Holger Maik Mertin is a sound-design-actionist, multi-percussionist, music ethnologist and author. He works trans-disciplinary in the borderlands between disciplines with relevant artists in the music and dance scene as well as non arts oriented fields such as with athletes and the natural sciences. In his artistic and scientific education at the university in Frankfurt am Main, Köln and London he focused on a deep study of rhythmic music traditions in a sociological-philosophical context.
“Space as an instrument” describes his current artistic research area and performance project, which he realises both as a solo project and with other artists. In the duo Mertin Niżnik, Mertin, together with Violinist Justyna Niżnik, he combines aspects of classical and improvised music styles with choreography with performance concepts.
- His projects include: musical direction of the intercultural DAAD (Deutsche Academic Study-Abroad Scholarship) exchange and research project “Atlas Workshop Agdz” (Morocco/Germany 2016-2018) as well as the “The Immersive Project”, in collaboration with the Spezialmaterial-Label (Zürich).
- At the Centre for Contemporary Dance Cologne, he worked for over ten years as a lecturer for Percussion/Sound-semiotic and interdisciplinary projects.
- There he co-initiated and organised in November 2018 the interdisciplinary symposium “Transformative Practices”.
- With percussionist Jaki Liebezeit and producer/guitarist Joseph Suchy he released in 2015, under the name “Liebezeit-Mertin”, the album Akşak”.
- He has written over 100 articles for the professional percussion magazine STICKS, and has developed diverse hybrid instruments such as Capsticks (with Michael Konrath) and a Percussion-Hi Hat (with Meinl).
- In 2014, he composed, with the singer Maria Jonas, for the WDR 5 (West German Radio), music for the series “14 Tagebücher des 1. Weltkriegs” (14 journals on World War 1).
- In his concert series, “Drums And More”, regularly occurring since 2009 he has played with musicians and artists including: Milan Sladek, the ballet company in Pforzheim, Hayden Chisholm & Echo Ho, Jonas Burgwinkel, Martin Sasse, Sebastian Studnitzky, Roland Peil, Ali Haurand and AnnenMayKantereit.
- Within contemporary dance formats, he has worked with Stephanie Thierschs Mouvier, Jan Burkhardt, Nina Patricia Hänel, Philine Herrlein, Pavel Vanek, Kojiro Imada, Martin Sonderkamp, Reveriano Camil & dem Stadttheater Trier, Harake Dance Company, Rick Kam, Phuong Tuong, Michal Hirsch, Benedetta Reuter among others.
- For the Kulturpfade-Festival in Essen he developed, together with students from the CCD in Cologne multiple trans-disciplinary performances. He created Dada performances with Qualitätsdada, played sound-sculpture concerts, including in the ZKM in Karlsruhe and has performed for the Schauspiel Köln (Theatre Cologne) as as stage musician.
- As a solist he played with the WDR Radio Orchestra Cologne and the Nürnberger Staatsphilharmonie (City Philharmonie). His solo performances include multiple presentations at the Frankfurt Music Trade Fair, for the WDR Cologne and the Cologne City Dance 2016.
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