I was born in 1971 in Mönchengladbach and grew up in Niederkrüchten, a small German village on the Dutch border. After working as a care worker in a children's home and a runner at several theatres in Germany and England I studied Applied Theatre Studies at Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany and Composition with Patric Standford and Christopher Fox in Huddersfield (BA, MA) and with Vic Hoyland in Birmingham (PhD).
My conceptually driven approach has made me specialise in creating bespoke large scale and smaller performances and events for specific occasions, on my own and in collaboration with other people.
My works have been performed at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the ISCM World Music Days in Manchester (with Isobel Bowler), Spitalfields Festival (with Isobel Bowler), the Barbican Centre, Birmingham Symphony Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Tate Liverpool and various other concert halls, festivals, supermarkets, art galleries, shoe shops, theatres, banks, opera houses, in cafes, on beaches, in cinemas, on the radio, on TV; in the UK, Germany, lots of other European places, in Russia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada.
I have maintained the position of an "other" in the world of contemporary music with works which deconstruct, question and queer the traditional concert situation inside and outside the concert hall. I have written music for traditional ensembles like Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and like to challenge conventional set-ups and concert rituals. This has resulted in pieces with unusual instrumentations (like my twelve-minute-long opera The Voyage, produced with theatre company Stan's Cafe for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad written for mezzo-soprano, eleven recorders and double bass), performances in unusual places (wahnsinnig wichtig on ice took place on and around an ice rink) or projects of unusual duration (my Spring Symphony: The Joy of Life is the shortest symphony in the world and lasts around 17 seconds while the performance of Wir sehen uns morgen wieder lasted for a month). I strongly believe that the idea of a work is the single most important element in the creation of an art work. It informs the concept and drives all artistic decisions. One of the major influences on my music was the work of American performance artist Laurie Anderson in the 1980s. I especially admire Anderson's ability to use multiple artistic genres to create highly effective and moving performance situations, where – in her typical postmodern way – she tells stories while highlighting the fact that she is telling stories.
From 2003-2012 I was a founding member of interdisciplinary art collective New Guide to Opera, creating ambitious work for international venues and festivals.
I have worked in close relationship with composer and artist Paul Norman since 2015.
Since 2009 I have been Deputy Head of Composition at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.