Karin Hellqvist

Transforming with the Artistic Palette

Norwegian Academy of Music

Through this project I expand my practice as a performer of contemporary Western art music. By aiming to share the imaginative as well as evaluative processes of composition, new ways of co-creating music is developed together with five artists-composers, as well as in compositions of my own. Along the journey, the concept of the Artistic Palette emerges, a concept comprising the abilities I use in creative collaborative work - abilities connected to my agency and creativity. How is my Artistic Palette active in creative work, and what does it mean to think with the Artistic Palette?


The artistic methods of the project are sprung from the specific forms of collaborative composition it comprises – improvisation, developing technological skills to create musical materials, accessing embodied performance materials and developing cyclical patterns of work. As my main method of research, auto-ethnographic writing has been closely intertwined with the artistic processes and several publications now lay the foundation for my final reflection.  


The project aims to contribute with knowledge about artistic agency and creative collaborative work through the enrichment of practical approaches, as well as to problematize the artistic and social dimensions that are expected to emerge while unleashing an empowered performer's role. The project also aims to illuminate how this new role can benefit the work, process and ecology of the composer-performer relation, thus fuelling the ongoing process of opening up hierarchies and structures within the classical music milieu. In this way, it is hoped that it will provide a link in the current discourse and exploration of performer identity taking place within academia as well as in the wider field of music-making. 


Theoretical key influences are musicologist Alan Taylor’s typology of shared work, Lydia Goehr’s concept of Werktreue, Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s thinking on embodied knowledge as well as solastalgia, environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht’s neologism for eco-anxiety. 

Swedish violinist and researcher Karin Hellqvist has established herself as an interpreter of contemporary and experimental music on the international scene. Through collaboration and dialogue with living composers, her practice contributes to the process of creating new music. Hellqvist is a member of several forefront ensembles for new and experimental music in Scandinavia, as Cikada, Oslo Sinfonietta and Duo Hellqvist/Amaral. She has contributed to award-winning recordings, as her debut album Flock (2019), awarded with Preis der Deutschen Shallplattenkritik. In 2016 she received the Interpreter's Prize from the Society of Swedish Composers and in 2020 she became an honorary member of the same society. She is currently a PhD fellow in artistic research at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, focusing on the collaborative aspects of new music creation and the role of the performer.




Artistic Research Forum

3rd presentation

In my 3rd year presentation I will introduce some collaborative processes and artistic-reflective results, speak about the impact the concept of the Artistic Palette has had on my practice, address ideas on the wrap-up of the project as well as my expectations on feedback from an assessment committee.