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
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, you should feel ashamed. I can not play with you. Go to your practise room and don’t come out again. Do not play with people unless they are as good as you. Unless they can conquer the stage themselves, don’t give it to them. If they play a mistake, punish them.
For non-musicians who read this, try to swich “concert”, “stage” or “performance” with “work”, playing with “working” etc, use words that fit with your own lifestyle, and I think you will get my point. It is about pain, fear, discomfort. The pain of being separated from other people. Being an outsider. We retreat behind the boundaries and tensions of prefabricated borders that divide us. In the real world as well as in the musical world. Academic, political, social, racial, cultural, musical borders. Sometimes I feel these things quite strongly. I am an introvert and thin-skinned person. I don’t like being asked about my job. You would not respect it. Is what I have learned.
I am an improvising musician. I have practised blocking out bad vibes, because I couldn’t play much if I thought about that. And I need to play. Playing is entering into a different room where people listen to each other. A different room where we enjoy relating to other human beings as equals. People should be connected, not separated. Separation hurts. When you open up, you are vulnerable, and that hurts too. But you need to do it.
The later years I have understood that the world was in a much worse condition than I thought. Because of that, I need to go in a different direction than before. I want to contribute, not hide in my practise room. Can playing improv music be of help to the world? Some people seem to think so. This is not a new idea, far from it. To open myself – and my music – to more people, shouldn’t that be something positive? I will play with more people, and more diverse people than before. I want to have a hands-on experience of creating connections. Making music is a way of speaking together. I feel uncomfortable if speaking to people who have opinions that I don’t like. But I need to try and confront that. That is my project.comment >>>>