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.
In the sphere of contemporary composition and performance, the material for composers and musicians is not only sound, but extends to different forms of visuality, objects, movements and language. The Extended Composition project poses some fundamental questions: what new strategies for composition and performance will have to be developed to master the multitude of sign systems emergent from music’s expanded material array? What new significance is emerging from the layers in an extended composition of sound, language and movements, and how do we evaluate it? This presentation contains reflections and presentations of three artistic works done in collaboration between composers, musicians, dancers and other artists. The project group has been Henrik Hellstenius, Tanja Orning, Christian Blom, Ellen Ugelvik and Camilla Eeg-Tverbakk.