Elisabeth Schimana

Since the 1980s the musician and composer Elisabeth Schimana has been active as one of the Austrian female pioneers of electronic music with projects marked by a radical approach and equally unconventional aesthetics.

After completing vocal training, she earned degrees in composition, computer music, musicology, and ethnology. She has worked intensively with the theremin in Moscow and with the Max Brand Synthesizer in Vienna. Not only has she created countless radio works in cooperation with ORF Kunstradio but numerous sound installations and interdisciplinary and performative projects as well. Her concepts for experimental set-ups fathom the social field and put to the test new ways of interacting musically on the Internet.

In her artistic work, Schimana examines questions of space, communication, or the body in its presence or absence, especially the imparting of compositional concepts (scores), which gives rise to completely new approaches that experimentally explore how we hear and demand a heightened musical presence on the part of the performer. Her probing approach also led her to found the IMA Institute of Media Archeology, which has dedicated itself to acoustic media at the analogue/digital interface and to the subject of women, art, and technology since 2005.

Schimana's award-winning and internationally performed work spans the gamut of composition and free playing, is inextricably bound to her as a live performer, makes reference to historical positions, but resists all attempts at categorization, and stands out, strikingly and reduced, with tremendous intensity. (Milena Meller)

Founded the IMA Institute for Media Archaeology

Texts by and about Elisabeth Schimana

  • 2017
  • Artist in Residence DAR, Druskininkai, Lithuania | Lecturer: "Art and Archive in Dialog", KUG Archiv, Graz; "a village doeas nothing, TKI, Wattens; "Composing with Physical Models", IEM, Graz; "IMAfiction", Heroines of Sound Festival, Berlin; IMA symposium "entfalten", Medienwerkstatt Wien | mentor in the frame of the mentoring program for female artists from bundeskanzleramt:kunst
  • 2016
  • Lecturer: LIMA symposium "UNFOLD", Amsterdam and Hochschule fuer Musik Freiburg i.Br. symposium "Heldinnen"| editor of "Maschinen fuer die Oper. Der Komponist Max Brand". Hollitzer Verlag | lectures and composition workshops in Sao Paulo (Studio PANaroma, UNESP)), Belo Horizonte (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais) | foundation of "Klangraum Froebelgasse" | jurymember Kulturpreise des Landes Niederoesterreich
  • 2015
  • Worklab at NOTAM, Oslo | artistic director of the project "From Agora to Syntagme" by LAB.852 | composition workshops in Mexico City (Escuala Superior de Musica), Oaxaca (San Pablo), St. Luis Potosi (UASLP) | Lecturer: symposium AllAroundAudio (FH St. Poelten), MAP symposium (Ludwig Museum, Budapest)
  • 2014
  • MA Composition - Computermusik at IEM, Graz | Lecture Performance at the symposium Grenzgeräusche, Freiburg (DE) | Residency at CONA, Ljubljiana | Worklab at NOTAM, Oslo
  • 2013
  • appreciation award of Lower Austria for media art | conception of the exhibition "IMAfocus Max Brand" in cooperation with Christian Scheib and the Max Brand Archive, IMA Institut für Medienarchäologie, Hainburg
  • 2011
  • SKE Publicity Award 2011
  • 2010
  • BA musicology at the University of Vienna
  • 2007/8/9
  • conception and realisation of the exhibition "Magical Soundmachines" at Kulturfabrik Hainburg
  • 2006/7
  • jurymember for the Prix Ars Electronica digital music
  • 2005
  • formation of IMA Institute of Media Archeology
  • 2004/2
  • Artist in residence STEIM, Amsterdam
  • 2003
  • voluntary service at Cultural Forum Moscow | formation of salon elise | composer in residence IEM (Institut für Elektronische Musik Graz) | artist in residence at werkstadt graz
  • 2001/2
  • scholarship for postgraduate studies at the Theremin Center Moscow
  • 2000
  • research grant cultural departement of Lower Austria
  • 1999
  • selected for the CD/CDROM Power and Responsibility, Leonardo Music Journal, MIT press
  • 1998
  • music award of Lower Austria | director of the project "Klangnetze" for the region of Lower Austria
  • 1990
  • scholarship for composition (University of Keele, Royal Collage of Music, London)
  • 1989
  • musicology and ethnology studies at the University of Vienna
  • 1987/89
  • electroacoustic music studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna
  • 1987
  • visiting student at the University of York, music department, UK
  • 1986/88
  • Basic research studies in Harmonikale Grundlagenforschung at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna
  • 1983/85
  • singing lessons (private)
  • 1959
  • * in innsbruck

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