Drifters - A Tentacular Performance

Installation view drifters with contrabass clarinet performer Theo Nabicht
Installation view of "Drifters" with Contrabass Clarinetist Theo Nabicht

A Tentacular Performance

In 'Drifters,' contrabass clarinetist Theo Nabicht takes center stage amidst the audience. His performance is meticulously captured by two microphones, channeling through an intricate network of subaquatic-inspired structures. Their shapes and ornaments evoke an underwater atmosphere, reminding us of the graceful and fragile but mighty marine life that depends on our protection and preservation.

Each of these 18 distinct objects contains a transducer that serves not only as a resonator for Nabicht's clarinet, but also for finely crafted electroacoustic sounds based on the sounds of the contrabass clarinet and water. The result is a buzzing and bubbling immersive sound environment that engulfs the audience, where sound ebbs and flows through resonator objects scattered throughout the installation.

The 20- to 30-minute performance is accompanied by a lighting design that responds to the music. Rosenberger's composition mirrors Nabicht's virtuosity, deftly directing the sounds of the double bass clarinet to the scattered transducers within the pulsating Drifters objects. This transformative experience transcends spatial boundaries and invites the audience on a tangible, multi-sensory journey.

Details Installation view of Drifters
Drifters installation view. Set design by Ana Bermudez

Performance Katharina Rosenberger - composition, live electronics, concept
Theo Nabicht - contrabass clarinet
Manolo Müller - live electronics, tech lead
Ana Bermudez - set design
Eric Larrieux - object engineering

This piece was made possible by a generous grant from the Fromm Music Foundation.


Here are an earful of the electroacoustic sounds that get distributed through the subaquatic resonator objects:



Drifters - A Tentacular Performace
Documentation of a work in progress

Pascal Lund - video, montage
Recorded 29 August 2023, ZHdK, University of the Arts Zurich, Konzertsaal 1