Alva Noto is a stage name of sound artist Carsten Nicolai who uses art and music as complementary tools to create microscopic views of creative processes. Another alias he uses is Noto. He is a member of the music groups Signal (with Frank Bretschneider, AKA Komet and Olaf Bender, AKA Byetone) and Cyclo. (with Ryoji Ikeda). Nicolai was born in Karl-Marx-Stadt, East Germany. His interest in sound and its physical qualities may be inspired by his childhood obsession with bats, whom as a child he believed he could communicate with. He first studied architecture and landscape design before pursuing an interest in the theoretical properties of sound and space. Resettling in Berlin in the early 1990s, Nicolai founded the experimental music label Noton as a platform for his conceptual and experimental musical concerns.In 1996 this was to become Raster-Noton. Archiv Für Ton Und Nichtton with the collaboration of Olaf Bender. Nicolai transforms sound by looping oscillators and tone generators. He does not use sequencers, but edits his work to give his compositions rhythmic structures. Clicks and glitches are not used as ornamental additions to the compositions but make up the essential rhythmic and harmonic elements of the work. He frequently samples electronic information transmission sounds such as fax tones, modem sounds and telephone pops and clicks are sampled and organised.Among other overlooked sound sources. Nicolai has recently written an opera, Sparkie: Cage and Beyond, in collaboration with Michael Nyman. Carsten Nicolai also works as a visual artist. Using the principles of Cymatics he visualizes sound. Nicolai’s practice is formed by a convergence of sound, painting and sculpture that results in installations exploring the idea of creativity filtered through modularized systems and codes. His music features prominently in his art. Nicolai’s work exposes the limitations, and potential beauty and creativity, possible within strict logical systems. Nicolai has performed and created installations in many of the world's most prestigious spaces including the Guggenheim, New York, the SF MoMA, Oxford MoMA, NTT Tokyo, Tate Modern and Venice Biennale, Italy. As a member (and co-founder) of the Raster-Noton label he was responsible for the acclaimed CD series '20 to 2000' that went on to win the Golden Nica prize at Prix Ars Electronica, 2000.
Prototypes — 2000 (Mille Plateaux).
Transform — 2001 (Mille Plateaux) & re-released on Raster-Noton in 2008.
'Transall cycle' "approaches the problematics of speed, the vision of utopia and the dissolution of our ideas into fragments.
" Xerrox Vol.1 — 2007 (Raster-Noton)
Aleph-1 — 2007 (as 'Aleph-1') (iDeal Recordings) Unitxt — 2008 (Raster-Noton)
Xerrox Vol.2 — 2009 (Raster-Noton)
For 2 — 2010 (12k/line)
Univrs — 2011 (Raster-Noton)
Transrapid — 2004 (Raster-Noton).
Transvision — 2005 (Raster-Noton).
Transspray — 2006 (Raster-Noton).
Solo compilationsFor — June 2006 (Line, a division of 12k). A collection of unreleased tracks created over the previous 4 years. For 2 — March 2010 (Line, a division of 12k). A collection of unreleased tracks created over the previous 7 years.
With Ryuichi Sakamoto:
Vrioon — December 2002 (Raster-Noton)
Insen — March 2005 (Raster-Noton)
Revep — March 2006 (Raster-Noton)
Insen Live — October 2006 (Raster-Noton).
DVD release. Contains fifteen tracks and video footage from the 'Insen' tour. Recordings for the DVD took place at Casa da Musica, Porto, Portugal, on June 11, 2006 and at Sonar festival 2006, Barcelona, Spain, on June 15, 2006 in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Also contains live tracks from the 2005 Insen album, as well as previously unreleased tracks such as 'Xerox' and 'Barco.'
utp_ — September 2008 (Raster-Noton)
Summvs — May 2011 (Raster-Noton)
With Ryoji Ikeda:
Cyclo — 2001 (Raster-Noton)
Cyclo.id — 2011 (Raster-Noton)
With Scanner (Robin Rimbaud)
Uniform: SF MoMA 2001. CD Contains 1 track, "Uniform," performed and recorded by Carsten Nicolai and Robin Rimbaud (Scanner) for the exhibition of ""010101: Art In Technological Times"" at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) on March 3, 2001.
With Blixa Bargeld, as ANBBR:
Marut Handshake — 2010 (Raster-Noton)
Mimikry — 2010 (Raster-Noton)
With Opiate (Thomas Knak), as "Opto":
Opto Files — 2001 (Raster-Noton). Limited CD release. Number 6 in the raster.static series. CD Comes in a silver anti-static bag with green card insert.
Opto: 2nd — June 2004 (Hobby Industries). The CD Contains ten tracks, all titled with times of the day. The collaboration was created in a 48-hour period and was inspired by the restored recording from a cassette found in a forest in Eastern Germany.
With Zeitkratzer Zeitkratzer & Carsten Nicolai:
Electronics — 2008 (Zeitkratzer Records)
Escuchar & Download:
Pioner IOO del LP Summvs con Ryuichi Sakamoto
Opto File 1 con Opiate
Once Again del proyecto ANBB con Blixa Bargeld
u_08-1 del LP Untext
Haliod Xerrox Copy 111 (Iner)del LP Xerrox vol.1
Uni Fac del LP Univrs