Phosphor      Phosphor
photos: chiyoko szlavnics

Burkhard Beins : percussion, objects
Axel Dörner : trumpet, laptop
Robin Hayward : tuba
Annette Krebs : electro-acoustic guitar
Andrea Neumann : inside piano, mixing desk
Michael Renkel : acoustic guitar, laptop
Ignaz Schick : turntables, electronics

The electro-acoustic composer-ensemble Phosphor was formed in 2000 by 7 Berlin-based musicians, who had been developing a similar musical language during the '90s. Common to all of them was a basic need for more concentration and clarity in their music. Instead of letting the sound material develop in a constant flow of events, they therefore chose silence, in which the material was placed, as a point of departure. This lead to a more deliberate way of dealing with the material. In particular the beginning, end, duration, dynamic, intensity and quality of each sound event were critically assessed, together with their relation to other sound events (contrast, layering, overlapping/eclipsing etc) and their significance in relation to the structure and form of a whole piece. In addition there was a tendency to work mainly with very quiet material, thereby opening a microscopic dynamic sprectrum with a large potential for differentiation. Although the musical spectrum has since opened out in many different directions, this 'reductionist' phase of clarification may still be clearly heard in the real-time compositions of the ensemble. Solistic passages continue to be restrained in favour of a complex interlocking group structure, and even the densest passages are still marked by transparency.

live at festival expozice nové hudby in brno 2008 - photo: miro myska

Two three-day portrait festivals had been dedicated to Phosphor, the 4. FAM (Berlin, 2001), and a Phosphor Special at Instants Chavirés (Paris, 2002). In 2002 the ensemble played at the French festival MUSIQUE ACTION. It presented the festival SPACE + PLACE together with the Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin (KNM Berlin) in 2004, in which along with appearing in a concert at the Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt, it played in two unused office spaces in Berlin's Oberbaum City. In 2005 it was possible to experience Phosphor in L'Auditori des CCCB (Barcelona) and at the Konzerthaus Vienna, and in September 2006 the ensemble had a two-week residency at TESLA, Berlin, in which it presented three different interpretations of a video score by the New York sound artist Christian Marclay within the context of a two day closing concert program. Phosphor has played the Nove Hudby Festival Brno in 2008 and Ostrava Days in 2009, and Echtzeitmusiktage Berlin in 2010.

"The members of this septet are keen listeners and they develop pieces full of inner drama through an animated balance of density and dynamics."
- Michael Rosenstein, Signal To Noise -

"There's no doubt that, in reacting against musical bluster and expressiveness, Phosphor have produced some remarkable ensemble sound."
- Clive Bell, The Wire -

"The participants validate the premise that first-class electro-acoustic improvisation isn't limited to small combos."
- Ken Waxman, Jazzword -


PHOSPHOR (Potlatch P501 CD, 2002)
Peter Niklas Wilson: Reduktion (Schott/NMZ Book + CD 2003)
Labor CD (Charhizma, Compilation-DoCD 2003)
Neue Musik in Deutschland 1950-2000 (Deutscher Musikrat RCA/ Sony BMG CD 2005)
PHOSPHOR II (Potlatch P109 CD, 2009)
Echtzeitmusik Berlin (Mikroton, Compilation-3CD, 2012)