Astride Schlaefli is a versatile artist working mainly as a director and composer. She graduated from the University of Bern (visual arts and music) and obtained a piano diploma from the Bern University of the Arts. She continued her studies with a training in musical theater and a specialization in contemporary chamber music and instrumental theater (KlangKunstBühne – UdK Berlin) with Georges Aperghis, Ruedi Häusermann, Vinko Globokar, Cesar Brie, Maria Elena Amos and Jürg Kienberger. She then studied sound and film editing at the UdK and composition with Georges Aperghis and Xavier Dayer at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern. Founder of the Collectif barbare, she has been creating musical theater, performances and installations under this label since 2006. Their projects take place in theaters or public spaces, and some are participatory. Astride Schlaefli’s work is permeated by music, sound, poetry and humour. She is politically committed, as is most evident in “Les enfants de Barbarie” (on the Jenisches and Roma in Switzerland, 2008) or “Les Paradis barbares” (2009) and “Winterreise” (2019), two projects carried out in collaboration with asylum seekers. Her preference for radical and experimental concepts is particularly noticeable in the following productions: “Crescendo” (composition for 47 pianos, 2005), “Pianiste” (solo for pianist without piano, 2012), “konzerten” (with 55 military recruits, 2018), “Winterreise” (in an unheated former armoury in Aarau in February 2019) or “REVOX – A Tale of Phantoms”, a piece without live performers and recorded with binaural microphones for an audience wearing headphones. Astride Schlaefli likes to realize concepts in specific or unusual locations, such as “Nachtreise” (in the garden and cellar of the Winkelwiese Theater in Zurich, 2016), “Sitcom” (a 6-episode reality TV series in the public space, 2012) or “Happy forever” (an installation in the cellar of the “Palazzo Wyler”, made with objects abandoned in the basement of said building, which was demolished after the exhibition due to the presence of asbestos (2012)).
2013-14 | Arts Council’s Scholarship in New York from the Head of Department of Culture and Education of the State of Bern
2008 | Bourse Sonore 08 award of the Cultural Commission of the State of Jura and Bern
2006 | award at the PREMIO competition with Les Rituels barbares