Thomas Wenk studied piano and music theory, followed by composition with Mathias Spahlinger. He teaches music theory and improvisation at the Music Academies in Freiburg and Trossingen. He is specialised in works for tape recorder and prepared piano as well as improvised music. His works often inhabit the experimental, inter-media area between music and dance, video and visual arts.
Since 1999 Thomas Wenk has used tape recorders as live instruments in his compositions, making use of the idiosyncratic plurality of sounds and the analogous aesthetic of this medium/instrument, but eschewing retro nostalgia. Apart from performance improvisations, he has created compositions for tape recorder in conjunction with the spoken voice or instruments, and for an ensemble made up exclusively of tape recorders. Instead of pre-produced material, these works usually use only sounds that were recorded and arranged during the performance itself. Occasionally, the recorders and tapes are prepared technically in order to make use of further sound possibilities.
These compositions have been performed by Johannes Kreidler, Sebastian Berweck, Sebastian Hoffmann, ensemble chronophonie, duo contour and ensemble handwerk, among others. DeutschlandRadio has dedicated several portrait features and live recordings to his works; most recently, positionen published his article ›Analoge Zombies - das zweite Leben der Kassettenrekorder als Instrumente‹.