updated 23 July 2020
© Robert Henke

Robert Henke

German composer and sound designer born 10 February 1969 in Munich.

Robert Henke was born in Germany in 1969. An engineer by training, he designs and operates machines that generates sounds, shapes, and structures. Developing his own instruments and algorithms is an integral part of his creative process.

He works with computer-generated sounds and images, sound fields, photographs, and light, which are transformed, rearranged, and modulated according to mathematical rules, real-time interaction, and controlled random operations. He applies particular focus on the exploration of both virtual and physical spaces. Many of his works use multiple audio channels or are designed for specific venues and their spatial specificities.

His music is located at the border between club music, sound and audiovisual installations, computer-assisted contemporary composing, and software publishing. His long-term musical project, Monolake, launched in 1995 with Gerhard Behles, became one of the key icons of a new electronic club culture emerging in Berlin after the fall of the Wall. Henke produces most of his work under the name Monolake, with Behles until 2001, and now as a solo artist (with support from Berlin-based artists such as T++ and Rashad Becker).

Henke is also one of the main creators of Ableton Live, a software which since its invention in 1999 has become a standard tool for the production and practice of electronic music. His compositions include software and modules for Ableton Live that he developed himself, such as Granulator II, MicroDrum, ConVoyage, Density, and FDN4. He also uses both analog and digital synthesizers, as well as ambient sound recordings. His work sometimes takes place over several phases, in multiple versions that he augments, reduces, rearranges, or remasters. His knowledge of acoustic engineering allows him to polish each step in the production of his recorded works. Mastering thus has a key place the process he uses to create his musical works, as he explains in an article about his approach to this technique.

He writes and lectures about sound and the creative use of computers, and held teaching positions at the Berlin University of the Arts, the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University, and the Studio National des Arts Contemporains - Le Fresnoy, in Lille, France. His installations, performances, and concerts have been held at the Tate Modern in London, the Pompidou Center in Paris, Le Lieu Unique in Nantes, PS-1 in New York City, the MUDAM in Luxembourg, the MAK in Vienne, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia, and many festivals.

In 2018, he was a guest of IRCAM’s ManiFeste festival for the premiere of his piece From Within… in collaboration with the composer Marko Nikodijevic.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2018


Site du compositeur.

Catalog sources and details

Site du compositeur ; Discogs.

Catalog source(s)

Site du compositeur ; Discogs.


Interventions filmées


Articles :
  • Robert HENKE, “A question of wording : science and research in digital arts”, 2016, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, Rashad BECKER, “Mastering”, 2008, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, “Live Performance in the Age of Supercomputing”, 2007, lire en ligne ; deuxième partie, 2009, lire en ligne.
Interviews :
  • Robert HENKE, Marko NIKODIJEVIC, “Partager un rêve”, L’étincelle, 2018.
  • Robert HENKE, “Interview: Robert Henke (Monolake)”, Orbmag, 2018, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, Gerhard BEHLES,  “One adds and the other subtracts”, Thump magazine, 2016, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, “Chinese Ghosts and Buddha Machines”, smartbeijing, 2013, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, “Ghosts in Surround”, Bleep, 2012, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, “Silence”, Create Digital Music, 2010, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, “Atoms, Balloons, Leds”, Digimag magazine, 2007, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, “Remixing Depeche Mode”, depeche-mode.com, 2006, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, “Repetition change”, Andrew Cooke, 2005, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, “Promotional lyrics”, Bant Magazine, 2005, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, “Drones, signal to noise”, Ron Schepper, 2004, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, “Momentum independence”, Dusted Magazine, 2003, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, “Acceleration chaos”, pitchadjust, 2003, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, “Beauty perfection”, inconnu, 2002, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, “Research art und result art”, DeBug Magazine, 2000, lire en ligne.
  • Robert HENKE, “Der PX-18”, DeBug Magazine, 1998, lire en ligne.


Toutes les œuvres citées ci-dessous sont publiées chez Imbalance Computer Music, un label fondé en 1993 et consacré aux œuvres de Henke, Electric Indigo et T++, sauf indications contraires.

  • MONOLAKE, V L S I, ML 032, 2016.
  • MONOLAKE, Ghosts, ML 026, 2012.
  • MONOLAKE, Silence, ML 025, 2009.
  • Robert HENKE, Atom/Document, ICM 07, 2008.
  • Robert HENKE, Layering Buddha, imbalance computer music, ICM 06, 2006.
  • Robert HENKE, *Plumbicon Versions CD,*imbalance computer music, ML 019, 2006.
  • MONOLAKE, Indigo_Transform, ICM 08, 2009.
  • Robert HENKE, Signal to Noise, ICM 05, 2004.
  • MONOLAKE, Momentum, ML 011, 2003.
  • MONOLAKE, Cinemascope, ML 009, 2001.
  • MONOLAKE, *Gravity,*ML 006, 2000.
  • MONOLAKE, Gobi. The Desert, ML 003, 1999.
  • MONOLAKE, Interstate, ML 001, 1998.
  • Robert HENKE, Floating Point, ICM 04, 1997 (remasterisé en 2015).
  • MONOLAKE, Hongkong, Chain Reaction, Crd-04, 1997 (remasterisé en 2008).
  • Robert HENKE, Piercing Music, imbalance computer music, ICM 02, 1994 (remasterisé en 2005).
  • MONOLAKE, P A N, ML-033, 2017.
  • MONOLAKE, G M O, ML-031, 2016.
  • MONOLAKE, C G, ML-030, 2016.
  • MONOLAKE, D E**C, ML-029, 2015.
  • MONOLAKE, I A, ML-028, 2015.
  • MONOLAKE*, X I E*, ML-027, 2014.
  • MONOLAKE, Atlas, ML-023, 2009.
  • MONOLAKE, *Alaska Melting,*ML-020, 2006.
  • MONOLAKE, Plumbicon Versions II, ML 018, 2006.
  • MONOLAKE, Plumbicon Versions I, ML 017, 2006.
  • MONOLAKE, Axis Carbon, ML 014, 2005.
  • MONOLAKE, Invisible Force, ML-013, 2005.
  • MONOLAKE, Cern Whitell, ML-012, 2003.
  • MONOLAKE, Linear Atomium Reminiscence, ML 010, 2003.
  • MONOLAKE, Bicom Remotable Cut, ML 02, 2001 (deuxième édition en 2007).
  • MONOLAKE, Polaroid-rmx, ML-02, 2001.
  • MONOLAKE*, Ionized Ping Frost*, ML 007, 2001 (deuxième édition en 2007).
  • MONOLAKE*, Stratosphere Ice,*ML 005, 2000.
  • MONOLAKE, Fragile Static, ML 004, 2000.
  • MONOLAKE, Tangent, ML 002, 1999.
  • MONOLAKE*, Occam Arte*, ML-01, 1997.
  • MONOLAKE, Lantau Macau, Chain Reaction, CR-15.
  • MONOLAKE*,*Index, *Chain Reaction, CR-11.
  • MONOLAKE, Magenta, Chain Reaction, CR-08.
  • MONOLAKE, Cyan, Chain Reaction, CR-04, 1996.
  • MONOLAKE, Gobi. The Long Edit, ML 034, 2020

Liens Internet

  • Site du compositeur, roberthenke.com : site très complet sur lequel le compositeur explique et détaille nombre de ses œuvres, publie des écrits et de nombreuses informations sur son processus créatif.
  • Soundcloud de Monolake.

(liens vérifiés en juillet 2020).