A Masterclass with Dirk Schaefer

Sonic Cinema presents,

A Masterclass with Dirk Schaefer

Sunday 24 October 2021 | 11am – 2pm

Tickets: £6 General Admission https://buytickets.at/iklectik/583715

Celebrating the release of “Dirk Schaefer : Peter Tscherkassky, All the Soundtracks (2005–2021)” by purge.xxx, Sonic Cinema is thrilled to present a masterclass with the German composer and sound designer Dirk Schaefer. Dirk Schaefer lives and works in Berlin and Cologne as a composer of original soundtrack scores and soundscapes for film. He offers a ‘total concept’ of sound scoring, using music, speech and noise to compose ‘aesthetical units’ that lead and disturb their visual counterpart in equal measure.

The purge.xxx album of his complete collaborations with Peter Tscherkassky is his debut record release. His most regular collaborations are with Peter Tscherkassky and Matthias Müller, with whom he has worked since 1985, as well as Claudia Schillinger, Davo Defurne, Michael Bynntrup, Antoni Pinent and others.

Schaefer works in parallel as a writer, publishing a book on Friedrich Nietzsche and his sisters, as well as numerous articles on diverse topics: King Kong, Joseph Cornell, opening titles. He is a frequent lecturer in Germany and internationally on film and sound.

A screening of Dirk Schaefer & Peter Tscherkassky’s four collaborations follows this event on 24 October 2021, 7.30pm at Café OTO. Full details and booking here: https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/events/sonic-cinema-presents-peter-tscherkassky/

Programmed by Oliver Dickens.

Sonic Cinema is dedicated to the memory of Louis Benassi.

Oliver would like to thank IKLECTIK, the Goethe-Institut, the Austrian Cultural Forum London, Sixpackfilm and purge.xxx for their generous support for this programme.


The original soundtracks by Dirk Schaefer for the films of Peter Tscherkassky. Newly mastered and available for the films of Peter Tscherkassky. Newly mastered and available for the first time, this boxset covers the heroic partnership of Schaefer and Tscherkassky, from 2005’s Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine through to the forthcoming Train Again in 2021. Each 12″ double vinyl album comes with a 7″ flexi disc of Tscherkassky’s own soundtrack for Outer Space (also available separately).

Numbered + handmade in an edition of 250 copies (continuing the uniform established with previous purge.xxx editions); 2x180gr vinyl in custom-made screen-printed outer (sealed), containing two risograph inserts featuring original writing by musician Dirk Schaefer and filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky with visual material by Tscherkassky.



Born 1956 (Vienna, Austria). Lives and works in Vienna.

Tscherkassky, like his films, is a singular phenomenon: moving freely between the contemporary art world and mainstream film festivals while retaining every bit of his integrity as an extremely challenging and enigmatic experimental filmmaker. Indeed, he is probably the world’s best known experimental filmmaker and certainly the most celebrated.

Tscherkassky’s film work explores the photochemical nature of the image by means of intensive darkroom work carried out with found footage. From 1979 until 1986 he studied philosophy at the universities of Berlin and Vienna, where his doctorate included a thesis on aesthetics and avant-garde cinema. Tscherkassky first became interested in avant-garde cinema thanks to a series of lectures in Vienna given by the film historian P. Adams Sitney in 1978. This initial encounter represented a definitive revelation and contributed to Tscherkassky’s determination to work as an artist, an agitator, a curator and a theorist.

Tscherkassky started making films in 1979, using Super 8 film. In 1991 he co-founded sixpackfilm, together with Brigitta Burger-Utzer. Over the course of his career he has made some 30 films, including his CinemaScope Trilogy (1997-2001): L’arrivée, Outer Space and Dream Work; Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine (2005); Coming Attractions (2010); The Exquisite Corpus (2015); and Train Again (2021). These films have received over 50 awards, including the Golden Gate Award (San Francisco), the Oberhausen Grand Prize and the award for best short film at the Venice Film Festival. His work is frequently premiered at Cannes Film Festival.

Ranging between the reuse of film material, the championing of traditional working methods and integrating certain structuralist perspectives, his approach to filmmaking in-volves detailed darkroom work and manual contact printing. The analogue technology he developed to alter each of the frames gives the image a particular photographic texture which emphasises the materiality of the emulsion, graphically impacting its surface (cracks, over prints, inscriptions, etc.) and the accompanying elements (perforations, soundtracks, instructions for screening, etc.).



Analogue-only ‘anti’ record label (as in ‘anti-everything’), specialising in the sound of liberated film and the avant-hard. purge.xxx was established by celebrated contemporary artist, filmmaker and cultural antagonist Stanley Schtinter to release the work of the late Dutch polymath, Frans Zwartjes. It launched with a record by Chris Petit and Mordant Music about the back of David Bowie’s head, and has since brought public attention to Zwartjes; Japanese musician, Takashi Inagaki, and The Communist Manifesto read in full by an 8-year-old boy from South East London. Further releases in 2021 include the fish-obsessed radical performance duo, New Noveta with Vindicatrix, and Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson in a new collaboration with writer Alan Moore.



Sonic Cinema is a new research project and event series by Oliver Dickens, exploring the intersection of moving-image, sound art and experimental music practice. Oliver is an independent film programmer based in the UK. He is a graduate of the Central Saint Martins/LUX MRes Art: Moving Image course and was cinema programmer at Close-Up Film Centre from 2016 to 2020.


Cover credits: Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine by Peter Tscherkassky

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