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Kristin Norderval, photo by Are Lothe Kolbeinsen
Kristin Norderval, photo by Are Lothe Kolbeinsen

Queering Time – Live Vocal Processing With Gestural Controllers

Kristin Norderval will speak about her research in live electronics and opera, and demonstrate how her custom designed performer-controlled, real-time audio processing system can be operated without depending on a visual interface. Opera.

Kristin Norderval is a PhD Research Fellow at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Academy of Opera. In this seminar, Norderval will present her PhD project.

Using wireless MIDI rings with motion tracking technology to control a performance patch in MAX, Norderval has explored how translating physical actions into sonic processes brings the human aspects of constant change to the musical results of the digital processing, particularly in regards to time. She will outline how mapping and design choices for the Human Machine Interactions in her real-time audio processing interface impact creative choice making regarding time, memory and musical structure, and how the design necessitates the performer's ability to pivot between predictable results and surprises.

Norderval´s performer-controlled interface is designed to be both partially controllable and partially unpredictable – merging the function of an instrument and an agent of improvisation. Her interface has become a tool for improvisation and music making that avoids some common constraints of conventional digital processing, which is often either too predictable or too randomized. The weighted random and double pendulum design of the interface puts the focus on process rather than product since although a structured process can be repeated, the sonic results will never be exactly the same. This fosters a concentrated listening presence in the performer, and enables nuanced and variable vocal processing, suitable for use in a variety of settings: solo performances, chamber music and opera.

Composer and singer Kristin Norderval is inspired by hybridity, interactivity and the idea that everything we do is site-specific. In her operas, chamber compositions, sound installations and music for dance and theatre, she mixes acoustic and electronic sound, voices and the acoustic resonance of the room. In her solo works, she processes her voice in real time to create complex sonic layers and unusual soundscapes. Wireless controllers allow her to manipulate the sound with physical movements. Her work with electronic music pioneer Pauline Oliveros from the mid-1990s until her death in 2016, was a primary influence in combining improvisation with structural rigour.

Norderval first earned a living as a soprano soloist with a focus on contemporary music, particularly American composers from The New York School. She performed and recorded works by and alongside composers such as Philip Glass, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Steve Reich, Annea Lockwood, David Lang, Tania Leon, Anne Le Baron, Frances White, Christian Wolff, George Crumb and many others.

After her 40th birthday, Norderval began to focus on composition again, and her compositions have received international recognition. Her solo CD "Aural Histories" was listed by music critic Alex Ross (The New Yorker) as one of the "Ten Notable Classical Music Recordings of 2012". Her opera "The Trials of Patricia Isasa" (2016) won Quebec's OPUS award in two categories: best contemporary music and best production. Kristin Norderval is currently a PhD Research Fellow at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts / Academy of Opera.

You can check out Kristin Norderval's artist website and vimeo channel.

This seminar will be followed by the opportunity to ask questions and discuss while enjoying some light food and drink refreshments.

Attendance to the seminar is free, but registration is required.

The seminar will be held in English.

The seminar will be held in Salen, located in the basement 1 (U1) of the ZEB building. Enter the building from Sem Sælands Vei 2A and follow the directions.