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Martin Riches
Born 1942, Isle of Wight, UK
1960 - 68 studied architecture
1965 began working as an architect
1969 moved to Berlin,
1973 first one-man show,
Since 1978 he has worked exclusively as an artist.
Numerous exhibitions and concerts in Germany and elsewhere.
Martin Riches belongs to that category of sound artists who do not use loudspeakers.
He is best known for his electro-mechanical sound installations, automatic musical instruments and machines that talk and sing in the same way as a human being - with air and resonant cavities. Other interests include CNC, crystal set radio, cryptography, clocks, hang gliders and kites.


He often works closely with musicians and composers. He worked for many years with the late Eberhard Blum and has collaborated with Roland Pfrengle, Schaun Tozer, Tom Johnson, Adam Boome, Aleksander Kolkowski, Natalia Pschnitschnikowa, Masahiro Miwa, Mia Zabelka, Jost Muxfeldt, Makiko Nishikaze, Suguru Goto and Jei Man.


Although he usually designs and builds electronic circuits and programs microprocessors and computers himself, some projects would have been impossible without electronic design and production by real experts: Roland Pfrengle, Dipl.Ing.Manfred Fox, Dipl.Ing.Gottfried Müller, Sukandar Kartadinata, Jost Muxfeldt, Yuichi Matsumoto, Yu Takahashi, johnsmith and Torsten Jähring. The playing mechanisms and many of the instruments, he designs and makes himself.


Curators, reporters and promoters, some not mentioned elsewhere, include Anselm Dreher, Jasia Reichardt, Rene Block, Carsten Seiffarth, Markus Steffens, Rene van Peer, Andreas Oldörp, Dr. Andrea Jahn, Ferdinand Mesarosch, Klaus Hoffmann, Mikolaj Polinski, Hannah Bosma, John Driscoll, Maria and Vadim Zakharow, Veronika Witte ... and others, who prefer to remain anonymous.


The following list of events gets added to as the events occur and they have not yet been sorted out into separate categories like one-person shows, group shows, concerts, broadcasts or publications.

1973 Objekte, Texte, Kompositionen, Haus am Kleistpark, Berlin,
            with Eberhard Blum, flutes: Roland Pfrengle, electronics: Helmuth Krauss, voice.
1978 Machines, Galerie Andre, Berlin.
1980 Écoutez par les Yeux, Musée de la Ville de Paris.
         Theobald Boehm, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, with Eberhard Blum and others
1981 Music-, Percussion- and Time Machines, Galerie Andre, Berlin.
1983 Music Machines, Institute of Contemporary Art, London,
            with Eberhard Blum and Roland Pfrengle.
         Klangaktion Museum Ludwig, Köln, with Eberhard Blum
         Concerto Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Kulturhuset, Stockholm;
            Stedlijke Museum, Amsterdam; Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam
            with Eberhard Blum and Roland Pfrengle.
1984 Sprachen der Künste, Akademie der Künste, Berlin.
         Sound, Museum für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Basel
1985 Inventionen, Berlin, 3 Installationen mit Klangobjekte.
         Klangskulptur, Frankfurt, Bonn und Würzburg.
         Visuele Musiek Zesdaagse, Shaffy Theater, Amsterdam
         A Noise in Your Eye!, an international exhibition of sound sculpture
            Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol; Mapin Gallery, Sheffield; Huddersfield City Art Gallery
         Piece for Four Radios, Sprengel Museum, Hannover
         Concert with Music Machines with Tom Johnson, Ballhaus Naunenstrasse / RIAS
1986 A Noise in Your Eye! Cornerhouse, Manchester; Barbican Centre, London.
         Machine Dance, installation for the Production Technology Center,
            Frauenhofer Gesellschaft (PTZ), Technical University, Berlin
         Bericht '85. Staatliche Kunsthalle, Berlin.
         A Salute to Helga Retzer, DAAD Galerie, Berlin.
         Station Berlin, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin.
         Experimentelle Musik, im Loft, München,
1987 Echo Festival, The Images of Sound, Het Apollohuis, Eindhoven.
         Concert with Music Machines, Stichtung Logos, Ghent
1988 Wolfram Erber, Martin Riches. Kutscherhaus, Berlin.
1989 Musik und Raum, Institut für Neue Musik, Orangerie, Darmstadt
         Kinetische Kunst, Europäische Patentamt, München.
         Stationen der Musikalische Moderne Berlinische Galerie
1990 Spring Works, New York Hall of Science.
         Muzika, Akademie der Künste, Hauptstadt der DDR
         Berliner Kunststücke, Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig.
         Die Neue Berliner Galerie, Berlin Hauptstadt der DDR.
         Biennale, Museum of Modern Art, Nagoya, Japan.
1991 Mit Anderen Ohren, Bauhaus Archiv, Berlin.
         Muzyka bez granic, Warszawa
         Berlin! und Berlin Sound Works Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin.
         Concert, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover
1992 Man & Machines at the End of the 20th Century,
            Art and Robotics at Nagashima Onsen, Japan.
         Radio and Tape Installation, Brecht Zentrum, Berlin.
         Experimentelle Musik, TU Mensa, München
1993 Interface 2, Computergestüzte Visionen, Hamburg.
         Die Zukunft des Hörens, Berlinische Galerie.
         The New York School, Hebbel Theater, Berlin.
         Maschinen! Musik!, Museum der Bildende Künste, Leipzig.
         Multiple Arts, Maastricht.
         Logische Musik, Podewil, Berlin.
         Mediale, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg.
         Atelier de Creation Radiophonique, Paris, theme music: Tom Johnson
         Kopfhören, Radio DRS, Bern, theme music: Tom Johnson
1994 Klingende Dinge, Schloss Ottenstein, Österreich.
         Lento, Kunsthaus Essen.
         Pfeifen in Walde, Podewil, Berlin; 1997 in Luzern.
         Musica Mechanica, Musiktage, Donaueschingen.
         Linear Percussion, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, music by Tom Johnson.
         A Talk about Talking, text: Martin Riches, music: Tom Johnson. Radio ORF
1995 Time Machine, British Museum, London; Museo Egizio, Torino.
         The Machines, electrum museum, Hamburg.
1996 MotorMouth, Freunde Gute Musik, Berlin.
         Installation, Sender Freies Berlin in Sonambiente, Festival for Eyes and Ears.
         Martin Riches: The Machines: Hanns Zischler, Radio SFB3 / DeutschlandRadio 1997 Lange Nacht der Museen, Berlinische Galerie Postführamt
         In Medias Res, Photography and other Media Art from Berlin, Istanbul.
         In Medias Res, Cuba-Cultur, Munster.(no connection with the above!)
         Schall und Rauch, Akademie der Künste, Berlin.
1999 Interactive Art, InterCommunication Center, (NTT) Tokyo.
         AREALE, Japanese Ladies Light Orchestra, Brück / Linte, Mark Brandenburg
         20 Jahre Berlinische Galerie, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin
           with Natalia Pschnitschnikowa, flute.
2000 Zeitreise, Audio Surfer, Akademie der Künste, Berlin. with Jost Muxfeldt.
         Outoäly >> Alien Intelligence, Kiasma, Museum of Art, Helsinki.
         Hello, can you hear me? for a school for visually handicapped children in Berlin
         Do It Yourself, singuhr galerie, Parochialkirche, Berlin: music by Tom Johnson.
2001 Orgel.+, Technische Universiteit, Eindhoven.
         Les Chants Mécaniques - musiques à voir L'Hospice Comtesse, Lille.
         Maschinen Theater, Städtische Museen Heilbronn.
2002 Installationen, Wittener Tage / WDR 3.
2003 Resonanzen II, Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken.
         Art Cologne, sound art, WDR / Museum in Glaskasten, Marl.
2004 Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder stage set, Landestheater Linz
         Maerzmusik: Mechanical Landscape with Bird, Sophiensaele, Berlin
            with Aleksander Kolkowski, the Kairos Quartett, 24 canaries and their
            trainer, Helmut Moßmann
         Maskinerne / The Machines Kunsthallen Brandts Kleiderfabrik, Odense, DK
2006 Concert with Roland Pfrengle and Steve Roden, Tesla, Berlin.





You Tube link image In 1910 somebody - not me - uploaded this fine video to YouTube and I added this link.
After 1 year, 5.7K views and 37 👍 likes it was blocked by
A+E Networks "on copyright grounds". Perhaps they are
the pay-TV distributors of this material in Germany?
  • I designed and built the model in 1975 for George Sassoon, based on his book The Manna Machine (George Sassoon and Rodney Dale, 1976), for which I also designed and drew the illustrations.

  • Ogaki Media Festival / IAMAS, Japan, Thinking Machine
  • Motoren, oqbo galerie, Berlin, O-O-O-O-O
  • Singing Machine prototype with Yuichi Matsumoto & Yu Takahashi at IAMAS, Japan.
  • Artists' Perspectives on the Human Voice by Ingo Kottkamp and Inke Arns for

    DeutschlandRadio: Talking Machine, Singing Machine.
  • 2011



    Photo of the name plate of the Arts University,in Poznań photo of the two instruments looking out at the courtyard The two StringThing instruments looking out at the courtyard in Poznań.

    . photo of the Thinking Machine in the museum at Gifu The Thinking Machine in Gifu, Japan, with two of Masahiro's Matarisama Dolls.


    Asahi Hall, Flamme d'Or
    The Flamme d'Or on the roof of
    Philipp Starck's Asahi Hall Tokyo

    Both concerts in Japan sold out, jam-packed full - here is an online report.









    grants, awards, residencies

    1982 -89 -93 grants from the Senator for Cultural Affairs, Berlin
    1986 Realisation of the project Machine Dance for the
      Production Technology Centre (PTZ) of the Technical University /
      Frauenhofer Gesellschaft, Berlin
    1989 Residency at the New York Hall of Science with the project
      Pattern and Chaos.
    1999 Interactive Art prize winner, InterCommunication Center (ICC/NTT) Tokyo
    2000 Realisation of the project Hello, can you hear me? for a school for visually
      handicapped children in Berlin.
    2001 Residency at the Hochschule für Media in Cologne awarded by the
      German Sound Art Prize competition.
    2006 Guest at La Courbière, Estervayer-le-Lac, Switzerland.
      Residency with Roland Pfrengle and the Talking Machine at Tesla, Berlin.
    2009 Residency at Burg Eisenhardt, Belzig, Mark Brandenburg.
    2010 Residency at IAMAS, Institute for Advanced Media Arts & Sciences,
      Ogaki, Japan.
    2011-14 Grant for Hybrid Music for Humans and Machines from the
      German Federal Cultural Foundation - Kulturstiftung des Bundes
    2016 I was a guest at the Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken during the exhibition
      Two Measures of Time ...
    2018 and again during the exhibition at the Saarland Clock Museum
    2019 Residency at Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Music.
    2021 Grant from the Giesecke + Devrient Foundation.

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