BikoHausen multimedia, installation, Goethe, Johannesbug

BikoHausen: Steve Bantu Biko and Karlheinz Stockhausen in Johannesburg, 1971

Philip Miller in collaboration with Siya Makuzeni (Voice), Ann Masina (Voice), Tlale Makhene (Percussion and Voice), Bham Ntabeni (Voice), Waldo Alexander (Violin), Vus’umuzi Nhlapo (Voice) and Catherine Meyburgh (Projection Design), Jannous Aukema, Richard Pakleppa, Catherine Meyburgh (Camera), Catherine Meyburgh, Jannous Aukema (Editing)

At the Goethe-Institut Gallery, Johannesburg Installation From 6 April at 18:30, to 6 June 2017

At the end of a working lecture tour to South Africa in March 1971, the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and his wife Mary Bauermeister visited Soweto. They were accompanied by black consciousness activist Steve Biko. There is little archival evidence of this meeting of two revolutionary leaders; Biko – a radical thinker, student and black consciousness leader, Stockhausen – one of the foremost avant-garde composers of the 20th Century.

No-one can ever know what exactly transpired when Biko met Stockhausen in Soweto on that day. What their conversation was? What were the topics they might have covered? Music? Politics? We can however imagine and extemporize. Together with his collaborators, Miller’s new work explores an imagined dialogue.

A single performance workshop day was assembled in Downtown Studios Johannesburg with some of Philip Miller’s long-term collaborators. Together, they improvised in response to a series of selected fragmented archival sound recordings. These sound fragments were taken from a television interview with Biko, together with the recorded lectures of Stockhausen, given in Johannesburg during his stay.

BikoHausen takes the form of triptych video installation with multi-channeled sound created from the filming and sound recording of this one-day workshop. This multimedia installation was originally commissioned for the International Music Institute of Darmstadt, premiering at the Darmstadt Summer Course Festival. The work forms part of a series of different installations by seven sound artists from different continents, as part of a program “Historage”, which opened the institute’s expansive archive for these artists to re-interpret.


Biko meets Stockhausen: imagining a conversation between radicals who had nothing in common, Mary Corrigall.SundayTimes May 14th 2017 Access online at