Michael Renkel

Activity Center - Burkhard Beins, Michael Renkel - Sanatorium dźwięku 2015 / fot. T.Ogrodowczyk
Activity Center – Burkhard Beins, Michael Renkel – Sanatorium dźwięku 2015 / fot. T.Ogrodowczyk

Michael Renkel – guitarist, composer, electronica

studied classical guitar in Hamburg.
The main emphasis of his work is an interest in open methods of composition.
His guitar playing straddles tradition and the development of a personal language that includes extended playing techniques and the preparation of the acoustic guitar – influenced by composers like H.W. Henze and H. Lachenmann, L. Berio, M. Kagel, J. Cage, M. Feldman, V. Dinescu but also H. Villa Lobos and old lute music.

The approach of using additionalnoise generators / little instruments like different percussion instruments, stones, snapper, pieces of paper, metall objects, harmonica, megaphone etc. creates a quasi narrative character of the live performances.

The initial situation since 1989 is the prepared classical guitar in its traditional interdependence.
In a logical continuation Renkel also extends the instrument via computer technology and he’s the first classical guitarist who connected the instrument in realtime-live processing to the computer The acoustc guitar is modified in a way that blurs the delineation between acoustic preparation and electronic variance.

The electric guitar work is based on a complex setup.
The instrument-signal is directly being sent to the computer where it is altered
by pre-composed patches, the traditional effects pedals are short circuited by internal soldering so they can be used as a self-contained sound source.
A third mixer-channel gets the signal of a microphone that records the sounds of the little instruments being alienated by the laptop.
An experimental continuation is the 1989 self built amplified guitar stringboard.

Another field of work is the engagement in sound installations.
The first work was the errorkoerper environment, an expansive installation of nine objects, sound objects triggered by solar modules alienated by a computer patch.
The installation is controlled by the audience via mixing desk and can be played like an instrument.
The main idea is to blur the concert situaton and the objective work of art.

Another aspect in his work is composition.
He composes works that experiment with genetic processes via generation, mutation, hybridization and coding. He investigates the rhythmical structures of language and works with computer generated complex machines.
(Published by verlag Neue Musik/Berlin)

Staying abroad for some months in Indonesia Renkel recorded a collection of field recordings which are reprocessed into Schallspiele – a sort of sound/travel diary.

In his essayistic work he defines his music beyond improvisation using open methods of composition (like Nuova Consonanza or J. Cage) and bringing this concept into correlation with a systemic approach by reference to Heinz v. Foerster, Niclas Luhmann, Humberto Manturana.

Renkel manages the independent CD and vinyl label absinthRecords.