domizil and ICST Zurich: Swiss electronic music tours the West Coast

“I Love You, California” is the official song of the Golden State. But prolific Swiss electronic music collective domizil will play a different tune when they hit the state for their upcoming West Coast tour.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


September 26, 2009 - October 05, 2009

I Love You, California is the official song of the Golden State. But prolific Swiss electronic music collective domizil will play a different tune when they hit the state for their upcoming West Coast tour. They’ll perform alongside artists and sound scientists at venues including the San Francisco Art Institute, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), swissnex San Francisco, and elsewhere, bringing their own unique blend of experimentation and sonic bliss to the West.

Led by Marcus Maeder and Bernd Schurer, domizil is a Zurich-based sound art outfit that experiments with research areas such as “ambisonics” and “interactive swarm spaces” in collaboration with the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technologies (ICST), based at the Zurich University for the Arts (ZHdK). ICST director Germán Toro Pérez and a delegation from the Institute join domizil on their California tour, organized by swissnex San Francisco with VOLUME and other key partners.

 California has always been on the bleeding edge of the musical avant-garde, from the San Francisco Tape Music Center in the 1960s to today’s electronic music research institutes at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, Mills College, and others. Ground zero when it comes to blending musical performance and composition with new techniques in production and software, there’s no better place than the West Coast to shine a light on Switzerland’s own tremendous history and contemporary resources in avant-garde electronic music.

Flow Space, installation by Martin Neukom, Jan Schacher and Daniel Bisig (ICST Zurich) for the Milieux Sonores exhibition at Kunstraum Walcheturm, Zurich, 2009. (Photo: Lorenzo Pusterla)

Schedule of Events:
(check again for more details)


domizil and ICST Zurich at San Francisco Art Institute (live performances)
(Produced by swissnex San Francisco, San Francisco Art Institute, and VOLUME; co-curated by swissnex San Francisco and VOLUME)

Saturday, September 26, 2009, 8:00 p.m. Free event.
With Marcus Maeder, Bernd Schurer, Thomas Peter, Jasch, Loren Chasse, Sutekh, and Christopher Willits.
San Francisco Art Institute, Lecture Hall
800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco

Sunday, September 27, 2009, 6:30 p.m. Free event.
With Germán Toro Pérez, Philippe Kocher, Martin Neukom, Bernd Schurer, and Kadet Kuhne with Alba Corral.
San Francisco Art Institute, Lecture Hall
800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco

San Francisco Art Institute event page

JUST ADDED! domizil and ICST Zurich at CCRMA, Stanford University (academic presentations)

Monday, September 28, 2009, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA)
Department of Music, Stanford University
The Knoll, 660 Lomita
Stanford, California 94305-8180, USA

domizil and ICST Zurich at San Francisco Art Institute (academic presentations)

Monday, September 28, 2009, 8:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. Free event

Germán Toro-Pérez, Director ICST, Philippe Kocher and Dr. Martin Neukom introduce research at the ICST, at the intersection of their fields of research and artistic activities
“ISS – ISS – Immersive Swarm Spaces”
Dr. Daniel Bisig / Dr. Martin Neukom / Jan Schacher (Jasch)
“Electronic music and Sound Art in Switzerland: Exemplary projects”
Marcus Maeder, Bernd Schurer, Jan Schacher, Daniel Bisig

San Francisco Art Institute, Lecture Hall

800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco

San Francisco Art Institute event page

JUST ADDED! domizil and ICST Zurich at CNMAT, UC Berkeley (academic presentations)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

UC Berkeley Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT)

1750 Arch Street


CNMAT event page

JUST ADDED! domizil and ICST Zurich at swissnex San Francisco (afternoon academic presentations and workshops)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Sign up for this session by sending an email stating your interest to

swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery Street, San Francisco

domizil vecherinka at swissnex San Francisco

Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 8:00 p.m. USD 7.00 entrance fee (payment online at Brown Paper Tickets, click here or on logo below. Some tickets available at door, cash-only. Online purchase recommended)
With Medusa Cramer, Thomas Peter, and Bernd Schurer.
swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery Street, San Francisco


RSVP for this event here!

ICST Zurich at the University of California, Santa Barbara (academic presentations and concerts)

Thursday, October 1, 2009
Presentations: 4:00 pm
Concert: 7:00 pm
With Germán Toro Pérez, Philippe Kocher, Martin Neukom, Jan Schacher (Jasch), and Daniel Bisig.
Music Department, Composition Faculty. 1315 Music Building, University of California, Santa Barbara

University of California Santa Barbara Music Department

domizil and ICST Zurich at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE)
(Co-produced by swissnex San Francisco, VOLUME, and LACE)

Friday, October 2, 2009, 8:00 pm. Free event.
With Marcus Maeder, Bernd Schurer, Jasch, Germán Toro Pérez, Philippe Kocher, Martin Neukom, Daniel Bisig, Steve Roden, Mem I, and others.
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles

LACE event page

ICST Zurich at University of California, San Diego (academic presentations and concerts)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Presentations times TBC
With Germán Toro Pérez, Daniel Bisig Philippe Kocher, Martin Neukom and Jan Schacher (Jasch). Department of Music, CPMC RM 192, 9500 Gilman Dr. MC 0099, University of California San Diego, La Jolla.

University of California San Diego Music Department


Daniel Bisig

Born in 1968 in Zürich, Switzerland, Bisig received a master’s degree in natural sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 1994 and a Ph.D. in protein crystallography at the same university in 1998. In 1999, he graduated with a diploma in web-design from the EB-Wolfbach, Zurich, and taught web-design there from 1999 until 2001 while working as a designer and programmer at the web-company, Ditoy. In 2001, he joined the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Zurich as a senior researcher. He also worked as a research associate at the Department of Art and Design, University of Applied Sciences, Aargau, in 2003, and at the Institute Cultural Studies, University of Art and Design, Zurich, in 2004. Since 2006, he has held a research position at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology in Zurich. Active as an artist in the fields of computer animation, experimental video and software art, Bisig’s recent works include BioSonics, an interactive Artificial Life installation, Ostrawa, an experimental video film, and MediaFlies, a flocking based video and audio remixing tool.

Loren Chasse

Chasse is an American sound artist, field recordist, and teacher. He’s most notable for his association with Jewelled Antler, a sound collective and record label, and his work with Thuja, The Blithe Sons, The Child Readers, Of and many others. He has been called “one of the most important international artists working in the areas of environment and sound,” and has performed at the Auckland International Film Festival, providing live light and sound using objects such as motors, clocks, strobe lights, branches, gravel, sand, and leaves, and he’s an educator in the San Francisco public school system developing curriculum for children intended to enhance their perception of their soundenvironment.

Medusa Cramer

Medusa Cramer is the spirit of antimatter, the Parashurama. Born in the coolness of at-rest data storage units, she lives on both sides of the digital mirror. Her crawl through the thicket of reality-access options leads her to encounters of various sorts, all well-documented on her blog and podcast Avataradio. Medusa is an active participant in various radio play projects, besides manning graphics for all domizil releases and publications.

Philippe Kocher

From 1992-1997, Philippe Kocher studied the piano under Martin Christ and computer music under Gerald Bennett at the HMT Zurich. He completed his studies in theory and composition under Detlev Müller-Siemens and Dorothe Schubarth at the Musikakademie Basel. For the academic year 2004-2005, he was granted a scholarship for the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he was also a lecturer in electro acoustic composition and Max/MSP.  His interests are in electronic and instrumental music, and his computer-generated scores have been performed in Switzerland and around the world. He is currently a freelance composer and a research associate and software developer at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST) in Zurich, as well as a lecturer in music theory and computer aided composition at the Zurich University of the Arts.

Kadet Kuhne

Kuhne is a media artist whose work includes video, installation, and music composition. As an award-winning filmmaker she has screened numerous shorts including Infinite Delay, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and her most recent film, Fight or Flight, which premiered at the Resonant Forms festival at LACE. Her installations involve a combination of motion detector sensors utilizing custom software in Jitter, single or multiple channels, and online virtual space, and often explore themes of communication, control, and confinement. Her compositions twist signal processing, FM synthesis, and neurological impulses into experimental electronic ambiences that aim to make your cilia vibrate in curious patterns.

Marcus Maeder

Maeder realized his first musical projects in the mid nineties, when the term “digital culture” was just beginning to gain usage. The setting was the Kombirama, an artists’ collective and project space in Zurich. It was during this period that he and Bernd Schurer founded the domizil music label. domizil is a platform for recorded music, an occasional concert venue, a loosely connected group of artists, and, as a label, an interface and instrument for reaching the public. The focus of Maeder’s work is on computer music and sound art, which he regularly tries to integrate into broader contexts, creating networks and building bridges, either in connection with theatre projects and installations or in his capacity as author and curator.


Mem1 seamlessly blends the sounds of cello and electronics to create a limitless palette of sonic possibilities. In their improvisation-based performances, Mark and Laura Cetilia’s use of custom hardware and software, in conjunction with their uniquely subtle approach to extended cello and realtime modular synthesis patching, result in the creation of a single voice rather than a duet between two individuals. Their music moves beyond melody, lyricism and traditional structural confines, revealing an organic evolution of sound that has been called “a perfect blend of harmony and cacophony” (Forced Exposure). Hailing from Los Angeles, Mem1 has traveled extensively, performing at Roulette (New York), REDCAT / Disney Hall (Los Angeles), the Orange County Museum of Art, Electronic Church (Berlin), the Laptopia Festival (Tel-Aviv), the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, and the Borealis Festival (Bergen).

Martin Neukom

Born in 1956, Neukom studied musicology, mathematics, and psychology at the University of Zurich, as well as music theory at the Musikhochschule Zürich and choral conducting at the Kantorenschule Zürich. He works as a teacher of music theory and as a composer. He is engaged in sound synthesis and composition with computers. He was commissioned by the HMT (Hochschule Musik und Theater Zürich) to write the book, Signale, Systeme und Klangsynthese – Grundlagen der Computermusik, which was accepted as his doctoral thesis by the University of Zurich. He is head of the Computer Music department at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST).



Thomas Peter

Peter is a musician and composer. His activities range from composing electro-acoustical music and theatre music, to performing improvised music to creating sound installations, to realizing and interpreting live electronics. His main interests lie in the digital form of electronic music, in its adaption as an acoustical content in different spaces, and in computer operated sound installations. He studied audiodesign, composition, and improvisation at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel.



Jan Schacher (Jasch)

A doublebass-player, composer, and digital artist, Schacher is active in electronic and exploratory music, as well as jazz and contemporary music. He also works on performance and installation art, and writes music for chamber-ensembles, theatre, and film. His main focus is on combining digital sound and images, abstract graphics, and experimental video with electro-acoustic music and in mixed-media projects. He’s been invited as artist and lecturer to numerous cultural and academic institutions and has presented installations and performances in galleries and clubs along with festivals and venues in Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia.



Bernd Schurer

Schurer is an artist who focuses on work with computer generated and electronic sound in a variety of contexts. He has a fascination with the study of the perception of sound and its presentation in spatial environments and experiential spaces. He has composed for the stage, film, media- and sound installations, even an opera, covering a broad spectrum of distinct aesthethics. His main interest lies in conceiving and applying autopoietic and expressive systems with the aid of both historic and modern techniques and technologies. He seeks to collaborate closely across disciplines with other artists, scientists, and authors. His works and collaborations have been staged and exhibited internationally and have received acclaim.




Seth Horvitz (Sutekh), was born in Los Angeles in 1973. The electronic musician, composer, designer, DJ, and piano programmer has been based in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1991 and released music on dozens of record labels under the name Sutekh, including on his own Context Free Media. Identified most often as a techno artist, he is well known for his innovative and irreverent approach, incorporating a range of influences from pigeon funk, dub, and free jazz to experimental noise, musique concrète, and classical minimalism. Sutekh has reinterpreted the work of dozens of artists, including Norweigan Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Hanne Hukkelberg, and he has performed live at festivals, museums, concert halls, and nightclubs around the world. He has completed scores for several independent films and is currently pursuing an MFA in Electronic Music and Composition at Mills College in Oakland, California.

Germán Toro Pérez

Born 1964 in Bogotá, Colombia, Germán Toro Pérez is director of the ICST Zurich at the School of Arts, Zurich. From 1999 to 2006, he was director of the computer music course at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, where he was guest professor for Electroacoustic Composition from 2006 through 2007. His catalog includes instrumental, electroacoustic, and mixed compositions, as well as works in collaboration with graphic design, painting, and experimental video. Some of his compositions make reference to artists like Mark Rothko, Michelangelo, and Jorge Luis Borges. He has received grants from the Colombian Ministry of Culture, the Austrian Republic and the Experimental Studio Freiburg, and his works have been performed in Europe, South Korea, North and South America, and elsewhere. He is co-founder of the NewTonEnsemble.



Steve Roden

Roden is a visual and sound artist from Los Angeles. His work includes painting, drawing, sculpture, film/video, sound installation, and performance. He received a BFA from Otis Parsons in Los Angeles in 1986, and an MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, in 1989. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally, and performed his soundworks at various arts spaces and experimental music festivals worldwide, including the serpentine gallery in London and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He has also released over 20 CDs of his audio works.


Christopher Willits

Willits completed his master’s degree in Electronic Music at Mills College, where he studied with Pauline Oliveros and Fred Frith. At Mills, he explored structure-generating processes in music—a focus not unfamiliar to former Mills affiliates John Cage and Steve Reich. Prior to Mills, Willits focused on painting, video art, sound art, and music at the Kansas City Art Institute. He is the Education Director at Sound Arts and founder/director at He has been instrumental in redefining guitar in the digital age. Using custom-built software, Willits morphs his guitar playing into warm folded rhythms of texture and melody. Named “the center cell of a complex indie rock-avant-garde-electronic art Venn diagram in the Bay Area” (San Francisco Bay Guardian) and “The Picasso of Sound” (Tokafi Magazine), Willits defies genre distinctions while still defining a sound of his own. His guitar lines fold and weave into each other creating complex patterns of interlocking rhythm, melody, and texture.



This event is part of swissnex San Francisco’s ongoing series of encounters at the crossroads of art and technology, made possible thanks to the support of the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia.


Photo: Myleen Hollero