Thomas Grill

Dr.phil. Thomas Grill, MA, born 1972 in Austria

Individual bachelor and master studies of Interactive Electronic Instruments at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. Doctoral degree in Composition and Music Theory at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz.

Scientific research in fields of sound perception, analysis and modeling, interactive electronic instruments and artificial intelligence. Development of commercial and open-source software, electronic instruments and interactive media systems. Conception and realization of multi-media installations and live electronics in the context of contemporary music. Scientific publications, lectures and workshops at international institutions and conferences.

Artistic work in most varied fields of audible and trans-media art, ranging from interactive and net-based audiovisual installation and photography to instrumental composition and electro-acoustic group improvisation. Numerous presentations of own compositions and installations at international festivals. Regular appearances as interpreter of composed contemporary music, as well as performer of structural and free improvisation. Ongoing cooperation with renowned artists in the fields of music, poetry, theater, dance and video. Works published on CD and DVD.

Lectureships at the University of Applied Arts and the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Senior researcher at the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence (OFAI). Conception and management of projects in scientific, artistic and commercial contexts. Curator for the concert series for contemporary and experimental music “Neue Musik in St. Ruprecht” in Vienna.

Thomas Grill lives and works in Vienna, Austria.

“Extended view“

My performance will orbit around my five-movement electroacoustic multi-channel composition “Points of View”. The piece will be broken up into its constituents and reassembled using external materials of images and performance.

The Points of View feature sound materials that hardly show relations to natural-sounding objects. Nor do the composed acoustic spaces originate from familiar contexts. The spaces enwrap, open up windows, form edges and surfaces. Sounds develop therein, unfold their existences and interact with each other. The listener cannot escape from taking his/her position within this sonic field, exposed to an architecture of sounds and their intrinsic mechanisms. Once almost familiar, and then again totally alien.

Rotting sounds

Rotting sounds – Embracing the temporal deterioration of digital audio” is a 3-year project of artistic research funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and hosted by the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. The core project team consists of Thomas Grill (principal investigator and project manager), Till Bovermann (University of Applied Arts Vienna) and Almut Schilling (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna).

Most of today’s media output, be it audio or video, is produced and stored in the digital domain. Although digital data are adorned by the myth of lossless transmission and migration, everyday experience does prove the existence of degradation and, ultimately, data loss in various forms. This pertains to the physical nature of storage media and playback devicesas well as to media formats and software in the context of their technological infrastructure. The project strives to elaborate on the causes, mechanisms and effects of such deterioration, specifically in the context of digital audio.

Since degradation cannot be avoided on principle, it is our general aim to unearth latent degrees of freedom pertaining to the artistic practice in the omnipresence of decay.

Multichannel computer music works of students (ELAK)

In my courses, the spatialization of a musical work is as much an item of discourse as is the sonic material, the syntax, the form, etc..
In this regard, monaural or stereophonic layouts can be as adequate as canonical or heterogeneous multichannel settings depending on the work’s concept.
I teach theoretical and technical foundations as well as the practical implementation of all available spatialization techniques.

Residuals (2018)

Electroacoustic composition, total duration 24′. For four loudspeakers

Premiered at the re_composed festival, part of paraflows XIII at Weißes Haus, Vienna/Austria, on October 31, 2018.
The piece is re-composed solely of MP3 compression artifacts, originating from my piece Points of View, as performed at the same festival five years earlier. The new piece has the same 24 minute duration as the prior performance, and also the same 4-channel layout.
The use of degraded snippets of audio from a previous composition was motivated by the research project rotting sounds – embracing the temporal deterioration of digital audio.