Author Archive for

16
Aug
10

workshop August 5-6 & 10

I have decided to make a new version of Victoria Counts by Henrik Hellstenius without video and with a new version of the staging. Henrik has decided to do the main work with the new staging himself, being the person who knows the piece the best (together with me :-D).

A visual idea, using pictures from my life on the floor, almost invading me on stage. Another idea is to cut up the music in small pieces and let me search for them. Using long music stands, too long for actually looking, or very small, so that I have to sit on the floor or on a stool, almost kneeling in a kind of meditation pose. Henrik also wanted to try out using mirrors, mirroring myself, but also the audience, so that they can mirror themselves in the chaos that sometimes emerges on stage.

The music is cut into pieces, and I am kneeling in front of the small music stand.

Henrik also wanted to let me speak about my relation to the piece and how I related to the main topic, distraction vs. focus, stress versus peace, all directed and held together by the counting exercise by Gurdjieff. He wanted me to record my reflections, and also asking myself questions about the main topic. Henrik has made a mix of the sound files, and we are going to try using it in the piece to strengthen the audience’s understanding of the main topic. Each time I work with this piece and have to be confronted with my life, it always makes me emotional. It’s very difficult to keep a distance when the whole thing is actually about your own stuff.

Henrik and Victoria trying out putting photos of Victoria's life on the floor

Sunniva Bodvin, who is going to be the scenographer in my project, was a great help, seeing all the new props from the outside. We will be able to evaluate the new staging and the new props, and how it influences the piece, on the concert on Sep 3. Strangely enough, after working with Victoria counts for almost 4 years, we still do not completely know how to express the core of the piece. The music is very abstract, but of course, it also has various dramatical levels. It moves from almost total silence to cacophonies of domestic sounds; my voice, almost screaming, counting, sound processing and loud violin playing.

Not only a composer.

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22
Jan
10

classical&video

On december 18th 2009 was in Oslo concert-hall listening/watching Leif Ove Andsnes and the south African visual artist Robin Rohde performance. Their aim has been to make the “impossible possible, and how put visuals to music in a way that the visuals builds up the musical material and gives unity”.

The program consisted of different classical pierces and one more modern by Lacher with prepared piano

Schumann : Kinderszenen
Mussorgskij: 3-4 pieces
Larcher: Short pieces
Mussorgskij: “Pictures at an Exibition”

I will look into the documentation of this project, and heard there should be a documentary at NRK.

Their methods of working might be interesting for my project.

It is great that such a fantastic pianist and musical communicator as Leif Ove Andsnes also does projects were he experiments with new ways of communicating with the audience.

19
Dec
09

video-analysis and spatialisation

December 9&10 I worked with Alexander Refsum Jensenius in video-analysis and Catart again. The theme for the workshop was spatialisation. Alexander had recently been to Denmark working with Dan Overholt on the same issue so we tired out a new patch called grid they had worked on together when he was i Denmark. We used spatialisation using V-bap and video-analysis tracking my position at the floor. And then we managed to let the sound follow me when I walked around in the space. We also did an experiment in Catatrt using homogeneous sounds like pizzicato  and instead of the preset chop we tried silence segmentation. That did nor work that well because the grain got a sot of delay (The patch s looking for silent zones) The evaluation of that preset is that I can  not control the sound with my movements.

We also tried to use 2 sound corpus’s in Catart and one grid-patch and reverb for maximum expression and sound in the room. That worked well. I think we are getting nearer what we want to achieve using the space. The next theme will be how to start with an empty space record sound  in Catart in realtime and then interact with the sound in the space.

05
Nov
09

working with installation

I have been very busy working with the installation for the Soundgallery in Bergen. The process with developing Victoria Counts into an installation started a year ago, but first during this summer I got to work on the real development. I had some very interesting talk with Birgitta Cappelen and Anders-Petter Anderson during this summer. They have been working with installation art and crossover genres for ages in the the group musical for fields forever. The most important question which came out of the discussions is:  What do you want to communicate in this piece?

To find the core of the piece has been a challenge. I have decided to divide the piece into different “worlds”; home, world and spiritual. Aiming for the spiritual using the Counting exercise from Gurdieff as the read tread. He have bee reading Gurdieff,s book “Views from the real world”

images

Technically I started off with some sketches in Max with help from Ivar Frounberg. After a while  I got a patch from Jørgen Larsson based on the sketches. Visually I have landed on some jitter patches which can show the photos really slowly, or faster. I will use the combination of slow/fast to illustrate the different speed and density of the 3 worlds. Regarding the other pieces I will come back with some reflection later.

Another artist which writes very well about the spiritual world is David Lynch. he manages to combine his artwork and his spiritual growth, and let the art emerge out og contact with the unconscious. images1I read the book “Catching the big fish” while working on my installation.

Last week I was at Henie Onstad seeing Schwitters exibition. I also heard a concert with the text/sound artist Sten Hanson. Very inspiring.

I found the reconstructed mini-version of Merzbow the most interesting

I am off to Bergen on Sunday to see HC Giljes exhibition Blink and then put up my own, Satellite.

12
Oct
09

Autumn 2009

I have also participated in the conference Sensious Knowledge at Solstrand, Bergen (September 23-25) and made a presentation in International Contemporary Music days in Gothenburg (October 2-3 rd 2009) During the seminar at Solstrand we heard many interesting presentations, but the most interesting thing was for me to meet other artist outside my field. In the conference in Gothenburg was about the boundaries of interpretation and practical Artistic research and was very interesting for my project. I did the presentation together with Henrik Hellstenius. I also played some excerpts of Victoria Counts II during the presentation.

Video-analysis and CatArt

Having the second workshop together with Alexander R Jensenius (October 5-6) has given me more understanding about how CatArt works. Again using a fairly big space at the Academy (4x4m) gave us the possibility to go through many different parameters in CatArt to evaluate what works the best. In this space it works best if the grains are fairly evenly distributed like in preset 2: Spectral centroid periodicity Loudness. Using this preset I am then able to use the whole space to interact. It also works best if the sounds we use are not too brutal and strong. (crush does not work so well as pizzicato and flageolets)

Working with open form

October 7-9 we had rehearsals for the open form festival in November practising Else Storesunds piece Liquid Vapour. The piece is based on schemes and graphs from a research book about water. We use these schemes as a starting point and ground for improvisations where the theme is water.

12
Oct
09

recording of Victoria Counts 2

September 29+29 I did a recording of Victoria Counts II by Henrik Hellstenius. The recording took place in my studio at the Academy. Mats Claesson kindly agreed to record the music and make a “nice” sound of my electric violin. We used his equipment from his studio and my speakers for listening back. Henrik Hellstenius was producing and Edvin Østvik did the live electronics. The result will appear as an installation in Lydgalleriet in Bergen opening at November 13.

On photo: Mats Claesson and Henrik Hellstenius

_MG_5862

12
Oct
09

hyperimprovisation seminar

I arranged in cooperation NMH an international workshop on hyperimprovisation where the theme was; own practise with real-time improvisation and augmented instruments. The seminar took place at NMH during Ultima festival from 15-17 September 2009.

I have during the conference met some of the best international performers working in my field. I made a presentation of my project during this conference and got a lot of important feedback. I had the possibility to discuss musical, aesthetical and technical questions more informally with the participants during the seminar. To put the music, improvisation own practise and interaction with the computer as the main topic has been missing in many conferences such as NIME and ICMC etc.

I hope to arrange this seminar on annual basis and refine and sharpen the topic.

I have got written feedback from the participants and this feedback will be important for forthcoming seminars.

Participants: Victoria Johnson, Cléo Palacio-Quintin, Øyvind Brandtsegg, Peter Tornquist, Hans Tammen, Jan Schacher, Alex Gunia, Bjørnar Habbestad,
Tanja Orning, Natasha Barrett, Kjell Tore Innervik, Alexander Refsum Jensenius.

For photos follow link

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexarje/sets/72157622395123793/

3982721057_75dbbf2e2f




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