Reflections / stuff that came up


- how to compare results to project description?

- what happened in the process?

- a simplification of each instrument, narrowing down to the minimum

- a simplification of form to allow a fluid motion through a planned piece

- to keep the element of improvisation, within the boundaries set by preset elements like text, BPM and specifics from HW used, an element of surprise was introduced (voice on cassette)

- is this live electronics?

- turns out that in this project it was fruitful to abandon Ableton, switch to Reaper (for stability + simplification of the live electronics part), and to see the DAW as a sound processing unit rather than something that provides musical input

- new questions, other results, elaborating on the self

- accept self-gratification as a creative element

- the narrowing down causes more creativity, not less

- the narrowing down demands new creative outlets, new bands, new things to be made, etc.



What works?

  • The setup (machine) can be re-used for another project, in another musical style, or for prewritten tracks
  • The work "Be like Water" can be repeated without being an exact clone of the previous concert
  • Sounds fairly good & I personally find this soundscape rewarding
  • The idea of keeping it portable and relatively simple worked without accepting major lackings in the resulting sound
  • It's interesting to see how little I can do while still claim to "play the instrument", and it is also interesting to see that touching a wooden box with a piezo inside is enough for me to claim to be a drummer, while singing two full lyrics still leaves me in doubt as to whether I'm a singer
  • I have played a drum kit for many years and to make this work I have put the urge to play a full kit on hold
  • I have to act as a professional in fields where I know that I really just professional-by-proxy

Challenges & considerations

Is the research accessible to peers?


- deconstruction / assembly / bricolage

- improvisation

- embracing flaws / Wabi-Sabi

Will the outcome be relevant for others in the field?

Question: What kind of music arises in the meeting between three artistic identities?


|| Selected musical background, summarized ||


"Curious Child" - "A1" - "On This Day"

What will I present?

My presentation at ARF 2024 will consist of approx 25 minutes of music that is the current artistic result in my ongoing PhD.



two compositions, two texts & "new" musical elements in a semi-improvisational form


played on

Casio MT-65, cassette, percussion, vocals, machinedrum, digitone + FX


An artistic result 1,5 years into the PhD

Context sketch


Music I identify with

The ECM and "sound of the nordics" jazz scene

The progressive / alternative pop/rock-scene in the UK / Yorke, Greenwood, The 1975, Gorillaz / Albarn

Storytellers: Cave, Waits, Burroughs, Cohen, Simone, Mitchell

Other instrument specific influences: Kleive, DeJohnette, Thowsen, etc.


Current topics in my surroundings / innovation, cutting edge, etc.

The computer as an instrument / live electronics

Instrumental technicalities

Musical values and considerations outside academia, aka "the real world"


Project description:

- building on, representing and expanding my artistic identities

- creating a result that has an artistic value, for me and for others

- accept practicality as a constraint and use it as a creative funnel


Project goals:

- make music without being worried about "achieving complexity" and / or "achieving simplicity"

- include elements from elements I already have an embodied knowledge of

Going further || Example of results where elements / ideas found through research directly influences, and is part of, a new work (trickle-down)

Going out, Coming home

Recorded without prior rehearsal in Bergen, 12.02.24

Take 1


Hans Martin Austestad (banjo)

Jonas Sjøvaag (vocal, digitone, lyrics & composition)

Research timeline

An incomplete overview of milestones and happenings

Blues for N0.

This is a bot that speaks, listens, and prints the interpretation back to a text file, before starting over. It resembles, although without knowing or wanting to, the cut-up technique of W. Burroughs, in turn based on a dadaist concept from the 1920's.


It will be part of a poster presentation at SAR Artistic Research Forum, in Tilburg, April 2024. 


Jonas Sjøvaag (lyrics, scripting, video)