January 2016 he made his debut as conductor with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. As an opera conductor, De Ridder's productions have included works by Mozart, Janáček, and Henze. He conducted the English premiere of Gerald Barry's The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant at the English National Opera in 2005, the world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s Drei Frauen at Theater Basel in 2009 and in 2016 De Ridder was leading the Dutch National Opera in the world premiere of Only the Sound Remains.