Avant-garde electronic music pioneers, Kraftwerk, is scheduled to perform at The Museum of Modern Art. The museum’s first artist retrospective, Kraftwerk–Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8, is scheduled April 10 through 17 and will consist of a live performance in the Museum’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium.
Each live performance will consist of works from one of the group’s eight albums, created over four decades, followed by a selection of original compositions from their catalogue adapted specifically for this exhibition’s format. The series of performances will showcase Kraftwerk’s historical contributions and contemporary influences on sound and image culture.
The elaborate staging of the performances will combine sound and 3D images to present more than 40 years of musical and technological innovation, with new improvisations and 3D projections. MoMA is realizing a groundbreaking new display: the first synthetic retrospective to present simultaneously and in one location the complex layers of music, sound, videos, sets, and performance as a total work of art in MoMA’s main atrium.
The albums will be performed in chronological order: Autobahn (1974), Radio-Activity (1975), Trans Europe Express (1977), The Man-Machine (1978),Computer World (1981), Techno Pop (1986), The Mix (1991), and Tour de France (2003).
Tickets are $25.00 and will go on sale to the public on Wednesday, February 22, at 12:00 p.m., only at MoMAKraftwerkTickets.showclix.com. There is a two-ticket limit per person for the series, with each individual order limited to one transaction. Tickets will be distributed exclusively via will call, with photo ID required.
Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider began the Kraftwerk project in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1970, setting up the pioneering Kling Klang studio, where all of Kraftwerk’s albums were conceived and composed. By the mid-1970’s they achieved international recognition for their revolutionary “electro sound paintings” and their musical experimentation with tapes and synthesizers.
The compositions also featured beautiful distant melodies, multi-lingual vocals, robotic rhythms, custom-made sequencers and vocoders, and computer-speech technology. Their use of robots, among other innovations in live performance, illustrates Kraftwerk’s belief in the respective contributions of people and machines in making music.
The artists’ physical surroundings—both natural and man-made—have heavily influenced both the sonic direction and graphic identity of their eight concept albums, which draw on elements such as the noises of transit or industry to create their repetitive mechanical melodies.
Tuesday, April 10, 8:30 p.m. Autobahn (1974)
Wednesday, April 11, 8:30 p.m. Radio-Activity (1975)
Thursday, April 12, 8:30 p.m. Trans Europe Express (1977)
Friday, April 13, 10:00 p.m. The Man-Machine (1978)
Saturday April 14, 8:30 p.m. Computer World (1981)
Sunday, April 15, 8:30 p.m. Techno Pop (1986)
Monday, April 16, 8:30 p.m. The Mix (1991)
Tuesday, April 17, 10:00 p.m. Tour de France (2003)