Carsten Nicolai Performs His Infinite Compositions, Songs Without Beginning Or End

Before recorded formats, musical pieces were unbound by time limitations. It wasn’t until the capacity of various formats began restricting how much music could fit onto them that the concept of individual tracks comprising entire albums emerged. But now that physical formats have all but diminished, there’s no reason we need to adhere to the limitations of time. Carsten Nicolai’s new project takes full advantage of this idea.

Along with percussionist Rainer Römer of Ensemble Modern, Nicolai developed the performance piece Aleph-1, named for a Hewbrew-rooted mathematical term used to represent infinite sets. Fitting their title, the musical pieces in aleph-1 are infinite, in that they have no defined beginning or end.

Nicolai first release the Aleph-1 project in 2008, exploring the use of melody, which was uncommon on his previous releases. This performance features Nicolai himself on the electronics, Römer on marimba, with Norbert Ommer action as sound director.

If you’re in Frankfurt this weekend, check out the show this Sunday at Portikus

To experience more of Carsten Nicolai’s creations, check out our profile on him below.