CURRENT PROJECTS


ROGGEN/NYHUS 

Roggen/Nyhus is a voice and piano duo with Ingfrid Breie Nyhus. The two of us started up in 2016, exploring interpretation as such. By 2020 the searching had developed into improvisation and re-composition.

Our processing often starts with learning songs - mostly late romantic lieder - by heart, before we begin experimenting through a set of methods to unlearn and internalize the stories in new ways. Our respective backgrounds from jazz, improvised music and songwriting (Live Maria) Vs classical, contemporary music and folk music (Ingfrid), play along in the interaction. Performing, recording, and thus retelling the musical stories through the reconnected remains that we carry in our bodies, feed back into the ongoing work.

Our explorations so far have resulted in various musical landscapes, from minimalistic, bone dry ones, to lushious, flavish, noisy ones. Following the EP Demanten (2022), we released the duo album Skymt digitally, in 2023. 

Our upcoming album Symfoni, to be digitally released in August 2024, features Morten Qvenild on live electronics.
In September 2024 we are releasing the
 two albums Skymt and Symfoni as vinyls, in a combined cover.

The double release will include a Scandinavian language booklet with texts from guest writers/artists. Eventually these and other texts plus much more documentation will be made available in English, on the artistic research platform researchcatalogue.net


TU'BA

We started playing together in 1994. The duo Tu'ba - with tuba player Lars Andreas Haug - was my very first band, and my ground schooling in improvisation, a creative and limitless playground where we would compose, arrange and improvise over all sorts of ideas.

After releasing our first and only album in 1998, we toured extensively for a few years. Then followed a pause of almost 18 years, before we met up again during the pandemic and discovered that playing felt just as intuitive and fun as it used to. 

Our first tour in over 20 years is booked for the autumn of 2024.


LIVE & LIEN

Pianist Helge Lien and me play together every once in a while. As a duo, we work out imaginative and intuitive cover versions of our favorite songs. We have released two duo albums, in 2011 and 2016, made some collaborative concerts outside the duo - and always look forward to the next opportunity to play together. 

Exciting plans for 2025 will be made public soon! 

🍃             


JULIA HÜLSMANN OKTETT

German pianist and ECM recording artist Julia Hülsmann formed this international octet - or, as she calls it: double trio and 3 voices - in 2015. 

With: Julia Hülsmann on piano, Aline Frazão, Michael Schiefel and me on vocals, Héloïse Lefebvre on violin, Susanne Paul on cello, Eva Kruse on bass and Eva Klesse on drums. 🇦🇴🇳🇴🇸🇪🇩🇪🇫🇷

We recently recorded our first album, to be released in 2025-26. 
The album includes beautiful versions of two of my previously recorded songs, plus one of Julia's compositions with my lyrics. All the songs we play are arranged by Julia. 

              🌈


PAST COLLABORATIONS & EXPERIENCES


TRONDHEIM VOICES 2001-2023

Trondheim Voices consists of a pool of singers, with the lineup and roles varying from one project to another. I was one of the founders of this improvising vocal ensemble 20+ years ago, and was part of the pool up until 2023. In addition to being one of the singers, I would occasionally have artistic leadership of concerts and recordings. I've composed and arranged music, and developed improvisational toolkits and frameworks for collective music making. 

Some essential Trondheim Voices-works on my part:

Bingo (2008) by Siri Gjære, Elin Rosseland, Ståle Storløkken, Live Maria and Cirka Teater; On Anodyne (2011-16) by Jon Balke and Yusef Komunyakaa, produced by Jon Balke and Live Maria; Rooms&Rituals (2017-) by Trondheim Voices and Asle Karstad/Maccatrol, through 2019-21 produced by Live Maria; Valen Remixed (2022 for Fartein Valen Festivalen) by Live Maria, five singers of the ensemble and Asle Karstad/Maccatrol; Sirkler (2023 for Orgelnatt in Stavanger) by Live Maria, four singers of the ensemble, organist Nils Henrik Asheim and Asle Karstad/Maccatrol; and lastly, the ambitious, complex, holistic stage production BEDROCK (2023): The music was composed by eight singers of the ensemble, in close collaboration with Asle Karstad/Maccatrol, and produced by Tone Åse. The visual stage expression with scenographic and dramaturgical elements was designed by Oscar Udbye (video), Ingrid Skanke Høsøien (lights) and Tone Myskja (costumes), and produced by Sissel Vera Pettersen. This conglomerate composition was created within an overarching textual/contextual framework written by Siri Gjære, based on dialogues with the singer-composers. 


A personal note on vocal group improvisation

Working with improvised performances in vocal groups, I've always strived to achieve form-development with possibilities for breaks, shifts and transitions, and to get there without abandoning improvisation as the main mode of work. Since the knowledge of sound and movement lie in the ear and body of the singer, the improvisational tools and elements cannot simply be conceived on an idea level. They need to be practised and internalized as sound and movement - and collectively so. This interests me.

Fine-tuned spontaneous interaction in a (vocal) group demands a deep listening state in which the music in the inner ear (=in the body) is strong and clear enough to equal the actual playing/singing and acoustics perceived by the outer ear. If a (vocal) group skips the joint embodiment process with a material (where the group's shared musical processing feeds back into that same material), the ensemble improvisation will consist of parallel individual improvisation, and will over time appear repetitive and predictable, because their common source is not being fed/developed. 

The improvisational material must be embodied by the ensemble, in order for it to be immediately available to them, with all its properties. Until they reach that common ground, the collective can not handle all the different input and layers in the music in real time. In the early stages of internalization (or internalization experience), when the connection between inner and outer listening is weak, and we haven't yet experienced the collective's connected abilities with the material, we as individual musicians have an inclination to resort to individual action: automatic, irresponsive musical behavior, random musical input which does not help strengthen neither any of the lacking connections, nor the collective performance.

I am interested in trying to take vocal ensemble improvisation to the next level - a higher level of musical connectedness. I would like to try getting a vocal ensemble to constitute a unit with the same flexibility in complex improvisation as we achieve in long-term voice+instrumental collaborations. In my experience, vocal ensembles need a lot more time to embody and clarify musical elements - sounding, physical and spatial elements - and roles, than instrumental bands do. And it takes a different use of time. I have also seen how 'outer' structuring - wordless exercises that connect spatial properties with movement and improvised singing - can liberate the vocal group improvisation and expand the attentive, creative listening in the group. It would be fun to explore this further. 

🧚🏻‍♀️ 


with WILD AT ART between 2013 and 2022

Wild at Art create long-durational, site- and situation-specific, inclusive, unstable, exploratory situations. 

I found the Wild at Art-strategies immensely inspiring. Every time I had to pack up and leave one of the situations that we'd built collectively, I wished that they could just go on, that life and art would always be intertwined like this.

These are the six Wild at Art-situations I've had the chance to participate in:
Popludium (2013), in Trondheim's abandoned main post office, Love Letters (2013) in Molde Jazz Festival's amphitheatre in the woods, Gaven (2013), in Vår Frue open shelter church, Gjestehus (2015), in Lademoen church for Olavsfest, Saturns Hage (2020) at Rosendal Theatre, and Saturns Platz (2022), in K•U•K exhibition space.

🕺🏼   


COME SHINE 1998-2004, 2011-2019

Jazz quartet Come Shine started as a student band in 1998 and quickly became popular for our loving, yet unruly, interpretations of jazz standards. 

During our active years (1998-2004 and 2012-19) Come Shine released five albums, to wide critical acclaim. Touring we would meet packed venues and dedicated listeners, of all ages. We performed with most of Norway's symphony- wind- and string ensembles, and we staged productions with legends like journalist Knut Borge, poet Jan Erik Vold, artists Jan Eggum, Tuva Syvertsen, Knut Reiersrud and more.

The long term development, the efforts and the artistic achievements of Come Shine have been important elements in my own development as a musician and performer. 

With: Erlend Skomsvoll/Sondre Meisfjord/Håkon Mjåset Johansen

In 2022 Come Shine released a concluding double/triple album, with 25 unique tracks, recorded live in small venues: "Coming Home"



APOKALUPTEIN 2015-16

Apokaluptein means to reveal, to uncover. This was the main commission work for the Vossajazz festival in 2015. I wrote it during autumn of 2014, with the emerging climate and refugee crises in mind. I wrote and composed, from my perspective, about the unbearable human tendency to deny and adapt no matter how bad things turn out. I wrote about acceptance of death, and the fear of not being able to protect your loved ones.

The album recorded in Kulturkirken Jakob in 2016 was a developed version of the original work; more spoken words and poetry had been added. 

With: Hilmar Jensson/Eivind Lønning/Lene Grenager/Sondre Meisfjord/Audun Kleive.

Read in Norwegian: interview about Apokaluptein 


SOME MORE BANDS AND PEOPLE I'VE PLAYED WITH

LIVE MARIA BAND

2003-08 with Maria Kannegaard/Mattis Kleppen/Thomas Strønen/Øyvind Brandtsegg/Tone Åse. My first solo album "Circuit Songs" (Jazzland 2007) also included Gulleiv Wee/Bjørn Charles Dreyer/Lars Andreas Haug/Arve Henriksen.

WIBUTEE

1998-2000 with Håkon Kornstad/Per Zanussi/Erlend Skomsvoll/Wetle Holte.
Album "Newborn Thing", Jazzland 1999.

DINGOBATS+

with Eirik Hegdal/Njål Ølnes/Fredrik Ljungqvist/Fredrik Lundin/Øyvind Brække/Thomas T Dahl/Mats Eilertsen/Sverre Gjørvad. Album "Pöck", Bergland 2002.

DENNE LILLE PYTTEN ER ET HAV

Commission work by Sverre Gjørvad, with lyrics by Jan Kjærstad and Peter Handke. With Eirik Hegdal/Øyvind Brække/Ståle Storløkken/Nils-Olav Johansen/Mats Eilertsen/Sverre Gjørvad.
Album of the same name, Curling Legs 2001.

STABAT MATER

Commission work by Kjetil Bjerkestrand for Arve Tellefsen/Øystein Moen/Bjerkestrand himself/me/strings - such as Sara Övinge/Atle Sponberg/TrondheimSolistene.
Album of the same name, KKV 2019.
 

PLUS:

Trondheim Jazzorkester/Pat Metheny, Scheen Jazzorkester/Ambrose Akinmusire, Atle Sponberg/Frode Haltli/Sveinung Bjelland/Mats Eilertsen, Jon Eberson/Arild Andersen/Jon Christensen/Alex Riel/Per Jørgensen/Kirsten Bråten Berg/Solveig Slettahjell, Tom Steinar Lund/Sveinung Hovensjø/Celio de Carvalho, Ann-Cathrin Hertling/Siri Gjære/Maria Kannegaard/Alf Hulbækmo/Mattis Kleppen/Tor Haugerud/Tor Ivar Hagen/Andrea Sampalmieri/Sunniva Skjøstad Hovde/Marianna Sangita Røe/Viktor Wilhelmsen/Marte Huke, Brita Skybak/Tone Myskja/Sidiki Camara, Eivind Aarset/Oddrun Lilja/Bugge Wesseltoft.

☀️