We believe music creation needs safer, accessible spaces where diverse communities can connect at free workshops.
The Open Music Lab is born from the realization that many marginalized communities face structural barriers and discrimination, which can hinder their access to and opportunities in the music industry. Music education can often feel exclusive due to the high costs associated with learning, as well as the equipment and tools required to make music.
We are trying to find ways to counter these problems and believe music creation needs safer, more accessible spaces where cultural differences are celebrated.
The Open Music Lab is a space where anyone can learn how to create, record, and share. All of our workshops and courses are free of charge for the students and offer a place for Berlin’s diverse communities to connect and create together. We are committed to including and supporting refugees, asylum seekers, people who identify as female, non-binary and LGBTQI+, people of colour, and people with disabilities.
We are strongly opposing racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism, and classism.
We believe in the right for every human being to express themselves, be respected, and feel safe, regardless of their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, migratory status, religion, and abilities.
Our music mentors and community members are experts drawn from Berlin's vibrant music scene. We provide weekly workshops on specific topics, ranging from building a basic microphone to learning to mix and master a track, from learning about harmony and scales to writing your own lyrics, from sampling to using synthesizers.
We also run beginners' courses in music production, radio, and DJing, as well as more advanced courses for experienced musicians.
Ben Osborn (he/him)
Head of Fundraising & Programming
Ben Osborn is a writer, songwriter, composer and sound designer, with over ten years of professional experience as a music creator as well as a background in anti-racism campaigning. Coming from a poetic folk song tradition, his work also draws from electronic and classical music to create a space for personal and political stories to be told.
Gaby D’Annunzio (she/her)
Managing Director & Programming
Gaby is a social activist, community organiser and mental health advocate. With a Master of Arts in Psychology, she has always had a keen interest in social issues and people's well-being. She has extensive experience in developing workshops and curriculums as well as running events. She is also part of the Refuge Worldwide team and hosts the Agora podcast series for Give Something Back to Berlin.
Ophélie Kauffmann (she/they)
Communications & Artists Management
Ophélie is a writer, translator, amateur DJ, and has worked as a booker and artist manager for the past six years. With experience in event and artist management, she's interested in ways to support young artists outside the mainstream, in the hope to build a more equitable music scene. She's an advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights, gender self-determination, and intersectional justice, and strongly believe in the power of empathy and listening.
Isabella Aquilina (she/her)
Bella is a writer and community organiser, originally from London. She graduated from the University of Bristol in 2020, where she studied History with a focus on Palestinian cultural history, with a strong interest in poetry and music. Alongside her studies, she worked for humanitarian relief NGOs and long term psycho-social projects in Greece, Calais, and Cyprus. From these two experiences, grew a belief any social justice effort must be empathetic and centre the complex needs of human dignity.
Sophie Douala (she/her/they)
Designer & Community Member
Sophie Douala is Cameroon-born, France-raised, and Berlin-based visual artist and graphic designer. She is interested in the interplay and confluence of a formal visual language and its emotional and cognitive affect. Sophie has been part of the OML community from the start, she has supported OML with a beautiful t-shirt campaign and designed the first compilation release, Redox. She is continuing to inspire the community through visual artistic direction and providing workshops.
Label & Community Member
Moritz Paul aka Leibniz is a DJ, producer, and co-founder of Hundert Records. Since his first release on Fourth Wave in 2013, Moritz has released on various labels, such as Rat Life, Uncanny Valley's sub-label Shtum, or Molten Moods.
His music draws from the kind of theoretical ramblings about the internet, modern life, and interpersonal communication. He's been giving Ableton's workshops at OML since the beginning of the project.
Spencer Carter (they/them)
Mentor & Community Member
Spencer aka MINQ is a Berlin-based DJ, sound artist, and cultural producer. With roots in the queer underground and draws from a multiplicity of movements and spheres including DIY ethos and punk aesthetics. Today they are exploring ways in which music is omnipresent by using field recordings, vocal samples, peculiar analog machines and experimenting with audio collage, non-conventional rhythmic patterns and song arrangements. MINQ also uses music as a mode of activism and enjoys interacting with the community and environment around them.
Morena Miceli (she/her)
Mentor & Community Member
Morena aka morphena is an Argentinian-born DJ and producer, now based in Berlin. She participated in the No Shade Mentoring Program and in the Open Music Lab Music Production Course, which ended with a release on the OML label. Since then she has been releasing music for labels and doing radio shows, for Loser Records, Mega Buff, Balamii, Widows, Raiders, HÖR & Misc Wav Fm Radio.
Abed Alfakir (he/him)
Mentor & Community Member
Abed is a Techno DJ from Damascus, Syria. After finishing high school he moved to Berlin. His love of music brought him to the OML music production course in 2019 to continue developing his production skills. Ever since he has been a central part of the OML community and continues to inspire his fellow students.
We aim at providing a space of safety and belonging for an open-minded community of individuals who bond over a love of music creation.
We believe that personal or social circumstances such as gender, ethnic origin, or family background, should never be obstacles to achieving educational potential. We are committed to offering marginalized communities a fair chance to succeed in their artistic journey.
We support collaboration and experimentation in the learning and teaching of music to make way for a new generation of music creatives.
We welcome all members and groups of society and enable cross-cultural dialogue, sharing of ideas, and collaboration.
We equip our students with expert knowledge and tools to create quality music, while building their self-confidence and creating opportunities within the music industry.