Alexander Hoholm

Trancing Frequencies

University of Stavanger, Faculty of Performing Arts, Department of Jazz, Dance, PPU and Music Production



Through this project I want to work with the term relative time in an ensemble-improvisational context. This term points to a more open and free relation to what time signature an ensemble is playing in, where the musicians can access all the layers (timelines) in the rhythmic scale at once.


The foundation for the project stems from classical composer Henry Cowell’s idea that rhythm and harmony is the same. It’s all frequencies where rhythm is frequencies slow enough that we perceive them as rhythms and harmony are frequencies so fast that we hear them as pitches. If we take the overtone scale and slow down the tempo, we get the rhythmic scale. This scale represents a relative unit that can represent one measure, but also larger and smaller periods. The concept is that any period can be seen as a tree of rhythmic timelines where the composer and/or musicians can choose which timelines feel relevant to use.

  • Project 1: "Trancing Frequencies" aims to establish an Alexander Hoholm ensemble primarily composed of musicians based in the Stavanger region, drawing on global folk music influences with a focus on West African rhythms and Indonesian gamelan.
  • Project 2: "Unfolding Time" involves composing a work for the Bjergsted Jazzensemble, with open frameworks for various timelines, with a one-week rehearsal period followed by a concert at Tou scene and potential collaboration with a video artist.
  • Project 3: "Re:structure" is a process of restructuring and adding new knowledge to the project, inspired by Fluxus mail art models, through interventions in the work process by other musicians interpreting the project in their own way, resulting in a recording with new music and new artistic interpretations of the project.
  • Project 4: "Enlightenment" aims to find potential collaboration opportunities with interdisciplinary research fields to explore rhythm, time and movement, through different lenses.

Alexander Hoholm is working as a research fellow in artistic research under the working title Trancing Frequencies. There he will work with the term relative time in an ensemble-improvisational context. Alexander has been a member of the orchestra for composing musicians in Oslo (OJKOS) and has been a highly active musician both during and after his education.


His background and musical expertise have its roots in jazz and improvisational music. As a bass player he is playing both the acoustic and the electric bass, sometimes through sound processing, in improvised and composed music. In and through artistic practice he is exploring the different processes, tensions and the artistic possibilities emerging through musical interplay. This can be in the interactions between the body, the acoustic instrument, different sound processing and amplification. Between solo and ensemble projects, between musicians, collaboration partners, infrastructure, also extending to the interaction between improvisation and composition.



Artistic Research Spring Forum 2024

1st year presentation

This will be the first presentation for the project Trancing Frequencies at an artistic research forum and will therefore be presented as a first year presentation. It will go through the theoretical background with relation to Henry Cowell and his ideas for rhythmical innovation, but also focus on the artistic and more abstract thoughts of the research fellow. Since there has been some artistic results in the project, they will be presented and the projects processes and methods will be discussed together with these results. Lastly the presentation will reflect on the projects relation to the fellow´s field and how it can contribute to further development of it.