CTM 2018 Festival in Review

A selection of CTM 2018 reviews of that can be found online, plus the festival in sound and image.

Welcome to the 19th Edition

CTM 2018 – Turmoil

Welcome to the 19th edition of CTM Festival! 

With concerts, club nights, commissioned works, an exhibition, installations, and vast daytime programme, CTM 2018 explores the state of music and sound practice in the face of a confusing and critical present: What is the sound of turmoil? What are aesthetics of tumult? Which other sonic and musical responses could we conceive of to counter the current overload of agitation?

Here’s a programme overview to help you find your bearings during the 10-day journey. We look forward to welcoming you in Berlin!

CTM 2018 Trailer

Created by Oliver Thomas and Marius Rehmet of VOJD. Sound by NAKED.

CTM 2018 Exhibition

Uncanny Valleys of a Possible Future

Titled Uncanny Valleys of a Possible Future, the CTM 2018 Exhibition presents diverse artistic approaches – often playful, always political – that respond to CTM 2018’s Turmoil theme. Tension/explosion, apathy/engagement, regression/progress, peril/hope – these artists propose different ways by which to navigate the ongoing strain and unease of being torn between polarities.

Curated by CTM, with works by Anne de Vries, Frédérick A. Belzile, Lawrence Lek, Peter Flemming, Teun Vonk, Zorka Wollny & Andrzej Wasilewski, ZULI & more.

CTM 2018 Theme


Since its early days, CTM Festival has featured music and art that acts as a mirror for social and political conditions. Our 2018 theme, Turmoil, builds on the insights of 2017’s Fear Anger Love, and continues its inquiry into the potential of sound and music to invigorate resilience and awareness at a time when we have begun normalising the ongoing barrage of political, social and environmental crises and the resulting unsettling feelings that resonate through our on- and offline lives. CTM 2018 explores the state of music and sound practice in the face of a confusing and critical present: What is the sound of turmoil? What are aesthetics of tumult? What to do with such intensities? Which other sonic and musical responses could we conceive of to counter the current overload of agitation, anxiety and animosity?

Listen to CTM 2018 Artists

CTM 2018 X Red Bull Radio – Festival Preview

Red Bull  Radio has pulled a great selection of shows & interviews from their archives, offering a taste of what to expect at CTM 2018.

Special Performance

Holly Herndon Ensemble

On Saturday, February 2nd at Festsaal Kreuzberg, cherished club music trendsetters and technology theorists Holly Herndon & Mat Dryhurst will appear in a special performance exploring themes of AI and frontiers (technological, geographical, and otherwise) while celebrating community and endorsing hope in the face of despondency. The performance will feature their vocal ensemble, a 10+-piece, euphoric, motley crew of Berlin-based creatives who compare and contrast the raw, guttural aesthetics of traditional folk singing styles with the humanoid, future-hailing flair of voices sent through synthesis and processing. In keeping with the commending of alternative types of family and kin, the evening’s other performances will be given in a series of short vignettes by members of the choir in their own compelling solo projects: Albertine Sarges, houaïda, Josa Peit, Lyra, Marshall Garrett, and UCC Harlo.

The CTM 2017 Finale

Red Bull Music x CTM 2018

CTM joins forces with Red Bull Music to close its 19th edition on tumultuous notes. For the fourth year in a row, the two partners have collaboratively assembled two back-to-back events. This year will feature electronic music trailblazers DAF, Bestial Mouths, and more to be announced soon. 

Special Performance

Medusa's Bed

At HAU1 on Wednesday, January 31st, restless nomad and no-wave feminist trailblazer Lydia Lunch will appear as part of Medusa’s Bed, which features two visionary collaborators: the experimental violinist Mia Zalbeka and the sound artist Zahra Mani. In the project, Lunch’s haunting, terrifying vocals, Zalbeka’s avant-violin stylings, and Mani’s psycho-ambient soundscapes are braided together into a sinister radiophonic murder mystery. Lunch, who makes it her business to “punch [her] way out of the trauma zone and into the light” (NY Times), and to encourage other women to do so, uses this outlet to externalise urges that “work through the body, on and across it: bloodlust and oblivion,... desire and rage” (Jack Sargeant).

Installation & Performance


"SKALAR" is a large-scale art installation by Christopher Bauder and Kangding Ray that explores the complex impact of light and sound on human perception. Following a highly-successful collaboration between WHITEvoid, Kraftwerk Berlin, and CTM in 2016 with "Deep Web," CTM 2018 Festival is pleased to host this next artistic venture within its titular Turmoil edition.

Focus Programme

Artificial Intelligence in Music

CTM 2018’s Turmoil theme explores the state of music and sound practice in the face of a confusing and critical present. One angle of exploration into this theme is the array of discussion, from over-optimistic to ethically troubled, surrounding artificial intelligence. Artists such as George Lewis & Roscoe Mitchell, Holly Herndon, James Ferraro and Marco Donnarumma and others explore AI within the festival's music programme. Their contributions are complemented by installations bh Lawrence Lek and Guy Ben-Ary in the CTM 2018 Exhibition, a machine learning focus within this year's MusicMakers Hacklab, as well as lectures and talks during CTM's daytime Discourse programme.

Special Partner Event

Transcend the Turmoil

For CTM 2018, MONOM, Berlin's new Center for Spatial Sound, has commissioned Pan Daijing, FIS, and TCF to use the 4DSOUND system to build intensely visceral experiences that will range from calming and hypnotizing to thought-provoking and radical.

Special Programme – Movement & Sound

Flexing / FIVE

Over the course of the festival, HAU2 and YAAM will act as home bases for an exploration of the crossroads between movement and sound. Three different pieces will combine established or still-evolving dance styles with adventurous music. In "FIVE Berlin," multidisciplinary US-American artist Rashaad Newsome will investigate African, European, and North-American roots of vogueing. In "Embryogenesis", club accelerationist Lotic and choreographer Roderick George blur boundaries between “high” and “popular” culture, setting dance styles from hip hop, breakdance, and modern dance to Lotic’s metallic dancefloor blowouts. In an evening at YAAM, Flex Dance Music (FDM) trailblazers Hitmakerchinx and DJ Aaron will both move between the decks and the dance floor, where they’ll be joined by flex contortionists OG hob dot and Shellz.

Open Collaborative Laboratory

MusicMakers Hacklab

MusicMakers Hacklab is a weeklong open, collaborative laboratory hosted by Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music and invited artist/researcher Ioann Stacewicz. It allows practitioners from a range of disciplines to find new ways of exploring cross-cultural hybrids that imagine future topographies of sound and music performance.

Special Production – Movement & Sound

Ernest Berk – The Complete Expressionist

On three consecutive nights at HAU2, a rich programme of performances and lectures will explore the life and legacy of choreographer, electronic music composer, improviser, dance therapist, and pedagogue Ernest Berk. Versatile Berlin choreographer Christoph Winkler will oversee the long-overdue reconstruction of Berk’s dance pieces and the performance of selected musical compositions as live tape concerts. Ten dancers, as well as Berlin-based experimental musicians groupA, Rashad Becker, and Pan Daijing will reinterpret various pieces from Berk’s extensive body of work, all of which explore the interplay between dance and music.


Research Networking Day

The Research Networking Day (RND) is a yearly CTM Festival initiative co-organised by Humboldt University’s Department of Musicology. RND provides a platform to exchange ideas and experiences for students and researchers from different European graduate and postgraduate programmes traversing the fields of audio, arts, media, design and related theoretical disciplines. The presentation programme will be published before the holidays.


Physical Rhythm Machine_Boem BOem

The impressive Halle am Berghain will be the site of “Physical Rhythm Machine_Boem Boem”, an immersive, playful installation by the young Dutch artist Philip Vermeulen. With the visceral acoustic instrument, the Physical Rhythm Machine (PRM), Vermeulen shoots balls at speeds of up to 150 km/h into large resonant boxes. Because the shots can be fired at precise intervals, the machine can generate intricate rhythmic patterns. For CTM 2018, artists Lakuti and Sam Barker have created special compositions, which will be brought to life by the installation.

Connecting Radio Art & Performance

CTM 2018 Radio Lab

Returning for its fifth year, the CTM 2018 Radio Lab is dedicated to exploring the pairing of the specific artistic possibilities of radio with the potentials of live performance or installation. This year the Lab will present a new work by Ahmed El Ghazoly aka Zuli. The project is commissioned by Deutschlandradio Kultur – Hörspiel/Klangkunst and CTM Festival, in collaboration Ö1 Kunstradio and ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst. Media partner: The Wire.

Special Guest

George Lewis & Roscoe Mitchell at CTM 2018

On Friday, February 2nd at HAU1, American experimental music innovators George Lewis and Roscoe Mitchell will perform with Lewis’s interactive computer system Voyager. Mitchell, the founder of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, is a multi-instrumentalist who performs on woodwinds, saxophones, and percussion, a composer whose works range among solo, chamber, and orchestral forces, and an interdisciplinary artist whose paintings and sound sculptures have been shown in important exhibitions around the world. Lewis is an interdisciplinary scholar, trombone player, and technology artist in addition to being a composer and improvisor. Voyager, which was one of the earliest strides in the development of a real-time relationship between a music-making machine intelligence and human musicians, enables improvisational, non-hierarchical communication between computer and artist.

Live from Berlin

Berlin Community Radio x CTM 2018

CTM will collaborate with BCR – Berlin Community Radio to provide a live radio broadcast that extends the reaches of the festival's tentacles by giving CTM artists the chance to elaborate on their live sets in an informal context.

Sound Heterogeneous Art and Performance in Europe


Renewed for four more years and co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, the SHAPE project reunites 16 European non-profit organisations active within the ICAS – International Cities of Advanced Sound network to create a platform that aims to support, promote, and exchange innovative and aspiring emergent musicians and interdisciplinary artists with an interest in sound. Several supported artists and educational / networking initiatives appear at CTM 2018.

CTM Partner Festival

transmediale 2018 – face value

As in previous years, the CTM Festival will take place parallel to and in collaboration with the transmediale – festival for art and digital culture, which in 2018 will adopt the theme "Face Value". Read more about the 31st edition of transmediale here.

Citywide Partner Programme

Vorspiel 2018

Vorspiel is a citywide programme of events before and during the transmediale and CTM festivals. In 2018 it will see its 8th edition.