Deep Etude (2018)
Deep etude is the first work that I created for a choreography by Alma Söderberg. It marks the beginning of an interest in the workings and implications of polyrhythm as a form of expression and an organizing principle. The piece starts with a long vocal exploration of “3 against 2” which gradually gets more and more disturbed by a frantic arpeggio. The piece eventually culminates into a multi-layered sonic density that is characterized by its analog grit, overlapping musical sentences and confusion of fore- and background. The outro consists of a text that passes through a modulated four tap delay.
Soul Less (2020)
This piece was created for a choreography and dance by a multi talented artist and my friend: Hagar Tenenbaum. It was created entirely “in the box,” which means on a laptop. I mention it because that is quite unusual for me. Hagar worked with the never ending plasticity of her human shape, and wished for this relentless shapeshifting to be accompanied by the human voice. Working within the restraints of Reason’s audio software, I based the sound design around about half a dozen synthetic choirs. In the composition I tried to create a fluidity in the overall reading of the piece through modal changes, the use of accents and tempo fluctuations. If we zoom out, we see an A and B side to the music with a bit of silence in the middle.
Entangled phrases (2019)
A poem and three dances become one choreography by Alma Söderberg. For this piece I took care of the technical aspects of the live sound, but more importantly, I also wrote the music for each of the three dances. I losely organized the writing process on a gradual entanglement of sounds in the analogue and digital domain. It starts with a song for Anja Müller composed for a Vermona Perfourmer synthesizer. What follows is a re-exploration of that song, the poem which started the whole performance, and the song that is yet to come through granular synthesis in Angela Peris Alcantud’s dance. The final dance, for Alma Söderberg, is heavily influenced by footwork and other mid-western branches of house music, and was constructed through layering samples of basic grooves played back at different pitches and speeds. As an example: playing back a straight beat at the original pitch at the same time as a identical version of that beat raised by 7 semitones, creates the familiar polyrhythm “3 against 2”.
The Listeners and Noche (2020 and 2022)
Two choreographies by Alma Söderberg for the repertoire dance company Cullberg in Stockholm.
For The Listeners I created a polyrhythmic fuzzy soundblanket for 8 or 9 dancers that wraps around them in their performance. Layers of analog synthesizer sounds and a single brass horn, mix with the vocal work composed and coached by Alma Söderberg. It's a performance that evokes twilight, and in analogy my composition exists of two deceivingly similar pieces that mirror each other like evening and morning.
My work for Noche cuts cold like the night divides the day. It is angular, unexpected. It was created from a desire to evoke the spirit of surrealism in the 21st century.
Part of it was composed on video; my sounds follow the movements of one dance solo in an exacting manner, and in return, the resulting musical composition guides the dancer in an exacting manner through her solo. (Listen below to that piece.)
Fun fact: one of the main themes is a relentless singing of "Lechat Lechat Lechat", but in morse code. 9 or 10 dancer's voices are given space and accompagnied throughout the pieces that I wrote.
The view from here (2021)
The view from here is a choreography by Tilman O’Donnell for the repertoire dance company Skånes Dansteater in Malmö. In a set design reminiscent of a film studio, 5 speakers and a megaphone are moving through space together with 8 dancers. Intimate vocal sounds are captured, amplified and eventually transformed into about two and a half pieces of music. I am present, on the edge of the stage, to kneed all sonic output into shape and follow along with the rest of the group through their physical investigations.
Oblivion and Unforetold (2015 and 2018)
Oblivion is a of a performance by Sarah Vanhee in which she unpacks a year of personal trash; waste that is physical, mental, digital. I was invited into her external hard drive in order to unearth and edit sonic moments. These moments and her voice were eventually laid out in a quadraphonic array and punctuated the three hour long act of unpacking.
Unforetold is a children-driven performance for grown ups. The audience is invited in a deep black space which fills with the children's presence, thoughts and dreams. Throughout the performance the group plays several sound pieces with voice, percussion and synthesizer. Microphones are hidden in the set design and capture and transform the sonic input.
The sound score that accompanies the piece makes heavy use of The Sinking of the Titanic by Gavin Bryars.
When Clay Breathes Out I & II (2022)
These pieces were created in collaboration with ceramics collective SLAM for their installation at Field Station in Ifö Center. When Clay Breathes Out I was a live performance where I treated the sound of clay dissolving in water as source of organics rhythms that I performed with my two Vermona synthesizers, thereby attempting to realize a state of existing inbetween solid and liquid form.
When Clay Breathes Out II used the same source material, but instead listed a number of sonic propositions that reacted in situ with the installation view of SLAM.
Wowawiwa and John the Houseband (ongoing)
Wowawiwa is the band I have together with Alma Söderberg. It was born in a bar in the airport of Zagreb. The name testifies to our love for sound. Although you might also read in it a fascination for the four beat bar with a heavy WO and a snappy WI. We like to produce rhythms.
Our music emerges through the interaction between different sound ingredients. Voice feeds into mic that activates the filtered spring reverb which feeds into sampler that transforms the voice into beats, basslines and other sounds. Drum sequencer feeds into synthesizer firing of CV controls that shape the melody. Synthesizer gets heard by ear that commands voice to imitate. Imitation is captured by microphone and so on.
Our concerts involve deep play with free language singing, heavy knob wiggling, and a lot of listening.
John the Houseband is a collective of six (dance) performers that came together in 2009 to play music together. Since then we've been the final act of many performing arts festivals, did some very low key and low budget touring and made a version of The Nutcracker with a symphonic orchestra. In principle we exchange instruments and roles as much as we can, but I have indulged mostly in providing the electronic drums for our songs.
In idioter Alma Söderberg and me worked together for the first time. We played a concert performance where the music supports Alma’s personal way to explore rhythm and Hendrik’s geometric landscape drawings. The music flirts with concrete music and concrete poetry. Drawing and voice are treated as sound.
We took on idiocy as a discipline. Paradoxically the discipline involves abandoning a perspective, staying close to the empty vanishing point, embracing that place of mystery that we do not understand and cannot see.