Viva Voce at the Sweet Thunder Festival

Swiss sound installation Viva Voce is part of the Sweet Thunder Festival, San Francisco’s festival of Electro-Acoustic Music.

Event Details


Firehouse at Fort Mason Center
San Francisco, California United States


April 24, 2014 9:00 am - April 28, 2014 7:00 pm



The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP) presents the Sweet Thunder Festival of Electro-Acoustic Music, bringing the leading interpreters of contemporary music from around the world to San Francisco.

As part of the festival, Swiss musician Katharina Rosenberger and Heiko Kalmback showcase Viva Voce, an installation and interactive work for electronics and tablet, sponsored by swissnex San Francisco, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, and the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco.

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Viva Voce celebrates vocal performance art in an interactive and experimental context. Through this lens, Viva Voce explores voice, body relationships, and the self. In the process, the work investigates oral tradition and its impact on shared information in the virtual versus physical social space.

In real-time visitors play and re- compose performance and documentary sequences of three vocal artists—Juliana Snapper (Los Angeles), Shelley Hirsch (New York), and Pamela Z (San Francisco)—by interacting with a 3D sonic sculpture on an iPad. Sung and spoken passages appear synchronized to the visual portrayal of the protagonists on floating screens in the gallery space. By improvising with the iPad interface and triggering text and vocal passages, visitors become not only intimately introduced to the vocalists; they turn into performers themselves.

Katharina Rosenberger, Concept, Composition, Artistic Direction • Heiko Kalmbach, Video, Artistic Co- Direction • Michael Schmitz, iPad Design, App Programming • Jason Ponce, Multimedia Programming • John Clements, Set Design, Technical Direction


Katharina Rosenberger

Much of Swiss composer Katharina Rosenberger’s work manifests in an interdisciplinary context and is bound to confront traditional performance practice in terms of how sound is produced, heard and seen.
Her compositions, installations and interdisciplinary operas have been featured at festivals such as the Weimarer Frühlingstage, Germany, Festival Archipel, Festival La Bâtie, Geneva, Zürcher Theaterspektakel, Switzerland, Festival Les Musiques, Marseille, Zoo Bizzarre, Bordeaux, New Media Art, Yerevan, “atélier trideni plus”, Prague, EMF at the Chelsea Museum, New York, Shanghai New Music Days and Shanghai International Electro-Acoustic Music Week, China, and the October Contemporary in Hong Kong. Her music has been released on HatHut Records/hat[now]ART, Unit Records and Akenaton. Katharina Rosenberger teaches composition and sound art at the Department of Music, University of California, San Diego.

Heiko Kalmbach

Heiko Kalmbach works as a filmmaker, video artist and theater director. His award winning short films have screened at Festivals like Oberhausen, São Paulo and South by South West. His feature documentary, ‘IF ONE THING MATTERS – a film about Wolfgang Tillmans‘ premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2008. His theater work was invited to Festivals like DRAMAFEST Mexico, Autorentheatertage Hamburg, and the BAUHAUS Festival.
Since 1999 he has been teaching in his fields of practice. In 2012, Heiko Kalmbach was invited by the Goethe Institute Mexico City to conduct video and performance workshops for the EU-Project RE-MEX. The resulting video works where presented at the re-opening of the Mexico City Institute in October 2012.



Photo: Myleen Hollero