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D E S I G N I N G   V O I C E S: 

International Festival for Vocal Performance Art, Sound & Music

- Potsdam/Berlin, 2021

digital strategy & press


Dates: 2 – 7 November 2021

Various venues: 

Französische Kirche Potsdam (2 – 3 Nov., each day 7 pm) 

St. Matthäus-Kirche Berlin (4 – 6 Nov., each day 7 pm) 

Nordic Embassies Felleshus Berlin (7 Nov., 11 am)


From the press-release:

DESIGNING VOICES features vocal performance artists as well as musicians who use their voice as integral part of their performance practice. The theme of 2021 revolves around the pipe organ, the voice and gesture-controlled live electronics. 


The music performances of DESIGNING VOICES are accompanied by lecture-performances and audio-visual works, all of which illuminate the characteristics and peculiarities of contemporary vocal performance art.


The featured artists of DESIGNING VOICES are STEN SANDELL (Stockholm, SE) on organ, piano, voice and electronics and ALEX NOWITZ (Potsdam) on voice and live electronics (strophonion). In combination with their voices they bring together the tradition of pipe organ playing with the innovative performance practice of applying gesture-controlled live electronics. This year they launch the duet project called SAM. 

Inviting the vocal performance artists TONE ÅSE (Trondheim, NO), FRANZISKA BAUMANN (Bern, CH), UTE WASSERMANN (Berlin) and the musicians MATTHIAS BAUER (Berlin), FRÉDÉRIC BLONDY (Avallon, FR), SABINE VOGEL (Potsdam) and BILIANA VOUTCHKOVA (Berlin), the duet of Sandell & Nowitz delves into an intriguing and intensive exchange with extraordinary, internationally renowned performers. Also, this way the instrumental range is expanded by bird call objects, double bass, prepared piano, a variety of flutes and the violin. DESIGNING VOICES showcases all of the invited artists as soloists as well.


Each day of the festival is themed differently. DESIGNING VOICES  thus stresses those aspects that the invited artists are experts in or have an exceptional and unique approach to.

Festival program

— 2 Nov. 2021 (7 pm), Französische Kirche POTSDAM:
 b i r d s


SAM: Sten Sandell (pipe organ, piano, voice, electronics) & Alex Nowitz (voice, live electronics: strophonion), special guests: UTE WASSERMANN (voice, whistles), FRÉDÉRIC BLONDY (prepared piano, organ); audio-visual works by Alex Nowitz, Sten Sandell and Ute Wassermann


— 3 Nov. 2021  (7 pm), Französische Kirche POTSDAM: 
b o w s


SAM (Sten Sandell & Alex Nowitz), special guests: MATTHIAS BAUER (double bass, voice), BILIANA VOUTCHKOVA (violin, voice); lecture-performance by Alex Nowitz together with Matthias Bauer


— 4 Nov. 2021 (7 pm), St. Matthäus-Kirche BERLIN: p i p e s


SAM (Sten Sandell & Alex Nowitz), special guest: SABINE VOGEL (flutes, voice, objects); lecture-performances by Sten Sandell and Sabine Vogel; audio-visual work by Sabine Vogel


— 5 Nov. 2021 (7 pm), St. Matthäus-Kirche BERLIN: 
m o u t h s


SAM (Sten Sandell & Alex Nowitz), special guest: TONE ÅSE (voice, live electronics); lecture-performances by Franziska Baumann and Alex Nowitz


— 6 Nov. 2021 (7 pm), St. Matthäus-Kirche BERLIN: 
o p e r a d i c a l s


SAM (Sten Sandell & Alex Nowitz), special guest: FRANZISKA BAUMANN (voice, live electronics: sensorglove); lecture-performance by Tone Åse


— 7 Nov. 2021  (11 am), Nordic Embassies Felleshus BERLIN: 

h a p p e n i n g   t a l k s


Tone Åse, Franziska Baumann, Alex Nowitz, Sten Sandell and moderated by ELKE MOLTRECHT


The festival received support from Musikfonds e.V, the Ministry for Science, Research and Culture of the Federal State of Brandenburg (MWFK), the Royal Norwegian Embassy Berlin and the Swedish Embassy Berlin.


Festival team

Festival founder & curator: Alex Nowitz

Project Manager: Elke Moltrecht

Design by Brenda Alamilla

Digital Marketing & communications: Maria Orciuoli, Ilenia Orciuoli


Selected press

Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten

Field Notes





Photos by Sebastian Rausch

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