by espen sommer eide


In Moscow this week: 

I am performing with Verdensteatret Bridge over Mud at 16 and 19 o'clock monday-wednesday at NCCA. 

At DOM, playing a short solo set on monday 28. Info

In Copenhagen: Nordic Music Days screening of "Material Vision – Silent Reading" video work until 30. September. 

Verdensteatret on Russia K TV:

Nikel sound history club

As part 1 of my contribution together with Signe Lidén for the Dark Ecology Journey 3, we went to Nikel, Russia last week to organize the first edition of the Nikel sound history club, discussing sound and memory with local residents of Nikel.

recording and testing of prototypes

Finding natural wonders

Longread about the material vision project on medium

Material Vision — Silent Reading

The remarkable features of mosquito hearing

I made a new composition for the Ultima festival 2015, to be performed and spatialized live on the acousmonium of GRM/Ina at Vulkan arena, Oslo 16. September. 

The piece is inspired by the my experiences with mosquitoes and salmon across the Sør-Varanger Peninsula. It is in part also an investigation into animal sensory biology. Both animals have a very unique way of hearing. The mosquito has vibrating antennas that is tuned to certain frequencies, in particular the ones connected to the "flight tone" of the female mosquito. The salmon has a more deep listening ability, being able to hear infrasound and using it to navigate the ocean back to its origin river.

Tags: phonophani

Bridge over Mosow

24.-30. September Verdensteatret is going to Moscow, building and performing our piece Bridge over Mud at NCCA. You will find me sweating behind the faders and knobs. We have been working the last month in Oslo growing the piece further (out of control and out of proportion some might argue, since it now takes one week to assemble the "room-instrument" with 10 people working day and night...). 

Recently the piece won an Hedda Award for "best audiovisual design" and is also nominated for the "Critics Award 2015". Also great reviews all around for our Oslo show, so our hard work developing it over the last 4 years (starting in Kolkata in 2011 !) is not a complete secret anymore.

Now keeping fingers crossed for the containers to go through customs smoothly!

Kvien & Sommer video by Piotr Paichel

Debut mini album from Kvien & Sommer released

Language in Time

BEK has released this ebook I wrote for apple iBooks. 

Download here

This text is based on a lecture for the Platform series at Bergen Kunsthall 10. February 2013. Doing research for my exhibition “Dead Language Poetry”, first installed at Bergen Kunsthall /No. 5 in 2013, I sifted through a vast range of subjects regarding language, some of which made it into the works of the exhibition – others fell into the background web of inspiration. Included is also sounds from the playlist intervention and the video of the performance of the work: Structural metaphors recited in the vedic style.

Korsmos Ugressarkiv exhibition at Nikolaj Kunsthal

The weeds are spreading to the continent. The Korsmo weeds archive is now open at Nikolaj Kunsthal in Copenhagen, Denmark. Open until 21. June. 

Exhibition opening and film screening

11.04.2015 The evening starts at Trykkeriet, Fjøsangerveien 70A with exhibition and food 6 p.m – 9 p.m. Followed by a premiere film screening at Landmark at 9:30 p.m (doors open 9 p.m). Afterwards there will be music by Are Mokkelbost (Single Unit, Kill) and Mental Overdrive (DJ set by Per Martinsen).

Material Vision – Silent Reading is a film and series of prints by Espen Sommer Eide, based on the creation of new musical instruments and a performance developed on Bear Island.

At Trykkeriet Espen Sommer Eide will exhibit 6 photogravure prints originally commissioned by KORO / University of Tromsø for the recently opened Faculty of Science and Technology building, in addition to a new installation work. The prints are printed in an edition of 14.

Bridge over mud

A chord is like a scientific instrument probing the universe

The exploded lapsteel – photo: Isabelle Vigier

Performed at Sonic Acts / Stedelijk Musem 2015. From the Sonic Acts blog:

Hesitatingly plucking, the sparse ringing tones echo the tonality of bells, with the formants gradually fading into drawn out ululations. He moves from plucking, to running a slide over the strings. A laser beam mounted on the slide shines down on the pages, where he has sketched sharp straight lines to represent the frets, and circles for tonal movements. Each hand drawn score indicates a different modal tuning system based on the equal ratio tuning system of Pythagoras. The book is a copy of Pythagoras’ music theory de-accessioned from Eide’s local library in Bergen, Norway.

He begins to layer the sounds, creating a chorus of voices from cavernous depths: a choir of rock and soil, hum and steam, roar and crumble. Harmonically related, yet in non-western tuning, the texture beats against itself until Eide filters out the mid-tones and reduced the bit resolution. The choir becomes a distant rattling crackle with occasional comet-like glissando’s reminiscent of the sounds of the cosmic radiant ionosphere.

Leaving the loop to gradually fade away, Eide moves to the sculptures of aluminum dowels that echo the forms of Malevich’s supremacist paintings hanging in the background. The dowels are cut to equal ratios to echo the Pythagorean tuning system.

He loosens the structure, and rotates the poles so that they are no longer parallel, running his hand over the metal to set off a resonance. Moving around the structure, he sets off harmonic relationships on horizontal and vertical planes, so that we hear overtones moving and fading through time, creating ghost notes and rhythms inside the timbres. He swings a loose pole in the range of the others, interrupting the phase of the frequencies and causing irregular patterned beating before adding sticky paper to the end of the poles, to create roughening the smooth sine tones.

Eide told me that he usually plays these sculpture on mountaintops in Norway, letting the sounds ring out through the trees. Here, he plays with theory and structure, articulating theory by reading words in music. Gradually adding noise to knowledge and the sound of pure tones, the work “a tuned chord is like a scientific instrument probing the universe” emulates a kind of echo-location of tuning, feeling out possible harmonic and formal relationships.

Alyssa Moxley

A online review of the whole event from Metropolis M here.

Antisolar ∞ 7: Phonophani – Epsilon

Released and sold out. Damn those collectors!

Antisolar ∞ series is a small-run endless loop cassettes label. The artists invited present a piece specially designed for this format.These cassettes are handmade one by one. It's a lo-fi product. These type of cassette may not work on every cassette deck since they have no sprocket/teeth. (it should work fine on a vintage two-head design cassette deck. But, for example, it doesn't work on Nakamichi LX-3 or Tascam 122 mkIII). The cassette is meant to last around 10,000 cycles = 500 hours. But you never know. A tape is a tape. 10 copies is not much. But it takes a lot of time to build them. The cassettes will be available exclusively here. Only one copy per person. 

No pre-order / No demo / Thank you

Tags: phonophani

New instrument

Debuts in a new musical performance for Sonic Acts, February 26. More info here

Winter events

Happy new year! Some upcoming winter shows:
12. January, Bergen Kjøtt, 20x20x20 collaborative concerts (with Thea Hjelmeland (song), Odd Martin Skålnes (song/gitar), Øystein Skar (synth), Stephan Meidell (gitar), Espen Sommmer Eide (div elektronikk), Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (trommer) Ana Jorge (visuell kunst), Guro Rimeslåtten og Ole Martin Meland (dans)).
17. January (Kvien & Sommer live), Arts birthday, Norrlandsoperan Umeå, Sweden
26. February (musical performance), Sonic Acts (opening at Stedelijk) Amsterdam. 
28. February (presentation of Material Vision – Silent Reading), Sonic Acts conference.

Came across this quote that seems to explain it all:

"I’m thinking about the piece Espen Sommer Eide played in the school in Nikel on Saturday evening. He basically took what I guess was a first inversion of a harmonic minor triad – the kind of chord you play before the tragic resolution of a sad symphony about your deafness, or whatever – and he made it ooze, sort of atonally, a little bit around the edges, and made it bleed a little bit. Then he took the oozing-bleeding and bent it and moved it around and started playing with it. It was as if he took some kind of hard clay and warmed it up and bent it, transmuting it until it became something much more sensual, something that set the stage for what happened next..."
– Timothy Morton, interviewed after the Dark Ecology journey.