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
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 meaning that I will now write about every session from 2016 that I have not had the time to write about yet, including several sessions from the months before I started the blog. I will start with the most recent, the Bergen Kjøtt concert.
I have introduced David before, in this post, since we had a session together with Marilyn Crispell when I visited New York in August 2016 as an inspiration trip for the work “Lyden av Vann” (sound of water). In addition to the session with Marilyn, David was helping me with some soundcollages for the piece, which were to be made from sounds of children playing with water. Processing and incorporating nature sounds in music and art is something David do a lot, so I got some good advice. Anyways, later in the autumn David told me he was coming to Norway to work on an exhibition on whales at the Bergen Natural History Museum. So we decided to see if it was possible for us to meet in Bergen for another duo session. We were hoping were that it would be possible to do a little guerilla gig somewhere. And what do I mean by guerilla gig? Because of the short notice, and it being just before Christmas it could be hard to convince a venue into booking/paying us, and convince an audience to come out and hear us, especially since it was not a Christmas concert. But via some friends in Bergen, I made a lucky new aqaintance in Stig Anderson at the venue Bergen Kjøtt, who we would not have made it without. I wrote Stig an email a few weeks before Christmas, and told him about The Duos Project. He got interested in it and was happy to help hosting the event, and help with equipment and promo. He also took photos, ran the sound and some visuals that David had prepared. And Vestnorsk Jazzsenter helped us promote the concert. It turned out very well. It was very nice to see David and play with him again. There were 16 people in the audience and good vibes.
I was in doubt, both before the gig and after, if my musical contributions were interesting enough, and if it worked together. Listening to the recording afterwards, I was positively surprised. We do sound good together. Of course there is always room for reflection and improvement, that is the point of the Duos Project. In preparing for the concert, I had thought of what sounds I wanted to use, and updated my Ableton Live-set with some new plugins. Also I tried to work out some issues with my setup, lately my Macbook and controllers had been acting up. Things were unpredictable. Suddenly one controller would stop working or it would decide to act on its own. I also had had some volume level issues, but I did not have much time to fix that, so I would have to deal with whatever happened.
I was thinking about whether I should prepare anything else. David and I was going to meet just a few hours before the gig. And this being the first live performance with the Duos Project, I was in a bit of doubt. I had only played with David once before, so I did not know excactly what to expect. In a bigger group setting, I could depend more on other people, while in a duo I would have to be dependable, and my equipment would have to work, at least to a certain level. Normally one choose between either to plan some structures on beforehand, or to make oneself as blank as possible. David and I decided to go for the latter. The only thing we planned was that we should start with only acoustic instruments, and that we should play a few shorter pieces instead of playing the whole set without stop. My own thoughts was to start slow and minimalistic with space and drones, and take it from there.
The last time we played, David had used Ipad and clarinets. This time, in addition to that, he had prepared some extra stuff on his Macbook, including visuals from some of his films. However, at the sound check, his Macbook crashed. The screen was white with a question mark. David however, seemed totally zen. He tried to fix it, but after rebooting in every possible way, and still getting the question mark, he had to give up. He still had his Ipad setup, so he used that. And some film material was possible to play via Youtube (not as professional-looking, but better than nothing). You have to make do with what you got. I heard him mentioning something like athmosperic and electric conditions are unpredictable... I might have heard wrong, but at that point it felt comforting that someone else also was experiencing that some things were beyond control. My own setup also acted up a bit during the session, but not to the extent that David experienced. The most obvious shortcoming on my part was that my electronics level was too soft compared to the other sound, which has happened a lot lately. When playing, I either can’t get it loud enough, or I seem to perceive it as louder than it actually is, and then when listening back afterwards, it sounds too soft. The volume issues will be number one priority from now on.comment >>>>