Biographie

Inspired by top DJs such as DJ Q-Bert, DJ D-Styles and Kid Koala, Alex began his DJ career at the young age of 14. He is self-taught, often training up to 12 hours a day. Today, he is not only an active performing DJ, but a teacher as well, eager to share his knowledge with others.

Sonnenfeld has mainly worked as a hip-hop DJ, but has also collaborated with rock and jazz musicians, and has also worked on theater projects in his native country. He is perhaps best known for developing S-Notation, a written notation model that covers all manual motions of a turntablist's instrument through the systematic representation of notation symbols.

After Alexander Sonnenfeld had formalized the foundations of the S-Notation in 2001, he searched for an expert judgment from a musicologist. By chance, he found the academic journals from Karlheinz Stockhausen and attempted to get in touch via e-mail. 

Professor Karlheinz Stockhausen replied personally to the letter and requested an explanation to the notational symbols. Sonnenfeld answered his request and explained that he would like to reveal his written work personally and would introduce him to an instrument with which it is possible to play "everything". The professor agreed, and on 28/03/2002 he went in Kürten, Germany for a meeting between the most important composer of the 20th century and a simple self-taught musician. 

 

 

In a 2 ½ hour lecture Alexander Sonnenfeld explained systematically the function of the S-Notation. He showed the professor the instrumental possibilities and the tonal variety of the Tonspielzeugs, to familiarize Stockhausen with the modern musical art of "turntablism". He encouraged Alexander Sonnenfeld to continue further on his written work. 

Sonnenfeld developed his S-Notation into the thesis -Theory of Motions-, an analysis of turntablism which was presented as a referred scientific conference paper @ TENOR 2016 in Cambridge/UK. His goal is to make turntable- and mixer-based music theory an accepted musical art form.

"If we consider the combination of a mixer and record player as a musical instrument in modern music," explains Sonnenfeld, "it should be theoretically possible to define all courses of action in the same similar and exact method as is possible with traditional equipment."

He continues, "It should be possible to define the immeasurable variety of all established, as well as still unknown, scratch techniques through the same functional connection and therefore be decoded from a single technical formula."

Sonnenfeld lives in Berlin, working as a guest professor at Qbert Skratch University. In addition to his teaching gig, Sonnenfeld also publishes video tutorials on his Tonspielzug YouTube channel.  Beside that he is the organizer of the SampleMusicFestival which takes place every year in Berlin.

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