After he started out playing the guitar and performing the sound mixing desk, Mathis Nitschke studied visual arts before he finally made his degree in music composition at the Royal Conservatoire Den Haag with Gilius van Bergeijk, Richard Ayres and Clarence Barlow.
Lectures and seminars with, among others, Heiner Goebbels, DJ Spooky, Jean-Luc Nancy, Michel Houellebecq, Mike Figgis, Peter Greenaway and The Brothers Quay during his post-graduate study at the European Graduate School (EGS), Saas-Fee, flanked his education.
Along this way, he developed a strong conceptual approach. He creates opera and music theatre, art installations, films and concerts, which are presented in European theatres, galleries and festivals.
In Mathis Nitschkes works as a theatre maker the spectator not only watches, he is also being watched and takes part in the theatrical situation. In the short operas “Viola” and “Katharina” (2015/16) the audience sits in shop windows and looks on the happenings on the square in front of it. At the same time the audience members themselves are exposed in the shop window and pedestrians look at them.
Integrating smartphones and headphones as an integral part of todays public life, Nitschke created an interactive audio tour for promenaders at the Munich river Isar: “Vergehen” (“Passing”, 2017), an opera which one has to walk. It lets the real world interact sonically with the virtual world. In the “Deutsche Bühne” yearbook of 2017, “Vergehen” was nominated in the best stage/space/costume categorie.
In October 2017, “MAYA” had its premiere: a Mixed-Reality-Techno-Opera in which central questions of post-humanity have been discussed. In the ruins of the heating plant Aubing Nitschke created a virtual cosmos parallel to the real world, on the basis of sound, music, augmented reality technology and digital art, in which the audience could move freely.
With his long-time collaborator light designer and director Urs Schönebaum he created the operas “Jetzt” and “Happy Happy“, commissioned by the National Opera Montpellier (2012 and 2014). “Jetzt” earned a nomination for ‘premier of the year’ in the Opernwelt yearbook 2013.
FILM AND DRAMA
Mathis Nitschke works a lot in teams. In 2008, Mathis collaborated with the French author Michel Houellebecq for his movie adaptation ‘The Possibility of an Island’. In 2017, Nitschke composed and produced the music for Martin Farkas’ documentary film “Demmin”.
He regularly works in the most important german-speaking theatres like, among others, Münchner Kammerspiele, Thalia Theater Hamburg, Schauspielhaus Zürich, Burg-/Akademietheater Vienna or Schauspiel Köln with directors like Luk Perceval, Andreas Kriegenburg, Christof Loy, Thomas Jonigk, Ulrike Arnold, Karin Henkel, Christiane Pohle and others. Nitschke has a special interest in working with authors, notably Jonas Lüscher, Thomas Jonigk, Michel Houellebecq and Ulrike Draesner.
His music is often a result of combined improvisational practise. He maintains special working relationships with singers Martina Koppelstetter and Karen Vourc’h and musicians Santiago Cimadevilla, Anja Lechner, Goska Isphording, Mathis Mayr, Brice Soniano and Klaus-Peter Werani, among others.
AND BEYOND THAT
As a live sound designer, Nitschke performs the mixing desk not only in theatres but also at contemporary music performances in concert halls, such as the Musica Viva series of the Bavarian Radio Symphony orchestra. On occasion, in Solo and Ensemble projects, he performs as an improvising sound artist.
Drawing from early experience gained in commercial advertising production (Hastings Audio, Giesing Team) and a succesful career in film post production (Resident Evil, Luther) Nitschke also offers his services to corporations and live-communication agencies, resulting in image films (e.g. for BMW), Sound-ID’s (e.g. Airbus Group) or concert inserts and musical highlights (e.g. Linde Management conference, BMW Excellence in Sales).
He runs the website c.opera.net as a resource for contemporary opera, and he teaches and holds seminars and workshops at various German and Austrian conservatories (e.g. Musikkhochschule Trossingen, Hochschule der populären Künste Berlin, Fachhochschule St. Pölten).
For Celemony Software GmbH he works as the product manager for Capstan, a software for sound restoration which is able to correct wow and flutter purely digitally. He also counsels the company in their new product developments.