Born in 1981, Johann Merrich is an Italian electronic musician, freelance composer and researcher on electronic music history active since 2000.
She started her sound experimentations by using her loyal Yamaha AN200 with the electro-noise duo Hm? formed with Genecyst (2000 – 2006). Thanks to Hm? performances (Who is Paris Hilton?; Anything is conductable), she begins to develop her idea of experimental music.
In 2008 she releases her first solo album USSR VS Paradise (in six movements) for the Italian netlabel VUOTO. One year after, she records Fricadelique! How to be a flower-power nihilist distributed by the Russian netlabel Clinical Archives.
In 2010 she co-funded electronicgirls.org, a netlabel dedicated to electronic&experimental music, and performed two shows during the 54th Biennale d’Arte di Venezia (Ooslo Floating Pavilion, San Servolo island; Illuminations Closure Party, Giardini della Biennale, Serra dei Giardini).
In 2012 she dive into the land of electro-clash and punk sounds with 7 Tone-Floats for a Selfdestruction released by electronicgirls.
Passionate connoisseur electronic music, in 2012 she publishes her first book on women in electronic sounds: Le Pioniere della Musica Elettronica (Auditorium Edizioni, Milano). Together with Ilaria Pasqualetto, Giacomo Trevisan and Chironomia she makes the theatre show Annusavamo fiori di fibra ottica tracing a short history of women who pioneered in the field of electronics. In the same year, she starts to write articles on electronic music for InSound newspaper.
Thanks to the meeting with the performers duo Andrigo&Aliprandi (2012) she become involved in the production of music for contemporary dance (Libere di Ricominciare, 2014; Le Bistrot des Dames, 2015; choreographed by Marianna Andrigo. Effetto Cocktail Party, 2016 – 2017 choreographed by Sara Catellani and performed at Fabbrica Europa Festival, Florence, 2018) and for vertical dance (Cubo, produced by Eventi Verticali, 2015; Sostanza d’Ombra, produced by Vertical Waves Project, 2015).
With Andrigo&Aliprandi she creates the cultural association Live Arts Cultures (2014); placed at Forte Marghera (Venice), the association hosted artistic residencies, workshops and an international festival dedicated to new sounds and dance – Electro Camp Festival – that saw Merrich as curator of the musical projects from 2013 until 2017.
She constantly deepens her knowledge following seminars lead by artists such as Theo Teardo (Fondazione Cini, Venice 2014), Pauline Oliveros (Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello, Venice 2015), Markus Stockhausen (Forte Marghera, Venice 2016), Jasna Velickovic (Forte Marghera, Venice 2017).
Her interests in orchestral music and live electronics move her to write verbal and graphical scores; Golden Min., the Fantastic and irrational Number preformed by 21 – an electronic orchestra of 11 elements – is the first glimpse of that mood. Soon after, she become involved in the principles of Stockhausen’s Intuitive Music; by following that methodology, she writes scores for the ensemble The Expanding Universe of Al-Joberal Chirolechi (The Expanding Metal Casting, Labyrinth, Intuitive Music N°1, Ananke – Music for the Fates) playing around France, Italy, Bosnia and Croatia with her colleagues Bertrand Rossa, Aldo Aliprandi, LECRI and the dancer Marianna Andrigo. In 2017 the ensemble changed name into The Expanding Universe; its members are now: Johan Merrich, Aldo Aliprandi, and the experimental singer Alessandra Trevisan. Between 2017 and 2018 The Expanding Universe shared the stage with Cluster/Roedelius, Evan Parker, Walter Prati, Giancarlo Schiaffini and many other important actors of the experimental scene.
Her music has been required from several artists coming from different fields, such as the photographer Sissa Micheli (see: trailer’s soundtrack for Knödelperformance, Stadtmuseum, Brunek 2012); the artist and curator Corinne Mazzoli (see: sound installation for her Sala Gioccchi Project, Venice 2013); the visual artist Gabriela Stoica (see: sound installation during the exhibition Mirror Mirror, who I am? Meru Gallery, Iasi, Romania, 2016); the Japanese shadow-theatre performer and director Beniko Tanaka (see: soundtrack for Claralua, premiered at the Marionette Museum, Lisbon in 2015; Moraes-San e o Culto do Chà, Porto 2017).
Merrich is an active researcher on the effort of women in electronic music history; she loves to spread the knowledge on experimental music and to engage new audiences throughout workshops, lectures, listening sessions and dj-sets.
Between 2017 and 2018 she shared the stage with band such as Mouse on Mars and Zu.
She is interested in raising public awareness on environmental issues by using electronic music; for this reason in 2015 she started an ongoing series of soundworks called Geography of human violence. The first sound installation, Dall’orlo il ghiaccio fece crich più forte, was made of a single audio track composed with the sounds of some geophones installed by Aquased, a hydrometric station at Ponte Stelvio that allows monitoring alpine streams to understand the effects of climate change. The second step of Geography of human violence has been called Mechanical Vibrations, a contemporary requiem for the city of Venice premiered at the Venice International Performance Art Week in December 2016. The third part, Venus before Venus has been performed at the French Pavilion, Venice Art Biennale, Giardini, Venice in summer 2017.
Her latest album, A bigger splash into the unknown, came out on March 2016 released by electronicgirls.org.
Her latest work for electronic orchestra and dance, Silver River, has been premiered at S.a.L.E. Docks, Venice, in January 2016 and at Benedetto Marcello Conservatory, Venice.
In summer 2017 she has been among the artists invited to work at Studio Venezia, 57 Venice Biennale, art installation by Xavier Veilhan at the French Pavilion.
Together with The Expanding Universe, in 2018 she performed a Sleep Concert at Santarcangelo Festival, following the experience inaugurated in june 2017 at Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi, Venice.
Together with Aldo Aliprandi, in 2018 she produced the live electronics soundtrack of Mille échantillon Vivant, a mixed-media show by the French company Kollectif Singulier created at the Maison du Théâtre, Amiens, France.
In July 2018 she is part of L’Impero della Luce, a duo formed with eeviac dedicated to the sound-organization of electromagnetic fields.
Her new researches about women on electronic music appeared in RedBull Music Academy Daily and in Breve Storia della Musica Elettronica e delle sue Protagoniste, a new book coming soon for Arcana Edizioni, Rome.