Hans Tammen is just another worker in rhythms, frequencies and intensities. He likes to set sounds in motion, and then sit back to watch the movements unfold. Using textures, timbre and dynamics as primary elements, his music is continuously shifting, with different layers floating into the foreground while others disappear. This flows like clockwork, “transforming a sequence of instrumental gestures into a wide territory of semi-hostile discontinuity; percussive, droning, intricately colorful, or simply blowing your socks off” (Touching Extremes).

He performs regularly with prepared and microtonal guitars, Buchla Music Easel, and a Blippoo Box chaos synthesizer. He also performs with various pieces of software of his own design, made for the interactive processing of various objects or instruments. He regularly writes for large ensembles, notably his 18-piece chamber-jazz ensemble Third Eye Orchestra, and the all-electronic Dark Circuits Orchestra, both founded in 2005. In 2021 FLUX String Quartet commissioned him to write a large work for string quartet and live electronics.



Photo: Jörg Steinmetz

His works have been presented at festivals in the US, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, India, South Africa, the Middle East and all over Europe. He has recorded on labels such as Clang, Innova, ESP-DISK, Nur/Nicht/Nur, Gold Bolus, NachtstückCreative Sources, Leo RecordsPotlatch and Outnow.

Hans Tammen received grants and composer commissions from NewMusicUSA,  Chamber Music AmericaMAPFund, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, American Music Center, Lucas Artists Residencies Montalvo, New York State Council On The Arts (NYSCA), New York Foundation For The Arts (NYFA), American Composers Forum w/ Jerome Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Funds, New York State Music Fund, Goethe Institute w/ Foreign Affairs Office, among others.

Hans Tammen is currently teaching at School of Visual Arts, Hunter College and NYU. From 2001 to 2014 he worked at Harvestworks Digital Media Art Center in NYC, where he was responsible for the Client Services, Education and Artist In Residence program, helping countless digital media artists through completion of their works. As an arbitrator at BTQ in the 1990s, he spent a decade advising unions about electronic monitoring and surveillance at the workplace, and negotiating contracts and agreements to minimize surveillance aspects. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Kassel, studying on a stipend from Friedrich Ebert Foundation.


Tammen, H: Audio Orchestrator for Installation and Performance, Case Study on BBC’s MakerBox / Audio Orchestrator page June 2022. Link here, original link at the BBC here.

Tammen, H: Conflict Of Interest - A Personal Genetic Data Sonfication, in: Sonifikation: Transfer ins Musikalische / Sonification: Transfer into Musical Arts, Program book for the Sonification Festival by BGNM, Hofheim: Wolke, 2017.

Tammen, H.: Case Study - The Endangered Guitar, in: Bovermann, T. and de Campo, A. and Egermann, H. and Hardjowirogo, S. and Weinzierl, S. (ed.): Musical Instruments in the 21st century --- Identities, Configurations, Practices, Springer 2016

Naphtali, D. and Tammen, H.: A View On Improvisation From The Kitchen Sink, in: Leonardo Music Journal Volume 20, 2010