Carsten Nicolai aka Alva Noto

© Andrey Bold

Biography

Carsten Nicolai is a German artist and musician based in Berlin. For his musical outputs he uses the pseudonym Alva Noto. Born 1965 in Karl-Marx-Stadt he is part of an artist generation who works intensively in the transitional area between music, art and science. With a strong adherence to reductionism he leads his sound experiments into the field of electronic music creating his own code of signs, acoustics and visual symbols.

Diverse  musical projects include remarkable collaborations with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ryoji Ikeda (cyclo), Blixa Bargeld or Mika Vainio. Nicolai toured extensively as Alva Noto through Europe, Asia, South America and the US. Among others, he performed at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou in Paris and Tate Modern in London. Nicolai scored the music for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 'The Revenant’. The score was nominated for a Golden Globe, BAFTA, Grammy and Critics Choice Award. Most recently he has created the sound design for Iñárritu’s groundbreaking VR project “Carne y Arena”.

His musical œuvre echoes in his work as a visual artist. Carsten Nicolai seeks to overcome the separation of the sensory perceptions of man by making scientific phenomenons like sound and light frequencies perceivable for both eyes and ears. His installations have a minimalistic aesthetic that by its elegance and consistency is highly intriguing. After his participation in important international exhibitions like documenta X and the 49th and 50th Venice Biennale, Nicolai’s works were shown worldwide in extensive solo and group exhibitions.

Film

Draw a Line, 2019
Directed by Benedict Mirow
Music: Alva Noto, Ryuichi Sakamoto

Babylon, 2019
Directed by Haimi Fenichel
Short

Likemeback, 2018
Directed by Leonardo Guerra Seràgnoli
Music: Alva Noto

Closing Time, 2018
Directed by Nicole Vögele
Music: Alva Noto

Carne y Arena, 2017
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Music: Alva Noto
VR

Roadside Radiation, 2017
Directed by Moritz Schulz
Music: Alva Noto, Gregor Pfeffer

Any Other Normal, 2016
Directed by Brock Labrenz
Music: Alva Noto, Ryuichi Sakamoto

The Revenant, 2015
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Music: Alva Noto, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Bryce Dessner

Lin, 2010
Directed by Harley Hessel
Short

Wochentage, 2004
Directed by Carsten Gebhardt
Music: Alva Noto

Flashforward, 2004
Directed by Eva Meyer, Eran Schaerf
Music: Alva Noto


Video

Future Past Perfect pt. 07, 2015

Future Past Perfect pt. 04, 2013

Future Past Perfect pt. 02, 2012

Future Past Perfect pt. 01, 2010

Future Past Perfect pt. 03, 2009

Plamen Dejanoff Documentation, 2007

Camera Lucida, 2007
Video: Evelina Domnitch+Dimitry Gelfand+variuos artists

Kosta 3:30, 2006
Directed by Mikael Olsson+Andreas Roth

The Milkmaid, 2006
Video: Mariana Vassileva

New Ryoanji, 2005
Video: Tagaki Masakatsu
Music: Ryoji Ikeda, Carsten Nicolai

FILMSCORE

LIKEMEBACK

Directed by: Leonardo Guerra Seràgnoli
Music: Alva Noto

Just out of high school, Lavinia, Carla and Danila leave for a yachting holiday. Accompanied only by a skipper, the three of them sail along the Croatian coast at the start of a new stage in their lives. Full of dreams, free and laid-back, they are unaware that sharing everything on the social media is about to transform their holiday into a brutal rite of passage to adulthood in which nothing, especially their friendship, will ever be the same again.

World Premiere: Locarno Film Festival 2018

FILMSCORE

CLOSING TIME

Directed by: Nicole Vögele
Music: Alva Noto

Kuo and his wife cook for the city’s sleepless. They work all night and sleep during the day, like many others in buzzing Taipei. The film is an attempt at capturing time, a cinematographic meditation on in-between moments and a search for the inexplicable when a human being is simply human.

World Premiere: Locarno Film Festival 2018

FILMSCORE

THE REVENANT

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Music: Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto, additional music: Bryce Dessner

While exploring uncharted wilderness in 1823, legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass sustains injuries from a brutal bear attack. When his hunting team leaves him for dead, Glass must utilize his survival skills to find a way back home while avoiding natives on their own hunt. Grief-stricken and fueled by vengeance, Glass treks through the wintry terrain to track down John Fitzgerald, the former confidant who betrayed and abandoned him.

The Revenant received 12 nominations and won 3 awards at the Academy Awards in 2016. The score was nominated for a Golden Globe, BAFTA, Grammy and Critics' Choice Award.