NARP Research Fellows 2017

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Morten Qvenild

Ellen Ugelvik

Per Zanussi

Yuka Oyama

Øystein Elle


How can I develop a grand piano with live electronics through iterated development loops in the cognitive technological environment of instrument, music, performance and my poetics?

The instrument I am developing, a grand piano with electronic augmentations, are adapted to cater my poetics. This adaptation of the instrument will change the way I compose. The change of composition will change the music. The change of music will change my performances. The change in performative needs will change the instrument, because it needs to do different things. This change in the instrument will show me other poetic perspectives and change my ideas. The change of ideas demands another music and another instrument, because the instrument should cater to my poetics. And so it goes… These are the development loops I am talking about.

I have made an augmented grand piano using various music technologies. I call the instrument the HyPer(sonal) Piano, a name derived from the suspected interagency between the extended instrument (HyPer), the personal (my poetics) and the sonal result (music and sound). I use old analogue guitar pedals and my own computer programming side by side, processing the original piano sound. I also take out control signals from the piano keys to drive different sound processes. The sound output of the instrument is deciding colors, patterns and density on a 1x3 meter LED light carpet attached to the grand piano. I sing, yet the sound of my voice is heavily processed, a processing who´s decided by what I am playing on the keys. All sound sources and control signal sources are interconnected, allowing for complex and sometimes incomprehensible situations in the instrument´s mechanisms.

The Soloist in contemporary piano concerti 

From the perspective of the field of classical music, contemporary music is seen not as a natural extension of the classical music heritage, but as a distinct genre. A symptom of this is the fact that we loosely use the term ‘contemporary’ about music to denote works which may be anything up to 100 years old! Contemporary music, conceived of as a genre, ceases to mean the music of our times and, rather, implies music whose aesthetic character and value systems are distinct from the broadly open, accessible and engaging forms of earlier music. We may acknowledge the enormous aesthetic differences between, say, classical and romantic music, but still feel that they broadly occupy the same space in terms of their constituting the mainstream repertoire that is part of our Western musical heritage. By contrast, music from the start of the now-historical period of Modernism right up to the present exists apart, in a specialist niche – analogous, although not identical, to that occupied by medieval and renaissance music. The major educational institutions confirm this stance in the repertoire students are encouraged to work on during their studies, and also through the institution’s compulsory admission requirements. For example, the Norwegian Academy of Music has no contemporary music among its acceptance criteria, which stipulate one work by Bach, one work in the classical Viennese style and one Romantic or Impressionist work, plus one optional work. The implication seems to be that you might choose to perform a work dating from before Bach or after Debussy, but nobody would dream of obliging you to do so. The same message applies to the studies. Courses in contemporary music are offered, but only as an elective course. In all these respects, the Norwegian Academy of Music is typical of general conservatoire practice. By contrast, art schools – and, to a large extent, drama schools – regard contemporary practice as central to their curricula and the skill sets of their graduates. [...]

Natural patterns - music making with an ensemble of improvisers

I have always had an interest in creating music alone. Writing notes on paper, imagining music, writing down my ideas, refining them and have them materialize later on by others. At the same time, I´ve also found great pleasure in improvising on double bass, making music in a group, interacting with the input of the others, and contributing to spontaneous music making.

Playing professionally in many different styles of music for the past 20 years, almost all have involved some kind of improvisation and predetermined composition. I have also composed music for my own groups, for chamber ensembles, jazz ensembles, film and contemporary dance.

Even though I feel most comfortable while improvising, these two different ways of creating music are equally important to me, yet I have somehow, most of the time, kept the activities of notating compositions and free improvisation separate in my mind. When I, a few times, have tried to combine the two in my own projects, I have never been quite satisfied with the results. It has always felt like my two ways of making music have not melded into a unified expression, but rather obstructed each other in the process.

The Stubborn life of Objects

I stipendiatprosjektet utforsker Yuka Oyama det sammenvevde forholdet mellom objekter og subjekter, mellom folk og ting. Hennes kunstneriske utviklingsarbeid befinner seg i feltet moderne smykkekunst og håndverk, og derfra fokuserer hun på bæreren, kroppen, bevegelsene og hvordan bevegelsene relaterer seg til objektene.

Oyama har utviklet både multimediainstallasjoner, skulpturer og filmer. Ved å se på smykker som mer enn et dekorativt moment, tar kunstneren opp spørsmålet i sine verker: hva gjør smykker med en person, og hva gjør en person med smykker?

Capto Musicae

Creating sonic and musical theatre in a contemporary artistic context

My project explores new possibilities for cross-disciplinary music theatre, via the compositional tool of extended vocal practice.The goal of the research project is firstly to create musical/sonic and visual works for theatre, developing methods in which texts, sounds, scenic and kinetic elements come together as equivalent elements. Secondly, to develop a contemporary model for notation and scoring music theatre that can be used by artists across performance disciplines.

Hildur Bjarnadóttir

Christian Blom

Geir Tore Holm

Tao Sambolec

Jesper Alvær

Textiles in the extended field of painting

The project Textiles in the extended field of painting was conducted in
the Department of Fine Arts of the Bergen Academy of Art and Design during
the years 2012 - 2015. The research project has two overlapping aims: One is
to explore the relationship between painting and textiles through weaving,
while the other is to explore a plot of land in the south of Iceland, Þúfugarðar,
which I recently acquired, using the plants that grow there to explore issues
of belonging and ecological disruption. The project was supervised by Hilde
Hauan, professor of textiles at Khib, and the artist Anne Katrine Dolven. The
artistic outcome was presented in the solo exhibition colors of belonging
at Bergen Kjøtt in November 2015. This text contextualizes and articulates
the process and the outcome. Together the artistic work and the reflection
constitute the formal result of my fellowship project within the Norwegian
Artistic Research Fellowship Program.

Organized time. Strategies for transmedial composition.

The language that surrounds forms of art where several medias meet, is by no means standardized. Blom thinks of the complete category, several media meeting in forms of art, as interdisciplinary, and within this category he distinguishes between intermedial and transmedial.


Blom presents the example of the ballet. In a ballet you have two or more complete media specific structures working in parallel. Taking out the music, the choreography would still stand on its own. You could also take out the choreography, and the music would still stand on its own. Blom refers to this as an intermedial situation.


In his research Blom has tried to facilitate a situation where movement, sound and light are co-dependent to make sense. He aims for a structure from which you cannot extract a set of sounds, movements or lights and have a complete structure that stands on its own. Blom wants the media to need each other in order for a structure to rise and refer to this situation as transmedial.


Poetikk for estetikk i endring

"Med ståsted i egen praksis som billedkunstner vil jeg utvikle artikulasjonen i praksisen,

motivasjoner for denne og sammenhengene jeg arbeider i. I utviklingsarbeidet er betraktninger rundt eget virke,

estetikk og diskurs vesentlig for å kontekstualisere idéer, prosess og materialitet.

Prosjektet skal lede til en sammenfattende redegjørelse for bakgrunnen for min praksis, for virksomheten i

prosjektperioden og en tydeliggjøring av vesentlige problematikker i kunstnerskape

Rhythms of presence 

Living in a mediated and virtually networked society, notions of temporality, the ephemeral nature of existence, and remote presence are increasingly in the foreground. Simultaneously, it appears that the significance of direct lived experience, in all its multisensory complexity, is in decline.

My proposed artistic research project aims to explore this current situation by focusing on invisible manifestations of presence, in particular the rhythms of bodily movement and mental activity. These will form the basis for developing tests aimed at exposing the gap between remote and felt presence, and how related temporalities can act as material for artistic work.


Work, work

Staging dislocation in artistic and non artistic labour

Some time back, we walked over to check out the new Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, while it was still under construction. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon and my Polish friend overheard a conversation. A man was showing his visiting family the enormous cement foundation of the museum. He proclaimed: “Look, this is my work!”