Adam Pultz Melbye – Portfolio of selected recent works

The feedback double bass (2018)

The feedback double bass is an instrument developed in the summer of 2018. 

By routing contact pickups to contact exciters attached to the double bass, the instrument becomes a speaker membrane that amplifies its own signal. Consequently, a complex feedback loop is created that the player can interact with by placing her hands on the instrument, thereby altering its resonant properties. Additionally, volume and processing parameters in the signal chain can be changed with the help of a controller.

The feedback bass is a complex system that exhibits semi-chaotic behaviour. The player is advised to relinquish ambitions for total musical control and instead focus on immediacy and bodily intuition in the interplay with this vibrant object.

Performed in Berlin, Sydney, Melbourne, Copenhagen, Ribe (DK), Stockholm and Gothenburg throughout 2018 and 2019.

Strings (2018)

Conceived by visual artist Lena Czerniawska and musician and sound artist Adam Pultz Melbye, Strings explores physical as well as imaginary concepts derived from thinking strings in the broadest possible sense. Strings was presented at Gallery TOP, Berlin, June 2018.

The audio is originally in four channels and derived from my ongoing project Index, that seeks to document every possible sound on the double bass.

Ens Ekt (2018)

Adam Pultz Melbye – double bass
Simon Rose – baritone saxophone
Paul Stapleton – bonsai sound sculpture (BoSS)

Ens Ekt features the experimental musical inventions of Paul Stapleton (Californian born, Belfast-based) placed in dialogue with the circular breathed multiphonics and harmonic textures of Simon Rose (English born, Berlin-based) and the resonant gestural and spectrally focused playing of Adam Pultz Melbye. The group explores emergent timbral, dynamic and social musical structures through improvisation. Having worked together more frequently in duo settings (see below), the trio configuration offers an opportunity to explore new modes of interactions in part facilitated by purpose built technologies that intertwine metallic, wooden and electronic resonances in real time.

Ens Ekt has toured the UK and Berlin and recorded its debut album at Sonic Arts Research Centre in 2018.

Unsupervised (2018)

Audiovisual dance performance premiered at the SounDance festival in Berlin, June 2018. Using motion tracking and machine-learning, the visuals and live electronics are co-dependent while also feeding off information from the dancer. 

Jenny Haack: Dance // Adam Pultz Melbye: Live // electronics Yoann Trellu: Visuals

Flamingo: Every Vessel records and dramatises the history of its manufacture (2017)

Every Vessel records and dramatises the history of its manufacture is a multimedia project by the trio Flamingo, involving music and gesture, manifested in 3D-printed sculpture. The process encompasses the rendering of audible and visual material in both time and physical space, to create an immersive experience that challenges established notions about the work of art as well as its process of manufacture. Every Vessel was premiered at Kunsthal Nord in Aalborg, Denmark throughout May 2017 and has been presented at NIME 2017, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, and Kansas City Art Institute.

In addition to conceptually developing the visual, sculptural and musical content of the project, I collaborated with professors Dan Overholt and Cumhur Erkut at Aalborg University, Copenhagen, on choosing motion sensors and programming the gesture recording software in Max/MSP, along with visualisations in Max/Jitter.


Adam Pultz Melbye: Measures (2017)

Measures is the second solo album from Berlin-based Danish double bassist Adam Pultz Melbye, following up on 2014’s Gullet.
On Measures, Melbye investigates slowly evolving unstable structures, using simple compositional ideas to create complex resonant textures.
The album is released on a waste product of Melbye’s musical practice; broken double bass strings. In collaboration with Polish visual artist Lena Czerniawska, each string is vacuum-sealed along with handwritten text by Czerniawska, resulting in a possible infinite number of individual objects, visually as well as sonically reflecting upon the impermanence of the physical world.
Measures will be presented at venues and festivals in Australia and Europe throughout 2018.

In June 2018, Measures will form the basis for an exhibition and sound installation by Melbye and Czerniawska, presented at Schiller Palais, Berlin.


Music for film

  •  Live soundtrack and acting in an upcoming documentary film by Anne Andersen about bee keepers in Ludwigslust, Germany (2018).
  •  In collaboration with Paul Stapleton: Soundtrack for the critically acclaimed animation film Nocturne by Anne Breymann (2016):
  • Soundtrack for the documentary Lisbjerg Alteret by Mette Mærsk. Made for Vejen art museum, Denmark (2017):


With Paul Stapleton (2016-present)

Working with gestural sound based improvisation and electroacoustic resonant structures, Stapleton (Bonsai Sound Sculpture) and Melbye have performed in Belfast, Dublin, Copenhagen and Berlin and released its debut vinyl on Noema in 2017, at times joined by Simon Rose on baritone saxophone.


Adam Pultz Melbye: Schreber (2016)

Schreber is a work for double bass and electronics, developed at a residency at Sonic Arts Research Centre in Belfast.
By amplifying and processing the inside of the double bass as well as unpitched string noise, Schreber displaces the instrument in time and space and invites the listener to step into the instrument.. Through the use of gesture sensors, the movement of the bow arm is used to shape the character of the processing.

Flamingo LOUD (2016-present)

First performed at Copenhagen Jazz Festival and at Volksbühne, Berlin, LOUD is a collaboration between Flamingo and electronic musician Roy Carroll. By precisly amplifying the acoustic instruments to lous volume levels, the character of the music is transformed as speakers become instruments in themselves and low frequency feedback interferes with the acoustic source sound to create an immersive listening experience.

LOUD will be released of the US label Relative Pitch in 2018.

Tennis of all Kinds (2016-present)

Guitar and bass duo exploring string resonance and tuning techniques to create dense and spectrally rich structures.
Tape relase on opalmine/Noema in 2016 followed up by Concerts in Japan, Europe and Australia.

Julia Reidy: 12-string acoustic guitar.
Adam Pultz Melbye: Double Bass


Adam Pultz Melbye/Akemi Nagao: #1 (2014-present):

#1 explores the confines of space and the kinetic tension that builds up in the interaction of movement and sound.
Improvising within a framework of slowly evolving gesture and sound, dancer Akemi Nagao and double bassist Adam Pultz Melbye map out possibilities and trajectories determined by the interaction of body, instrument and space. By focusing on subtle changes in dynamics and texture, Study #1 is a meditation on what happens close to the threshold of perception.