Berlin-based Robert Henke aka Monolake, was born 1969 in Munich, Germany. He is a multidisciplinary thinker, composer, sound designer, software developer, installation artist and audiovisual performer. His art is focused on carefully shaped details behind the surface and gradual changes of repeating structures in different time scales. Henke places equal importance on the interaction between audiovisual arts, and the physical spaces in which they take place. He is currently exploring new technologies such as wave field synthesis and ambisonics, and makes use of large-scale high-resolution projections to create situations of total immersion and either decouple the spatial experience from a given space or enhance its inherent properties. Many of his works are defined as potentially endless and slowly evolving states, thus inviting the audience to immerse themselves completely for a freely defined amount of time. His sonic explorations are rooted in academic sound research and computer music as well as in contemporary club culture. With his collaborative musical project, Monolake, he helped shaping what later became 'the sound of Berlin techno music', whilst his more conceptual works are frequently performed or exhibited at art galleries and festivals.
Henke’s contemporaries include a growing group of artists who use new technology and computer science for the exploration of new aesthetic territories between composition, performance and installation. For Henke, the artistic results that are evident in his works - as well as creation of the instruments and tools necessary to achieve these results - are two sides of the same artistic process.
Henke’s interest in the combination of art and technology is further evident in his contributions to the development of the music software, Ableton Live. Since Ableton’s founding in 1999, he has been central to the development of Live, which became the standard tool for electronic music production and performance, and is currently used by more than 100.000 people worldwide.
Henke also writes and lectures about sound and the creative use of computer. He holds a professorship in sound design at the Berlin University of Arts.
Henke’s performances and installations have been shown at the Tate Modern in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, MUDAM in Luxembourg, the PS1 in New York, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Troy, the Sonar Festival Barcelona and others. Henke has released more than twenty albums, with his work, Layering Buddha, receiving an honorary mention at the Prix Ars Electronica in 2007. Currently, he is working on a laser based audiovisual installation, on a commission for the Acousmonium, the INA/GRM multiple speaker system. His most recent album Ghosts, was just released in February 2012 on his own label, imbalance computer music.
Tonight he will be appearing in 3D Surround Sound, something he also did at his last New York appearance also at The Bunker in October 2010. This appearance is part of his Monolake Ghosts in Surround Tour which aims to present the material of the new Monolake Ghosts album in the most dramatic, beautiful and immersive way: As a full surround sound experience plus real time generative video.
Precisely crafted earthshaking beats, rough dirty noises, deep bass, wide lush soundscapes and little sonic creatures inhabiting a fascinating planet in which a lot of things go badly wrong and nothing is taken for granted - an audiovisual tour into new territories.
Equally stunning is the visual side, contributed by the Dutch audiovisual artist Tarik Barri who has been collaborating with Henke since early 2009.