Call for sonic innovations: exploring soundscapes at ZKM | Hertz-Lab (DE)

ZKM | Center for Art and Media

As part of its artist-in-residence program »Sonic Experiments«, the ZKM | Hertz-Lab awards scholarships to composers from the main areas of electronic music and sound art.

The ZKM | Hertz-Lab offers as part of the Culture Moves Europe five international composers and artists the opportunity to apply in three different categories/genres and submit project proposals for the realization of a new work.

Eligible to participate are persons:

  • from Creative Europe countries without visa requirements with permanent legal place of residence in one of the CE countries, but not in Germany.
  • without European citizenship with permanent legal place of residence in one of the CE countries, but not in Germany.
  • with permanent legal place of residence in Germany.

All works can be audiovisual. The eligible categories/genres include:

  • Analog Synthesizer
  • Experimental Spatial Pop
  • AI & Sensor Technology

The following realization and presentation modes are available for all three categories:

  • Composition for live electronics
  • Mixed Music (acoustic instruments in combination with electronics)
  • Experimental performance with a prominent electronic music or sound component
  • Live Coding
  • Acousmatic
  • Fixed Media

For multichannel acousmatic or audiovisual fixed media works that use spatial sound as a design tool and are conceived for a performance in the ZKM_Klangdom, the free spatialization software »Zirkonium« developed at the ZKM can be used as an option. For compositions in the AI & Sensor Technology category, we provide a tracking system based on LiDAR technology to determine movement and position data. Other sensor technologies can also be used, but must then be brought along.

We want to represent the diversity in the field of electronic music as entirely as possible. Thus, the competition is open to composers and sound artists of all ages from all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, cultural, ethnic and social background. We are looking forward to a high heterogeneity of applicants.

Submit your application here

Production conditions

We will provide accommodation free of charge for the entire duration of the residency. Arrival should take place on November 09 or 10, 2024. The period for the residency is fixed and extends from November 11, 2024 to December 06, 2024. As part of the funding program, scholars must have returned to their place of residence no later than 15 days after the end of the residency and may arrive no earlier than 15 days before the start of the residency. 

The duration of the composition to be realized should ideally be around 10 minutes, in exceptional cases a maximum of 20 minutes. The works produced during the guest residency are to be premiered in a concert on December 05, 2024 at the ZKM_Kubus in the presence of the composers.

With the ZKM_Klangdom, the ZKM_Kubus concert hall has a dome-shaped loudspeaker arrangement. The residencies will take place in the ZKM studios, each of which has a multi-channel monitoring system (horizontal loudspeaker circuit). In addition, there is access to a minidome, which also contains a dome-shaped loudspeaker arrangement. Further information on the technical equipment of the rooms available for the residencies and the presentation can be found here.

The guest artists will receive a thorough introduction to the infrastructure of the ZKM and, if required, to the sound spatialization software »Zirkonium« and the LiDAR system. In addition, we offer temporary access to a powerful AI computer. Fellows should be able to carry out their projects independently.

Financial conditions

The amount of the scholarships is € 1.000 each for the entire duration of the stay. All costs for the realization and production of the musical work as well as living expenses are paid by the scholarship holders from this amount. For the one-time travel to Karlsruhe and back, travel expenses can be reimbursed up to a maximum amount of € 350, taking into account the applicable travel expenses law.

Conditions of participation

The following is required for submission:

  • Copy of ID and proof of legal place of residence
  • Short summary of the project idea to be realized (max. 1.000 characters including spaces)
  • Project description with indication of the corresponding submission category Analog Synthesizer, Experimental Spatial Pop, or AI & Sensor Technology (max. 5.000 characters including spaces)
  • Short list of the technical means required for the production
  • Detailed biography with information on artistic education and career (max. 1.000 characters including spaces) and contact details
  • If possible, at least professional portrait photo in landscape format (min. 300 dpi) with photo credits. The photo(s) must be freely and unrestrictedly usable for internal and external press work
  • 3 music samples not older than three years to illustrate the artistic work to date. Of these, 1 piece should be representative of the application (please state “_main_piece” at the end of the file name). The other two pieces to be submitted serve as additional illustration of the current artistic work
  • Please submit the music samples as audio file (.mp3 with 320 kbps) or as video files of the complete work(s) (1920×1080 px, h264 codec, 50 fps, .mov or .mp4)
  • Accompanying material for the submitted music examples, such as scores or documentary image files are optional and can be enclosed if desired

Complete applications can be submitted via our application portal up to and including March 31, 2024, 11:59 p.m. CEST. Inquiries can be sent by email to with a customized email subject line along the lines of »Sonic Experiments 2024, submission category/genre, surname«. Incomplete applications will not be considered in the selection process. The results will be announced in May 2024.

By sending us your application documents, you are providing us with personal data. We take the protection of your personal data very seriously and have therefore taken measures to ensure that the regulations on data protection are observed.