UC San Diego's Department of Music

April 20, 2018

  30 seconds with... KATHARINA ROSENBERGER

Katharina Rosenberger
Swiss born composer Katharina Rosenberger has been living in Los Angeles since 2010. She teaches a myriad of topics related to sound, performance, body and space at the University of California San Diego. Much of her work manifests in an interdisciplinary context and is bound to confront traditional performance practice in terms of how sound is produced, heard and experienced, physically as well as socially.

Affected by my family history that spans from Berlin to Hamburg to Zurich and from East Prussia to the river banks of the Rio de la Plata in Uruguay I have always been fascinated by the interchange of people and places, how one shapes the other and leaves traces upon each other. This is most explicitly documented in the interactive video installation VIVA VOCE that I have developed with my Berlin based artistic partner Heiko Kalmbach. Through oral history and video sequences of performances and everyday activities, we portrayed three experimental vocalists that work predominantly autobiographic; their homes, gardens, neighborhoods, what they hear, smell and dream of in this environment have shaped their personalities and art in compelling ways. In working with the incredible vocalist Juliana Snapper I see my own LA neighborhood Echo Park with different eyes now, Pamela Z taught me how to vocalize environmental sounds of her San Francisco surroundings and New York based Shelley Hirsch sparked with stories of her Brooklyn childhood as well as of her wild years in Berlin in the 80's.

I have lived in different large cities: New York, London, Marseille and now Los Angeles. It is in LA, during project work I've done in Berlin that I feel particularly energized and inspired. It is the driving energy of the people to come up - from bottom-up! - with new ideas, initiatives, and creative acts that foster community and cultural exchange. Both LA and Berlin are marked by different cultures that call these cities their home and this means living together with tolerance and respect. We are living in a moment where it is utterly important to nurture these values. Producing artwork that brings people together, artwork that deals with the many layers of culture, forging an understanding of differences and shining light onto the unfamiliar is what is needed and what will bring courage and hope to humankind.

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