Overview and results

Composition of graphic and sonic works through the improvisers' co-creation

By Laura Toxværd 2015-2016, as an adjunct lecturer at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory, Copenhagen.

The project was carried out on the basis of a positive evaluation from the Danish Ministry of Culture's Committee for Artistic Research. This exposition has been subject to critical comments by three peer reviewers (one internal, two international), based on RMC's artistic research quality criteria “SITRE".


Taking my compositions as a point of departure, the project investigates the improvisers’ co-creation in the compositional process. The composer (in this case, me) explores how improvisers’ ideas can be integrated into the development of the compositions, and explores what impact the integration has on the works of art. In the project, graphic scores are being designed, through the means of which I am seeking to bring forth new aesthetic forms of expressions.

Along the way in this project, I have created new compositions that came to be drawn out as scores, which were continually adapted and re-arranged on the basis of the improvising musicians’ concert performances of the existing compositions. The musicians, other than myself on alto sax and clarinet, were the trio Dødens Garderobe: Jeppe Zeeberg, piano; Nicolai Kaas Claesson, bass; Rune Lohse, drums. The working method could be characterized as an iterative artistic developmental process, which shuttled back and forth between my own compositional work, together with the design and elaboration of the graphic scores, and the videotaped rehearsals and performances of my compositions with the collaborating musicians. 

A primary result in relation to the project’s method (transferable to other practice-oriented art forms) was the development of this collaborative working process where repeated filmed performances were analyzed and became the new material for the next revision and the next performance. 
The artistic result of the project is a multi-modal work, which can be heard, read and seen:

  • The art book Compositions – 18 Graphic Scores internationally released and distributed by publisher Forlaget Spring containing the project’s scores together with texts wherein I describe my work process including my reflections on the artistic choices, the methods, the premises and the contexts LINK

  • The international release and distribution by the indie label ILK Music of the two vinyl/digital albums Compositions Part 1 & Compositions Part 2 recorded live at the project’s final concert in Jazzhouse, Copenhagen, where the majority of the project’s compositions were performed by myself (alto sax, clarinet, vocal), Carsten Dahl (piano), Raymond Strid (drums), Jonas Westergaard (bass, vocal) & by the trio Dødens Garderobe LINK & LINK