Like a wave of power and light, ›utp_‹ thunders over our heads at the National Theatre. Sometimes fascinating. Sometimes less so. Most of the time it remains psychedelically amorphous with a touch of the esoteric. Rarely does it seem periodic, rhythmic or melodic.

Stefan M. Dettlinger, Mannheimer Morgen


Ein multimediales Werk von Ryuichi Sakamoto und Alva Noto

The multi-media work ›utp_‹ by the Japanese composer and pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto and the installation artist Carsten Nicolai aka Alva Noto was created in 2007 on the occasion of the 400-year anniversary of the city of Mannheim; its world premiere was given by the Ensemble Modern at the National Theatre in Mannheim.

Ryuichi Sakamoto, who first made a name for himself with the electro-pop formation ›Yellow Magic Orchestra‹, subsequently wrote film music (including the Oscar-winning soundtrack for ›The Last Emperor‹), but remained active as a performer and pianist. Carsten Nicolai is an experimentalist and artist working at the interface of sound and image. Since 2002 both artists have been realising joint projects. The multi-media work ›utp_‹ combines images and sounds, acoustic sounds and electronics, determination and improvisation. The music is accompanied by a visual score, a visual composition of amorphous structures designed at the computer and complex mathematical colour progressions.