I did not really know Cesilie when I asked her to have a duo session with me, so it was a relief that from the first moment, she was very positive and bubbling over with ideas. Cesilie is a great dancer who works for, among others, Sita Ostheimer (D) and James Cousins Company (UK). She is also a choreographer. […]Other
It is now May 2017 and I have to catch up a bit, by starting where I left off 3 months ago, in February. Will tell more about that later. Chattermark is my duo with my husband, bass player John Lilja. I have been mentioning the project before, for instance in this post Relating to […]Other
Show me how you handle your feedback and I will tell you who you are… John and I had borrowed this multi channel amp for our Nov/Dec stay in Hawaii, for rehearsals and to bring with us to jams. This amp was the biggest, meanest, dirtiest amp I had seen in my life, but it […]Other
The Duos Project is me having duo sessions with a series of artists, not just musicians but also sound artists, dancers, visual artists, directors, you name it. Around 2014-15 my work was taking some new directions. I was starting to work more cross-disciplinary than before, and I wanted to get as much experience as possible […]Other
This summer I ran into Tortusa by coincidence, and that was the start of a beautiful friendship. Tortusa is an ambient musician/composer from Stavanger, a.k.a. John Derek Bishop, a really talented guy, who among other things joined me in duo sessions October 16th and November 8th. Tortusa just got nominated for a Norwegian Grammy, Spellemannsprisen, […]Other
Happy new year! There is reason for celebration, since just before Christmas, the Duos Project had its first session in front of an audience, with me and David Rothenberg playing a concert at Bergen Kjøtt on December 17th. This will be the first of many shows, I should hope! I am starting the new year with retrospect […]Other
We are a duo, my husband John and I. We have played together in different bands as long as we have known each other, this is how we met. In the spring of 2016 we started the duo Chattermark with the goal of making trumpet and bass sound nothing like trumpet and bass at all. Chattermark is a […]Other
I would like to dedicate this post to some of my heroes: Music teachers in the outskirts of the world. Examplified by some musicians I know in the Big Island of Hawaii: My sister-in-law, Lisa Lilja Wells, and a more recent aquintance, pianist Wendell Ing. The two in their roles as music community leaders, have […]Other
I am sitting by the ocean in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, looking for whales. This town is a former whaler’s town, and supposed to be a good spot to see them. Whale season has just begun. Humpback whales, the ones who sing. I already saw one from the car. The way you spot them is you […]Other
Travelling with my electronic setup, trying to learn, what better place to stop than Berkeley? Berkeley, home of Don Buchla, inventor of the modular synthesizer, and also where Pauline Oliveros, creator of ”deep listening”, started out as director of San Fransisco Tape Music Center. The San Fransisco Bay Area has been central to innovation in […]Other
Many people would be surprised to hear about how the musical world is a microcosmos, a mini version of the real world, where there is a lot of bad attitude. The most interesting thing about concerts is who wins the performance. YOU are a loser if someone is playing better than you. If you are not playing perfectly, […]Other
” As we start to step up, your ladder arrives.” (Rumi). I arrived in Hawaii yesterday, totally jetlaged and confused. A good time to reflect? I don’t know. I’m starting. My name is Gunhild. I am a musician. I make a living from music, as insecure and low income as that is. I make niche […]Other
I did not really know Cesilie when I asked her to have a duo session with me, so it was a relief that from the first moment, she was very positive and bubbling over with ideas. Cesilie is a great dancer who works for, among others, Sita Ostheimer (D) and James Cousins Company (UK). She is also a choreographer. She has her dance education from University of Stavanger and Peridance Capezio Dance Theater in New York City. She studied choreography at California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles and Master of Arts in Contemporary Dance from London Contemporary Dance School in London.
We hit it off quickly. Cesilie was really into both the underlying philosophical part of the Duos Project and the part about communicating cross-disciplinary as equals. Meaning that our “session” was not her requesting music to accompany her choreography, neither a request from me that she make a choreography to my music. It was building a piece together, simultaneously. And we decided to make a real piece, as far as we could get in 1,5 weeks, not just a one-day jam. Tou scene gave us an artist residency in March, preprod time plus show the result for an audience. We had conversations during the weeks before the residency, during which we gradually circled in a theme. I spent some time in a refugee camp during that period. So we were inspired by that theme, and also by our conversations about themes related to the Duos project. And on March 6th we went to work. Here is the flyer for the performance.
During the residency, we started as a conversation, showing each other small ideas. I played Cesilie a small taste of my music that she could draw inspiration from. The she showed me a bit of choreography that I could draw inspiration from. And it went on back and forth like that for a while until we had a unified idea, and from then it was free flow. Everything in the performance we did ourselves, dance and music of course, but also text writing, voice and instrument recordings, lights, you name it. We were outside our comfort zones and we enjoyed it so much that we earned ourselves the nickname “positive punks” by the staff at Tou Scene.
In this -my- year on working grant, the composer big picture angle has seemed a bit distant, as there were many other things I had to do that has to do with being able to PLAY this instrument of electronics. My composition practise has always been closely connected with my own playing. With electronics I needed a learning period and just play around. So while that has been going on, I have missed the pure composing part, it has somehow felt a bit less productive, but now I am starting to feel this new skill set, how It gives me many new possibilities. In the process of making LIMBO I could take a step back, focus on making tracks, large form, mixing, the big picture, framing. I played myself all the acoustic instruments I recorded. But at the performance, I for once did not play instruments live, other than the laptop. Conclusion: This way of working was really really fun, and I’d like to do it again. Also it would be great to work more on LIMBO to take it to the next level. You can find video of the whole 30 minute performance here, but this is a short video excerpt: