Pant kr 1,-by Lars Skoglund is a double concerto for quartertone marimba, quartertone euphonium, and sinfonietta. The percussionist Kjell Tore Innervik had previously developed a quartertone marimba and Davidsen had a quartertone euphonium built especially for him; in requesting the piece from Skoglund, the intention was to use the characteristics of both instruments. Skoglund used microtonality to create both striking timbre combinations and remarkable lyric melodic lines. The meetings with Innervik led to musical and verbal communication about microtonality.
2. Experimentation with the instrument’s possibilities, emphasising multiphonics and microtonality. The artistic research process consisted of interplay between the artist’s experimentation/research of musical and technical innovations on his instrument and the composers’ use of the innovations and the new works of art that emerged in the dialogue between the different artistic agents.
Building on the latest developments in brass playing techniques and aesthetic expressions, Davidsen wanted to challenge the limits of performance on the instrument and investigate how combinations of newly invented sounds could contribute to the field of contemporary music. Multiphonics is a technique frequently used in contemporary music for wind instruments. It involves playing and singing into the instrument simultaneously, which produces additional tones that are the sum or difference of the frequencies of the played and sung tones, creating three- or four-note chords. The effect creates different timbres that give composers more options and flexibility in their compositions involving wind instruments (Davidson 2005). Davidsen developed a structured and comprehensive database of multiphonic sounds/chords, including notations and auditive examples of each multiphonic (wikiphonium.org). This work also included the search for new combinations of tones, and experimentation with the extreme limits of multiphonics on euphonium.
The use of artistic means such as handpops, tounguepops, air sounds, and tongueslaps are commonly used in contemporary music for wind instruments, but are only to a limited degree systematically experimented on, expanded, described, and notated. In this project many different techniques were tested, systematised, recorded, and notated. The aim was to create new and innovative music, while informing both composers and performers about the expressive possibilities of a brass instrument. The clip shows a combination of tongue pizzicato and mouthpop from Brustad’s piece WRSH.
Microtonality was also a major focus in several phases of the project. Davidsen’s interest in this musical expression was based on a wish to escape the conventions of tonality. Davidsen worked with two main approaches to microtonality: on the one hand, the composers wrote music based on equal tempered quartertones; on the other, Davidsen experimented with the ‘pull’ of semitones that were closer to the harmonic series. These two main approaches reflect two different trajectories in the use of microtones in contemporary music. The microtonal style related to the harmonic series has a naturalistic and humanist basis, and the equal tempered quartertone can be regarded as a human postmodern creation.
Several of the commissioned pieces were based on live electronics. In Skoglund’s music for the performance Recital Night there were microphones attached to a podium, which could be manipulated by movements from the performer: standing, jumping, or hitting. In Nwy Brustad used electronics that registered Davidsen’s movements onstage, and these affected the sound of his amplified euphonium sounds.
3. Development of physical and digital tools. In addition to the created music, three major innovations were developed during the project: a quartertone (microtonal) euphonium, a digital mute, and the wiki site.
The quartertone euphonium that German instrument producer Melton Meinl Weston built for Davidsen was based on a rotary valve instrument with features similar to the kaiserbaritone. Davidsen’s ambition was to construct an instrument that made it possible to play microtones/quartertones as fluently and precisely as possible. This instrument made it possible to experiment and investigate musical and aesthetic expression from new perspectives.
The digital mute contained a traditional practice mute from Yamaha with an integrated microphone, a Sennheiser wireless transmitter, and an audio card. The mute dramatically reduces the acoustic sound from the instrument, and the built-in microphone directs the sounds to the audio card. The sound could then be manipulated through plug-ins in programs such as ProTools or AbeltonLive.
A wiki is a specific type of hypertext collection that allows users to add and modify content in an internet publication. An important principle for the founder of the wiki concept, Ward Cunningham, was that anyone, at any time, could edit pages, leaving ownership out of the picture. The project’s name, Wikiphonium, was in this regard a metaphor for the dialogic fundament the project was built upon. The most popular wiki on the web is the encyclopaedia project Wikipedia, but Wikiphonium.org is not an encyclopaedia as such; rather, it is a mediawiki that presents a collection of examples of sounds, notations, and innovations that is open to discussions and further input. It was developed as an important communicative tool for Davidsen and the composers, and also represented a detailed and shared information source for the collaborations with other artists and composers. The wiki format itself provided future possibilities for developing and discussing technical and artistic features of the extended playing techniques involved in the project. Sounds, notations, explanations, and reflections on new musical expressions are presented at wikiphonium.org, including examples of the uses of the different expressive tools. Nevertheless, the wiki was intended to present Davidsen’s artistic explorations of sounds and notations and cannot be regarded as an exhaustive database for extended techniques: the content is explicitly linked to the music created in the artistic research project.
These three interrelated parts of the project were based on a high degree of experimentation, dialogue, and innovation, and the project was documented in three main formats:
1. Thirteen concerts/performances, with audio recordings of three main concerts and selected side projects
2. Wikiphonium.org: a website with numerous auditory examples of new playing techniques on the euphonium
3. A written document containing an overview of the artistic research process and critical reflective comments upon the artistic processes
The artist’s continuous critical reflections explicitly emphasised the dialogic experiences and outcomes. This involved many different aspects of the project, for instance the dialogues within the artist himself, the music, the composers, the musicians, the practice studio, the research fellowship programme, and the audience. As a kind of kaleidoscopic view of artistic communication, this enabled the artist to consider the project from different angles without losing the core outline. In the following, we will elaborate on the dialogical fundament of the project, a perspective that functioned as an organising and analytical tool in the artistic and reflective processes.
 Text from Recital Night, for euphonium and dance http://www.wildlaks.com/Performances/Aften%20for%20to%20-%20Recital%20Night.
 Davidsen is an artist who developed the Wikiphonium project during his years as a research fellow in the Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme. He is currently Vice Dean of Research and Development at the Faculty for Fine Arts in Tromsø, as well as a euphonium performer and teacher. Blix has an academic interest in artistic research per se, has a PhD in music education, and is Professor in Ear-Training at the Faculty for Fine Arts, Music Conservatory, in Tromsø. She also is an amateur brass player.
 In the Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme the concept critical reflection is described as critical consideration and evaluation of artistic works and processes in dialogue with the field and applied theory. We regard the call for critical reflection as an encouragement to ask open-ended questions and to be open to the unknown – to not knowing what comes next (Blix 2007).
 For example, Neal Corwell, Jukka Myllys, and Sverre Olsrud.