On June 7th I defended my PhD thesis, Sound Notation: The visual representation of sound for composition and analysis (available here) at KMH in Stockholm. Opponent was Professor Craig Vear from University of Nottingham (appearing on Zoom because of an injury) and in my thesis committee were Professors Cat Hope from Monash Univsersity, Palle Dahlstedt from Chalmers Tekniska Högskola, Jason Noble from Université de Moncton, and Erkki Huovinen from KMH.
My supervisor has been Roberto Bresin from KTH and co-supervisors were Henrik Frisk, KMH, and Kjetil Falkenberg, KTH. Eva-Lotta Sallnäs Pysander from KTH chaired the defence which took place in Nathan Milstein Hall at KMH.
The defence started with a performance by great percussionist Joakim Anterot who performed a new work for percussion and electronics, made using Sound Notation where an electroacoustic work had been partly transcribed for live performance. The professor Vear and the committee provided an interesting and varied conversation about my new notation, its possibilities and limitations.
Now I am back at work with a new position as Director of Studies for composition at KMH besides teaching and more research, also composing choir music when I find the time.
Yesterday was my 80 % PhD seminar at KTH Royal Institute of Technology with Professor Cat Hope as discussant. She has a unique perspective on my research being the General Chair of the TENOR conference, where technologies for new notation have been presented and discussed the last 7 years. She discussed my ideas both from a composer’s and a researcher’s perspective.
Before that, I was in Tallinn having rewarding talks with my colleagues in the CoPeCo master program. It is a collaboration between the music colleges in Stockholm, Tallinn, Lyon and Hamburg. The next generation of CoPeCo students (working with music performance, composition, improvisation and new technologies) arrive in Stockholm soon for one semester.
Time flies, and I have been busy working on the final scientific article for my doctoral thesis, involving algorithmic composition using sound notation. It is fun to finally compose music myself using the sound notation system.
I also visited Reykjavik for Nordic Music Days presenting my multi-channel fixed media piece In the beginning from 2019. I was in good company: Natasha Barrett, Tine Surel Lange, Marcus Wrangö, Maija Hynninen, Hans Peter Stubbe Teglbjærg and Ríkharður Friðriksson, who arranged and hosted the concert.
The pandemic has had a sever impact on concerts all around. There were however recently two streamed performance of new works of mine: first the chamber ensemble adaptation of Counterpoint for ensemble Sonanza in Kungasalen at KMH, and then Values of Sound #1, fixed media music written for the multiple-speaker sound dome at KMH. See YouTube clip below (at 49:40) for Sonanza’s performance of my piece. This concert was part of Svensk Musikvår, a very ambitious festival of contemporary music led by brilliant Saxophone player Jörgen Pettersson.
Counterpoint was originally written för my friend Nazanin Aghakhani, for her master degree concert with Kuopio Symphony Orchestra in Finland. It was written around the time I wrote my Requiem when algorithmic composition of counterpoint structures was a big focus of mine.
I just realised I forgot to mention here that I was invited to contribute to the wonderful Halffloor sonic artwork project, where sound artists create a 60-second work. The project is run by Marie Gavois, Susanne Skog and George Kentros and already includes a great number of artists’ contributions. The music is available as a podcast, a soundcloud playlist and in a map-style web interface.