Ute Wassermann is a vocal artist, composer-performer and improviser. Her voice is a polyphonic and extreme sound instrument, which she expands with bird whistles, resonance and loudspeaker objects, field recordings and multi-channel diffusion. As a guest of Mathias Maschat in the imp[or]trait series, she presents her vocal practice and discusses in particular her idea of an ecological approach to improvisation. The evening with Ute Wassermann is the second part of the current focus on VOICE at Denkraum Improvisation.
Her sympoietic vocal practice brings Ute Wassermann into resonance with the world in a variety of ways, creating a complex web of relationships within her body between an infinite number of different vocal identities; she also enters into feedback relationships with the voices of the environment. Her multi-dimensional singing makes her voice oscillate between electronic, inorganic, human and animal sound qualities: It moves from place to place. It sings with bird whistles and field recordings. It vibrates in objects, everyday things, self-invented instruments and acoustic costumes. It is a hybrid, a chimera, a cyborg.
Improvisation is an important basis of Ute Wassermann’s work. In order to create an embodied form of listening and performing, she develops performative set-ups that include different kinds of microphones and sound transmissions (e. g. with transducers), electronic feedback, field recordings, bird whistles, materials such as water or metal foils, resonance and everyday objects. Her voice collaborates with and is influenced by the polyphony of non-human voices emanating from objects, materials or spaces. Even when Ute Wassermann composes for others, there is interference and transformation: She creates set-ups of interactive sound objects that – like an imaginary habitat – form a framework and set of rules for the performers’ sound experiments. In a phase of exploration, they become researchers, familiarizing themselves with the peculiarities of the set-up, following the rules, breaking them and inventing new ones. The resulting artistic ideas become part of the compositions.
As a vocal soloist in the field of contemporary music, Ute Wassermann has performed at international festivals and events in Europe, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Asia and the USA. She regularly performs with renowned improvisers such as Jaap Blonk, Andrea Parkins, Lotte Anker, Liz Kosack, Isabelle Duthoit, Kazuhisha Uchihashi, Michael Zerang, Pat Thomas and many others. She is a member of permanent groups such as wassermannvogel (with Sabine Vogel), Duo Lanz – Wassermann, Speak Easy (with Phil Minton, Thomas Lehn and Martin Blume), electrovoX (with Thomas Lehn and Richard Scott), radio tweets (with Birgit Ulher), MUT (Thomas Rohrer, Michael Vorfeld), Asfourieh (with Mazen Kerbaj), Thuluth (with Magda Mayas and Raed Yassin) or PRAED Orchestra. Ute Wassermann has premiered numerous works written for her with renowned ensembles and orchestras. She has received commissions from: MaerzMusik, University of Amsterdam, Poetica Sonora Mexico City, Ryogoku Art Festival Japan, Transart Festival Bolzano, Musik der Jahrhunderte, maulwerker and Distractfold Ensemble. Her releases have appeared on the labels: Treader, mode, nurnichtnur, creative sources, ABC Classic, Psi and olof bright.