Gunhild Seim

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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Manifesto

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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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Relating to “the other”

Dec 30. 2016

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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 natural part of the umbrella “The Duos Project” which this blog is documenting. “The Duos Project” is about me having duo sessions with a series of artists. There is nothing revolutionary about “The Duos project”. Except that I never did a project like this before over a longer time stretch. The fact that many others have done similar projects, doesn’t help me, because I need to walk the walk myself, as a learning process on so many levels. On a human level (which is what I will write about in today’s post) but the project is also about my learning process with electronics. I am using the fact that I am  learning the instrument as I go (which can be very frustrating) as a means to bypass the ego.

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In a duo project -meaning two people – why am I also including blog posts about workshops and sessions with three or four people? Let me explain it this way – the name ”The Duos project” is about duos of two people, but it is also about the two entities ”me” and ”The other”. Or number 1 and number 2. This is inspired by philosophy. For those who are interested, it was Hegel who introduced the term “the other”, and later many others have engaged on the subject. If I am playing with one person and someone else asks to join, that won’t necessarily affect the exploration of this subject. I am no mathematician 😉 What interests me more is this: Where is your ego? Are you looking out for number 1 – or number 2 – or both- in the process of playing your music? The question also interests me in life in general, but that is a huge subject.

I am an improvising musician, however in the “The Duos Project” I will play with many different people, (not just free improv musicians, I mean). I myself have a varied musical background and am trained in several styles/genres. I’ll take this opportunity to explain how the improv music background affects my approach in any genre, since I think this is very relevant. And many people I know are not experienced with free improvised music, so I should take some time to explain what I am doing. Think of Improv as a musical genre in which not just the sound of it but also the mindset and the interrelations of the musicians plays a considerable role. This is the reason why it can sound like chaos and still the musicians are not correcting what they do. I know that particular part is a total mystery to many people, like “why are they not even embarrassed to do that on a stage”. But think of it like the musicians are students of “being in the moment”, like the japanese zen or calligraphy art -once the line is drawn there is no re-touching or going back. You only have one chance at drawing and the result will be a direct representation of your state of mind. When drawing without erasing anything, the drawing might look terrible. So it is no mystery that improvised music can sound terrible,  especially when the musicians are inexperienced as improvisors. But the musical results must not be disregarded just because it has flaws, because then you are missing the point. The musical practice in my Duos project is – like it is in Improv music – about people interrelating to each other through the practice of listening. In a world in which people so often don’t listen to each other. And the aim is to meet at the same level, regardless of background. Part of my duos project is trying to get to know new people, but it is also about playing with people I already know well. When you think of it also as communication with “the other”, duos of any kind (ranging from me playing with my hubby to someone really different for instance different art form, background or skill) can be interesting. How do you REALLY listen and respond to the other person? And is the level of listening in any way traceable, is it for instance audible or visible? Or will it make a lasting imprint in other ways?

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