CTM.13 – The Golden Age

Welcome to the 14th Edition

Fifteen years have passed since the first festival edition was held; fifteen years in which the CTM – Festival for Adventurous Music and Art has accompanied and fostered contemporary musical production. 

Through this 14th edition, we once again hope to present a programme full of contrasts, one more open than ever before to a broad range of music, beyond the carefully drawn borders of individual genres, styles, formats, and traditions. This This is where the multifaceted yet interwoven strands of contemporary music are wired up, where the pop music of the future meets yesteryear’s avant-gardes, where sophisticated, historically-conscious approaches take the stage alongside eclectic montage, and abstract sound research mingles with the club sounds of the moment.


CTM.13 – The Golden Age – video trailer from DISK-CTM on Vimeo, created by Oliver Thomas (image) of Studio Grau, and Hecq (sound).

The CTM team has rigorously engaged with all the ramifications of this year’s festival theme, The Golden Age, to reflect on the (over-)abundance of music in the modern world, and its consequences for individuals, aesthetics, politics, and economy.

Never before has such a plethora of fascinating and exciting new music existed, never before has communication between artists and their publics been so direct, and never before have listeners so eagerly opened their ears. The seven-day CTM.13 festival can at best only begin to convey an idea of this colourful cornucopia. And yet, even in this measure, the risk of overtaxing festival visitors and organisers is very real. That which can be described as the Golden Age of unbridled creativity also has its shadow sides: the dire economic situation of many artists; the constraints imposed by major technology and communication providers’ own agendas; the breathless pressure of real-time media; and the justifiable fear of going under in the current mass of fast-track productions, if ever one fails to constantly feed new output into the sheer endless channels through which music must make its mark today.

Here’s an overview of the 14th edition programme, to help you find your bearings in a programme that’s bursting at the seams:

CTM by Day

Transfer is the umbrella name given to CTM’s daytime programme, which bundles the fetival’s daytime activities, nearly all of which take place at the Kunstquartier Bethanien, including:

› the Discourse series of panels, talks, screenings and presentations;

MusicMakers Hacklab, a 6-day, open, collaborative environment in which participants learn about new technologies and make their own musical inventions;

› an Education Networking Day for graduate students and professors working in fields of audio, arts, media and related disciplines;

› contributions from Universities, such as the week-long Pulse Lab II, a collection of works for wave field synthesis by Robert Henke’s Sound Studies masters programme at University of Arts Berlin;

› and the festival’s Exhibition – In That Weird Age.

CTM by Night

The festival’s nighttime music programme wires up multifaceted yet interwoven strands of music through several series:

› concerts at the HAU1 & HAU2, which kick off an evening’s music programme, and focus on experimental and audiovisual performances that often merge worlds of music, performance and visual art;

› Berghain and Stattbad events, which lean towards club-oriented sounds and visuals without forgetting a healty dose of experimentation and surprises;

› Saturday’s Subharchord programme, which tells the story of a nearly-forgotten DDR synthesizer at the Funkhaus Nalepastrasse;

› CTM’s collaborative media performances with transmediale, which take place at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

Before the Festival

CTM will hold its Exhibition launch on Friday January 25th, which will be followed by the CTM Preglow, a pre-festival event at the Horst Krzbrg that same night. That same weekend, Friday 25th – Sunday 27th, CTM and transmediale’s P2P Vorspiel programme presents events and activities with partner organizations all around Berlin.