Nicola L. Hein (*1988 in Düsseldorf) is a guitarist, composer, philosopher and soundartist.

As a guitarist he is mainly concerned about the search for new sounds on his instrument. He plays electric and acoustic guitar with or without preperations and tries to find new ways of playing the guitar within the context of Free Improvised Music and Jazz. He plays the guitar with his hands and plectrum but also with a lot of different objects: screws, rulers, iron wool, violin bow, abrasive paper, magnets and many other objects which are part of his musical vocabulary. The result is his very own world of sounds, which is using the rich potential of the guitar as a creator of sounds. The manual creation is a very important character of this sound world, which never gets distorted by the use of electronic effects.

As a composer he finds different ways of integrating philosophical ideas into music and to play music as a form of philosophy. In order to actualize itself the compositional work is always aimed at the improvising musician as a dialectic partner of the composition. From the interplay of these partners an ästhetic emerges that is based on the spontanity of the performance and the setting of aesthetic action spaces alike.

As a soundartist he is developing different ways to project the musical ontology of Improvised Music onto different aesthetic rooms. This is done by creating instruments, installations and other ways of using the guitar, which use the musical ontology of Improvised Music as the center of the sonic practise but generate a lot of different sense structures that differ from the usual practise of Improvised Music (for example by creating a scenic sense layer etc.).
He also creates sound installations which involve the recipient as a part of the work. The works encourage the recipient to make a special aesthetic experience with different sounds. The aesthetic of these sounds is inspired by the aesthetics of Free Improvised Music.

As a philosopher he is interested in philosophy of music, epistemology, aesthetics and media theory. He wrote about the understanding of music based on theories from epistemology. Ideas from the philosophy of language (Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Derrida, Lyotard, Rorty) and skepticism (Sextus Empiricus, Nietzsche etc.) form to major sources of influence for his thoughts about music. The philosophical work is on the one side beeing carried our in the form of texts and on the other hand in form of aesthetical works in the realm of soundart.

He studied Jazzguitar, Soundart/Composition, Philosophy and German philology at the Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn and the Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
Currently Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York City.

Projects with the support of: Initiative Musik, Staatsministerium für Kultur und Medien, Kunststiftung NRW, Deutscher Musikrat, Akademie der Künste der Welt, Kultursekretariat NRW, Ministerium für Familie, Kinder, Jugend, Kultur und Sport des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Landesmusikrat NRW, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatstheater Mainz, Staatstheater Hannover, ON Neue Musik Cologne, RheinEnergieStiftung Kultur, Kulturamt der Stadt Köln, Kulturamt der Stadt Düsseldorf, Kulturamt der Stadt Essen, Kulturbehörde Hamburg, Hamburgische Kulturstiftung, Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln, Köln Musik, Acht Brücken, RWE Stiftung für Energie & Gesellschaft, Second Floor e.V., Jazz Offensive Essen, ZKM Karlsruhe etc.

Has been guestlecturer at: School of Media Arts Cologne (KHM), LaSALLE Singapore, Columbia University New York, University of Dijon

Numerous stipends, residencies and awards:
11/2017 – 06/2018 New York residence-stipend, ministry of culture and science
NRW
11/2017 – 06/2018 Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York City
2017 Rotary Club Mainz, art price
2017 Excellencegrant of Sibylle Kalkhof-Rose-foundation, Mainz („Skeptizismus als ästhetisch-konstruktives Prinzip“)
2016 Fellow of the Gutenberg Akademie, interdisciplinary excellence-stipend, Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz
12/2016 – 04/2017 New York residence-stipend, ministry of culture and science NRW

Concerts led him to: France, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, UK, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tanzania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Japan, Taiwan, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, Italy, Malaysia, South Korea etc.

He has worked with: Evan Parker, Phil Minton, John Russell, Paul Lytton, Nate Wooley, Miya Masaoka, Thomas Heberer, Frank Gratkwoski, Michael Vorfeld, Rudi Mahall, Tobias Delius, Liz Allbee, Christian Lillinger, Ute Wassermann, John Butcher, Burkhard Beins, Axel Dörner, Ignaz Schick, Jan Roder, Mazen Kerbaj, Thomas Lehn, Wilbert de Joode, Christian Weber, Steve Heater, Mia Zabelka, Han Bennink, Tristan Honsinger, Anne La Berge, Robert van Heumen, Jim Denley, Mike Majkowski, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Thieke, Sofia Jernberg, Audrey Chen, Peter Jacquemyn, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Robert Landfermann, Jon Rose, Sebastian Gramss, Alfred Zimmerlin, Mette Rasmussen, Chris Corsano, Xavier Charles, Kaja Draksler, Birgit Ulherr, Hans Tammen, Tiziana Bertoncini, Rachel Musson, Harald Kimmig, Richard Scott, Matthias Müller, Christian Marien, Korhan Erel etc.

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