NOTON – founded by Carsten Nicolai as a small imprint in 1994 – began its activities in 1996 with the release of noto’s “spin”. a collaboration with RasterMusic began the same year, and by 1999 the two labels had merged into Raster-Noton. In 2017, NOTON will start working independently again by releasing Alva Noto’s entire back catalogue, and the label is currently planning releases for the future too. Ongoing projects and collaborations include: Noto, Alva Noto, Opto (Opiate + Alva Noto), cyclo. (Ryoji Ikeda + Alva Noto), ANBB (Alva Noto + Blixa Bargeld), Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto, Anne-James Chaton with Alva Noto + Andy Moor, ø + Noto.
carsten nicolai, born in karl-marx-stadt in 1965, is a german artist and musician based in berlin. he is part of an artist generation who work intensively in the transitional area between music, art and science, seeking to overcome the separation of man’s sensory perceptions by making scientific phenomena like sound and light frequencies perceivable to both eyes and ears. influenced by scientific reference systems, nicolai often engages with mathematical patterns, such as grids and codes, as well as error, random and self-organizing structures, and his installations have a minimalistic aesthetic whose elegance and consistency are highly intriguing. following his participation in important international exhibitions like documenta x and the 49th and 50th venice biennales, nicolai’s works were shown worldwide in extensive solo and group exhibitions.
for his musical output, Carsten Nicolai employs a pseudonym, Alva Noto. with a strong adherence to reductionism, he leads his sound experiments into the field of electronic music, creating his own code of signs, acoustics and visual symbols. his diverse musical projects include remarkable collaborations with ryuichi sakamoto, ryoji ikeda (cyclo.), blixa bargeld and mika vainio. nicolai has toured extensively as alva noto through europe, asia, south america and the us. among other venues, he has performed at new york’s solomon r. guggenheim museum, the san francisco museum of modern art, the centre pompidou in paris and london’s tate modern. most recently, nicolai scored the music for alejandro gonzález iñárritu’s latest film, 'the revenant' which was nominated for a golden globe, bafta, and critics choice award.