In 1970, composers Johannes Fritsch, Rolf Gehlhaar and David Johnson founded the Feedback Studio. One year later, Fritsch and Gehlhaar established the Feedback Studio Verlag, a small publishing house that Fritsch mainly managed on his own from 1975 to 2010. After Fritsch’s death in 2010, the Feedback Studio and publishing house were dissolved. Since then, the Feedback Papers still in stock have been managed by edition johannes fritsch (for orders please email us). Feedback Studio CDs can be purchased from Cybele Records (email@example.com). Historic documents, such as handwritten scores, tapes of ‘Hinterhaus’ concerts, correspondences, historic studio equipment, etc. can be accessed in the Johannes-Fritsch-archive of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.
History and Concept
David Johnson, Johannes Fritsch and Rolf Gehlhaar, 1972
Shortly after the 1970 World Expo in Osaka, three composers and collaborators of Karlheinz Stockhausen – Johannes Fritsch, Rolf Gehlhaar and David Johnson – founded the Feedback Studio in Cologne. A year later, in 1971, the Feedback Studio Verlag was established: the very first composer-owned and run publishing house in Germany. The studio and publishing house were in a rear building in the Belgium Quarter, in which Fritsch had set up a private studio in the attic in 1967.
The backhouse on Genterstraße 23 (© Lena Fritsch)
One year later, artist Wolf Vostell moved his studio into the backhouse and founded, together with Mauricio Kagel, Alfred Feussner, Friedrich W. Heubach and Gabor Altorjay, the LABOR e.V. for interdisciplinary research of acoustic and visual events. This association would soon made history as KOMBINAT. Later, Mauricio Kagel filled a room in the second floor with his collection of musical instruments, and art collector Wolfgang Hahn stored works of art in the basement, such as Daniel Spoerri’s Hahns Abendmahl. In the 1980s, the theatre group Theaterpädagogisches Zentrum (TPZ, today LATIBUL) moved in; today, they use all rooms of the rear building.
Alternative Hub for Music
Both the Feedback Studio and Feedback Studio Verlag did not operate as a commercial business but rather as an artistic cooperative and alternative hub for music.
The publishing house represented up to 300 compositions by twenty composers. Its program covered electronic and live electronic works, computer music, pieces for large orchestras, and chamber music by Klarenz Barlow, Michael von Biel, Peter Eötvös, Silvio Foretic, Johannes Fritsch, Rolf Gehlhaar, David Johnson, Siegfried Koepf, Joachim Krist, Mesias Maiguashca, Michael Manion, John McGuire, Herbert A. Mitschke, Masahiro Miwa, Harald Muenz, Manfred Niehaus, Michael Ranta, Makoto Shinohara, Volker Staub, Caspar Johannes Walter and others.