Matthias Haenisch is a music researcher, lecturer and curator based in Berlin. His main working focus lies in the area of transcultural and transdisciplinary aesthetic practices and cultural education.
He is co-founder and member of the joint research project ›MuBiTec – Music Education with Mobile Technologies‹, where he is involved in the subprojects ›LINKED – Musical Education in Postdigital Communities‹ and ›LEA – Learning Processes and Aesthetic Experiences in App Music Practice‹ (University of Cologne, University of the Arts Berlin, University of Erfurt, University of Lübeck, Nord University Bergen; funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Science; term: 2017-2020).
From 2011 to 2017 he worked as a research and teaching associate at the Department of Music and Music Education at University of Potsdam, where he taught performance studies, popular music studies, music sociology, and 20th and 21th century music history. In addition, he was a member of the BMBF-promoted research association Transform – Educational process in performative projects (University of Potsdam, Braunschweig University of Art). He is also the founder and leader of the interdisciplinary research project Improvising Knowledge (University of Potsdam, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna), where he investigates collaborative knowledge creation in communities of musical practice. Since 2018 he is also working as a lecturer in Transcultural Musicology and Historical Anthropology of Music at the Department of Musicology and Media Studies at Humboldt University Berlin.
Since 2015 he is Co-Curator of LABOR SONOR Festival. With its focus on transdisciplinary artistic research, the festival promotes the exchange between science and art. In this experimental environment, works by Brandon LaBelle, Kaffe Matthews, Matteo Fargion, Felix Kubin, Kyoka, Yan Jun, Grischa Lichtenberger, Nile Koetting, Lito Walkey, Takako Suzuki, Les Reines Prochaines, Makiko Nishikaze, Antonia Baehr and others were presented. In 2018 he was invited to be guest curator of the CTM Festival.
Haenisch studied musicology, literary studies, philosophy and psychology at Technische Universität and Freie Universität Berlin, and completed his studies with a master’s thesis on the aesthetic perception of sound and performance in the work of John Cage. During his doctoral studies he carried out ethnographic fieldwork in the Berlin scene of improvised and experimental music, investigating the micro-sociology of musical interaction particularly with regards to the materiality and corporeality of performance practice. His research and teaching interests concern topics at the interface of performance studies, material culture studies, popular music studies and sound studies. His methodological approach includes methods of qualitative social research, ethnographic fieldwork and performance analysis. Before switching to academia, he worked for many years as a freelance musician and as a project coordinator in the Berlin cultural event industry.