Archive for the 'digital space' Category

22
Feb
11

highlights from autumn 2010

Playing TBA with guitar pedals

The collaboration with my colleague Terje Moe Hansen was really interesting. He has been researching how Paganini’s violin technique gave extended technical possibilities on the violin in his time. Terje  has also made a set of own violin techniques, and he uses his own and Paganini’s techniques together in a virtuoso way. Especially “the other way round hand position”, which means that the whole hand is placed of the left side of the finger-board, and you get access to the thumb as a fifth finger.

Terje has no problem making the violin sound like a seagull, and he used all his brilliant techniques in our improvisation. Based on Paganini’s caprice no. 24, we worked with hip-hop loops, free impro over a time-stretched Rachmaninov’s Variations over a theme of Paganini, and fiddling around with the theme itself.

Terje also played his own pieces in the concert, and a piece by Ivar Frounberg, joined by the fantastic trombone player Niels-Ole Bo Johansen. He just impressed me with his Sequenza by Berio.

November 8 I made an introduction about noise, which I held at the Levin hall at NMH. I also performed Jon Hegre’s piece TBA. The piece is improvised over certain instructions by the composer, and one of them is to make a wall of noise. Using two fuzz pedals and crush tones, I had expected the piece to be really loud, but I don’t think it was loud enough. Nobody even reacted to the piece after the concert.

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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.

13
Aug
10

Workshop August 3-4. Motion capture

I’ve not been able to update this blog since March, due to troubles with my arm. I’m now back in business, planning a solo concert on September 3.

Due to the arm problems I’ve had to postpone my final performance, but I will still have a “work in progress” performance on Sep 3. For the first time in 3 years I had the possibility to practice over a long period in the concert hall in the Academy of Music. I had access to the hall for 5 whole working days, and did not have to rig down every evening. I have realized, during this project, that rigging and solving technical problems take – worst case – up to 80-90% of my time. Usually there is too little time for working musically with the right set-up in the right room. The fact that I seldom have access to a big space for more than one day, means that I always feel that I haven’ practised and experimented enough musically.

Alexander Jensenius stabilizes the camera before climbing to the ceiling

Alexander Jensenius stabilizes the camera before climbing to the ceiling

This was also the case the first day of the workshop; Alexander Refsum Jensenius and I used 5 hours to rig up the 8 speakers and the motion capture system (with video analysis) in the hall. On the first day we had only one hour of musical activities, and our brain capacity was rather poor (after removing two Steinways, repairing the door to get the pianos out, fighting with our mixer, placing the video camera 15 m up in the ceiling.) 😀  We decided to let the 4 inner speakers define the soundspace, forming a square. The size of the square was decided by the video camera that was mounted in the ceiling.  We tested some new pre-sets in CataRT and found that the pre-set silent segmentation made the sound stay for a long time and made it difficult to interact with the electronics, which is the goal for the whole project. We also experimented with an amount of reverb, because the concert hall in itself has a lot of it. To level equally the sound of the violin and the electronics was also an issue we worked on that day.

On August 4, with fresh brains, we started to work musically with our set-up. We used Alexander’s video analysis transition, so that video analysis could be used as a controller for CataRT. In earlier workshops we have gone through all the pre-sets in CataRT, testing various loudspeaker set-ups, and now we could concentrate on deciding what kind of violin sounds we wanted to use.

Strangely enough, some sounds that worked in an non-acoustical room, did not work in the concert hall. The most brutal sounds, like crush tones and strong pizzicati, sounded much too brutal in the hall. After an hour or two Sidsel Endresen (my superviser in improvisation) turned up to listen to our music. Her feedback was that I should think of the electronics as a musician, a person you play with and against. And to let this interaction guide my movements, and not vice versa. And the music which happens when I don’t play, only move, (ghost playing) is not a goal in itself, but rather a result of a musical process. And the curiosity and eagerness to explore the soundscape which emerges must be what drives you.

I’m so glad that we could go more into the musical issues!! Thanks to Sidsel for coming.

22
Jan
10

reflection&practising

Busy writing at my artistic reflection, reading a lot, practising, thinking and making important decisions for my end performance, there is not much time to blog and document these days. Since December last year I have been writing on  my critical reflection as well as doing a lot of practising on some new pieces. In March I am playing a new piece by Ivar Frounberg and Peter Tornquist with the NMH sinfonietta , a jazz group , Kjell Tore Innervik and my 4 el violin students at  NMH.

In between the practising I reflect on the performers role and  my use of methods and what impact that has had on my project. I have been reading “Performance practice by Schechner:

“The assertion is that performance, that is, how people behave and display their behavior, is a fundamental category of human life,” Schechner said. ” and further: “The domination of theory for its own sake is coming to an end in academia,”  Theory is secondary to something one does based on experience, on data, on fieldwork and on experiment. Performance studies as an academic discipline is extremely open to new theoretical constructs that try to bridge and narrow or eliminate the gap between theory and practice.”

Another intersting book is Eivind Røssaak: “Selviakttakelse” In this book Røssaak discusses the arts tendency to be interested and observe the self. He also discusses craftsmanship versus new tendencies like uncleanness and hybrid art. Very relevant book for reflection on the process with Victoria Counts and for people who are interested in the Knausgård debate.

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.




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