co-produced by champdaction

- concept -

Apparatus is the system of relationships that is established between two elements: the musical instrument and its player. While each element has the capacity to capture, interpret, model, control, or secure the gestures of the other element - it is the interaction and the changing of each element's role that form the concert. It is the mechanics of the physical act of playing guitar and how the body can become the extension of the instrument, its major manipulator, or simply both.

Nico Couck performs music by Simon Steen-Andersen and Tiziano Manca, and new works by Brigitta Muntendorf, Kai Johannes Polzhofer and Dan Tramte. Integrating guitars, choreography, J.S. Bach, electronics, and even YouTube, Apparatus is a multimedia event in which the physical and mechanical duality is the denominator.

Co-produced by champdaction, the tour in the United States was made possible, in part, by the Harry and Alice Eiler Foundation.

- about -

Antwerp based guitarist Nico Couck (b. 1988) started playing the instrument at age 15. In 2013 he obtained his master’s degree at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. Since 2010 he won several awards and prizes at e.g. Radio Klara Festival, Laboratorium III (ChampdAction), and the International Lions Music Competition. In 2012 he received a fellowship by Stichting Conservatorium Antwerpen, and was nominated for the Logos Foundation Award. In 2013 and 2014 he toured throughout the U.S.A. with the CD project ‘Reciprocity’. In 2014 he was awarded a Kranichsteiner Stipendienpreise for interpretation by the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt.

Past events and festivals include the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmstadt, Acht Brücken Festival, ISCM World Music Days, Transit Festival, MMEX, Ars Musica, Musica Sacra, and many others. Past performances have been broadcasted on e.g. WDR3 (DE), DLF (DE), Radio 4 (NL), and Radio Klara (BE). He has collaborated and premiered works by Stefan Prins, Phil Niblock, Vladimir Gorlinsky, and Serge Verstockt amongst several others. Besides his activities as a soloist, Nico Couck is a freelance musician in several ensembles, and is assigned as guitarist in ensemble ChampdAction and Nadar Ensemble.

In addition to performing, Nico Couck currently is a doctoral researcher at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, and assistant professor of guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp.

- program -

Tiziano Manca
acoustic guitar

Dan Tramte
degradative interference
(2014) (premiere)
e-guitar and video

Kai Johannes Polzhofer
“Keiner kennt seinen eigenen Namen, keiner kennt sein wirkliches Antlitz” (Léon Bloy)
(2015) (premiere)
prepared guitar

Brigitta Muntendorf
Public Privacy #4: Leap in the dark
(2015) (premiere)
e-guitar and video

Simon Steen-Andersen
Beloved Brother
acoustic guitar

Duration: ca. 1 hour

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Saturday, April 11, 2015, 4:00am to 4:00am