The Cork City Gamelan by Berkus

myself posing as a Waterphone playerMy name is Günther Berkus. I was born in Münchberg, Germany in 1951, living in Ireland since my early 20s. I work as an editor and graphics developer in pre-press book production and video post production.

I also make art and music. I generally sign my work simply as Berkus, without my first name. I sometimes use Feenixx as a nom de plume and a trade mark. The trade mark looks like this:

my trademark

The Cork City Gamelan project continues my early childhood fascination with the musical quality of all sounds, and combines it with a fascination with the complexity of natural sounds on a “microscopic” level, which I began to develop when I started using computers (relatively late in my life), and which continues to grow.
I make noises around the city and I record them – see my article “A Gamelan? Really?” In a manner of speaking, I am using the whole city as a musical instrument. You may prefer to call it Sound Art – as for myself, I occasionally use the term as a “marketing label” if I make submissions for compilations or events. I am inviting everybody to get involved and to use the information and the sounds I share in these pages in their own soundworks.

I can perform live and improvise on a custom software sample player which I am developing, using AudioMulch and Max/MSP software. During performance, I like to spontaneously create additional new sounds and musical structures and textures, using electronic and digital effects and granular synthesis techniques. I also perform on a Waterphone and on anything else that can make noises.

I have a disability, and I try to promote music making as an activity for people with disabilities. The most disabling of all disabilities is the belief that “I cannot do it”. Lack of formal musical training is nothing but another slight disability. Everybody can make music.

I have recently started developing a Modular Synthesizer.The output of it runs through my sample player, and I use Max to create algorithms for modifying this generally self-generating output. It is all part of my quest to work out ways of making music which suit people with physical disabilities.

The links across the top of each page take you to some general information. The links to the right take you to my blog, where I post news, some of my music and random thoughts… all categories are accessible from the popup menu. You can follow the Cork City Gamelan on Facebook. On the Cork City Gamelan’s Timeline on Facebook, you can post messages to me and announcements about activities followers of the Cork City Gamelan may be interested in.