Our top masterclasses from 2022 at BIMM Institute Berlin
This past year we were very happy to welcome back our industry guests for in-house masterclasses at BIMM Institute Berlin! After a while of masterclasses taking place online, students were able to sign up again for in-person masterclasses hosted on stage in Live Room 2 in the House of Music. We loved all the masterclasses from this semester but a few of them were particularly outstanding. Here are our favourites:
Q&A Masterclass with Lotic
J’Kerian Morgan, known as Lotic, has been fortifying her forceful sound and dominating the Berlin electronic music scene for nearly a decade. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Lotic played alto saxophone in her high school marching band and in competitions with the University Interscholastic League before an education at the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied film and electronic music, and hosted DJ sets for the college radio station. In addition to producing music for the dance floor, Lotic also helped to create one: She co-founded the Janus Collective with fellow American expatriate promoters and producers, creating a monthly party that began in Berlin-Kreuzberg’s Chesters and quickly ascended to hosting Janus rosters at Berghain. Lotic established herself within Berlin’s nightlife for her capricious DJ sets, her sonic offering ranging from experimental creations rooted in her music theory training to remixed Top 40 that attracted avant-garde singer, songwriter, and DJ, Björk. Following a collaboration on two remixes for Björk’s Vulnicura album’s track “NotGet” and an invitation to open for her 2015 Berlin concert, Björk stated, “Lotic is one of the fiercest performer DJs I have ever heard” (MixMag, 2018).
We really enjoyed this Q&A masterclass and Lotic’s informative and inspiring perspective as an artist working and living in Berlin. It was especially interesting to hear about her experience in the music industry and her honest opinions on the challenges she has faced as a musician.
How to build a career as a Songwriter with Craig Walker & Erik Alcock
Dublin-born Craig Walker began his professional recording career at the age of 17 with his band Power of Dreams. The band’s debut album ‘Immigrants, Emigrants and Me’ has been widely hailed by critics as one of the best Irish debut albums of all time. Craig has released a number of albums with artists like Archive, Them There, Mineral and Booka Shade. He also released a solo project, an album called ‘Siamese’ in 2009. In 2014 ‘Fade Out Lines’, a song Craig wrote with his Them There partner Phoebe Killdeer, became a worldwide hit for French DJ/producer The Avener. In 2016 Craig and Phoebe received the prestigious ‘prix de creation’ award in France for the song.
Erik Alcock is a Toronto-born Canadian singer/songwriter/producer who is signed to UMPG. He has written and played on two Grammy award-winning albums (Eminem’s ‘Recovery’ and his ‘Marshall Mathers LP 2’, both of which won Rap Album of the Year) as well as playing and writing on P!nk’s Grammy-nominated album ‘The Truth About Love’. His credits include A$AP Rocky, French Montana, Pitbull, Celine Dion and Ria Mae among others.
In this session, Erik and Craig discussed their own stories, as well as focusing on vital topics about building a career as a songwriter, the creative process of a professional songwriter and the challenges and opportunities faced by songwriters in today’s music industry. At the end of the masterclass, we also hosted an amazing demo listening session where Craig and Erik listened to students’ tracks. Overall, it was great to hear their stories about working as songwriters with artists like Celine Dion and more!
Live Performance with Nicole Wiese
Nicole Wiese has been working with lead singers and bands in the field of live performance and music videos, completely independent from their status or degree of popularity. Due to her studies in London, she became a specialist for movement, its psychophysiological meaning and movement in space. As a freelancer she has worked with artists like Kraftklub, LionsHead, Glasperlenspiel, Just Some Motion or Lena Meyer-Landrut, for companies like Metro, Otto Group and Deka and on events like the Fifa World Cup 2006 and Tag der Legenden. In 2017 and 2018 she choreographed the Festivaltours and Open Airs of Kraftklub. There, the band won the 1live Krone Radio Award for `Best Live Act 2017`. In 2018 the band was nominated again for award, as well as ‘most impressive live performance’ at Preis für Popkultur.
This masterclass was especially great for our students as the End of Year Gig was coming up.Students were able to get some last-minute coaching and advice to improve their stage presence, performance and their overall stagecraft!
During the masterclass, Nicole covered the following topics:
- What is included in an effective stage performance?
- Which aspects need more attention in my performance?
- Which impact has my body language subconsciously on my audience?
- Performance tools
- Appearance and effect – my imaginations & the observer`s eye
- Increased awareness of body language – and how that helps me to channel my audience`s associations and finally emotions
- Use and meaning of space
- Key methods and rescue spots
Nicole really took time to listen to what each student wanted to work on and improve about their live performance and then demonstrated some techniques on how students can achieve this. Her energy and enthusiasm made it easy for students to feel at home on stage and students got some valuable tips for their performance from Nicole’s wealth of knowledge.
Nicole even attended the End of Year Gig and offered to give our students some feedback on their final performance!
We look forward to all the future masterclasses at BIMM Institute Berlin and are excited to invite more experts from the industry to share their knowledge and expertise with our students!