Electric Audio Unit (EAU) and the Swedish Audiorama present our biggest Norwegian PULS-IV concert weekend to date, at the renowned Henie Onstad Arts Center, 3rd-4th December 2022.
Over a full 3D 32 channel loudspeaker array, this two-day event features a homage to the late Tor Halmrast. EAU will perform world-premiers of his last trilogy for live electronics and 3D sound, with the pianist Sanae Yoshida.
EAU also presents two splitting new commissions from Mathieu Lacroix and Ernst van der Loo, the second version of Natasha Barrett’s ‘Transformer #2’ for real-time AI performance with live electronics, 3D sound and 3D digital graphics and soprano Silje Aker Johnsen, and a new live set from Hilde Marie Holsen (trumpet, live electronics and 3D sound).
You’ll also hear works by Nordic composers from Denmark and Sweden, including premiers by Magnus Bunnskog, Marcus Wrangö, Kajsa Lindgren, Maria W Horn and Lola Ajima.
Created with support from NorskKulturrådet, Norsk Komponistforeningen, Nordic PULS and Henie Onstad Arts Centre.
Saturday 3rd December, 15.00-16.00.
- Natasha Barrett (NO): “The Transformer #2”. Live electronics, 3D sound, real-time 3D digital graphics, with soprano Silje Aker Johnsen.
- Lola Ajima (DK): “Ejection chain reaction”. Acousmatic, 3D sound. World-premier.
- Hilde Marie Holsen: “Enjnj’kvestra astra” (rev. 2022). Trumpet, live electronics.
- Tor Halmrast (NO): “FLUTR” (version 2022), “POLINES I” and “POLINES II” (2022). Live spatialisation and work interpretation by EAU, with pianist Sanae Yoshida. World-premiers.
Sunday 4th December, 15.00-16.00:
- Magnus Bunnskog (SE): “Agens”. Video and acousmatic 3D sound. World-premier.
- Marcus Wrangö (SE): “Structerm Array”. Analogue synths, live electronics. World-premier.
- Kajsa Lindgren (SE): “Macrocosm”, Acousmatic 3D sound.
- Mathieu Lacroix (CA/NO): “Demiurge – Xenakis’ 100 year celebration”, acousmatic 3D sound. World-premier.
- Ernst van der Loo (NO): “Kýkloi Alpha & Beta – Xenakis’ 100 year celebration”, acousmatic 3D sound. World-premier.
- Maria W Horn (SE): “CD-R/Cyanide”, acousmatic 3D sound. World-premier.
Program notes and composer biogs
About the pieces: Program 1
- Natasha Barrett (NO): The Transformer #2. Live electronics, 3D sound and video, with soprano Silje Aker Johnsen. 23-25 mins.
“The Transformer #2” is the second version of an audio-visual performance instrument created by Natasha Barrett using the latest in computer vision, sound analysis and AI. “The Transformer #2” begins by listening and seeing in ways similar to our own senses. It then creates its own real-time video and immersive 3D sound as a controlled hallucination trained on the voice and movement of Silje Aker Johnsen. The work is supported by the Fond for Lyd og Bilde and the The Composers’ Remuneration Fund (Komponistenes Vederlagsfonds).
Natasha Barrett is a composer exploring new technologies and experimental approaches to sound in a broad range of contemporary music, including concert works, public space sound-art installations and multimedia interactive music. She is internationally renowned for her electroacoustic and acousmatic music, and use of 3D sound technology in composition. Her work is commissioned and performed throughout the world and has received over 20 international awards including the Nordic Council Music Prize and most recently the Thomas Seelig Fixed Media Award for 2023. She is also active in performance, education and research.
Silje Aker Johnsen is a soprano and dancer. She holds a PhD in Artistic Research from the Opera Academy, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, with the project «A search for an extended physical interpretation of contemporary vocal music and of opera». She is also educated at the Grieg Academy, Bergen, Universität der Künste, Berlin and the Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo. Silje made her debut with the Berliner Kammeroper in 2006.
She has guested the Norwegian National Opera in “Ballerina” by Synne Skouen, with “Her” by Erik Dæhlin and Silje Aker Johnsen and in several other works. She has worked as a dancer in the Polish Dance Theatre, where she amongst other pieces danced in Minus 2 by Ohad Naharin. She is a member of Ensemble Neon, who won Spellemannspris for their debut album in 2016. Silje was awarded Performer of the Year 2013 by The Norwegian Society of Composers.
- Lola Ajima (DK): acousmatic, 3D sound. Ejection chain reaction. 10 mins. Urfremføring
The microscopic size of fungi spores means they might only travel a few millimeters if ejected individually. Instead, the fungi synchronize spore ejections, creating a small, localized air stream. External cues can trigger the ejection of pioneer spores, causing mechanical changes in the surrounding tissue that trigger more ejections – An ejection chain reaction has started.
The piece takes inspiration from these chain reactions and investigates masses of sound particles, frequencies, densities and movements in space.
Lola Ajima /aka Boe Przemyslak (DK) is an electroacoustique composer and live looper. She studied under Christine Groult, Marco Marine and Jonathan Prager at Conservatoire de Pantin in Paris. In 2018 she co-founded XYZ Sound Collective situated in Copenhagen (DK) that challenges the spatial experience of sound art.
- Hilde Marie Holsen (trumpet, live electronics). “Enjnj’kvestra astra” Improvisation-composition. 10 mins. EAU on spatialisation.
«Enjnj’kvestra astra» er gammalt jølstramål, og betyr «et annet sted». Hvor både forflyttinger av lydkilder og manipulasjoner av lyden til å bli noe annet tar lytteren rett og slett «Enjnj’kvestra astra».
Norwegian Hilde Marie Holsen processes her trumpet in the electronic realm, she blends the mournful tone of the brass instrument with the explorative field of electronic music to make music that sways somewhere between jazz, contemporary and drone music.
- Tor Halmrast (NO): POLINES for piano (2022). Sanae Yoshida sythesiser.
- Tor Halmrast (NO): FLUTR (version 2022). Live spatialisation and work interpretation by EAU, plus possibly pianist (on synth).
- Tor Halmrast (NO): POLINES for synthesiser (2022). Sanae Yoshida synthesiser. EAU live spatialisation and work interpretation.
Tor Halmrast skriver om sitt nye verk: «You wave your hands like fluttering wings,…but you cannot fly!».
“The piece is inspired by all aspects of fluttering: abnormal heartbeats, The world´s fluttering drive into disorder, rapid permutations of something that might be a melody trying to reach the sky but is trapped like a Flutter Echo between two parallel, reflecting surfaces common in many rooms. The major sound effect is the extensive use of an algorithm simulating not only the rhythmic and directional aspects of flutter echoes, but more important: the rapid, gradual change of timbre, (which in real rooms is due to diffraction and the transformation of spherical waves into plane waves), giving the mid-/high frequency “tail” typical of flutter echoes. This material is then manipulated further, with extreme settings that of course do not appear in real rooms. In order to perceive the “reflections between the “walls”, the piece is a mixture of two layers: a quadrophonic layer and a more overall layer incorporating all loudspeakers.
total 15 mins. Live spatialisation and work interpretation by EAU, plus possibly pianist (on synth).
Tor Halmrast died early and suddenly in the summer of 2022 after a period of illness. These three works are a memorial to a fantastic person and composer that will be greatly missed.
Tor Halmrast was educated as a civil engineer in acoustics at NTNU in Trondheim, and for almost his entire professional career, over 40 years, he was chief acoustician at Statsbygg. In 2020, Halmrast started a new job at COWI. In 1992 he composed the music for the Norwegian pavilion at the World Exhibition in Seville and won the award for best composition/sound design. Together with the poet Torgeir Rebolledo Pedersen, he created the radio opera “Alfa og Romeo”, which was awarded both the Prix Italia and the Edvard Prize in 1999. As recently as last year, his composition “Flutr” was nominated for Work of the Year by the Norwegian Composers Association.