Katt Hernandez: SO(U)LEN(SKIN(NER)
Violin Solos based on material made for my upcoming LP release on Ehse and Fylkingen Records
This is a record for Stockholm, recorded at EMS with a microphone only three examples were ever made of. The title is the simultaneous two languages which now twine together: ”Lent skiner solen på själens skinn / The sun shines down softly on the skin of the soul.” The improvisations, done entirely on the acoustic violin and in single takes, build upon listening to the moving of huge granite mountains for the building of things on Stockholm’s stone terrain, and the stones and machines in all the cities waterways found with hydrophones- on the songs of the new birds here, and the trains, and the hours the sun came forth until midnight and disappeared over a hundred years of rising and setting. It is for the endlessly disappearing and re-emerging versions of the city and the people who live in those tides, and many more secret tales.
Katt Hernandez: Orogenesis
16-channel tape piece
Orogenesis refers to the cataclysmic geologic processes which form mountains. In Stockholm, new structures often must be built with the assistance of dynamite and great tunnel-boring machines, as the city lies on a landscape of solid granite. A kind of human orogenesis. This piece is built from two sorts of instruments- pipe organs and modular synthesizers. I have been drawn to contemplate the relationships between these two kinds of instruments during the last years. This piece is one of an ongoing series contemplating both their acoustic properties and how they might express, dwell in and reflect the life and ongoing transformation of the city where I live. The organ material is drawn from a handful of recordings I made on the three pipe organs at MHM. The synthesis material has been realized in Stockholm, on the Buchla 252 and 252e and Serge systems at KMH and EMS.
Katt Hernandez: Installations: abbreviated versions of outdoor installations from Stockholm:
After years in various activist movements which took to the streets in order to do everything from protesting war to refuting gentrification, I wanted to find a way of “occupying” space which had more subtlety, and created space for imagination, listening and reflection instead of only shouting. Both installations presented here are constructed in exactly the same way, althoughVirvelnsträdgården
Virvelnsträdgården: Moderna museet, Stockholm / The Garden of Verticils: Modern Museum, Stockholm
In arriving in the garden of the Moderna museet for the first time in 2011, I was struck by how bucholic it was. It was a garden for a future- even a post-future!- which had already passed into history. I spent much of that summer contemplating this paradox through the lens of the presence and resonating echos of Frukost i den Gröna and Paradiset. Even more, the colorful story of the Bucky Dome which had been erected in the garden illuminated the recently past century, as I both programmed and played concerts with Fylkingen, The Schematics, Bengt Carling and the collective that formed to celebrate Don Cherry’s music that year. That former future’s gardensgave brutalism a kind hand. The kaleidescopic was spun into minimalist tetrahedrons for the building of a new kind of world. There seems some echo of this in Yayoi Kusama’s current installation in the same garden, evoking eternity three times in its title upon the histories and futures present here. Nostalgia has been rightly classified as everything from illness to dangerously folly. But perhaps there is more subtle ore hidden in the same complexities that looking to the past sometimes refutes, to be wrested from its beguiling flowers, winnowed and carried into imagined futures to come. Here, then, is a sonic garden to echo the physical one, built from recordings of Stockholm’s few remaining marks of industrial life, together with choirs, violins, harpsichords, plant life and other moments in the fabric of the city where the garden lives, utilizing Supercollider and the Buchla and Serge synthesizers at Elektronmusikstudion.
Konditori Kungstornet: Stockholm
This was a preliminary experiment with making a “guerilla” street installation, around the former site of the Konditori Kungstornet on Kungsgatan in central Stockholm. The konditori opened in the 1934, and the last interior was built during the 1950’s, including the unique mural which was painted along the entirety of the konditori’s west wall. The konditori closed May of 2014, amidst calls to keep it open from facebook groups and large news paper articles alike. The has been rented to a high-end outdoor and sports clothing shop, and while the konditori’s hand-forged old spiral staircase remains, the mural is painted over in gleaming white. I used several materials in making these installations, including literal recordings from several area Konditoris including Kungstornet Konditori itself, and more foley-style recordings of related objects including dishes from Myrorna, conversations from a fabric shop, and a similar sounding coffee machine from an Italian espresso house in Fridhemsplan. There are also sounds depicting images from the Mural such as horses, industrial ships piano music and string instruments . And there is subjective material such as music from an advertisement for a 1950s cruise,or a radio playing in an Alley a few blocks away. These sounds were placed on three mp3 players with small stereo speakers, which were secured in a triangular formation around the site. Due to technical failure, they shut down two hours after installation, and the speakers were not loud enough for outdoor use on a busy street. This offers good information for future attempts at continuing this project.
Deuterium Quartet: sound and video excerpts
Katt Hernandez – Scordatura violin, composition
Lisa Gerholm – Nyckelharpa
Bruno Anderson – Vevlira
Fredrik Bergström – Vevlira (Mimer only)
This is a group of mixed string instruments, two of which are “digital” instruments from the pre-digital era- a medieval attempt to re-quantify the Zeno’s paradox of a finger board into keyed divisions, and the periodicity of the bow with the eternity drone of a wheel. I have chosen to work with instruments of this kind for several reasons- their strange marriage between violin-like and organ-like mechanisms, their roots in Swedish folk music and continuing new uses in contemporary musics, their rarity and their capacity for new and interesting materials of the kinds I have been working on- spectral drones, extended techniques and other approaches to string instruments drawn from electro-acoustic music and the free improvisation movements I have been engaged in. The mixture of modern and historical technologies in this group of instruments speaks in allegories about the architecture in Stockholm, where historical contexts exist in scatter-shot concert across the cityscape.
There is a field of study called spectroscopy which all children become familiar with through the discovery of prisms. A deuterium lamp is used in spectroscopy to produce a continuous spectrum in the ultraviolet region, one could say an ultra-violet drone of sorts. Deuterium is used as a material in lamps, which illuminates the spectrum. Thus the group was named for this element as I composed a first piece for it- an initial study of the ensemble’s possible sonorities through the use of drones as preliminary research for my doctoral project, as well as a commissioned piece for a concert on a festival. he composition in Mimerlaven takes it’s point of departure the study of a number of elements including organ registers and their allegories in analog synthesis and various experiments conducted with SuperCollider based synthesis and patterns. A descant of mechanical and non-pitched sounds is present around the edges of the ever dropping addition of elements in order to reach the highest and lowest frequencies of the group in a drone, specifically made to resonate well in the very specialized space of Mimerlaven.
Dome of Visions, Stockholm
This piece, the second Deuterium performed, is based on two types of material. The first type of material is the collective transposition of field recordings taken from various parts of Stockholm, including Skärholmensbryggan, Järnvägsresturang, Stadsbiblioteket, Tekniskahögskolan tunnelbana station before the installation of the glass door turnstyles, and non-melodic birds such as kajor, skator, björktrast and crows, recorded outside Konditori Lyran in Bredäng. The second type of material is composed from rhythmic figures drawn from contemplating the mathematical structure of a geodesic dome. Bucky Fuller was a futurist architect with his own vision of how cities might be built along humanitrian and utopic lines, and was tied to 20th ccentury arts movements through his time at the legendary Black Mountain College. The history of the two Bucky Domes at Modernamuseet is important in the cultural life of Stockholm, to which this new Dome, located instead at KTH, adds a new and different chapter. These materials are mixed with drones and melodic work, drawn from the same materials. The group was a trio, instead of a quartet, for this concert.- but we look forward to continuing as a quartet in future. We also played a graphic score written by Bruno Anderson, and I played an improvised violin solo, based in part on the same kinds of non-melodic bird transcriptions the group used.
Mattias Risberg – Organ
Katt Hernandez – Violin
This music is entirely improvised, and was recorded in Nora Kyrka, Tärnsjö in April 2015. We did several sessions of playing in both this and the Viggelsjökyrkan throughout the summer of 2015. In addition to long wishing to begin a collaboration with Mattias Risberg, who plays a wide variety of keyboard instruments including the piano, organ, arp and clavichord, I initiated this duo specifically with the organ in part because I was doing preliminary research into combined organ and violin sonorities for my planned doctoral project. We went through all out recordings from the spring and summer during my first term of school, and released this bandcamp recording on January of 2016.
Markus Tullberg: Exploring the affordances of the (multi keyed) wooden transverse flute pt.1: Perceiving history
The wooden transverse flute that is in focus in this PhD-project was originally a further development of the transverse flute of the baroque era. It was the favoured instrument in Western art music during much of the 19th century. However during the late 19th century the Boehm-system flute became the instrument of choice among most practitioners of Western art music.
Even though I have been well informed about the historical facts, I have intuitively perceived the transverse flute as a contemporary musical instrument, in constant change to accommodate the visions of musicians and makers. The first part of the autoethnographical studies challenges this by examining the roots of the design of the instrument through musical practice. This may lead to an altered embodied understanding of the instrument, which possibly also will affect the musical outcome.
Peter Spissky: “Dancing the sound… or sounding the dance?”
The question of the body movement strategy of a baroque violinist
Moving a bow on the string with a dance gesture will hardly align with any violin technique school. Sound producing movements have strict rules based on anatomic principles of human body as well as constructional affordances of the instrument. A relaxed and well-coordinated muscular action allows for a good sound and dexterity of execution.
And yet the very same violin schools abound with many hints or direct advices to imitate the singers and dancers in their respective actions: human voice, pronunciation, dance steps and movements are to be translated into sound, articulation, phrasing, dynamics and expression.
Being assessed by the final sonic result, the violinists obviously work towards a constructed ideal sonic image. How loud, how short, how fast do the sounds in a phrase need to be in order to be compatible with the actual dance steps? Here the movement strategy remains in the sound-producing domain, calibrating the energy of the movements towards the imagined sound.
In my study I explored the imitation of dance and speech patterns through assimilation of the actual body movements of a dancer or speaker/singer into the playing-apparatus of a violinist. While recognizing the advantages of such a physical playing, certain limitations of this pure gestural approach led me to consider the necessity of a combination with the soundist approach. Possible reconciliation of gestural approach (having the body movement as a starting point) with the soundist approach (starting with a sound image) will hopefully result in a merged sound-gesturist approach, where the dance body movements are channelled into the instrument through sound-producing movements (a challenge for a gesturist), or where the ideal resonant sound-production is elaborated into the context centrifugal and centripetal forces emerged through the body – floor relation.
Kerstin Frödin: Gestik, kommunikation och samspel i musikalisk gestaltning (in Swedish)
Mitt forskningsprojekt handlar om samspel och kommunikation mellan musiker i ensembler utan dirigent. Jag tar avstamp ifrån min egen musikerverksamhet, mina bägge instrument barockoboe och blockflöjt och min repertoar som spänner mellan tidig musik och experimentell samtida konstmusik. Syftet är att studera hur musiken styrs, vilken typ av information som förmedlas under spelet mellan musikerna, vilka resurser som används och hur vi musiker arbetar med dessa frågeställningar, framförallt genom rörelser och gestik. Vilka parametrar samspelar när kommunikationen fungerar som allra bäst och vilka kommunikationsprocesser tar vid då samspelet inte fungerar lika bra?
Med hjälp av videodokumentation analyserar jag gestik och rörelser ur flera perspektiv: 1) impulser som har att göra med samspelet och kommunikationen mellan musiker 2) gestikens betydelse för den musikaliska gestaltningen 3) historiskt perspektiv, gestik i relation till det musikaliska materialet
Målet med min forskning är att medvetandegöra dessa processer och se hur rörelsens olika funktioner och roller kan bidra till den musikaliska gestaltningen, instuderingen, kommunikationen och samspelsförmågan. Presentationen kommer att innehålla exempel på videodokumentationer från konsert- och repetitionssituationer i kammarmusikaliska sammanhang där jag själv medverkar som musiker.
Nguyen Thanh Thuy & Jörgen Dahlqvist:
“Hon är inte jag”: a multi-layered decomposition of gender issues in musical performance
“Hon är inte jag” is a conceptual performance which draws on my background as a Vietnamese dan tranh player. It addresses gender issues in an increasingly globalized society from my personal perspective on contemporary Vietnamese society. The artistic method builds on the notion of cutting material from the lyrics and music of a traditional Ca Trù song. In the performance, the process of cutting the text is displayed also on video. The music performed is similarly reconstructed from traditional materials and given a new identity. By deconstructing a gender-biased source material, a critique of current gender norms can take shape.
The presentation is built around a workshop performance of a version of the piece which incorporates texts by the Swedish pop singer Zara Larsson, decomposed by the Swedish playwright Jörgen Dahlqvist, by which a Swedish perspective on similar gender issues creates a further layer in the narrative.
Halla Stefansdottir: Story of S C A P E
S C A P E is a collaboration between Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, ensemble Nordic Affect, composer Hlynur A. Vilmarsson and visual artist Sigurður Guðjónsson. With premiere scheduled on the 30th of September at this year’s edition of Nordic Music Days the presentation takes place just before the final stages of production. Halla Steinunn’s ‘Story of S C A P E’ will therefore give insight into the ongoing collaborative processes and working methods connected to this live electronic video performance work. In addition S C A P E has ties to Halla Steinunn’s other research case studies, namely a newly finished album as well as the development of new working approaches with ensemble Nordic Affect.
Susanne Rosenberg: Folk Song Lab: deconstructing folk song as a tool for improvisation
This exhibition and performance present facets of my doctoral research project Singing in action- processes of vocal improvisation. The project is an investigation of aspects of interplay and performativity in classical vocal improvised performance, from my point of view as classical improviser. Operatic and lyrical improvisation as collaborative creative practices are forums where classical singers and musicians can work in an experimental field, but is fairly uncommon in the classical music field today. The aim with the project is to problematize the role of the classical singer in performance, by investigating improvisation as a performative space through live performances, text and digital media.
* exhibition – A S/He Story of Western Improvisation
Although improvisation was a vital part of vocal performances in salons, operas and concerts in Europe up til the 1850s, today it is almost entirely forgotten in the classical music world. Why is that, and how can I as a classical improviser and doctoral candidate in Music investigate and deconstruct aspects of Western music discourse? This exhibition offers facets of an ongoing investigation of the performative space of the classical singer and artistic researcher, intertwining texts, images and video, artistic research, musicology and works of literature.
*salon – Inre landskap (Inner landscapes)
In a salon at Suellska Villan, built in 1796, the duo Impromans (Sara Wilén, singer; Conny Antonov, spinettflygel) perform improvised and composed music, where we as contemporary classical musicans meet tradition, by featuring the Swedish-Italian improvvisatrice Mathilda d’Orozco. The musico-dramatic performances emerge as a result of the ongoing kaleidoscopic interactions on parallel layers, or situations, where we as improvisers oscillate between for instance inner images, narrative, dramatic, musical and performative perspectives. The aim with the salon is to investigate the interplay between performative aspects of classical performance and improvisation, resituating the live format in a historical space.
Thank you to Suellska Villan/Jenny Kirsten Bille
Henrik Frisk & Stefan Östersjö: The Work-in-Movement: on the after-life of a musical composition
Repetition Repeats all other Repetitions is an open form composition for 10-stringed guitar and electronics. It was premiered in Beijing in 2006 and has been performed many times since then, in three separate versions. The piece emerged out of a collaboration between the composer Henrik Frisk and the guitarist Stefan Östersjö, an artistic research project in which interaction in the widest sense was allowed to play a major part already at the outset. In the preparatory phase, and through the first incarnations of the piece, the idea of a radically open work type, the work-in-movement, crystallised (Eco 1989). One of the conditions that allowed for the development of this openness was the disassembly of the hierarchies attached to the roles of composer and performer and one of its consequences was that intuition was allowed to play a great role in the work.
This presentation constitutes the starting point for the creation of a digital multi-media representation of this composition with the aim of further exploring its nature as a “work-in-movement”.
Francisca Skoogh: “Why I tense up when you listen to me”
This presentation discusses two new studies in neuroscience concerned with stage fright. A central function is identified in the relationship between the two areas of the brain known as The Action Observation Network (AON). How can I as an artistic researcher, performer pianist contribute to current research in other disciplines? How can I translate the results obtained in the study within my practice?
Kent Olofsson: The performing musician as “material” in musical composition
When talking about material for musical composition we commonly think of things like pitches and rhythms to be written in scores, or electronic and acoustic sounds for electroacoustic music. We may also consider instruments and what they may afford to a composer as matter and material for a composition. In Western classical music the typical way of composing for instruments is to think of them generically, i.e. the writing should be done in a standardized way so that different musicians and ensembles can play the composition. However, what does composing for a specific musician afford in the compositional process and how does that differ from the generic approach? Can a performer’s specific musicianship be thought of as material for composition? Gestures in composition, can they be conceived of only as sounding gestures, or are the physical and visual gestures of the musician a decisive factor in the shaping of the score?