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Music in the City
Open-air Laboratory for Composers, Accordionists, Percussionists and Saxophonists

Intensive workshop with selection process (Call for Sketches, Deadline: 15 December 2019)

Tutors: Christian Dierstein, Françoise Rivalland, Håkon Stene (Percussion), Krassimir Sterev (Accordion), Marcus Weiss (Saxophone), David Helbich and Cathy Milliken (Composition)

Workshop dates: six days tba

Workshop times:

tba: 14.00–17.00
tba and tba: 10.00–13.00
tba: 10.00–13.00 or 14.00–17.00 (maybe without percussion)
tba: 10.00–13.00
tba: 10.00–13.00

Location: Different open-air locations in Darmstadt

Possible number of active participants: 6-8 composers

Participants: Composers (selected from Call for Sketches, registered for composition) & percussionists, saxophonists, accordionists (participants of the percussion, saxophone and accordion studios)


The “Music in the City” project is about developing open-air works for ensemble (2 to 22 performers) in a collaborative way and will bring a great variety of contemporary music and musical performance into the urban space of the city of Darmstadt.

Composers and musicians will work together in an open-air laboratory in order to realize scores or concepts or create site-specific open-air music. In addition to integrating special sonic features of the chosen performance location, the work could also deal with the function or history of that site. The projects can involve a vast range of references, from purely musical scores to traditional open-air rituals to contemporary street theatre.

Available Instruments

Saxophone: Soprano and Alto saxophones up to 10 players; Tenor and Baritone saxophones max. 2 players each
Percussion: limited, portable, lightweight, max. 10 players
Accordion: 4 players

Call for Sketches

We are searching for proposals involving 2-22 players. Suggestions for sonic or compositional ideas, particular set-ups etc. may, in theory, employ any sound producing object of the composer’s choice as long as it is possible to realize within the practical framework of the instrumental studios. For percussion, we encourage applicants to opt for small-scale set-ups, and possibly, if employing unconventional instruments, bring their own instruments or electronic devices to the workshops. Proposals may be submitted with or without any form of musical notation. The participating composers will have to construct the performance space together with the performers during the process. A theatrical aspect could be included.

Piece/Concept/Score: movable or local sound piece (open-air), instrumental sound installation. Music for saxophone/saxophonists, percussion/percussionists, and accordion/accordionists in public space.

The tutors will select 6 to 8 pieces with the following line-up:

1 to 10 saxophones and 1 to 10 percussions and 1 to 4 accordions

(possible line-up: 2 to a maximum of 22 players). Flexible line-ups are possible.

Duration: 1–8 minutes.

The pieces of the selected composers (score, a worked out concept, or a defined sketch of the piece) must be finished by ⚠️ 1 May 2020. The compositions will be rehearsed in Darmstadt by participants of the Darmstadt percussion, saxophone and accordion studios in close collaboration with the composers and the tutors.


The projects can involve one single or a group of composers working collectively.

Required documents:

  • a short description of the project (1-2 pages of written text)
  • a short CV
  • at least one work from their existing portfolio, either as audio/video files (please send links only) or a written score

Applicants are requested to merge all documents into ONE SINGLE PDF file (LASTNAME_Firstname_Music_in_the_City_2020.pdf) and e-mail it by 15 December 2019 to:

Please note that we cannot consider any remarks, links, or information outside the PDF!
If you have sound or video files, please upload them on a cloud and provide the link in the PDF, thank you!

All applicants will be notified before 22 January 2020 (start of the booking period). Composers accepted for the workshop will be given priority during registration and online booking for composition.

Important: Please take note of our data protection policy and the conditions for participation for the Darmstadt Summer Course before submitting your application.

If you have questions, please e-mail!

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