Morten Qvenild – The HyPer(sonal) Piano Project
Towards a (per)sonal topography of
grand piano and electronics
How can I develop a grand piano with live electronics through iterated development loops in the cognitive technological environment of instrument, music, performance and my poetics?
The instrument I am developing, a grand piano with electronic augmentations, is adapted to cater my poetics. This adaptation of the instrument will change the way I compose. The change of composition will change the music. The change of music will change my performances. The change in performative needs will change the instrument, because it needs to do different things. This change in the instrument will show me other poetics and change my ideas. The change of ideas demands another music and another instrument, because the instrument should cater to my poetics. And so it goes… These are the development loops I am talking about.
I have made an augmented grand piano using various music technologies. I call the instrument the HyPer(sonal) Piano, a name derived from the suspected interagency between the extended instrument (HyPer), the personal (my poetics) and the sonal result (music and sound). I use old analogue guitar pedals and my own computer programming side by side, processing the original piano sound. I also take out control signals from the piano keys to drive different sound processes. The sound output of the instrument is deciding colors, patterns and density on a 1x3 meter LED light carpet attached to the grand piano. I sing, yet the sound of my voice is heavily processed, a processing decided by what I am playing on the keys. All sound sources and control signal sources are interconnected, allowing for complex and sometimes incomprehensible situations in the instrument´s mechanisms.
First supervisor: Henrik Hellstenius
Second Supervisors: Øyvind Brandtsegg and Eivind Buene
Cover photo by Jørn Stenersen, www.anamorphiclofi.com
All other photo, audio and video recording/editing by Morten Qvenild, unless stated.
The soloist in contemporary piano concerti
Ellen Kristine Ugelvik
The project grew out of a need to improve my ability to tackle challenges I had faced playing contemporary piano concerti. The embodying of new aesthetics is a great challenge in premieres of new works. While the soloist has great potential for expressing personal artistic ideas within a large-scale concert-hall environment, the classical pianist education just does not cover all challenges of performing brand new concerti. The new music suffers. The general lack of contemporary music in educational repertoires has consequences for how the field of classical music develops, what kind of music we value, how we work and what kind of music we play and listen to in a musical society.
I wanted to explore the potential of my role and investigate how I could behave and play to help to improve the sounding result of new piano concerti. I created this project with the overarching research question: Which abilities do I need to develop further, and to enable a progressive soloist role when faced with challenges in entirely new music, and what are the extended effects of such an expanded role awareness?
As the project moved forward, this progressive role awareness, I discovered, was useful to me by giving me greater flexibility and confidence about the massive collective apparatus surrounding the new piano concerti.
The project is based around five new piano concerti I have premiered at national and international venues: Diamond Dust by D. Fujikura, Konsertstykke i tre deler by M. Hegdal, at the tips of my fingers / on the tip of my tongue by B.L. Thorsen, Wowen Fingerprints by T.B. Ulvo and Theory of the Subject by T. Reinholdtsen. Through the evolution of these works, I examine the role of the soloist in all the processes of musical creation, from initialization to realisation in performance.
The research material provides insights into how new music is dealt with in the standard classical music world. I provide rare awareness of the role of the soloist and suggest several improvements of how we lay the foundations for premiering new music. A central outcome of my project is a ‘toolbox’ of proposed techniques and approaches for pianists encountering new works. The toolbox, I argue, is also valuable when applied to older music and to how we approach any musical situation on a general level.
Tradisjoner på spill - Refleksjon
Ingfrid Breie Nyhus
«Tradisjoner på spill, fortolkning og utøving mellom slåtter og pianisme», er et kunstnerisk utviklingsarbeid gjort av pianist Ingfrid Breie Nyhus. Hun er en utøver som står mellom to utøvertradisjoner; klassisk fortolkning og norsk folkemusikktradering. I dette stipendiatprosjektet har hun undersøkt musikalske muligheter i spenningsfeltet mellom kunstmusikk og folkemusikk, sett på likheter og ulikheter ved tradisjonene, og latt dem flettes sammen i sitt spill. Tilsvarende har hun undersøkt musikalske muligheter i dette spenningsfeltet, i samarbeid med et utvalg samtidskomponister om nye klaververker inspirert av norsk folkemusikk.
Ensemble & Ensemble of Me - What I Think About When I Think About Improvisation
Ensemble & Ensemble of Me is an artistic research fellowship project carried out at the Norwegian Academy of Music, as part of The Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme between 2011 and 2015. In this project I produced solo improvisations deriving from the music of two improvising ensembles to which I belong: Dans les arbres and Huntsville, and I produced collective improvisations with the ensembles.
The project’s key questions:
- What are my concepts when improvising with the ensembles and when improvising alone?
- How do the ensemble improvisations inform my solo improvisations?
- What do I think about when I think about our and my own improvisations?
The Haruki Murakami-paraphrase in the sub-heading indicates a process of on-going reflection upon what I regard as key aspects when I improvise. More specifically, what I regard as key aspects in the music of Dans les arbres and Huntsville, as well as for my own solo improvisations. These reflections reveal key aspects and main challenges that emerged during my attempts to create solo works informed by the ensembles. The reflections are chiefly documented in the form of a personal encyclopaedia. The encyclopaedia includes audio and visual examples, both from the final artistic results and from artistic activity during the project.
Kjell Tore Innervik
A PhD-level project in the Fellowship program for artistic research and development ("stipendprogrammet for kunstnerisk utviklingsarbeid") at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, by Kjell Tore Innervik.
Denne nettsiden dokumenterer refleksjonsarbeid fra det kunstneriske utviklingsprosjektet Improvisasjon som møtepunkt i en intermedial kontekst (INTERIMP) – et samarbeidsprosjekt mellom Norges musikkhøgskole (NMH) og Balletthøgskolen ved Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo (KHiO), med ekstern finansiering fra det nasjonale Program for kunstnerisk utviklingsarbeid/Prosjektprogrammet (2012–2015).
Prosjektdeltakere har vært musikerne Lisa Dillan, Sidsel Endresen (2012–2014) og Ivar Grydeland (alle NMH), og danserne Siri Jøntvedt, Cecilie Lindeman Steen og Ingunn Rimestad (alle KHiO).
Formålet med prosjektet har vært å undersøke og øke bevisstheten rundt prosesser og problemstillinger som oppstår når improviserende dansere og musikere møtes på gulvet.
Aktiviteten i prosjektet har bestått av arbeid på gulvet og arbeid på møterommet, og det har vært en gjensidig og kontinuerlig veksling mellom disse fasene. Utprøvinger og tester på gulvet har informert diskusjonene på møterommet, som igjen har generert nye utprøvinger og tester på gulvet.
New instruments for Music Exploration
Kjell Tore Innervik
This interdisciplinary artistic research project was a collaboration between the composer Ivar Froundberg, Music Technologist Aleksander Refsum Jensenius and percussionist Kjell Tore Innervik. A project to enhance the possibilities of music performance for the many and for the few located at the Norwegian Academy of Music.
For many years I was a part of a performance group called Verdensteatret. We made large scale performances and installations. They were often dense with information. Speech, movements, video, lights, sounds and music, all utilizing their full scales at once, fast to slow, loud to soft, bright to dark and so forth. This meant that we had many situations where the amount of information was overwhelming. Anyone attending would have to make choices of where to focus and what to follow. I recall sitting in rehearsal for the work Louder (Verdensteatret 2007) thinking: Isn’t that sound finishing off Marius’ movement? They are both coming to a halt after finishing a similar arch through the room. And the sound continues ten seconds after Marius has stopped. They start together but finish separately. A connection appears as they separate. The connection is clear for the ten seconds between when Marius is finished, and the sound finishes in a similar manner as Marius did. Nothing else enters and connects more strongly to either and their initial connection is strong since they start out as if in unison. I didn’t think all this then, it’s only now that I can put words to it. After all things are indications before they become phenomena (Bachelard 1958, 176).
This glimpse and my imaginative memory is the basis for organized time. Through this research project I have tried to recreate this glimpse, to isolate it and force it to show itself. It has been a hunt. I started fiddling about, juxtaposing things and hoping for a dialectic miracle and as things became more clear I increased precision and gradually formulated a strategy for transmedial composition.