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Space Unfolding – Residency at Whitebox in Munchen

In june -16 Trondheim Voices did a one week residency in cooperation with Whitebox in Munchen. The ensemble worked together with artist in residency Asle Karstad and German visual artist Laurenz Theinert in creating a sensoric and unpredictable open space for the audience.

Video from Laurentz Theinert (camera sound only)

The project was initiated by Whitebox which is renewing the urban space of Munchen through an extensive cultural programme. Trondheim Voices is honored be able to instigate this process through their Maccasolve-project conceptualized together with sound designer Asle Karstad.

The wireless controller Maccasolve creates the possibility of building further on the yearlong experiences this ensemble has made through several improvisational projects.Developing a whole new technology makes it possible for the singers to work physically free and with electronic manipulation of ones own ”Voice-sound” in close cooperation with the sound of the designer/sound technician.

The cooperation with Asle and Arnvid Lau Karstad og Maccaphone AS is a natural and important continuation of the ensembles long-lasting work to investigate and expand the use of voice, body, space and improvisation. This process also expands and destabilizes the concepts of concert/performance, stage, actor and audience.

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Asle Karstad – Artist in Residence 2016

Trondheim Voices has invited Asle Karstad to be our artist in residence for 2016. This has increased the possibility of working interdisciplinarily and artistically with the sound-design, Maccasolve, that Asle Karstad has developed together with his son Arnvid Lau Karstad and through cooperation with Trondheim Voices.

Karstad has been working closely together with Siri Gjære, the artistic director for Trondheim Voices, as well as the entire ensemble through several workshops during spring 2016. Their common project culminated in a one week residency for the entire ensemble at the newly created art center Whitebox in Munchen, Germany. Here the ensemble also worked with German visual artist Laurenz Theinert (

Karstad, Trondheim Voices and composer Eirik Hegdal won the National Theater Prize, ”Hedda-prisen”, for best audiovisuel design in 2014, for their musical collaboration on the theater play ”A Hundred Secrets” by Cirka Theater, where the Maccasolve technology was introduced for the first time.

A central driving force in the history of the ensemble
Asle Karstad has been sound designer, technician and technological developer throughout the history of Trondheim Voices. With Asle Karstad as artist in residence, it has been possible to cooperate even closer and over longer periods, making it possible to connect all our previous projects. Through this, a wider space for interplay between artistic ideas and technological development was created.

Why Asle Karstad?
Through his career Asle Karstad has worked with some of the most important musical initiatives all over the world. This has given him a unique insight into both technical an artistic elements of sound design. Through his engagement, knowledge and creativity, he strives to gain the best possible artistic result, regardless of what type of context he is working in. This has made Karstad an invaluable co-artist in the ensemble.

We have previously had great experiences with our artist in residence programs. In 2013 we worked together with artist Ann-Cathrin Hertling, who we continually collaborate with as part of our artistic development. Learn more at

About Maccaphone AS
The company Maccaphone AS was started by Asle Karstad and his son Arnvid Lau Karstad. Maccaphone AS is a platform for developing the technology surrounding Maccasolve. Maccasolve creates the possibility of building on yearlong experiences made through several projects as well as developing a whole new technology.This custom made technology makes it possible for all parties to work physically free and with electronic manipulation of ones own ”Voice-sound”, in close cooperation with the sound designer/sound technician.

The cooperation with Asle and Arnvid Lau Karstad og Maccaphone AS is a natural and important continuation of the work we have done to investigate and expand the use of voice, body, space and improvisation and both expand and destabilize the concepts of concert/performance, stage, actor and audience.

Artist Residency ved Whitebox, München
Through his internatinal network Asle Karstad has gained many contacts that also Trondheim Voices is gaining from.
Dr. Martina Taubenberger, who is now the director for Whitebox – a newly opened art center in Munchen (facebook-link), was formerly the Director at the festival Tonspuren (, where Asle was technical director for three years. Therefore it was natural for her to invite Karstad and Trondheim Voices to open Whitebox through an artistic residency in June 2016. Trondheim Voices’ performance marked the opening of a year long cultural programme for the re-developed area around Whitebox in Munchen.

Trondheim Voices has in the last couple of years worked with other types of spaces than the traditional jazz stage and standardized concert formats, with an emphasis on innovative relationships between performer and audience. This is something that has been developed especially through the cooperation between Ann Cathrin Hertling and Siri Gjære.

What is Maccasolve?
Briefly described, Maccaolve is a system for sound design that consists of a wireless controller and a tailor made wireless network. The system sends out signals to a computerbased sound design set-up. The controller, that can be carried on the body, is based on programmed microdata machines.

Why this technology?
Using the Maccasolve is a natural continuation of Stagetracker – a project from 2011, initiated and tried by former artistic director Tone Åse. Stagetracker was a system where vocal sound was manipulated through movement and positioning of the performer by means of motion sensors. One of the most exciting things about Stagetracker was that it created a choreography based on musical choices, which again created an exciting and dynamic visual expression.

By way of Maccatroll and the cooperation with Ann-Cathrin Hertling, Trondheim Voices has further developed this choreography to include each singer’s physical exploration of – and connection to the space where they perform. What Maccasolve ads is thus a more direct and individual control over each performer’s sound, as well as sampling possibilities.

By way of Maccatroll and the cooperation with Ann-Cathrin Hertling, Trondheim Voices has further developed this choreography to include each singer’s physical exploration of – and connection to the space where they perform. What Maccasolve ads is thus a more direct and individual control over each performer’s sound, as well as sampling possibilities.

What’s new with Maccasolve is therefore first and foremost:
That it is designed and adjusted specifically to us and our usership as a vocal ensemble.
That the person designing this unit is our sound designer that knows us well and brings his artistic ideas in based on a year long cooperation.

To the best of our knowledge, this has never been done before by any vocal ensemble and therefore open up a new frontier for us, as well as other ensembles.

The cooperation with Asle Karstad will continue on a regular basis also in the years to come, and we feel very lucky to have him as part of our artistic work and development.

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photo/artwork: Christina Undrum Andersen/Jørgen Johan Wassvik


Gjestehus was a living piece of art that took place continuously during five days in Lademoen church. People were invited to join us into Gjestehus at any time and get away from daily life as you know it.

St. Olav Festival invited Trondheim Voices and Wild at art to create a completely new and unique piece of art that was examining the theme TIME, inspired by POPludium, which the ensemble performed in the building of the old post office in Trondheim in 2013. During five days Trondheim Voices and Wild at art was living in the art. Through improvisation, with music, movement, situations and space, throughout TIME, they examined what happened and what new experiences this could provoke.

Trondheim Voices and Wild at art invited the musician Christian Wallumrød to Gjestehus in order to compose a new work that was performed and shaped throughout the whole period. They also invited the most outstanding live sound producer in Norway, Asle Karstad, who through his long collaboration with the ensemble always leaves his mark on the sound of Trondheim Voices.

Gjestehus opened the doors to Lademoen Church Wednesday 29 July at 12:00, and was open until Sunday 2 August at 18:00. The church was open continuously, and the audience was free to come and go as they wished. The music was the core of everything that happened, through compositions, improvisations, movements and dance.

Review by ARTSCENETRONDHEIM ( In Norwegian)
The invitation to our guests:

We have left everyday life as we know it. There are no clocks, nor everyday norm or rules. Gjestehus is life unfolding in the periphery of everything we know.

Here we welcome chaos as we blur the meaning of time, in an attempt to find new language, new music, new ways of being together. Here you can surrender to the flow, to what we do not know. To a state where art, music and life become one.

For five days you are invited to come and go as you please. Gjestehus is open to all and is always open. Feel free to bring a friend, a blanket, something warm to tuck yourself in with, because, if you´d like, you can move in with us, into the art. In here, you decide yourself who you want to be.

Here is no hierarchy, no rank. Gjestehus is a liminal state, an “either-or” – a collection of possibilities, that we can all shape. Is it possible that we, together, can empty ourselves of what we think we are, what we think we can, or who we should be?

This is how Gjestehus will evolve over time, in the day´s rhythm, with the music and together with everyone who is there at any time. The boundaries between musician and audience is constantly unstable.

The music will shape the house, and will be shaped simultaneously by everything that happens. Compositions goes in and out of improvisation, everyday turns into dance and in the dance we will all meet.

Can we find a ground zero together? Can we start something new?

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Ekkokammer 2.0 by Maja S.K. Ratkje and Trondheim Voices

Det är inte alls ovanligt att män har erektil dysfunktion i 20- eller 30-årsåldern, även om de annars är friska. Det är då vanligtvis en psykogen potensstörning. Den sexuella förstärkaren Viagra används för erektil dysfunktion (ED). Om du har fått läkemedel förskrivna av en läkare kan du beställa dem med hemleverans på uten resept. ED är när erektionen inte är tillräcklig för tillfredsställande sexuellt umgänge. Den aktiva ingrediensen i Viagra – Sildenafil – är en PDE-5-hämmare och säkerställer en stark och långvarig erektion vid sexuell upphetsning.

The voice is a unique instrument, inevitably connected to the body. Everybody has a voice – that can be shared and interpreted among all who can hear. A voice can soothe or shake, in recognition or provocation. Never boring! The music of the vocal cords has direct access to the human soul. Ekkokammer 2.0 is all about what it means to have a voice, metaphorically as well as physically. What do you wish to express with your voice? The singers’ own answers and thoughts to this question comes through in this piece. All spoken text is exact transcriptions from interviews with performers in Trondheim Voices, but the lines are spread among the singers, and we no longer remember who said what in the first place. But that doesn’t matter now.

The performance have played in theatres and festivals throughout Norway to raving reviews.
(Read Adressaavisa’s 6 starred review here: adresseavisen-20150928 EKKOkammer 2.0).

In addition to being one of today’s most celebrated Scandinavian contemporary composers, Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje uses her voice as the main instrument in and of itself. Learn more about Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje by clicking here or read Maja’s thoughts on the project here: Programtekst Ekkokammer 2.0.

Ekkokammer is also poetry. Find more info on the book “Av og til så kan det bli kunst” by Maja Ratjke and Trondheim Voices published by Trondheim Beijing by clicking here.

Autumn 2020 Echo Chamber was released on MNJ Records. Reed more here.

Video: Ole Martin Wold

Photo: Christina Undrum

Photo: Christina Undrum

Photo: Christina Undrum

Photo: Christina Undrum

Photo: Christina Undrum

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The Garden

“The Garden” is an open state of mind between body and technology, space and movement, soundscapes and everyone present.

Trondheim Voices wishes to create ”spaces of possibility” based on musical improvisation. The Garden is a continuation of the collaboration with artist Ann – Cathrin Hertling, who works with live art projects, and sound designer Asle Karstad.

Maccaphone (Asle Karstad and Lau Karstad) has developed the system Maccasolve, a mobile effect system, specifically for Trondheim Voices. The system creates an opportunity for the singers to directly produce their own vocal sound, and be fully mobile. Along with Ann – Catrin Hertling they have established a form of musical expedition, where movement and space are equally as important components as musical material in the improvisation process. Hertling and Trondheim Voices are constantly striving to expand the concert format and create spaces where fixed identities, rules and norms are challenged for both audiences and performers.

    “The Garden” was first presented at the foyer of Trøndelag Theatre, where the singers searched for connections between the body and technological applications, the room and audience and especially within the ensemble itself, creating resonating and unconscious connections to everything that constitutes the present moment; a garden where musical seeds were sown and allowed to grow wild, and where new meetings between people, space and music could occur.

    “The Garden” is an ongoing site-specific project that can take place at different venues.
    More info on Wild at Art here

    The project was a collaboration between Trondheim Voices and Wild at Art, Trøndelag Teater and Metamorf.

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Hundre Hemmeligheter (A Hundred Secrets)

Trondheim Voices featured in Circa Teater’s award winning musical “Hundre Hemmeligheter” at Trøndelag Theater in Trondheim. By way of sounddesigner Asle Karstad’s custom built portable and wireless effect module system “Maccasolve”, the Trondheim Voices created all instrumentation on stage by only using voice and live electronics. Together with composer Eirik Hegstad, Voices and Karstad were awarded the national prize for best audio visuel design in 2014.
Trondheim Voices and Karstad continue working with the Maccasolve system when exploring new concert formats all over Europe. Watch “Hundre Hemmeligheter” here.
Video credits: Anders Åhslund
Video & Bilde
+47 988 68 940

The press writes:

“This is new technology (…) and it works incredible well” Klassekampen

“Strong and convincing theater…” Dagbladet (5/6)

“Theater magic” Adresseavisen (5/6)

“Gleefull, lovely and scary” (Norwegian National Broadcasting)

“Mythical and magic (…) an impressive and complete show”(Klasseskampen)

More reviews in Norwegian:

Hundre Hemmeligheter is supported by Norsk kulturråd, Fond for utøvende kunstnere, Det norske komponistfond, Trondheim kommune og Sør-Trøndelag fylkeskommune

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Artist in Residence: Ann-Cathrin Hertling/Wild at Art

Our Artist in residence 2013 was Ann-Cathrin Hertling and her concept Wild at Art (

Hertling has been working with us in 2013-2015 , with her main materials which is time, relations, room/space and different kinds of state of emergency! 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.

We have worked together with different project through the years. The first large scale project was in 5.-9. of June 2013,  POPLUDIUM – a musical state of emergencywhere we inhabited the old shutdown main post office in the centre of Trondheim. We invited the audience to a five days musical expedition, to come and go as they wanted, to share their experiences with us of finding music of the moment. Popludium also produced the main material for our show at Molde Jazzfestival, Love Letters, the same year. We continued this conceptual way of working through the christmas concert “Gaven”, and finally “Gjestehus” at the st. Olav Festival, Trondheim in 2015. This time we inhabited a church for 5 days and nights of improvising with space, time, audience and the meeting of art and everyday life.

Hertling has been a multi-vitamin injection for Trondheim Voices with her widespread skills with people, art, reality and the great scheme of things! A treasure box that we have been so lucky to peek into for a while – thank you!

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POPLUDIUM– a musical state of emergency!

Popludium™ – by Trondheim Voices&Wild At Art from Trondheim Voices on Vimeo.

a five days musical state of emergency

where you can come and go as you wish

stay for as long as you want

we’ll be there

and the music

The old Post Office

Dronningens gt 10, Trondheim

 June 6th-9th

open daily  12-21

Grand Opening Wednesday  June 5th 8pm

Grand Galla Dance Night  Saturday June 8th (kr 100)8pm

Grand Finale Sunday June 9th 8 pm

NRK about POPLUDIUM by Anniken Sunde (In norwegian):


Review in Adresseavisen (Norwegian)

Photos by Christina Undrum Andersen

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Trondheim Voices and Batagraf: On Anodyne

Jon Balkes’ “On Anodyne” was commisioned by Trondheim Voices and premiered at the Molde Jazz Festival 2011 . The work is a suite for 9 voices and 4 percussionists. The percussion collective ”Batagraf” consists of Jon Balke and a handful of drummers that explore polyphonic techniques in new music with roots in West African Wolof music.
The components in this music is voice, drums and text. In “On Anodyne” Jon Balke made use of the poem “Anodyne” by the American poet Yusef Komunyakaa, who is concerned with timeless themes such as myths and sin, sensuality and jazz. The album On Anodyne was recorded in legendary Rainbow Studios and released on Grappa in the fall of 2016. The album was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy in the category best contemporary album of the year.

Jon Balke – composer and percussion
Helge Norbakken – percussion
Snorre Bjerck – percussion
Ingar Zach – percussion
Live Maria Roggen – vocals
Siri Gjære – vocals
Torunn Sævik – vocals
Tone Åse – vocals
Sissel Vera Pettersen – vocals
Anita Kaasbøll – vocals

By Yusef Komunyakaa

I love how it swells
into a temple where it is
held prisoner, where the god
of blame resides. I love
slopes & peaks, the secret
paths that make me selfish.
I love my crooked feet
shaped by vanity & work
shoes made to outlast
belief. The hardness
coupling milk it can’t
fashion. I love the lips,
salt & honeycomb on the tongue.
The hair holding off rain
& snow. The white moons
on my fingernails. I love
how everything begs
blood into song & prayer
inside an egg. A ghost
hums through my bones
like Pan’s midnight flute
shaping internal laws
beside a troubled river.
I love this body
made to weather the storm
in the brain, raised
out of the deep smell
of fish & water hyacinth,
out of rapture & the first
regret. I love my big hands.
I love it clear down to the soft
quick motor of each breath,
the liver’s ten kinds of desire
& the kidney’s lust for sugar.
This skin, this sac of dung
& joy, this spleen floating
like a compass needle inside
nighttime, always divining
West Africa’s dusty horizon.
I love the birthmark
posed like a fighting cock
on my right shoulder blade.
I love this body, this
solo & ragtime jubilee
behind the left nipple,
because I know I was born
to wear out at least
one hundred angels.

5 minutes of “On Anodyne” Concert – Trondheim Voices/Batagraf from Jon Balke on Vimeo.

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