2008 Prix Gewinner: Digital Musics & Sound Art


Sergi Jordà (ES), Günter Geiger (AT), Martin Kaltenbrunner (AT), Marcos Alonso (ES) / Music Technology Group, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain


The reactable is an intelligent musical instrument specially conceived for multi-user performances. There’s room for several players at this round table; visible on its surface are geometric figures, each of which symbolizes a specific sound. Moving the figures back and forth, rotating or interlinking them modifies the sounds they produce. With its highly intuitive, user-friendly interface, the reactable can be played by anyone—from little kids to professional musicians. But this is not just some music-making toy; the reactable is a genuine instrument and, accordingly, it takes some practice to get the most out of it. Proof of this was recently provided by Scandinavian artist Björk, who used one on her latest world tour. The reactable has been singled out for recognition with the 2008 Golden Nica in the Digital Musics category.


the benchmark consort
hans w. koch (DE)


“the benchmark consort” is an unusual performance in which commercially available laptops turn into musical instruments. The music lineup consists of a piece entitled “more&more,” software whose name essentially describes what it does. Once it’s installed, more&more unavoidably places excessive demands on even the fastest computer, which then produces sounds as a reaction to the overload. Every one of the benchmark consort’s musicians has the same software installed on his/her laptop, and their collaboration constitutes an orchestra of a very different sort. Thus, Hans W. Koch’s “the benchmark consort” reconfigures the computer as a musical instrument in a highly unconventional way and his efforts have earned him a 2008 Distinction.

Core Sample
Teri Rueb (US)


Core Sample is a GPS data-based audio tour that deals with the history and landscape of Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor. This tiny piece of land that was degraded to Boston’s garbage dump for almost a century was recently reopened to the public. The island’s past—buried under a thick stratum of clay—is no longer visible, and it’s future is not yet evident either. But Core Sample makes both audible. Visitors can borrow a small computer including an attached set of headphones and, thus equipped, set out on an audio tour of the island. Depending on the visitor’s specific location, he/she has access to a GPS-customized selection from among over 250 sounds. Statements by past and current island residents, workers and scholars augment the acoustic experience. Teri Rueb’s Core Sample is being honored with a 2008 Distinction.


Timepiece Triptych
Pamela Z (US)

Force Field
Ray Lee (UK)

Klangkapsel / Sound Capsule
Satoshi Morita (JP)

Jörg Niehage (DE)

Scherzo; Dance.
Howard Kenty (US)

Yu•Tian Cong He
Qin Yi (CN)

Videobrücke Berlin-Stockholm (5 Punkt 1)
Sabine Ercklentz, Andrea Neumann (DE)

Magnetic Flights
Christina Kubisch (DE)

breath strati
Yasuno Miyauchi (JP)

Through Fire, Crevice and the Hidden Valley
Jim Denley (AU)

Itoken, Jimanica, Ymg(JP)

L’isla des Neumas
Ramón González-Arroyo (ES)