Gunhild Seim

Feb 23.-24. 2017 Yann Coppier

Jul 24. 2017

I had a few days in Copenhagen in February, recording with my friend Yann Coppier. Yann is a french sound artist who has lived in Denmark quite a while. Yann and I met in at Choreosound in Gothenburg in 2009. (Choreosound was an artistic lab week on contemporary music and dance, a very interesting event […]


March 6.-15. Cesilie Kverneland and “Limbo”

Jun 14. 2017

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. […]


Establishing the duo Chattermark – our first concert Feb 2nd 2017

May 21. 2017

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 […]


Amp on fire! Ilana and Laura Moidel Acevedo Nov 29th 2016

Feb 04. 2017

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 […]



Jan 18. 2017

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 […]


Tortusa/Seim sessions 16. Oct and 8. Nov 2016

Jan 05. 2017

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, […]


Seim/Rothenberg at Bergen Kjøtt 17. Dec 2016

Jan 04. 2017

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 […]


Relating to “the other”

Dec 30. 2016

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 […]


A different view on Community music, from Hilo, Hawaii

Dec 10. 2016

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 […]


Looking for whales reminds me of you – Marilyn Crispell and David Rothenberg

Dec 08. 2016

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 […]


Berkeley 14. Nov 2016 – Jacob Felix Heule and Tom Djll

Dec 07. 2016

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 […]


Can playing music be of help to the world?

Nov 22. 2016

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, […]


Creating connections

Nov 17. 2016

” 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 […]


Looking for whales reminds me of you – Marilyn Crispell and David Rothenberg

Dec 08. 2016
Photo by John Lilja

Photo by John Lilja

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 look for spouts. This is my fourth time in Hawaii, but I can not say I understand the place or am getting used to the incredible size, depth and darkness of the ocean. I’ve seen many dolphins and turtles already, and really want to experience humpbacks. So every spare moment I am here you find me staring towards the ocean. Why do I come here? To see family. Close family that I need to see. They live here. They are also interested in nature and music like me.

In the first couple of posts of this blog I wrote about how I have felt uncomfortable the last years. I felt like I was stuck and needed to change. I needed inspiration and input. I had been working on learning electronic techniques for a while, but there just wasn’t enough time. I wrote about these things in my grant application, Visiting my friend and pianist Marilyn Crispell in Woodstock, NY, was one of the first things I decided to do after I learnt that I got the grant. Because Marilyn was one of few people I know with the experience to understand what I was going through. And she is also interested in nature and music. And now I am finally starting to get to the point of the post: One of the many great things Marilyn did for me during the visit – she introduced me to her friend David Rothenberg, clarinetist, electronic musician and philosopher. David was mentored by the late Norwegian ecophilosopher Arne Næss, he even wrote a biography about him. Among many other projects, David did a research project on humpback whales and their singing.

Marilyn, David and I did an impromptu session in Nevessa studios August 27th 2016, here is a short excerpt. I feel like you can hear us wondering about the world.

This session and the whole visit with Marilyn was great. It deserves at least one more blogpost of its own, we want to play more together so I will be making a presentation on my webpage for the project. But for now, let’s move on. David gave me a copy of his book ”Thousand mile song” which he wrote about his whale project. Since I already planned the trip to Hawaii, we talked about that quite a bit. Maui was one of the places David did his research on the humpbacks, He also followed them to the Caribbean and Russia.

I’m struggling with connecting and balancing my interest in music, with all the other parts of my life, bringing my music with me wherever I go. Even to Hawaii. How does one make sense of life, the universe and everything? This seems to come very natural to David. His research in ecophilosophy, is what most people would call a different field from music. Still, he brings his clarinet and electronics with him wherever he travels, which means he is jamming with people all over the world. Don’t know why, but this makes a lot of sense to me, and here comes the real gem: David has taken the creating connections thing to a whole new level – Inter-species communication. He plays with birds, insects and of course Humpback whales. He sets up  on a boat, connects his clarinet to a microphone, which is connected to a underwater speaker. Then he connects a hydrophone (underwater microphone) to a speaker on board the boat, and starts playing. He wants to find out if a musician can connect with the animals sound-wise. He wants to find out if the animals’ use of sound relates to the way humans make music. His book comes with recordings, and in one of the recordings one can hear some whale-human interaction that seem like David is on to something.

Back to Lahaina, Maui, I am still looking for whales and haven’t spotted any yet. But the act of sitting here looking for them reminds me of the summerdays in Woodstock, and how I was lifted from the mindset I was stuck in, and got energized and inspired.

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