… and introducing: Giga-Hertz-Award for Sound Art – Sound as Medium of Visual Arts

In 2007, the ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics and the SWR EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO inaugurated the annual Giga-Hertz-Award for Electronic Music. The Giga-Hertz-Award aims at composers working in the fields of electronic and acousmatic music. To the sum of €94,000 the Giga-Hertz-Award for Electronic Music and – for the first time – Sound Art is one of the most highly endowed awards of this genre. A Grand Prize and four Special Prizes are awarded once a year by an international jury.

For the first time awards will also be given in the category Sound Art – Sound as Medium of Visual Arts. Next to a Grand Prize for lifetime achievement endowed with €15,000, up to four Special Prizes each worth €8,000 will be awarded. Honoured will be works that dissolve the limitation of time and linear structures in music and complement the tonal elements with visual and spatial elements – sound installations, sound sculptures for example.

The four internationally oriented Special Prizes, each to the sum of €8,000, aim to initiate and support new projects, and mainly concentrate on composers of electronic and acousmatic music.

In 2013 again innovative ideas within the field of electronic and acousmatic music will be honoured. The application takes place in two steps:

  • A reference piece not older than five years and not longer than 20 minutes should be submitted. This work forms the basis of the valuation for the jury and should clearly make use of electronic, technical means. The submission should meet the criteria to be performable live in concert without much technical effort.
  • Some of the reference pieces of the awardees will be presented during the IMATRONIC Festival in November 2013. The new compositions and works will be presented for the first time within the context of the IMATRONIC Festival to be held at the ZKM in the autumn 2014.

The Grand Prize of €15,000 honours the artistic achievements of outstanding composers and is not awarded as part of a public competition but selected by jury nomination.

The Giga-Hertz-Award is granted in honour of the world-famous physicist Heinrich Hertz (1857-1894), who taught at the Karlsruhe technical university where he discovered electromagnetic waves at the end of the nineteenth century.

To award electronic and acousmatic compositions in Germany is unique and underlines the importance of electronic music: the award is supported by the most important German studios for electronic music: the SWR EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO in Freiburg and the ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics (IMA) in Karlsruhe.

The Giga-Hertz-Award for Sound Art is an initiative of the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe.