Musical Gestures in the Oslo Concert Hall

Music Troll in the Oslo Concert HallI have been busy with a number of things lately, most notably preparing for a performance during the Norwegian Research Council’s annual celebration in the Oslo Concert Hall (today, Wednesday 27.10. @ 18:00, free entrance). There I will play one piece with the “Music troll” we just finished for the Norwegian Research Days. I will also present the newest version of the Musical Gestures Toolbox, and show how it can be used to generate sounds from dance movement. Pictures and videos will be posted shortly.

Why do they play so loud?

I often go to concerts, and too often I find the need to use ear plugs because of loud sound levels. I really don’t get it, why is it necessary to play so loud all the time? Usually lots of people around me agrees that the music is unpleasantly loud, and I often see other people using ear plugs.

I have bought expensive ear plugs a couple of times, but I always tended to forget them (eventually loosing them…), so now I have just bought lots of really cheap ones so that I can have a pair in every pocket. I don’t like listening to music through bad earplugs, but I work with sound and really have to try and protect my hearing.

Master exam concert

Last week I performed my master exam concert at the Department of Music and Theatre, University of Oslo. The program consisted of improvisations for piano and live electronics. Different MIDI, audio, and video processing techniques were used. Here I describe the different pieces.

Metrosus (installation)

I always find it sad that there is no (musical) sound when you arrive at a concert hall. this installation is based on a series of random functions that will in theory play “new” sound for years. People passing by interacts with the installation through an infrared “switch”.

Performa

It is incredible how many exciting sounds one can get from a piano, and mallets are a nice change from playing on the keys. The computer helps with temporal adjustments and background sounds.

Contrasting Thoughts

An improvisation for piano and reactive video animation.

Skeiv Halling

When I studied in the US, I was asked to play Norwegian folk music in a concert. The best I came up with was an improvisation of Norsk, opus 12 no 6 by Edvard Grieg. This is a version with some MIDI transformations.

Random Piano

Every pianist’s nightmare would be that the keys change position while playing, which happens here, allowing for a different type of improvisation.

F-chick

This piece was initially inspired by Spain by Chick Corea but has turned into something completely different.

Grains

The piece is based on short recorded sound sequences chopped up and played over four speakers.

Acknowledgments

Thanks to all my previous piano teachers, and in particular Anne Eline Risnæs (UiO), Misha Alperin (NMH), Bevan Manson (University of California, Berkeley). Thanks also to my computer music teachers Edmund Campion and David Wessel (CNMAT, UC Berkeley) and Asbjørn Flø (NOTAM). finally, thanks to Gunnar Flåtten, Rolf Inge Godøy, and Henrik Sundt for various assistance with the concert.