Carsten Nicolai, better known as Alva Noto, is our resident expert for February 2018, meaning he will be answering your questions this month.
Nicolai, born September 18, 1965, is considered one of the most important sound explorers of recent times. A former Architecture student and a visual artist interested in the physical qualities of sound, the German musician is part of an artistic movement whose work explores the intersection between art, science, sound, and music, with a strong adherence to reductionism. Adopting the Alva Noto pseudonym in 2000, he's worked on many projects, both on his own and with other artists including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Bender (Diamond Version), Bretschneider (Signal), Blixa Bargeld (NBBA), and Ryoji Ikeda (Cyclo), to name a few.
As a musician, capturing the scope of Nicolai's work is no easy task given his list of releases, exhibitions and more. He co-founded the groundbreaking raster-noton label (having founded NOTON in 1994) just before the turn of the millennium, and has since performed and created installations in some of the world's most prestigious spaces, including the Guggenheim, New York and London's Tate Modern.
In terms of releases, he's shared material via Mille Plateaux and raster-noton. It is here that he has released some of his most defining and widely known work in collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto—with whom he also composed the soundtrack to the 2015 film, The Revenant, which received 12 nominations for the 2016 Oscars. Their latest collaboration, Glass, will land soon; and Nicolai's latest album, UNIEQAV, will arrive on March 16.
Nicolai also works as a visual artist, known for his elegant yet minimalistic aesthetic. After participation in important international exhibitions like documenta X and the 49th and 50th Venice Biennale, Nicolai’s works have since been shown worldwide in extensive solo and group exhibitions.
Up next, Nicolai will be answering your questions this month. Whether it be playing live, production, label management, or anything else, all questions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Alva Noto" as the subject line. We'll pass them along to Nicolai who will then select his favorites, and soon we'll publish his answers.