Nicola L. Hein (*1988 in Düsseldorf) is a sound artist, guitarist, composer and scholar, working in the field of music aesthetics and cybernetics.
He is a professor of Digital Creation at the Music University of Lübeck, Germany.
His work is driven by the interaction of sound and space, light, movement, thought and the becoming of embodied and intermedial intelligence in aesthetic systems, community and technology.
In his artistic work he uses physical and electronic extension of the electric guitar, sound installations, cybernetic human-machine interaction with A.I. interactive music systems, Augmented Reality, telematic real-time art, ambisonic sound projection, instrument building, conceptual compositions, inter-media works (w/video art, light, dance, literature) and much more.
In his work as a sound artist he builds installations, sculptures, instruments, researches the interaction of sound, material and space, works with field recordings, programs (intelligent) software systems, creates a multitude of intermedial works, engages in network technologies and artistically develops dances of agency between the human, nature and technology.
He explores the possibilities of the electric guitar as a modular becoming of technology and sound. In this process the guitar is played with objects, extended techniques, stratified by the use of analog and digital effects as well software programming and is understood and developed as a creator of space and interaction. The use of Artificial Intelligence/machine learning, ambisonic spatialization and the interaction with autonomous interactive music systems play a central role in his practice.
In his compositions he finds different ways of creating interactive spaces, integrating philosophical ideas into music composition and aesthetic system design. From the interplay of these partners an aesthetic emerges that is based on the spontaneity of the performance and the setting of aesthetic action spaces alike.
His research revolves around questions of philosophy of music, epistemology, aesthetics, media theory, critical improvisation studies and cybernetics. It follows questions of the creation of identity and sense in interactions between humans and technology, investigates the philosophical implications of musical and intermedial practices.
He studied Jazzguitar, Soundart/Composition, Philosophy and German philology at the Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn and the Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. He was invited twice as a visiting scholar at Columbia University, New York City (2017-2018, 2019-2020), working with Prof. George E. Lewis. Currently he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Music at Columbia University in New York.
Has been a guest lecturer at: School of Media Arts Cologne (KHM), LaSALLE Singapore, Columbia University New York, University of Dijon and many more.
Currently he is teaching seminars on Sound Studies and Critical Improvisation Studies at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf, Peter Behrens School of Art.
In spring semester 2022 he was a visiting professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich.
Starting from fall semester 2022 he is a a full professor of Digital Creation at the Music University of Lübeck, Germany.
Curator of Soundtrips NRW in Düsseldorf.
Together with composer, drummer, scholar Jessie Cox he organizes and runs the Comparing Domains of Improvisation Series at Columbia University, New York.
Numerous stipends, residencies and awards: 2020 Member of Junge Akademie, Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur | Mainz, 2019 New York residence-stipend, Kunststiftung NRW, Visiting Scholar Columbia University, 2017-18 New York residence-stipend, ministry of culture and science NRW, 2017-18 Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York City, 2018Sonotopia Sound Art Award – Honorary Mention – Bonn Hoeren, 2017 Rotary Club Mainz, art price, 2017 Excellence grant of Sibylle Kalkhof-Rose-foundation, Mainz, 2016 Fellow of the Gutenberg Akademie, interdisciplinary excellence-stipend, Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, 2016 New York residence-stipend, ministry of culture and science NRW.
His projects have been supported by the Bundeskulturstiftung, Musikfonds, Initiative Musik, Staatsministerium für Kultur und Medien, Kunststiftung NRW, Deutscher Musikrat, Akademie der Künste der Welt, Kultursekretariat NRW, Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur NRW, Goethe Institut, Deutsche Botschaft etc.
His artistic projects have been realized in 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, India, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico etc.
His work has been shown internationally at institutions and festivals such as the Museo Arte Moderno (Medellín), Ludwig Museum (Budapest), Acht Brücken (Cologne), Moers festival, MaerzMusik (Berlin), Harvestworks (New York City), Ars Electronica (Linz), Mapping Festival (Geneva), Mirage Festival (Lyon), Experimental Intermedia (New York), Experimental Sound Studio (Chicago), Walcheturm (Zürich), Dark Circuits Festival (New York), Super Deluxe (Tokyo), Sonica (Glasgow), Klex Festival (Kuala Lumpur), Hong Kong New Music Ensemble (Hong Kong), NIME (Birmingham and Shanghai), Festival International de Cine (Mexico City).
He has worked with: George Lewis, Max Eastly, Evan Parker, Miya Masaoka, Paul Lytton, Phil Minton, John Russel, Nate Wooley, Seth Cluett, Chris Chafe, Robert Dick, Michael Vorfeld, Thomas Heberer, Frank Gratkowski, Liz Allbee, John Butcher, Han Bennink, Axel Dörner, Mazen Kerbaj, Ute Wassermann, Claudia Schmitz, Akiko Nakayama, Viola Yip, Toshimaru Nakamura, Tobias Delius, Tristan Honsinger, Jin Sangtae, Anne La Berge, Sofia Jernberg, Audrey Chen, Ignaz Schick, Burkhard Beins, Laetitia Sonami, Christian Lillinger, Adam Pultz Melbye, Rudi Mahall, Katherine Liberovskaya, Eve Risser, Magda Mayas, Marta Warelis, Ada Rave, Viola Yip, Robert van Heumen, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Wilbert de Joode, Simon Rose, David Rothenberg, Hans Tammen, Ana María Romano Gómez, Lou Mallozzi, Lillevan, Sejin Kim, Jessie Cox, Alfred Harth, Etienne Nillesen, Robert Landfermann, Elisabeth Coudoux, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Philip Zoubek, Matthias Muche, Sebastian Gramss, Hayden Chisholm, Shannon Barnett, Udo Moll, Georg Wissel, Uli Böttcher, Ulrich Phillipp, Emilio Gordoa etc.