IMAfiction Portrait #10 Elisabeth Schimana

Elisabeth Schimana & Igor Gross
Virus #1.3 Mutation for percussion solo
Live performance

Moderation: Seppo Gründler 

echoraum, Vienna

XX Y X & IMA 2024
Presentation of the IMAfiction series in cooperation with IMA Institute of Media Archeology / Elisabeth Schimana.
IMAfiction is a portrait series dedicated to women artists from the field of media arts with a focus on sonic art.
In this series of 5 Austrian and 5 international female artists (Liesl Ujvary, Rebekah Wilson, Heidi Grundmann, Eliane Radigue, Andrea Sodomka, Maryanne Amacher, Anne La Berge, Electric Indigo, Beatriz Ferreyra, Elisabeth Schimana), most of the artists chose who they wanted to be portrayed by. The results are homages that are aesthetically diverse, intimate, and refreshingly free from any conventional film format constraints.
Over the course of 2024, all IMAfiction video portraits will be shown in 8-10 events. Wherever possible, the portrayed artist and the filmmaker will be present with a talk and/or live act.

Virus #1.3 Mutation for percussion solo
Compositions for a live-generated electronic sound body (audio score) and acoustic instruments (interpretation) It is a battle and synthesis of the two sound bodies. Together they stay alive. Virus #1 is dedicated to individual instrumental groups.
The live-generated electronic sound body is host and hostess to which the string sounds dock, adapt to it, penetrate it and use it for their replication. At the beginning this body is immune, but in the course of the piece it gives up its resistance, absorbs the string sounds and nothing stands in the way of the virus multiplying.

Elisabeth Schimana
Works as a composer, performer and radio artist since 1983.
She studied Electroacoustic and Experimental Music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Computer Music - Composition at the IEM, Graz and Musicology and Ethnology at the University of Vienna.  In her work she has been focussing on space / body / electronics for many years.
She regularly co-operates with ORF Kunstradio and conducts research in the field of women's art and technology. Elisabeth Schimana gives lectures and composition workshops internationally. She founded IMA Institute for Media Archaeology.

Igor Gross
Studied percussion in Vienna. Busy concert activity in the field of contemporary music, including with Klangforum Wien, PHACE Ensemble 20th Century, Ensemble Phidias, Ensemble Platypus. Solo concerts and work with freely improvised music. Regular projects with orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, RSO Vienna, Vienna State Opera and many others.



Michaela Schwentner Wechselwirkung (2020-21)

Pia Palme & Sonja Leipold Vanishing Shores 
Live performance  

A music theatre piece for singer, dancer, ensemble and electronics (2020) created by Pia Palme, Paola Bianchi, Juliet Fraser, Irene Lehmann, Christina Fischer-Lessiak − an artistic research collaboration group as part of the PEEK Project On the fragility of sounds  

World premiere 13.11.2020  
Produced in cooperation with Wien Modern 33 
Duration: 60 min

Pia Palme – concept, composition, text, bass recorder 
Juliet Fraser − voice (soprano), dance 
Paola Bianchi − choreography, dance 
Christina Fischer-Lessiak − artistic assistant, research, production 
Irene Lehmann − dramaturgy 

Lars Mlekusch – conductor 

Ensemble PHACE 
Doris Nicoletti – flutes | Reinhold Brunner – bass clarinets | Daniele Brekyte – violin | Rafał Zalech – viola | Barbara Riccabona – violoncello | Alexandra Dienz – double bass | Berndt Thurner – percussion 

Molly McDolan − oboe da caccia  
Sonja Leipold – harpsichord 

Veronika Mayerböck – light 
Christian Sundl – event assistant 

For the video & trailer 
Michaela Schwentner – film direction and concept, editing 
Christina Bauer – sound design, recording 
Martin Siewert – sound editing 
Martin Putz – camera 

Produktion FWF PEEK Projekt On the fragility of Sounds AR 537 
mit Unterstützung der KUG Kunstuniversität Graz, ZfG 
Koproduktion mit Wien Modern 33 

@WUK Vienna, Projektraum  

About the piece  
Combining the distinctive creative process of choreographer Paola Bianchi with the compositional practice of Pia Palme, the piece has been devised in an experimental, non-hierarchical, collaborative way. The question of transmission between the disciplines was woven into the entire process of the group. We developed both precisely composed materials and improvisational modules. A storyboard designed by Palme and Bianchi brought these modules together and specified the spatial configurations. The storyboard was completed with Lehmann’s advice on dramaturgy and with feedback from Fischer-Lessiak. Every member of the creative group shared their particular expertise and experience. Soprano Juliet Fraser brought in her expertise as a singer. In her performance, she linked together Palme’s score with Bianchi’s oral instructions, giving feedback at every step during the process. She embodied Palme’s music and Bianchi’s choreography. The theatre scholar Dr. Irene Lehman and Christina Fischer-Lessiak, a musicologist and cultural worker, joined the group to further enrich the collaborative practice and discourse. The results explored the consonance, dissonance and interferences between voices, sounds, spaces and bodies – a polyphonic assemblage in which movement in space shapes music and sound shapes bodies in space. Also, multiple temporalities converge in the piece: Francesca Caccini’s soundworld and texts interfere with contemporary music and text, the intense period of the pandemic merges with pre-pandemic ideas and concepts.  

The premiere and the performances were not open to the public. We arranged the venue Projektraum at WUK into a ‘COVID-safe’ theatre space and rehearsed the piece according to the pandemic regulations at the time. Performances were then recorded and filmed. We changed the stage concept so that the required safety distance could be kept between the members of the ensemble as well as between the performers. The trailer therefore shows an adapted arrangement and choreography, not the original design. I completed the composition during the first lockdown period in Austria in the spring of 2020 and made adjustments that became necessary because of the pandemic later that year, during a residency in Switzerland. The artistic process of all the contributors resonates the difficult situation during that year. Michaela Schwentner produced a film of the premiere which was shown online in January 2021.  

echoraum, Vienna


a piece for extended harpsichords with microtonal tuning and electronics (2022)   

Sonja Leipold - harpsichords  
Pia Palme - electronics   

The piece makes use of extended playing techniques and is designed as a contemporary chaconne that is repeatedly interrupted by wide, calm soundscapes and drones. Reduced noise mingles with baroque opulence, blurred or condensed by microtonal moods.  
Field recordings recorded in a Finnish forest near Turku are integrated into the polyphonic and partly live-generated electronic part. Fragrant coniferous forest covers a coastal area that only a few centuries ago formed the floor of the sea. 



9.4. 2024, 8pm 
Hanna Schimek and Angelica Castelló SYRINX AND PAN  
An Arcadian dramolet  
Live performance  
echoraum Vienna