Trondheim Voices is a groundbreaking Norwegian ensemble of improvising vocalists, constantly challenging and changing the framework for how a vocal ensemble can produce sound art. Since 2001, they have made solid statements as developers within vocal and improvised music, expanding the traditional concert format, searching for new music in the interaction between the singers, the audience, the surroundings and new technology.
Through their many collaborations with cutting edge composers and stage artists, and especially through their collaboration with sound designer Asle Karstad and visual artist Ann-Cathrin Hertling, Trondheim Voices has reached a whole new level of improvising, with both music, movement, new technology, space, and time. The subtle interaction between the singers, the sound-designer, the audience, and the moment, is their point of navigation – making new music through listening and letting go.
Trondheim Voices consist of 10 soloist singers, who all have specialized in different types of improvisation. Each singer’s individuality, and her timbre combined with the others, are in focus, resulting in a unique quality to the groups collective tone:
- Sissel Vera Pettersen (Artistic leader from 2016)
- Tone Åse
- Heidi Skjerve
- Ingrid Lode
- Siri Gjære
- Mia Marlen Berg
- Live Maria Roggen
- Anita Kaasbøll
- Torunn Sævik
- Silje Karlsen
- Kari Eskil Havenstrøm (Understudy)
Trondheim Voices is now a department of high priority at MNJ (Midtnorsk Jazzsenter).
Trondheim Voices started through a concert initiated by MNJ (Mid-Norway Centre of Jazz) in 2001. Inspired by the diversity of the singers in the Trondheim Jazz scene, and the way they could cooperate, the idea of a vocal ensemble was brought out, and through the work of among others Eldbjørg Raknes, the ensemble gradually became a more permanent project. In 2004 Trondheim Voices had developed from being a big gathering of solo singers with a wide range of repertoire, to being a more confined, profiled vocal ensemble with a repertoire especially designed for the group. From 2006 -2011 the ensemble was led by Tone Åse, and from 2011-2016 by Siri Gjære. Through these years, the ensemble gradually widened their working methods and concepts of performance. The potential of voice combined with new technology and body/movement/room/visuality was explored through different projects and cooperations, here mentioning some of them.
Cirka Teater: “BINGO” 2008, “Hundre Hemmeligheter” 2014: In these theatrical projects, the ensembles role for the first time also included acting and moving in a staged choreography. The work with director Anne Marit Sæther was the starting point for developing the ensembles physical access to improvising.
Asle Karstad/Maccasolve : Sound designer Asle Karstad has worked with the ensemble since the very start in 2001. In 2011 the ensemble started to explore the possibilities of using live electronics in various forms. In 2013 Asle Karstad and Arnvid Lau Karstad developed the wireless controller Maccatrol, in close collaboration with the ensemble. This unique effect controller, especially designed for Trondheim Voices, has now become an important artistic tool for the ensemble. Karstad is the ensemble’s artist in recidence in 2016, and will continue to be an integrated part of the ensemble’s work and artistic exploration.
Ann Cathrin Hertling/Wild at Art: Conceptual artist Ann Cathrin Hertling started to work with the ensemble in 2013. Hertling works with live art projects and aims to unite art and reality in a way that makes us think and act differently, and that makes art and real life collaborating as joint forces. Hertling introduced the ensemble to methods that radically changed the way they relate to a performance as a whole. Her way of working with the ensemble, in cooperation with Siri Gjære (artistic leader 2011-2016), has brought the ensemble to a new and different level of going into the performative situation. The room, the time, the objects at place and the audience, are all artistic materials, and the whole situation is part of an interactive artistic experience. Through working with projects like POPLUDIUM and Gjestehus, the ensemble has gained methods that will be implemented in all further projects to come.
- Maja S.K. Ratkje
- Mats Gustafsson
- Marilyn Mazur
- Jon Balke
- Christian Wallumrød
- Eldbjørg Raknes
- Live Maria Roggen
- Elin Rosseland
- Ståle Storløkken
- Terje Bjørklund
- Siri Gjære
Commissioned works, projects and releases:
2004/2005: Raknes/Roggen works, Trondheim Kammermusikkfestival
2006: Norwegian Sanctus by Terje Bjørklund with the Trondheim Soloists, Arve Henriksen and Stian Westerhus. Moldejazz, Olavsfestdagene
2008: BINGO!! Rosseland/Storløkken/Roggen/Gjære/Cirka Teater, Olavsfestdagene
2009 Improvoicing by Mazur/Balke/Gustavsson, Moldejazz
2010 Album release: Improvoicing (MNJ Records)
2011 Stagetracker@NIME 2011
2011 On Anodyne by Jon Balke, Moldejazz, Olavsfestdagene
2013 Popludium with Ann Cathrin Hertling (nominated for UT-awards )
2014 Hundre Hemmeligheter med Cirka Teater, Eirik Heggdal and Asle Karstad,Trøndelag Teater and Riksteateret (2 Hedda- prices; best audio design and best play for children&youth)
2015 Gjestehus with Ann Cathrin Hertling, Christian Wallumrødand Asle Karstad, Olavsfestdagene
2015 Ekkokammer 2.0 by Maja Ratkje, Kamfest
2016 Space Unfolding : Siri Gjære, Asle Karstad, Laurents Theiner, Whitebox, Munchen
2016 Abgesange der Posthauses with Goro Tronsmo and Galleri Maria Veie, Berlin Art Week
2016 CD- release On Anodyne, Grappa(nominated for Norwegian Grammy, contemporary music.)
Olavsfestdagene, Trondheim (2006,2008,2011,2015) Trondheim Chamber music Festival (2004,2015) Molde International Jazz festival (2003,2009,2011,2014) Oslo Church Music Festival (2009) Trondheim Calling (2011), Steinkjefestivalen (2011) NIME,Oslo (2011) Jazzfest, Trondheim (2010) Jazzfest Ung, Trondheim (2012)Vossajazz (2013)EJN (2013) Palatia Jazzfestival(2013),Kimen Kulturhus (2015) Jazz Ahead, Bremen (2015) Whitebox, Munchen (2015), Berlin Art Week (2016) Ultima, Oslo (2016)