Imaginalia Revisited

The eye is an animal
The body is an ear
The ear is a hand

A composer, disillusioned by the limits and weakness of the human imagination, decides to travel back to the nature where he grew up. He journeys to the rivers and tundras of Northern Norway, hoping to get in touch with other sources of music. The sensory biology of salmon and mosquitoes becomes rhythms and harmonies based on unknown principles. All the while the composer is constantly visited by ghosts of his own past, something that makes it ever more difficult to finish the composition ‘Imaginalia’.

«Imaginalia revisited» is a poetic and musical work with multiple thematic threads. At the core lies our relationship to nature, and various connections and differences between our way of seeing and listening, compared to other living beings. The work also generates new connections and liminal experiences between image and sound, between the visible and the invisible, and investigates through this how history and memory shapes our sensory experience of a place.


Solo exhibition at ØKS, Østfold Kunstsenter, 10. March - 22. April 2018

Acousmonium composition performed at Presences Eléctronique, Ina GRM, Paris 24. March 2018
Solo exhibition (revisited version) at Lydgalleriet, Bergen, August 2019.

Text about project in the book: “Exercises in non-human listening”

Composer l’écoute / Composing listening


Félicia Atkinson, François Bayle, François J. Bonnet, Drew Daniel, Brunhild Ferrari, Beatriz Ferreyra, Stephen O’Malley, Jim O’Rourke, Eliane Radigue, Régis Renouard Larivière, Espen Sommer Eide, Daniel Teruggi, Chris Watson

This book has been conceived as both a prism and a manual. Following the “traditional” arc of electroacoustic composition (listen—record—compose—deploy—feel), each of the contributions collected together here focuses in on a personal aspect, a fragment of that thrilling territory that is sonic and musical experimentation.
Although the term “experimental music” may now have be understood as referring to a genre, or even a particular style, we ought to hold on to the original use of this term, which was based more on an approach than on any particular aesthetic line to be followed. The experimental is first and foremost a spirit, the spirit of the exploration of unknown territories, a spirit of invention which sees musical composition more as a voyage into uncertain territories than as a self-assured approach working safe within the bosom of fully mapped out and recognized lands.


«I see the work Imaginalia as a story about the landscape where the artist grew up. A landscape in movement and change throughout the seasons. The same wind, the same seasons, the same sounds, well known but unreachable at the same time.

To return to a landscape after so many years… the senses are the same – but the meaning changes because we ourselves have changed.

A landscape you feel in the bones – but still is but a memory. Watching the film I get a pang of anxiety when I see the intensely yellow birches’ leaf; It is beautiful, but still it tells me of my loneliness and alienness in this world. I have always been curious about other beings’ experience of our common wood.

The yellow birches’ leaf is beautiful… and yet it is a moment of anxiety. The leaf represents something safe and homely we have grown up with – it is at the same time so foreign that it slaps us in the face and our soul freeze up.»

Asle Nilsen, Verdensteatret