Jonas Sjøvaag 

What kind of music comes from a multi-disciplinary background


My musical work over the years has been clearly threefold. The various roles have existed in parallel and stand in mutual relation to each other, and have already produced results in the form of recorded and released albums, concerts with ensembles and other artistic production with different expressions and working methods.


They have mostly existed on their own, separate from each other, and thus: I am curious about what kind of musical result will come from a long-term process towards uniting these three parts. These are:


1) improvisational jazz percussion
2) singer/songwriter
3) electroacoustics and music technology


The artistic question that hopefully will act as a bridge in this project is therefore thought to be: What kind of music, or artistic expression, arise in the meeting between these roles.


Since this work can be carried out in various ways, I would like to define the project loosely by saying that I myself will be a central performer, preferably on several instruments and preferably through several genres, but that it is my personal artistic practice that should be in focus. This means, for example, that producing music for others is omitted. At the same time, it is not intended to be a solo project, which means that an ensemble is included in one form or another.


In other words, this starting point will be able to provide the following main goals:

1) Investigate the artistic influence the different roles have on each other
2) Unite jazz / improvisation, electronic music and text-based vocal music in one artistically satisfying, and feasible, expression


These two main objectives can be derived into several sub-objectives. It is a process that belongs in a more final project description, but for example it could be about whether one can use existing ensembles as a starting point, about how a new artistic expression compares to existing ones, and so on.


The project is relevant because it is undertaken at a time when the availability of knowledge and the amount of artistic production at all levels mean that many practitioners can increasingly allow themselves to spread their artistic work across several fields of work, while at the same time being able to focus on more than one instrument and one specific genre.


The Norwegian music scene, especially within jazz and rhythmic music, has a long tradition of mixing genres as a source of inspiration and a form of expression. From that perspective, there will be a lot of available, though un-academic theory, to draw experiences from, and to consider as viewpoints that might offer starting points for yet other kinds of discussion. 



I hold a masters degree in improvisational music from the Academy of Music, in Oslo, finished in 2008. Since then I have been a professional musician in several ensembles, most notably Eple Trio, apart from many projects initiated by myself, either as a solo artist or as a performer with others. My discography counts 20+ releases. 


I have my own record label (Shipwreckords), do recording, mix and mastering in my studio in Oslo (Færder Audio), have been a graphic designer and visual artist for years, with well over 100 album covers made so far ( I own and operate Weblance AS, an IT firm working towards the music and culture industry. I also have been working freelance as a Research Catalogue-consultant for UiB, NMH, UiA, Fontys  and others for years, where my main occupation has been teacing students and faculty staff, leading seminars, workshops and individual classes, and creating exposition designs and -frameworks for research fellows, faculty staff and universities. 


© Jonas Sjøvaag