The CD Ferd provides a 56 minute window into a massive collection of data that may, in turn, generate other projects in the future, since there are also large amounts of unused data. Even so, every response giver in the project can be heard at some point on the phonogram. The method of immediate and creative responses to the source was a dogmatic approach, and perhaps we should have experimented more with responses to responses. However, in this case we would have started arranging and locking a tune in a specific musical direction, which we tried to avoid. In the end we had to make choices that influenced the specific CD-production, but as mentioned this is only a small part of a huge data collection that hopefully will generate further projects.
One successful session was the Nystev with Ouch Savy and Theara, which needed no arrangement at all – everything simply fell into place. These rare occasions were something we sought after in all the sessions. Locking the dominant keys and tuning from the traditional music of Setesdal led to some of the other traditions finding it demanding to adapt or find a link, as these scales did not fit their music. One example involves the instruments of Thailand, which have a microtone pentatonic scale in B flat, and this did not correspond to any of the keys from the source material. This challenged the musicians to a creative use of the five-tone scale, carefully selecting the tones to play. Even so, there were moments where the music connected, as can be heard on the final phonogram. The microtonality of each music tradition is different, and we kept most of the original material used unedited, with a flexible approach regarding diverting pitches. However, minor adjustments had to be made in some cases since the dissonance sometimes diverted too much from the source material. If left unedited it would have been unusable. In each case, we discussed the ethical implications, and there were times when we had to accept that the edits would alter the identity and phrasing too much. As a result, those specific bars or the whole take from the instrument would not be used.
When the material was presented to the sources in Setesdal the responses was not so much audio responses but rather conversations and discussions about the process and the fonogram production. One objection was about the balance between songs with vocals and the fiddle tunes. But the balance reflected the amount of responses given to the source material. Although the fiddle tradition was valued by the world musicians as great tunes, they found it hard to respond since in many cases the scales and rhythms was too far apart. Nevertheless, great interactions can be heard on several tunes, like Den 4.Gorrlausen.
In this project, we have worked with highly skilled and established artists and musicians who are well-respected in their traditions, often with a large following. We have invited them into closed sessions in which they have tried out ideas - and naturally made mistakes. This is part of the process of responding to new material and in studio in general. Out of respect for all the artists involved, it is not possible for us to make the database publicly available. This would be ethically problematic since none of the artists have agreed to let their sound and outtakes (“mistakes”) be used in other productions, and making a collage of “errors” would showcase the artists in a bad light. They trust us to handle this with care. If any researchers wish to, they can access the files on site in order to have a closer look at the data, but online libraries are easily hacked and copied, so we cannot release these. We are now looking into future projects and possible involvement from colleagues and master’s students looking at the data from new perspectives.
The 70 minute film documentary by video artist Jeremy Welsh, will be released in spring 2018 and offer another insight into the field work from the project.
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List of participant artists and musicians
Kirsten Bråten Berg - vocal
Hallvard Bjørgum - Harding fiddle
Gunnar Stubseid - Harding fiddle
Sigurd Brokke - Jews Harp
Annbjørg Lien - Harding fiddle
Rolf Christensen - Electric and Acoustic Guitars
Bjørn Ole Rasch - Harmonium, keyboards
Ingolv Haaland - Grand Piano
Achyut Ram Bhandari - Tabla
Durga Khatiwada - Traditional flutes
Prabhu Raj - vocal
Mahsa Vadat - vocal
Ouch Savy - vocal
Yun Theara -Tro
Boonchung Dandung - vocal
Tontrakul Kaewyong - Ponglang, khean
Nithitorn Hiranhankla - Saw duang
Pongsapon Upani - Khean
Sraboni Chaudhuri - vocal
Anubrata Chatterjee - Tabla
Ravi Chary - Sitar
Sandeep Mishra - Sarangi
Rasho Dlovani - Dodouk
Sara Marielle Gaup Beska - vocal
Per Tor Turi - vocal
Roger Ludviksen - Electric guitar
Jonas Simonson - Flute and traditional flutes
Fredrik Salander - Acoustic Bass
John Robert Handal - Tar, arabic percussion
Tareq Abboushi - Buzuq
Rony Barrak - Darbouka, arabic and western percussion
Elie Khoury - Oud
Feras Charestan - Qanun
Ahmad Al Khatib - Oud, Çumbus
Indonesian Gamelan Orchestra
Asep Yana Karyana
Zhou Nan - traditional flute
Lin Fu - Pipa
Mei Ru Zhang - Erhu
Lan Jing Ya - Guzheng
Janko Shuma - vocal
Zhao Luomeng - Morin Khoor, throat vocal
Zany Yezhuoma - Throat vocal
Pat Broaders - vocal, mandolin, guitars