Carsten Nicolai aka Alva Noto is a German artist and musician based in Berlin. For his musical outputs he uses the pseudonym Alva Noto. Born 1965 in Karl-Marx-Stadt he is part of an artist generation who works intensively in the transitional area between music, art and science. With a strong adherence to reductionism he leads his sound experiments into the field of electronic music creating his own code of signs, acoustics and visual symbols. Diverse musical projects include remarkable collaborations with Ryūichi Sakamoto, Ryōji Ikeda (cyclo), Blixa Bargeld or Mika Vainio.
Nicolai toured extensively as Alva Noto through Europe, Asia, South America and the US. Among others, he performed at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou in Paris and Tate Modern in London. Together with the Japanese musician and composer Ryūichi Sakamoto Nicolai co-scored the music for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‚The Revenant’. The score was nominated for a Golden Globe, BAFTA, Grammy and Critics Choice Award.
His musical œuvre echoes in his work as a visual artist. Carsten Nicolai seeks to overcome the separation of the sensory perceptions of man by making scientific phenomenons like sound and light frequencies perceivable for both eyes and ears. His installations have a minimalistic aesthetic that by its elegance and consistency is highly intriguing. After his participation in important international exhibitions like documenta X and the 49th and 50th Venice Biennale, Nicolai’s works were shown worldwide in extensive solo and group exhibitions.