Nicola L. Hein (*1988 in Düsseldorf) is a sound artist, guitarist, composer and scholar.

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. 

Curator of Soundtrips NRW in Düsseldorf.

Founding member of IMPAKT – Improvisation & aktuelle Musik Köln.

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, Phil Minton, John Russell, Paul Lytton, Nate Wooley, Miya Masaoka, Thomas Heberer, Frank Gratkwoski, Michael Vorfeld, Rudi Mahall, Tobias Delius, Liz Allbee, Christian Lillinger, Adam Pultz Melbye, Ute Wassermann, John Butcher, Burkhard Beins, Axel Dorner, Ignaz Schick, Jan Roder, Mazen Kerbaj, Thomas Lehn, Wilbert de Joode, Matthias Muche, Emilio Gordoa, Etienne Nillesen, Joshua Weitzel, Viola Yip, Ada Rave, Claudia Schmitz, Akiko Nakayama, Elena Pardo, Christian Weber, Steve Heater, Mia Zabelka, Han Bennink, Anne La Berge, Robert van Heumen, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Thieke, Sofia Jernberg, Audrey Chen, Jon Rose, Birgit Ulherr, Hans Tammen etc.

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