Project Description

Project Description

- as seen in October 2014, one year before the end of the project

In this project I will produce solo improvisations derived from the music of two improvising ensembles, to which I belong; Dans les arbres and Huntsville. The music will be produced both ‘live’ and ‘in studio’. The project will also include performances and recordings with the ensembles. 

Through this project I aim for an enhanced knowledge and understanding of my approach as a member of these two ensembles, and how this (knowledge) can trigger frameworks and filters for solo improvisations. The Haruki Murakami-paraphrase in the sub-heading indicates a process of ongoing reflection upon what I regard as key aspects when I improvise. More specifically, what I regard as key aspects in the music of Dans les arbres, Huntsville and my own solo improvisations.


Over the last 8-9 years as improvising musician, my main artistic activity has been carried out in the two bands Dans les arbres and Huntsville. I am interested in all the recurring elements in these two bands, how similar (yet radically different) two concerts given by the same band may be. We have not talked much about the music, nor have we articulated in detail our methods within the bands. There is no carefully laid out master plan. Nevertheless, as I see it, both bands appear to have developed their own sets of frameworks and guidelines. These are tacit, but judging by the recordings made during both bands’ existence, there are inter-subjective understandings of what these frames are, and effectively, what constitutes the sonic identities of the two bands.       

We are improvising. In my view, it is also as if we are performing new variations of previous improvisations, previous pieces. In effect, these are pre-meditated, yet fluctuating, like Alexander Calder’s Hanging Mobiles translated into music. The elements may be known, but their mutual relationships are in constant flux. Each observation of the piece is a reminiscent of another. It is balancing between the known and the unknown, between playing ‘what I know and what I do not know’, looking at the same objects over and over again, from new angles, in new constellations.  


Key Questions
- What are my concepts when improvising with the ensembles and alone?  
- How do the ensemble improvisations inform my solo improvisations?   
- What do I think about when I think about our improvisations and my own improvisation?

- These questions will be investigated through practice. Examples of the sites for such practice are live performances, rehearsals and recording sessions both solo, with the main ensembles, and possibly with other relevant bands and constellations. This will be documented with video and sound.     
- I will organize a series of test concerts at Norwegian Academy of Music. This series will be an important arena for systematic testing of both artistic material and technical tools (and their affordance), followed by discussions with the audience. The tests will be documented on video. 
- I will organize collective evaluations and discussions for Dans les arbres. The discussions will be documented on video.  
The above activity will constitute the foundation of my own reflections. 


Artistic outcome and documentation 
As a consequence of the practice-based orientation, the project will produce artistic outcome via Dans les arbres and Huntsville’s parallel artistic activity throughout the project period. I will also perform solo. Some of this activity will be documented with photos, video and sound recordings.  


The final artistic presentation    
For the final presentation I plan to both perform live and present recorded material - both with relevant ensemble(s) and solo.     


Critical reflection 
My own reflections from performing situations, recordings sessions, discussions, seminars and such will feed back into the project, and thus inform the development. The reflection will be presented and documented on a web site comprising text, video and sound.