Stephan Mathieu works in the field of digital art, mainly as a self taught composer and performer of his own music. He creates audio installations, works as a hobbyist photographer and graphic designer, and taught Digital Arts and Theory at the HBKSaar University of Art and Design in Saarbrücken and as a guest lecturer at the Royal Academy of Arts in Göteborg, the Bauhaus University Weimar and the Merz-Akademie in Stuttgart.
Since 1999 his music has been released on 16 albums and several compilations on numerous international music labels, most notably on Häpna, Orthlorng Musork, Mille Plateaux, Ritornell, Fällt, Headz, Cronica, Lucky Kitchen and Tigerbeat6. In addition to his solo work he cooperated with Akira Rabelais, Douglas Benford, John Hudak, Ekkehard Ehlers and Janek Schaefer.
Mathieu’s music, based on recordings of acoustic, mainly early period instruments, which are transformed by digital and analogue processes, has been compared to the landscape paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, and described as « Mathieu shows that that most functional and impersonal of musical instruments, the laptop, is capable of producing work not only of great beauty, but of mysterious and powerful emotion.”
Stephan Mathieu was born October 1967 in Saarbrücken, Germany. At 10 he started to play drums with Ringo Starr, The Police’ Steward Copeland and The Skatalites’ Lloyd Knibb as early influences. In 1984 he quit school to study hair design with Vidal Sassoon, a profession he followed until 1989, when he decided to focus entirely on making music after he became acquainted with the work of experimental percussionists Milford Graves and Paul Lovens.
In 1990 Mathieu moved to Berlin, where he joined the blossoming scene of a new generation of improvising musicians and worked regularly in several groups with Axel Dörner, Andrea Neumann, Toshimaru Nakamura, Rudi Mahall, Matt Wand, Harri Sjöström, Sakari Luoma, Ignaz Schick and played in Wolfgang Fuchs’ workshop group and the large conduction ensemble Berlin Skyscraper by New York based composer Butch Morris. As a percussion soloist Mathieu performed his own pieces as well as compositions by Earle Brown, Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage.
One constant factor in Mathieu’s work as a drummer during the 1990s was the duo Stol with guitarist Olaf Rupp. Stol moved freely between improvisation, noise and minimal rock, collaborated with various guest musicians and Butoh dancers and recorded a miniCD (Semi Prima Vista in 1994), and a 12inch EP (001.010.011.100 in 1995) which was released on Kitty-Yo, Berlin in 1998. The same year he returned to his hometown Saarbrücken to found a family and made a radical shift towards composing and performing music with computers.
In 1999 Orthlorng Musork, a music label founded in San Francisco by electronic musician and software author Kit Clayton and video artist Sue Costabile, released his Full Swing EP, a 12inch record with two pieces made from « homeopathic vibrations », microscopic snippets from recordings of Stephan’s drum kit which were processed by DSP software in realtime. He applied this working method to recordings of his own piano and guitar playing as well as material by other musicians until 2001, when he changed his approach towards sound from micro to macro, from working with tiny sound fragments towards extensive live recordings of acoustic instruments, which were now transformed by means of experimental microphony, re-editing techniques and software processes involving spectral analysis and convolution, culminating in his The Sad Mac CD, released on the Tokyo based Headz label in 2004.
From 2005 to 2007 Mathieu worked exclusively with realtime processed shortwave radio signals and performed Radioland, an audio-visual surround sound piece, live.
In 2008 he launched Virginals, a recital concept which pays tribute to some of the great contemporary composers of minimal, experimental and electroaucoustic music. Interpretations of pieces by Phill Niblock, Alvin Lucier, Walter Marchetti, Charlemagne Palestine and Francisco Lopez will be performed by Mathieu on the ottavino virginal, a Renaissance keyboard instrument and mechanical gramophones.
The Key to the Kingdom (For Washington Phillips) | 10inch record | Dekorder, Hamburg 2008
Radioland | CD | Die Schachtel, Milano 2008
w/Janek Schaefer: Hidden Name | CD | Cronica, Porto 2006
w/ Akira Rabelais: “Perineum” | DVD | CONV, Madrid 2006
The Sad Mac | CD | HEADZ, Tokyo 2004
On Tape | CD | Häpna, Stockholm 2004
w/ John Hudak: Pieces of Winter by John Hudak and Stephan Mathieu | CD | Sirr, Lissabon 2004
w/ Douglas Benford: Reciprocess 02 “und. and“ | CD | Bip-Hop/Fällt, Marseille/Belfast 2003
Kapotte Muziek by Stephan Mathieu | CD | Korm Plastics, Nijmegen 2003
w/ Ekkehard Ehlers and Various Artists: Heroin | DCD/DLP | Orthlorng Musork, San Francisco 2003
Die Entdeckung des Wetters | CD | Lucky Kitchen, La Rioja 2002
Full Swing Edits | 5 x 10inch EP/CD | Orthlorng Musork, San Francisco 2001/2002
Gigue | CD | Fällt Publishing, Belfast 2002
frequencyLib | CD/LP | Ritornell, Frankfurt aM 2001
Wurmloch Variationen | CD | Ritornell, Frankfurt aM 2000
w/ Stol: 001.010.011.100 | 12inch EP | Kitty-Yo, Berlin 1998
w/ Butch Morris: Conductions ‘95 | DCD | Free Music Production (FMP), Berlin 1997
Selected Sound Installations
Horatio Oratorio | Fundaçao de Serralves, Porto 2008
„Die Sonne toent nach alter Weise“ / Play! | Two soundscapes for the MUNLAB Ecomuseo, Gambiano 2006
Strahlungsdichte | Autogenerative soundscape for the Aula Palatina, Trier 2005
8Bit Symphony | UNESCO Cultural Heritage Völklinger Hütte 2004
Heller Raum | Soundscape for the Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin 2003
Un oceano di milione di partecelle | Soundscape for a major Leonardo da Vinci Exhibition,
UNESCO Cultural Heritage Völklinger Hütte 2002
Vor „Vor der Stille“ | Audiovisual piece for Museutopia, Karl-Ernst Osthaus Museum Hagen 2002
1745 | Soundscape for the Impakt Festival, Utrecht 2002
Die Entdeckung des Wetters | UNESCO Cultural Heritage Völklinger Hütte 2001 (permanent installation)
Cars | Audiovisual sculpture for 30 Peugeot 206 and sinetones, Saarland Galerie, Saarbrücken, 2001
Touch | Soundscape for a glass exhibition, Berlin Townhall, 2001
Betrieb | UNESCO Cultural Heritage Völklinger Hütte 2000 (permanent installation)
Aussen | Soundscape for the City area of Saarbrücken 1998
Selected Live Performances
2008 - Radialsystem V, Berlin / Lovebytes08, Sheffield
2007 - La Triennale di Milano / Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
2006 - Theatre A L‘Italienne, Saint-Brieux / Atlantic Waves Festival, London
2005 - Music Research Center, York / EME Festival, Lisbon / Lampo, Chicago
2004 - Experimental Intermedia, New York / I.D.E.A.L. Festival, Nantes
2003 - Instal Festival, Glasgow / SONAR, Barcelona / MUTEK, Montreal
2002 - Frequenzen Hz, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt aM
2001 - Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, Rotterdam
1998 - Volksbühne, Berlin
1997 - Total Music Meeting, Berlin
1996 - Echtzeitmusiktage, Berlin
1994 - Roulette, New York
1993 - National Gallery, Helsinki
Modification faite par WaldoKanto le 15 oct. 2008, 19h33m
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