Karlheinz Essl / Andrea Nagl / Alexey Potapov

All Along The Coastline

explorations for electric guitar, modular synth with dance performance

BMCA Storage
10 April 2024


In Coastlines, composer Karlheinz Essl explores new expressive possibilities with modular synthesizers. From time to time, he invites other artists to join him on an exploratory journey that always represents a departure into the unknown. A first experimental exploration with the dancer Andrea Nagl took place in the summer of 2023 in an artist's courtyard in the Waldviertel, where the two improvised wildly and animatedly without consultation or preparation.

An extended continuation took place on April 10, 2024 under the title All Along The Coastline at a secret, non-public art space in Vienna, to which the Russian electric guitarist Alexey Potapov was also invited. Together, the three performers explored the exhibition space and created a sonorous and expressive movement performance.

Line Up

Alexey Potapov: electric guitar
Karlheinz Essl: 0-COAST modular synth
Andrea Nagl: dance performance

Teaser by Andrea Nagl


Karlheinz Essl (b. 1960) is an Austrian composer, performer, improviser, software developer, media artist and composition teacher. He studied composition in Vienna with Friedrich Cerha and completed his musicology studies with a doctorate on Anton Webern. Composer-in-residence at the Darmstadt Summer School (1990-94) and at IRCAM in Paris (1991-93). From 1995-2006 he taught algorithmic composition at the Bruckner University in Linz. Since 2007 he has been a Professor of Composition and Electroacoustic Music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Between 1992 and 2016 he was music curator at the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg.

His work with computers and a long-term preoccupation with the poetics of serial music have been formative influences on his compositional thinking. During the 1990s he carried out various projects for the Internet and became increasingly involved in improvisation. In 1997 Karlheinz Essl was a featured composer at the Salzburg Festival.

In addition to writing instrumental music, Karlheinz Essl also works in the areas of electronic music, interactive real-time compositions and sound installations. He develops software environments for algorithmic composition and live electronics.

As a performer and improviser he plays his own computer-based composition environments as well as instruments such as toy piano, electric guitar and analogue synthesizer.


Alexey Potapov is an electric and classical guitarist. He was born and raised in the Volgograd. Most of his life he spend in Moscow. After graduation The Gnesin Russian Academy of Music as a classical guitarist and Moscow P.I.Tchaikovsky Conservatory he mostly started to playing contemporary music.

After the start of Russian-Ukranian War he left his motherland due to condemnation of Russian aggression and disagreement with the policies of the Russian state. After moving to Germany started to get his second Master in Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber Dresden (Germany) and Hochschule Der Künste Bern. As a soloist and a participant he collaborates with leading new music ensembles and orchestras: Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt-am-Main), Ensemble Courage (Dresden), Dresdner Staatskapelle (Dresden), Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna), Kymatic (Berlin), Studio of New Music (Moscow), the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov” (Moscow), the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra (Moscow) and others. Free improvisation is also an essential part of Alexey’s creative life. Nowadays he is member of several free improv bands - DARP Duo, Die Internationale Volksmusik.

Alexey is laureate of international competitions, finalist of John Cage Award 2023 (Halberstadt), participant of several big contemporary music festivals: Darmstädter Ferienkurse 2023 (Darmstadt, Germany), Bludenzer Tage Zeitgemäßer Musik 2023 (Bludenz, Austria), Sommerwerft 2023 (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), Re-Musik 2020, 2021 (Saint-Petersburg Russia), Another Space 2020 (Moscow, Russia) and others. His concerts took place in various cities: Berlin, Köln, Frankfurt am Main, Dresden, Bern, Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Ekaterinburg and others.


Born in 1975 in Vienna, Andrea Nagl works as a freelance dancer, dance educator, and choreographer in Vienna. She defines herself as a somatic researcher and artist transcending disciplinary boundaries, starting from a knowledgeable clarity about the artistic capabilities of her own body and its ability to move. The primary source of inspiration for her artistic work is nature and the relationship between the human body and the natural environment. Questions of the hierarchy of duration and the sculptural aspect of the body are as prominent as inscribing oneself in space and landscape. In 2024, she received a work grant from the City of Vienna for the research project "soil," exploring how dance and performance, incorporating contemporary digital tools, can convey scientifically sound information about areas such as geology in innovative, immersive, and emotionally resonant ways.


Photos © Robert Hofer 2024

Updated: 1 May 2024