Bernhard Living

London, United Kingdom.

Bernhard Living

London, United Kingdom.

Bernhard Living is an experimental music composer, digital artist and former digital arts curator and multi-instrumentalist. He studied composition with the South African-born composer professor Stanley Glasser at Goldsmiths College, University of London and philosophy at Middlesex Univeristy.

As a musician, Living performed with a number of leading composers and musical innovators, including Karlheinz Stockhausen, Cornelius Cardew, Hugh Davies, Barry Guy and Mike Westbrook. He is a featured soloist on a number of classic jazz and rock albums, including Mike Westbrook’s “Celebration”, “Release”, and “Marching Song”, Manfred Mann’s “Chapter Three” and “Chapter Three Volume Two”, Barry Guy’s “Ode”, and Linder Stirling’s Ludus project. He was also the music director for the Moving Being multimedia dance company. As as digital arts curator, he was instrumental in setting up the BN1 project, a Brighton-based autonomous arts organisation. Described as a ‘museum without walls’, BN1 commissioned leading digital and installation artists, including Susan Collins, Thomas Köner, Simon Poulter, Michael Petry and Paul Sermon, to produce artworks for both traditional exhibition spaces and for the pubic domain.

Bernhard Living’s digitally-based compositions have taken minimalistic compositional techniques to their logical conclusion, with his music being characterised by sparse textures, long periods of silence, maximal repetition and minimal variation. His philosophical program consists of research into into a wide range of ideas and themes, including boredom as an existential condition (Martin Heidegger), the concept of ‘eternal return’ (Friedrich Nietzsche), hypermodernism, neuroscience, audio hallucinations, the nature of consciousness and the functioning of memory. He regards his compositions as forms of philosophic meditations, exploring philosophy with non-linguistic sonic means, instead of through a written discourse, his music being not only a means of self-expression, but also one for encouraging and developing a deeper and more complex thinking process.