Dieser Artikel ist in der deutschen Originalfassung im Magazin zum Jazzfest Berlin 2018 nachzulesen, das am 1.–4. November im Haus der Berliner Festspiele und an anderen Orten stattfindet.

The original German-language version of this article was published in the magazine of Jazzfest Berlin 2018, which will take place at Haus der Berliner Festspiele and other venues from 1–4 November.


The Kollektiv für komponierte und improvisierte Musik (Collective for composed and improvised music, KIM for short) is cosmopolitan and extremely busy in Berlin. The twelve musicians from seven countries, who make up the ensemble and have all chosen to settle in Berlin, organise their own concert series as well as a festival. At Jazzfest Berlin, they will play a venue that is only rarely used for events: the space underneath the stage at Haus der Berliner Festspiele. Franziska Buhre had a conversation with Liz Kosack and Simon Kanzler and asked them about their first collective performance, breaking through borders and the achievements of their role models.

KIM kollective © Liz Kosack


Franziska Buhre: KIM was founded in 2013. How do you see your concerns from five years ago today?

Simon Kanzler: I felt that there were so many scenes that weren’t connected with each other at all and I wanted to get away from that.  Some of these divides still exist today; for instance, jazz and new music are hard to bring together. But what makes us special is that our members come from all over the place, both musically and geographically.

Liz Kosack: We wanted to overcome musical divides, but we kept our goals open. We always wanted to be able to bring different art forms together. Cooperating with Jazzfest now is a new departure for us. For the first time, we’ll have the opportunity to combine the various directions that we come from.


Initially, KIM Collective had a fixed weekly venue, Salon Tippel in Berlin-Neukölln. Since 2015, you have been meandering through the city like nomads.

Kosack: Yes, a fixed venue was important for us to understand ourselves as a group. We are once again working towards an event series that feels like home. So far, each of our festivals was preceded by a series, but not this year. But this freed up the resources and energies that we can now invest in Jazzfest.


In what way would you say your project at Jazzfest is site-specific?

Kanzler: There will be a sound installation developed by me in the space below the stage at Festspielhaus. I am working with the three sound sources of the space – with music, the sounds of scene changes on the main stage and with sounds from the foyer. I am recording all these sounds and playing them back into the space underneath the stage via eight loudspeakers. I might change the speed or play the sounds backwards, which makes for high and low textures. The idea is to play on the sound experiences the audience has made in the spaces above, creating a different fabric of reality. The KIM musicians will then interact live with the installation. In this way, composition and coincidental operations will combine in a context of improvisation.

Kosack: We will try not to make the performances too serious. That challenges us to develop and find music that generates the energy of a party, where people can move and dance. It will probably not happen in the intervals of the concerts on the main stage, but later in our longer set.


The KIM musicians will actually play together for the first time at Jazzfest.

Kosack: That’s right. Of course, some members have played together in different bands, but that was always in different contexts from KIM-activities. Now we’re planning a finale that involves everyone. We will be visible on a larger scale at Jazzfest, even though we’re playing underneath the stage. I’m excited about this creative, curious spirit that Nadin Deventer is communicating. Risking something new without knowing what the result is going to be – that’s what makes this project special.


Liz, you make elaborate masks and you perform in them. So far, there hasn’t been a collective masquerade by KIM. Will that change at Jazzfest?

Kosack: We’ve been thinking about whether and how KIM Collective could be present beyond the interludes. One way would be for KIM-members or –friends to wander around wearing masks, interacting with the audience or guiding them to the space beneath the stage. But we don’t want to force anyone; we’ll see whether it suits the programme.


Thinking of musicians‘ collectives from the US – are there any role models for KIM?

Kanzler: The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) was an inspiration for me to get KIM started. I was fascinated by the fact that they all considered themselves composers and still joined together. I think that’s exciting: Not everyone has to move in the same direction, everybody is free to go their own way.

Kosack: They laid the foundations for a strong movement in the United States. The fact that I can call myself an improvising musician and be taken seriously in this work is due to this movement.





Das KIM Kollektiv wird für das Jazzfest Berlin an einem besonderen Ort, der Unterbühne im Haus der Berliner Festspiele, eine 360° Multikanal-Installation mit Live-Processing einrichten. Diese wird beim Grand Opening am 1. November und am 2. November für das Publikum jeweils ab 17:30 Uhr begehbar sein. Nach den Konzerten, ab 23:30 bzw. ab 00:00 Uhr wird das Kollektiv dort live den Raum ausloten und zur Party einladen.

For the Jazzfest Berlin the KIM Collective composes a 360° multichannel installation with Live-Processing for a very special site, the lower stage  of the house of the Berliner Festspiele. This installation will be open for the public on november 1st an 2nd from 5:30 pm. After the concerts, from 11:30 pm respectively midnight, the Collective will be again active there exploring this space and invite to party.