Live. Max. Max For Live. What is it Good for?
In 2001, the revolutionary Ableton Live software gave birth to a new way of creating and performing electronic music. Ableton Live’s production of endless repetitions of hypnotic beats became a huge success, especially among dance music producers. However, the academic music world has remained highly skeptical, as Abelton Live is not believed to be ideal for a seated audience listening to carefully crafted details. The modular and infinitely personal structure of a framework like Max/MSP has been a long-term standard tool in academic computer music, but Live and Max seem to cater to a very different audience. What happens when those two worlds become more integrated?
As a child of Berlin’s vivid club culture in the 1990s and a frequent guest at the legendary electronic studio of the Technical University, Robert Henke started composing music influenced both by academic computer music and electronic dance music. His more rhythmical works are released and performed under the alias Monolake. He has performed at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London, ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany, and in squatted houses in Berlin. His music has been licensed for several dance performances and TV series. He is also one of the principal authors of Ableton Live software.
Henke studied sound engineering for film and computer science. He teaches sound design at the Berlin University of Arts, as well as creates and performs music, runs his own record label, does sound installations, and writes about computer-generated sound. He lives and works in Berlin.