13February2014 Where to buy music? Pyramids, ruins and the rise of Alogcoin

I often get the question: Where can I buy your music? or Where should I buy your music? It used to be easy to answer, go to your record store or order the physical album by mailorder, but with the rapid decline of the CD format, and the rise of streaming it has become more complicated. My recent releases are also available in vinyl which by now most people agree will be the sole physical product left for music. But my earlier works were only available on CD so their digital future is at stake. 

The situation is changing so fast and new services come and fade away every year. So I find myself in the strange position that I cannot answer the question. Even the question itself seems old and out of fashion. Why put a price on music at all? It only seems to decrease the value of the music, because it builds a old fashioned paywall and ends up in fewer hands and ears. This leads to the question of the value of music. The value of people having musical experiences versus the economical value. And right now the economical part is more or less hijacked by the evil pyramidal empire of Spotify and the like. 

Lets talk briefly about streaming. Like in pyramid scheme I am working at the bottom, trying to recruit new workers (fans), and then everybody pays money upwards in the system. With the dream of reaching more listeners as the reward. Seems to be a circular argument somewhere... But to complain today about this model is a dead end, because it has become ubiquitous. In a parallel reality there should be a completely free and distributed streaming service for subculture-music (maybe organised without owners, like bitcoin? Alogcoin?). At least then no swedes would get rich by giving away my albums with commercial breaks between the tracks. 

Its an irony to think about all the work that used to go into mastering the album just right. It used to take days and weeks to even conclude about the length of the breaks between tracks on the CD. 2 seconds like normal, or maybe 5 seconds will make a greater emotional impact or flow? But I am not such a reactionary about the album format, lets not go there... Being a romantic one must allow a building become a ruin. It only increases its beauty, right?

End of part 1, I will continue to rant in a second part soon. In the meantime if you still would like to actually buy my music online (shocking!) a favorite right now is Bugge Wesseltofts Gube Music, that also includes hi quality weird formats your computer will probably not be able to play. Alog and Phonophani available.

Kvaale II by phonophani
Tags: phonophani

10February2014 Korsmos Ugressarkiv (video)

An exhibition by Kristin Tårnesvik and Espen Sommer Eide.
Entrée January 25th- March 2nd, 2014
The project ascends from biologist Emil Korsmo’s (1863-1953) profoundly detailed and methodically preserved compilation of own material from a lifelong research into combating weeds. In 2012 the artists found crates filled with well-preserved posters, books, letters, documents, roots, printing plates, seeds and a neatly protected herbarium. They got the privilege to work on site in the archive, where they began an exploration of historical materials as well as a systematization of their own artistic process and collaboration, all in the spirit of Emil Korsmo.

20January2014 Korsmos ugressarkiv exhibition at Entrée

The ongoing project Korsmos ugressarkiv with Kristin Tårnesvik & Espen Sommer Eide will have its first exhibition at Entree

Opening at 20:00 on the 24. January - 

open thursday-sunday until 2. March. 

The project ascends from biologist Emil Korsmo’s (1863-1953) profoundly detailed and methodically preserved compilation of own material from a lifelong research into combating weeds. In 2012 the artists found crates filled with well-preserved posters, books, letters, documents, roots, printing plates, seeds and a neatly protected herbarium. They got the privilege to work on site in the archive, where they began an exploration of historical materials as well as a systematization of their own artistic process and collaboration, all in the spirit of Emil Korsmo. 

Emil Korsmo was a skilled communicator whose knowledge of weeds was spread as never before in Norway and internationally. This was a time, after World War 1, concerned by food shortages and low production. Natural diversity in the fields was a key reason for reduced harvests and Korsmo’s research became central in a battle towards more profitable and efficient agriculture. The byproduct is an assembly of unique material that has been waiting to be rediscovered and activated.

Both artists have previously been devoted to collecting material in similar ways to that of Korsmo, be it endangered languages (Sommer Eide) or historical vintage documents (Tårnesvik). It’s been a pleasure to follow this process along side, through their constant blogging (formativedager.tumblr.com) of discoveries and respectful tryouts interfering with the archive. With an experimental and poetic approach Tårnesvik & Sommer Eide are searching for new expressions in their first major collaborative project, resulting so far in four different constellations. Last year at Rad # 5, Bergen; Performance Now 4, Bergen; Cabinet, New York and most recently in a radio-play entitled A Trial of Weeds, as part of Performa 13, in collaboration with Hordaland Art Center. The latter is part of the publication Words at a Distanceand will be launched at Hordaland Art Center on February 11. The project Korsmos ugressarkiv/The Korsmo Weed Archive is part of Arts Council Norway’s larger seven-project canopy; What’s With The Archive?

Following the exhibition is a catalogue including essays from Line Ulekleiv and Espen Søbye.

06December2013 Weed Archive (LIVE) at Performa 13 and Performance Nå 4

Live printing and paper speakers. Photos by Dan Mihaltianu for Performance Art Bergen.

31October2013 Upcoming

Some upcoming dates:

7. November - Bastien & Eides Electric Folkways, Seconde nature, Aix en Provence
15. November - Weed Archive, Performa Festival, New York
23. November - Performance Art Bergen, C. Sundts gate 55

27August2013 Dread

My work 'Dead Language Poetry' will be exhibited as part of the group exhibition 'Dread - fear in the age of technological acceleration' curated by Juha van 't Zelfde and will exhibit at De Hallen Haarlem 6.9-24.11 2013. I will perform the companion musical performance live at the opening 6. September. 

The work aims to re-animate the voices of dead languages through a specially built apparatus than channels recorded voices from a vinyl record into my larynx. 

Photo by Hans de Bruyn

Some photos from the exhibition:

21June2013 Systematismens 1. Borg

Performed live at Rad#5 - Bergen 6. June 2013
Kristin Tårnesvik, constructor
Espen Sommer Eide, hurdy-gurdy, drum machine and khaen
Mari Kvien Brunvoll, bagpipe and khaen.

Systematismens 1. Borg is made of historical printing plates used in weed biologist Emil Korsmo (1864-2129) textbooks. Systematism pioneer Korsmo created a new economy in agriculture by classifying and measuring the value of useful and useless plants.



21June2013 Formative Days

An evergrowing sketchbook and logbook and webarchive of items lost and found in the Korsmo Weed Archive at Ås, Norway, can now be visited at http://formativedager.tumblr.com 

This is part of the Weed Archive collaboration between Espen Sommer Eide and Kristin Tårnesvik.

19April2013 Spirit Catcher

Spirit Catcher (phonograph-box, tripod, bellows, motor, electronics)
by Espen Sommer Eide, reader Anne Marthe Dyvi
Exhibited and performed as part of the solo exhibition 'Dead Language Poetry' at Bergen Kunsthall 2013

19March2013 DLP Photos

Photo gallery here

19March2013 Language in Time

Bergen Kunsthall has published my talk from 10. March. It is not an 'artist talk' in the usual sense, but more of a lecture and playlist on a subject intended to supplement the exhibition (and one work in particular).

31January2013 Dead Language Poetry

Coming soon, my first solo exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall - I will post more info here soon, but here is the text from their spring program communication.

Also there will be 3 performances in the exhibition, as part of the Borealis Festival program. Welcome!

FRI 01.03. Kl 20.00 (exhibition opening)
Performance by Signe Lidén, Mari Kvien Brunvoll, Tolga Balci, Trine H. Friis, Espen S. Eide.

WED 06.03. Kl 17.00 (borealis 1. day)
Performance by Alexander Rishaug, Janne-Camilla Lyster, Signe Lidén, Tolga Balci, Trine H. Friis, Espen S. Eide.

SUN 10.03. Kl 14.00 
Plattform: Presentation by Espen Sommer Eide and a composition performed by Trine H. Friis. 

Every ten days another language disappears—at the present rate about half of the world’s 6000 languages will disappear in the course of a few generations. What is lost when a language dies is a many-faceted issue which can be viewed in several perspectives, for example cultural history, linguistics and the philosophy of language. With a background in art, music and philosophy, Espen Sommer Eide has taken various approaches to the phenomenon.
His main interest is in the complexity of the processes behind the destruction, evolution and creation of languages.

The archiving of languages can function as both a destructive and a creative process. One of the works in the exhibition revolves around how linguistic structures are stored in a collective consciousness, and how in certain cases the voice can neutralize the destructive power of time and memory. The sacred Vedic texts of India have been passed down through generations (since 1800 BC). Despite exclusively oral transmission their content has been preserved word for word thanks to the special way in which they are recited, in complex paralinguistic patterns.

In the exhibition the theme is also dealt with from a purely aesthetic point of view. For example is there a unique aural imprint embedded in all languages, and can such an aesthetic aspect be separated from the knowledge-bearing and identity-forming aspects? What is the sound of a dead language and can it be revived? When Edison invented the first recording apparatus for sound, the phonograph, it was quickly seen as a medium not primarily for reproducing music, but for listening to recordings of voices from people who had passed on. The voices from the phonograph were experienced as voices without bodies, as spirits in space. Through deconstructions of language and the voice Sommer Eide deals with issues such as the boundaries between living and dead languages, between meaning and sound, and between linguistic-metaphorical structures and the musical organization of sound. In addition to the exhibition, the project consists of a series of performances with a point of departure in self-made instruments (“Philosophical Instruments”).

Espen Sommer Eide has participated in a number of group exhibitions and theatrical productions, and has had a wide-ranging career as a performing musician and composer. Since the end of the 1990s the projects Alog (with Dag-Are Haugan) and Phonophani have been among the most prominent representatives of experimental electronic music in Norway, with a series of releases from the label Rune Grammofon. “Dead Language Poetry” is Sommer Eide’s first solo exhibition. The exhibition is part of an annual collaboration between the Borealis Festival and Bergen Kunsthall. This year’s Borealis has ‘The End’ as an overall theme for its programme, with cue words like endings, old age, obsolescence and decay.

Espen Sommer Eide (b.1972) grew up in Tromsø. He lives and works in Bergen.