PDCON:Concerts/Endphase: João Pais, Alberto C. Bernal, Enrique Tomás

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Endphase 18-2 Mixed Cities


  • João Pais (in Weimar, laptop)
  • Alberto C. Bernal, Enrique Tomás (in Madrid, smartphones)

Endphase 18 Mixed Cities was first presented in March 2011, in the Sinkro Festival in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain). While Pais and Bernal were on stage, Tomás walked the streets of Linz (Austria), from which the sounds and images served as material for the performance. Additionally, the live data collected by Tomás’ smartphone — GPS position, readings of the ambient light and sound levels, short texts about the environment — was transmitted in real time and used as variables which transformed and modulated sonic and visual aspects of the live performance in Vitoria.

For this occasion, the contact points will be Weimar (home to the 2011 Pure Data Convention), with Pais performing live, and Madrid, where Bernal and Tomás will be walking and collecting live data. As the “Mixed Cities” concept is an exploration and evocation of not only the sonorous and visual profile of a space (and its temporal nature), but also its social aspects, we felt the need to incorporate the aura of the social movements that stormed through Spain in Spring 2011, and use it as a conceptual element in our performance.

The setting is the area around Puerta del Sol, the central point — Kilometre 0 — of all of Spain’s roads. This area is one of the most important commercial and touristic centres in Madrid, and hosts some of the biggest shopping chains in Spain (Corte Inglés, FNAC…), a symbol of the consumerist conglomerate typical to so many big cities nowadays. From May 15 through mid-June 2011, the monotony of this area was disrupted as it was an involuntarily host to a generalized, popular critique of the system in the form of a series of demonstrations that concluded with the month-long Acampada Sol. The Acampada literally occupied the square and immediately surrounding streets in an outcry for justice, dignity and responsible politics. Sound recordings made by Alberto Bernal and others during this period of turmoil document the massive feelings of indignation, rage and protest of the thousands of participants.

Despite all its idealistic and utopic propositions, the Acampada Sol (a.k.a. 15-M Movement, or the Spanish Revolution) is now gone, and Sol is back to its normal day-to-day commercial activities. Will the energy invested and ideas developed during these three months return or bring about any concrete and lasting change? It is still perhaps too early to say…

Endphase 18.2 is an audio-visual performance that juxtaposes and contrasts two sonic, visual and social realities, which for a moment shared a common geographical space. On one side, the monotony, the established system and the commercial interests that usually take priority over those they purport to serve. On the other side, the energy, the risk and idealism of new ideas, and the faces and sounds of real persons, investing their efforts for a more just situation.

Over the course of 20 minutes, the crossing and intertwining of two trajectories will be explored: the path of the demonstrations and a “typical” commercial stroll. These opposing trajectories — to and from Sol — are traced live by Bernal and Tomás (in Madrid) while Pais performs live in Weimar, controlling the performance and complementing the data transmission interpretation with sounds and images collected in Madrid and at other demonstrations.


Also at the Pd-Convention: Workshop by João Pais Understanding and being creative with Pure Data’s data structures and paper presentation Click Tracker: Performance/composition tool for metrically complex scores


Endphase is an initiative of composers Alberto C. Bernal (ES), Johannes Kreidler (DE) and João Pais (PT). The goal of the project is to critically re-examine traditional conceptions of musical creation and performance and to create an environment in which a broad range of ideas, concepts and creative approaches can be realized, reinforced and informed by an appropriate and engaging æsthetic, stylistic and technical musical identity.

The project was initiated in early 2004, at the Freiburg Conservatory of Music (Germany), where the members met while studying composition with mathias spahlinger. Since then, the trio has performed throughout Western Europe and in China at music festivals such as the Darmstadt Summer New Music Courses (Germany), MusicAcoustica (Beijing), Sinkro (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain) and Dias de Música Electroacústica (Portugal), in the mensa (cafeteria) and recital halls of the Freiburg Conservatory, and in other independent performances venues such as Berlin’s Theaterkapelle and Madrid’s cultural centre Intermediae, as well as at an indoor pool (Faulerbad Freiburg).

Endphase projects, created with a specific venue and/or context as an essential component of the project, are presented as solo concerts, collaborative events, installations, or as “networked” performances. Laptops are used for sound production and processing (occasionally in conjunction with external sound sources), and several types of peripherals (MIDI, joystick, foot pedal, contact microphones) for controlling.

Each Endphase is a unique artistic entity created from the ground up in a collaborative environment. Various models, ideas and musical processes are developed individually and in group rehearsals leading up to the concert execution, or the “Final Stage” (Endphase in German) of the project. The result of the trio’s creative process — the public presentation of the individual project — is not an improvisation in the sense of a discourse built upon patterns of action and reaction, or on uni-directional forms, but is rather a conceptually-defined composition, which only assumes its final form in real time through improvisation.

Once this “endpoint” has been reached, the individual performance will not become a repertoire piece, nor will it be performed again. This is not to say, of course, that the ideas, concepts and working techniques of a past project will not resurface and be reinterpreted in a subsequent Endphase. Because of the nature of the project, each Endphase is not only a single and unrepeatable piece, but also part of a larger work-in-progress, positioned in time.

In February 2009, Kreidler left to pursue other projects and the Spanish sound artist and Ars Electronica collaborator Enrique Tomás was invited to join the project.

João Pais

João Pais (Lisbon, 1976) studied at the Escola superior de música (Lisbon) and at the Royal College of Music (London). In 2002, he moved to Freiburg (Germany) to study composition with mathias spahlinger and electronic music with Mesías Maiguashca and Orm Finnendahl at the Musikhochschule Freiburg. From 2003–04 he was also a studio tutor at the MHF, completing his studies there in 2005. In addition to his academic studies, Pais has attended seminars given by Emmanuel Nunes, Salvatore Sciarrino and others in Lisbon (Calouste-Gulbenkian Foundation), Paris (IRCAM, Académie d’été), Darmstadt (Ferienkurse für neue Musik) and Szombathely (Bartók Festival).

With colleagues Luís Antunes Pena and Diana Ferreira, Pais founded and directed the New Music festival Jornadas Nova Música from 1997–2001.

He collaborates with Alberto C. Bernal and Enrique Tomás on Endphase, a laptop trio exploring conceptual electronic improvisation. The trio performs regularly and explores the intersection of sound and visual media. Endphase often gives workshops alongside performances in order to develop and articulate the pedagogical aspects of performance using electronic media.

João Pais works principally with the open source programming environment Pure Data (Pd) and is an active contributor to its development, both as a programmer of small tools and objects (part of Pd-Extended) and as an editor of Pd’s software documentation (FLOSS Manual etc.). He uses Pd to create performance tools, such as Click Tracker, a patch to prepare click tracks for the performance, study and composition of complex music. Pais works occasionally as a sound engineer for concerts and gives lectures and workshops on the theory and practice of electronic music. Since 2006, he works and lives in Berlin.

Alberto Bernal

Following studies in piano, music theory and composition at the conservatories of Madrid-Ferraz and Salamanca, Alberto Bernal studied composition with mathias spahlinger and electroacoustic music with Mesías Maiguashca and Orm Finnendahl at the Musikhochschule Freiburg in Germany, completing his artistic formation in 2005. From 2002–05 he was also a studio tutor in the MHF electronic music studio. In 2005, he moved to Berlin, where he attended classes held in the Electronic Studios of the Technical University and studied privately with composer Peter Ablinger. The following year he moved to Madrid, where he was composer-in-residence at the Centre for the Diffusion of Contemporary Music (CDMC).

His reflections on current contemporary music issues have been published in various journals and online resources, such as kunstMusik, espacio sonoro, Doce Notas, MusikTexte, Ballade, Parergon, Enrahonar: Quaderns de Filosofia and others, and to give lectures and courses at music conservatories in Beijing, Freiburg, Salamanca and Lisbon, as well as summer courses in Waldkirch, Oslo and Darmstadt. Bernal has received numerous grants and awards from a number of institutions, including the Humboldt Foundation, DAAD, the Goethe Institute, the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the State Department of Germany and the Casa Velázquez (Madrid).

His compositions have been performed in Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Hungary, China, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Active as a performer of live electroacoustic music, notably his work with the Endphase laptop trio, Bernal teaches courses in electronic music and in analysis at the Conservatory of Palma de Mallorca and at Madrid’s Aula de Músicas Academy.

Enrique Tomás

Enrique Tomás (Madrid, 1981) is a sound artist and researcher who dedicates his time to finding new ways of expression and play with technology. His work explores the intersection between computer music, locative media and human-machine interaction. He is a member of a number of collectives through which he develops various aspects of his work: the phenomena of listening and the value of sound heritage with <escoitar.org>, electroacoustic improvisation with Endphase and sound installation with FASE. As an individual artist, Tomas’ activity is centred around <ultranoise.es> and focuses on performances and installations with extreme and immersive sounds and environments. He has exhibited in spaces of Ars Electronica, Sonar, KUMU, SMAK, Medialab-Prado, Laboral, STEIM, Arteleku etc., and in galleries and institutions throughout Europe and in Mexico. Also an educator, he has led many workshops on the use of technologies for creative expression. Following his work as sonic researcher at Futurelab (Ars Electronica’s media art R&D lab), he is now the director of the Labor Für Elektroakustische Musik und Neue Medien in Linz, Austria.

Monday 08. Aug 2011
19.00 - 22.30
Platz der Demokratie, Fürstenhaus Fürstensaal

Kreativfonds Bauhaus-Univeristät WeimarElectronic Arts Blog für digitale SpielkulturThe Mozilla FoundationAllied Vision TechnologiesFreistaat ThüringenBauhaus-Universität WeimarHochschule für Musik Franz Liszt WeimarFraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMTStadt WeimarKlassik Stiftung WeimarNKFaculty of MediaStudio for electro-acoustic MusicKulturTragWerk e.V.Elektronisches Studio der TU BerlinMaschinenraum Hackerspace WeimarRadio Lotte WeimarSponsors and partners of the 4th internationals Pure Data Convention in Weimar 2011

4th international Pure Data Convention 2011 Weimar ~ Berlin