Mentees Alexandra Gruebler and xin

Meet the two October residents of Amplify Berlin: Alexandra Gruebler and xin. And listen to the tracks they have been working on this month together with their mentor Laurel Halo. The two will present the live sets they have been working on tomorrow at ACUD Club. Laurel Halo will play a DJ-Set.

Alexandra Gruebler is performing under the moniker BAAL & MORTIMER. Her project delivers an audiovisual view into the process of conceptual evocation and reproduction of the state of tension.

xin navigates spaces between conventions, cultures, pressures and sounds. Their artistic approach is rooted in dissatisfaction around independent musics reliance on corporate monoliths, from Facebook to Spotify. xin’s decision is made as one gesture in a much broader, quickly-evolving discourse.

What were your expectations when you applied for Amplify? Would you say these expectations were met?

xin: I was mainly hoping for a push to start playing live, and support to start doing so. I had no idea what to do with my material in a live context, and so access to the studio and the feedback from Laurel have been super helpful.

Alex: I had no specific expectations, I was happy to dive into whatever would be coming. The studio set up is great and one could spend far longer in there. Shub, Philipp and Laurel were extremely helpful and available to an extent I did not expect. So that was beautiful and important when I felt a little stuck in my process or material at times.

How has your residency gone so far? Any highlights?

xin: It’s going well, it’s just not enough time! I’ve enjoyed experimenting with some of the hardware, but I haven’t gotten to try everything yet. Getting feedback on stuff I’ve been working on has also been super valuable.

Alex: It’s been challenging and wonderful. Everyone is very present and supportive. It is a highlight in itself to work with certain hardware and also taking one’s own music conceptually and actually to a new level.

How was working with a mentor? Is there something in particular that you have learned during the residency? 

xin: It’s great, I’ve learned about technical and practical stuff to do with mixing, routing and what not, as well as more creative stuff to do with songwriting and creative intent.

Alex: Next to acquiring valuable technical knowledge regarding software as well as hardware it was really helpful to talk musicianship on a broader level regarding ambition, realities and artistic process. To be able to exchange with someone as established and versatile as Laurel has been extraordinary.

What can people expect from you at the showcase concert?

xin: I’m still figuring that out myself …

Alex: I hardly know myself too but the space has a great atmosphere so I hope my set will be resonating with that and reflect the past weeks in the program truthfully.

What are your plans for the future?

xin: Some more gigs, some more music.

Alex: I have finished university now so there is more space to aim at deepening the impulses I got from the Amplify program and work on shifting to another level. I am very grateful for this concrete and internal push and hope all will work out.

Photos by Jan Durina