PERFORMING PRECARITY / Thrainn Hjalmarsson — Doux miroir / Soft mirror for conical claves

Created at 1. Aug. 2023

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by dorf




To be a contemporary music performer today is to have a deeply fragmented practice. The performer’s role is no longer simply a matter of mastering her instrument and executing a score. Music practices are increasingly incorporating new instruments and technologies, new methods of creating works, audience interaction, and new situations of interdependence between performer subjects. In these conditions, the performer increasingly finds herself unable to keep control and a sense of mastery over the performance. In other words, performing is increasingly precarious.


The research project Performing Precarity seeks to investigate this paradigm by abandoning notions of mastery and instrument-specificity as the core of a musician’s practice in favour of the idea of the network and its ensuing precarity. What kinds of practices emerge when traditional conceptions of beauty and perfection are relinquished in favour of precarity, fragility, risk, instability, failure, and mutual dependence between performers, composers, technologies, and audiences? What kinds of reflections will emerge out of this repositioning of the performer from “master” to a mutually dependent agent in such a network?


Performing Precarity is a research project financed by The Norwegian Academy of Music and The Norwegian Artistic Research Programme. The project group consists of Laurence Crane, Anders Førisdal, Tomas L. Nannestad, Lisa Streich, Lea Tetrick, Io Sivertsen, Jennifer Torrence and Ellen Ugelvik. Several compositions have been developed during the project period by Carola Bauckholt, Olga Bochikhina, Laurence Crane, Jorge G. Elizondo, Elizabeth Hobbs, Simon Løffler, Trond Reinholdtsen, Tania Rubio, Lisa Streich, Vladimir Tarnopolski, Jennifer Torrence and Ellen Ugelvik. The group has cooperated with the Anton Bruckner Private University Linz, The Huddersfield University and The Moscow Conservatory. An exposition presenting the project will be published during the fall of 2023.





Jennifer Torrence is a percussionist, performer, and artistic researcher based in Oslo, Norway. Originally from the US, she has performed and taught in a variety of contexts across the entire globe. Much of her work is built upon deep collaborative processes with composers and artists from other art forms. In addition to solo and collaborative projects she is a member of the Norwegian ensemble, Pinquins. Her artistic research is currently hosted by the Norwegian Academy of Music and the Stockholm University of the Arts. Jennifer is Associate Professor II of percussion at the Norwegian Academy of Music.

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Ellen Ugelvik, pianist, concentrates on developing and performing new projects in cooperation with contemporary composers and artists. Ugelvik works as a soloist and chamber musician in Europe, USA and Asia. She has been invited to festivals such as Donaueschinger Musiktage, Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmstadt, Tasten – Berliner Klaviertage, Huddersfield contemporary music festival, Ultraschall, Tzlil Meudcan, Gaudeamus, Kammer Klang, Musikhøst, Rainy Days, ECLAT, De Suite Muziekweek, Angelica Festival, Kwadrofonik Festival, Nordic Music Days, Musik der Jahrhunderte; Südseite Nachts, Monday Evening Concerts, Risør festival of chamber music, Ultima contemporary music festival, Borealis and Happy Days. Ellen Ugelvik is employed as leader of the NordART Centre for Artistic Research and associate professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music besides her work as a freelance pianist.

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Leicht über Linz


21.03.2023 19.00 Uhr

Sonic Lab ABPU





Thrainn HjalmarssonDoux miroir / Soft mirror for conical claves

Doux miroir / Soft mirror for conical claves (2023) world premiere is a co-composition by Jennifer Torrence and Thrainn Hjalmarsson. The work grew from an exploration into the playfulness and sonic realm of the instrument “conical claves”, an instrument developed by Hjalmarsson and artist/design duo Brynjar Sigurðarson and Veronika Sedlmair (Studio Brynjar & Veronika). The work is a part of a series of performances of a currently untitled performance-installation which revolves around Studio Brynjar & Veronika's instrument Circle flute. The title arrives from Sophie Fetokaki's “Two circular poems”, written especially for the performance- installation. Thrainn Hjalmarsson is known for his detailed and finely woven sound world, where the act of listening plays a vital role. Here, the perception of sound is ever transforming, revealing an otherwise obfuscated narrative, unfolding in time. Hjalmarsson’s music has been performed by performers, orchestras and ens- embles worldwide on various occasion by groups such as Basel Sinfonietta, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Vertixe Sonora, Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, Barokkbandið Brák, Hanna Hohti, Ensemble Adapter and CAPUT ensemble to name a few. ///| Thrainn Hjalmarsson (b. 1987) studied composition at the Iceland University of the Arts and at the Royal Conservatoire in Den Haag from 2009-2011 and is a current member of the composer’s collective S.L.Á.T.U.R and curator of the contemporary music concert series, Hljóðön (e. Phonemes) at Hafnarborg – Centre of Culture and Fine Art.



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