Open post


Trondheim Voices has since the early 2000s been one of Norway’s most innovative and influential vocal ensembles.  Each singer’s individuality, and her timbre combined with the other voices, are in focus, resulting in a unique quality to the group´s collective sound. The album “Gjest Song” invites the listener into a timeless space, with music composed by Chrsitian Wallumrød.

In 2015, Trondheim Voices and Wilad at Art made a Gestamtkunstwerk called “Gjestehus”, a long durational performance which took place in a 5 days round the clock open event in Lademoen church during the Trondheim International Olavsfest the same year. Christian Wallumrød was invited to write music that was continuously performed and shaped day by day. Recorded in Melhus kirke in 2020, 5 years after the premiere, the material had time to mature further, without differencing itself too much from the original piece of art: 

«Christian´s compositions are mostly the same as the first performance, but on the album, we have opened it up a bit more and added some ideas that turned into collective improvisational processes. A big part of the recording is also the sound of the room and building where we sing, living it´s on life in interaction with the weather outside”. -Sissel Vera Pettersen, Trondheim Voices

Based on the original project´s placement and perspective of time, Christian Wallumrød has composed textless music based on a material which could be shaped in collaboration with the singers, and which could appear at very different times, be combined in various ways and withstand repetition and reuse through the relatively long-time span.

«I´m happy that Trondheim Voices took the initiative to record the music, and it´s been nice that it has been some time since it was originally performed and tested. To record something, create a sound, sequencing and form, will always bring forward its own logic and weight. To me it felt like a natural consequence, a type of continuation where we in collaboration focused on the sound and the musicality. I like that the room and sound of the place we worked have put such a distinct character on the recording. In some way it is also a peripheral reminder of the specific placement of the original performance situation”. – Christian Wallumrød 

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. Each singer’s individuality, and her timbre combined with the other voices, are in focus, resulting in a unique quality to the groups collective sound. Through their many collaborations with cutting edge composers like Christian Wallumrød, Marilyn Mazur, Jon Balke, Mats Gustavsson and Maja Ratkje, they have made solid statements as developers within vocal and improvised music. Trondheim Voices are exploring and developing new music in the interaction between the singers, the audience, their surroundings and new technology. 

Christian Wallumrød has worked as a musician and composer since 1992, and he is considered one of the most prominent and influential musicians of his generation in Norway. Following his debut on ECM Records (“No Birch”, 1996), he has released a string of albums with Christian Wallumrød Ensemble (CWE) on the same label, all to considerable critical acclaim. The album “Outstairs” (2013) was awarded the Norwegian Grammy´s (Spellemannprisen). Brutter (2012), Christian’s collaboration with drummer brother Fredrik, has released three albums (Hubro). Hubro is also the home for albums with CWE and Dans Les Arbres, as well as Wallumrød’s solo piano records Pianokammer (2015) and Speaksome (2021). Wallumrød has written commissioned works for Ensemble Allegria, Håkon Stene, Oslo Strykekvartett, BOA and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra.

Trondheim Voices – «Gjest Song»
Compositions by Christian Wallumrød

1. Open Aften 05:26
2. Sakte Draw 02:30
3. Hei Morrow 04:00
4. Sixth Anneks 05:35
5. Kor Somnolent 04:04
6. Fishdance 03:30
7. Bygda Triads 01:58
8. Urte Garden 05:24
9. Sol Sway 03:55
10. Sonic Mold 02:35

Trondheim Voices:
Sissel Vera Pettersen (artistic director)
Tone Åse
Natali Abrahamsen Garner
Torunn Sævik
Anita Kaasbøll
Heidi Skjerve
Ingrid Lode
Marianna Sangita Røe

All compositions by Christian Wallumrød
Arrangements and improvisations by Trondheim Voices on Sakte Draw, Hei Morrow, Kor Somnolent, Sol Sway and Sonic Mold

Mixed and produced by Kyrre Laastad.
Recorded by Kyrre Laastad in Melhus Kirke.
Mastered by Helge Sten at Audio Virus LAB

Photo by: Bjørn Ante
Open post

The Sound of Contemporary Living, Eirik Hegdal and Trondheim Voices

What is the sound of contemporary living? What is the soundtrack that follows our modern lives, our habits and everyday rituals? (-which sometimes can seem quite absurd taken out of context..) This was the starting point of what was supposed to become the staged performance “The Sound Of Contemporary Living”, a collaboration between Trondheim Voices, choreographer Jo Strømgren and composer Eirik Hegdal. The show was hit hard by the pandemic, and then again by a strike in the Norwegian theatre industry.

But, in a time where we have learned to readjust, the project now re-emerges as an album! The music and lyrics for «The Sound of Contemporary Living» is composed by Eirik Hegdal, and it shifts effortlessly between popular and contemporary, between composed and improvised, acoustic and ambient. The singers uses Maccatrols, designed by Asle Karstad, which enables live electronic processing of the voices. Hegdal has also contributed with programming and editing of the recorded music.

Trondheim Voices:
Sissel Vera Pettersen (artistic director)
Anita Kaasbøll
Heidi Skjerve
Kari Eskild Havenstrøm
Siri Gjære
Mia Marlen Berg

Mix by Kyrre Laastad & Eirik Hegdal
Master by Karl Klaseie
Cover design by Juliane Schütz
Produced by Eirik Hegdal
Co-produced by Sissel Vera Pettersen

Open post

Songs Around The World, by and with Lina Nyberg and Josefine Lindstrand for Trondheim Voices and Michala Østergård-Nielsen

Two of Sweden’s most influential and innovative vocalists and composers; Lina Nyberg and Josefine Lindstrand have together created a completely new work called Songs around the world. Songs around the world is a dizzying concert experience, specially composed for the spectacular Norwegian voice ensemble Trondheim Voices and the danish percussionist Michala Östergaard-Nielsen. Lina and Josefine also participate themselves. The music contains composed and improvised parts that reflect collected moments from around the world.

It all started with an idea to collect text fragments from people around the globe, colleagues of Lina and Josefine in the musicbusiness. These people have been asked a number of questions about their immediate experiences at a specific moment. What does it look like outside your window? What are your worries and longings? What was your last dream?

Based on these quotes, lyrics are created and impulses are given to musical processes and melodies that Nyberg and Lindstrand skillfully weave together to take the audience on a journey around the world.

Songs Around The World premiered at Umeå Jazz Festival October 2021.

A beautiful concert!  
salt peanuts, Jan Granlie

It is moving, enchanting and extremely talented.
Västerbottens-Kuriren, Adam Olofsson

A great and heartfelt experience
Nettavisen, Tor Hammerø

Lina Nyberg
Josefine Lindstrand

Trondheim Voices:
Heidi Skjerve
Tone Åse
Siri Gjære
Ingrid Lode
Anita Kaasbøll
Siril Malmedal Hauge

Michala Østergaard-Nielsen

About Lina Nyberg:
Lina is one of Swedens foremost jazz singers and composers. Born in Stockholm in 1970 and educated at the Royal Academy of Music. Since her record debut with Esbjörn Svensson in 1993, she has produced 20 albums in her own name. She has toured the world, in recent years in addition to Scandinavia, also in Canada, Portugal, Germany, Argentina and Brazil. “The Swedish vocalists writing is stunning, especially for strings, and her singing is more personal than ever.” DownBeat magazine (5/5)

About Josefine Lindstrand:
Josefine Lindstrand is a highly acclaimed jazzsinger, composer, and pianist living in Stockholm Sweden. For more than 15 years she has been one of the leading singers on the jazzscene in Scandinavia, but also around Europe. A part from making her own music, touring around the world with her mesmerizing band, she has written commissions for choir, big band and movies. For over 10 years she has been the singer in british pianoplayer Django Bates Band Human Chain, and has performed and recorded with US-pianist Uri Caine. “She is something of a phenomenon, with her fabulously imaginative songs, her theatrical performance as well as her phenomenally exciting voice”, press quote from her last record “While we sleep”.

About Michala Østergaard Nielsen:
Michala Østergaard-Nielsen is a drummer / percussionist and composer from Copenhagen. She has a very personal expression and is described as having an almost Zen Buddhist relationship to drumming, improvisation and music. She explores the drums both as a rhythm instrument and sound wise with great sensitivity and presence. She has participated in countless recordings with various bands, and also runs her own projects such as “Østergaard Art Quartet”. In 2018, Michala was awarded the prize “Jazzkannan” from the Swedish Jazz Association: “This year’s ”Jazzkannan” award goes to a spiritual and responsive composer and musician, whose universe is filled with poetic vibrations that lead to instant love.”

Open post

Folklore by Helge Sten and Ståle Storløkken

(traditional customs, tales, sayings, dances, or art forms preserved among a people).

Monumental vocal

Get ready for an extraordinary concert performance when two of Norway’s most distinguished sound artists, writes music for some of their countrys finest experimental vocalists.

What happens when 2/3 of the Norwegian power-trio “Supersilent” use Trondheim Voices as a living breathing instrument?

In this work, the pioneering vocal ensemble uses its voices as one massive microtonal instrument – replacing words with tones, exploring multi-voice drones and sounds in a timeless chant-like manner. 

Folklore draws on inspiration from medieval times, ancient rituals and the art of folklore.  

The expression folklore is a collective term for tradition-led art and knowledge, which is shared between generations through actions from human to human. It has often belonged in the informal, non-commercial part of culture.

Helge Sten and Ståle Storløkken’s work Folklore explores the distance between acoustic and electronic sound, harmonic and microtonal music, the known and unknown. Time ceases and opens up for new ways of listening.


Sissel Vera Pettersen
Anita Kaasbøll
Tone Åse
Kari Eskild Havenstrøm
Natali Abrahamsen Garner
Heidi Skjerve
Torunn Sævik
Ingrid Lode
Siri Gjære

Light design: Ingrid Skanke Høsøien
Costumes & styling: Sissel Vera Pettersen/Ida Eilertsen


Video: André Løyning

Photo: André Løyning

Photo: Thor-Egil Leirtrø

Photo: Thor-Egil Leirtrø

Photo: Thor-Egil Leirtrø

Photo: Thor-Egil Leirtrø

Open post

Folklore by Ståle Storløkken and Helge Sten

Folklore (Traditional Customs, Tales, Sayings, Dances, Or Art Forms Preserved Among a People)
by Ståle Storløkken and Helge Sten

The celebrated improvising vocal group Trondheim Voices and two of Norway’s most important composer/producers, Helge Sten and Stale Storlokken, explore the boundaries of sound in a series of thirteen other-worldly pieces that act on the ears of the listener like magical invocations to a secret ceremony. 

Led by Sissel Vera Pettersen, the nine female singers combine in rich and varied ensemble effects, from choral polyphony to extended-vocal techniques that recall Cathy Berberian interpreting Luciano Berio, or the expressive use of voices by Norway’s Arne Nordheim. Throughout, the intense focus of the music, with the sequence of pieces alternating between compositions by Sten and by Storlokken, helps to cast a powerful cumulative spell. Dark, ritualistic chants are mixed with whoops, wails and ecstatic ullulations, while the acoustic purity of the unaccompanied voices is brought into sharp relief by a very sparing use of subtle electronic enhancement and rhythmic percussion. Recorded with perfect clarity by Jo Ranheim at Ora Studio, and mixed and produced by Helge Sten and Stale Storlokken, the result is a work of great beauty and meditative power. 

Originating in a 2018 commission for Sten and Storlokken to compose for Trondheim Voices, ‘Folklore’ has more to do with the present than the non-specific historical past so often associated with ‘folk’ forms. Like Ari Astar’s hallucinogenic folk-horror film ‘Midsummar’ from 2019, there’s an abiding concern with ritual and magic, evident in song titles such as ‘Chant For The Multipresence’, ‘Facing the Outerworld’ and ‘All Stand, Head Erect, Eyes Open’, and the emphatic, wordless intonation of the ensemble. 

“The overall idea was to base the full piece around the concept and scope of folkloristic traditions”, says Helge Sten, who composed seven of the thirteen songs as well as co-producing with Stale Storlokken. “I think this helped us to find a common platform that would support our different approaches to composing music, and thus consolidate the various parts into one unified piece. Folklore traditions often point towards an abstract, esoteric and mental landscape, which opens up a wide scope for composing music. The initial idea was to work heavily with digital sound processing technology, focusing on the human voice, but before we started work an almost opposite idea started to take shape: being composers and performers using technology extensively, it seemed more intriguing to explore ideas in the direction of crude and primitive folk traditions, where the human voice has always been central in language and music. These traditions often connect nature, society, rituals and the esoteric into powerful imagery that’s often lacking in today’s technology-driven society.”

Referencing the work of the influential Cornish artist and writer Ithell Colquhoun (1906-1988) and the great contemporary German film-maker Werner Herzog, Helge Sten feels that the use of folklore does not restrict experimental artists to the world of the past. “It is very much a reflection of current and future mysteries that we in many ways choose to ignore, much in the same way we choose to ignore the powerful tools brought to us by esoteric folkloristic traditions”, he says. “The compositions on the album are not derived from folk themes, even though it seems unavoidable to explore these ideas without some reference to folk music and culture. We also worked extensively with quarter-tones throughout, which is closer to the world of folk music than the chromatic twelve note scale, as well as using a set of microtonal handbells. Another interesting aspect of choosing the folkloristic traditions as a base for our work was that it slowly reintroduced some of the technology we initially rejected, and helped to make the overall piece much more integrated than we had anticipated.”

This sense of integration extends to the experience of listening to ‘Folklore’, too. The sepulchral-sounding reverb of the intensely focused sound, the huge dynamic range of the recording, and the sheer beauty and collective strength of the ensemble’s voices, help to elicit a very powerful response. Whether heard attentively or as an ambient, contemplative backdrop, ‘Folklore’ acts as a kind of magical sacrament. 

Helge Sten (born 1971, also known as Deathprod) is a composer, musician and producer who over three decades has become perhaps the most influential figure on the contemporary Norwegian music scene. A founder-member of the group Supersilent, and a mainstay of the Hubro, Smalltown Supersound and Rune Grammofon labels, he has composed for Ensemble Modern, collaborated with Biosphere, among many others, and produced many of Norway’s new wave of experimental artists. 

Stale Storlokken (born 1969) is one of the most prolific and eclectic figures in Norwegian jazz and experimental music, with a recording career dating back to 1991. He has longstanding musical relationships with a host of artists, from Terje Rypdal and Arve Henriksen to the bands Supersilent, Motorpsycho and Elephant9.

Trondheim Voices, voices & percussion:
Sissel Vera Pettersen (artistic director)
Anita Kaasbøll
Tone Åse
Ingrid Lode
Torunn Sævik
Kari Eskild Havenstrøm
Heidi Skjerve
Siri Gjære
Natali Abrahamsen Garner

1. Chant For The Multipresence
2. Ascend
3. Facing The Outerworld
4. Aether III
5. Descend
6. Choral
7. Aether I
8. Illumination II
9. Counter-Earth
10. Illumination I
11. All Stand, Head Erect, Eyes Open
12. Facing The Innerworld
13. Aether II

Ståle Storløkken: Kyma processing track 3, 6, 7, 10.
Helge Sten: Electronics track 5.

Mixed and produced by Ståle Storløkken & Helge Sten.
Recorded by Jo Ranheim at Øra Studio.
Aether III was recorded by Ingar Hunskaar at Nasjonal Jazzscene.
Mastered by Helge Sten at Audio Virus LAB

Track 1, 3, 6, 8, 10 & 12 composed by Ståle Storløkken.
Track 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 & 13 composed by Helge Sten.

Cover design: Yokoland (Aslak Gurholt & Thomas Nordby)
Hubro Music / Grappa Musikkforlag 2020

Trondheim Voices is a department of Midtnorsk Jazzsenter, and is supported by the Norwegian Arts Counsil and the city of Trondheim.

Photo Carsten Aniksdal and Thor Egil Leirtrø
Photo André Løyning
Cover design by Yokoland (Aslak Gurholt & Thomas Nordby)
Open post

Echo Chamber 3.0 / Ekkokammer 3.0 by Maja S.K. Ratkje and Trondheim Voices

Echo Chamber 3.0 is a concert performance for the ear, by Maja S. K. Ratkje written for Trondheim Voices in 2020. The piece is a continuation of Ekkokammer 2.0 which is a staged performance, premiered in 2015.

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. Echo Chamber 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.

Levitra Generico (Vardenafil) in farmacia è venduto in farmacia senza prescrizione medica, quindi è disponibile a chiunque. Il risultato si nota già dopo la prima assunzione, per l’uso successivo si consiglia di ridurre il dosaggio.

Ekkokammer 3.0 and Echo Chamber 3.0 is performed by Trondheim Voices:
Mia Marlen Berg, Siri Gjære, Kari Eskild Havenstrøm, Anita Kaasbøll, Ingrid Lode, Sissel Vera Pettersen, Heidi Skjerve, Torunn Sævik and Tone Åse 
Introduction read by Marianne Meløy

Produced by Maja S. K. Ratkje and Marianne Meløy Recorded and mixed by Jo Ranheim at Øra Studio December 2019 and March 2020 
Mastered by Maja S. K. Ratkje at Svartskog June 2020
Artistic director Trondheim Voices and co-producer Sissel Vera Pettersen

Script by Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje
Music by Maja S. K. Ratkje/Trondheim Voices,
”Moonlight Shadow” by Mike Oldfield,
”Searching” by Mia Marlen Berg,
”Bruremarsj fra Gudbrandsdalen” (trad.) arranged by Øistein Sommerfeldt,
”Working on a building” (trad.) and various quotes

Cover photo by Christina Undrum Andersen
Cover design by Ernesta Vala
MNJ Records 2020
Supported by Norsk Kulturråd & Trondheim Kommune

Open post

Trondheim Voices and Asle Karstad – ROOMS & RITUALS

In Rooms & Rituals each singer’s extended vocal techniques, individuality and timbre results in a unique quality to the groups collective tone. Through the use of their unique effect controllers “Maccatrols”, they create wide electroacoustic soundscapes, subtle noise, hauntingly beautiful chorales, and ambient beats. Free improvisation plays a vital part in their concerts, but also incorporating original compositions from the group members and music written for the ensemble by composers such as Jon Balke, Ståle Storløkken and Christian Wallumrød.

About the artistic collaboration with Asle Karstad
Norways leading sound designer Asle Karstad has exclusively developed and designed the effect controller ”Maccatrol” for the ensemble: a small wireless box carried on the body, enabling each singer to move freely, individually processing themselves in the room, using effects and loops. The singers perform within a surround setup, sharing space with the audience and breaking down the barrier of the conventional stage setting. This gives the audience a unique listening experience.

Richard Williams, music publicist, about Trondheim Voices and Asle Karstad: Rooms & Rituals
These voices are like no choir you ever heard. They can form pale clouds of sound, or pools of glowing light, or bright shafts of pure sound. Phrases can soar before suddenly reversing direction and travelling backwards, but along a different tangent. Rising from the luminous sound beds — sometimes lush, sometimes austere – float a disembodied melody from an ancient world, an overheard conversation, a whisper from the past, the rumblings of a distant storm, the babble of children, or something that sounds like the ambient chatter of an asteroid belt.

For both the singers and their audience, this is music in a constant state of discovery.

-This is art., GB

-Founded on creativity, bravery and great vocal skills – it makes up a triumph of true originality. Terje Mosnes, NO

-Dramatic, theatrical, daring. Musikkultur, DE

-A hurricane of creativity.. A real rough diamond, FR

-Extremely good listeners discover ways to new worlds, Morgenbladet, NO

Rooms & Rituals
Costume design: Henrik Vibskov
Photo: Martynas Milkevicius

Rooms & Rituals
Costume design: Henrik Vibskov
Photo: Martynas Milkevicius

Rooms & Rituals
Costume design: Henrik Vibskov
Photo: Martynas Milkevicius

Trondheim VoicesPhoto: Peter Adamik
Jazzfest Berlin 2017, Berlin Festspiele

Photo: Thor Egil Leirtrø
Dokkhuset, Trondheim. Fall 2017

Asle Karstad
Photo: Hanne Hvattum

Open post
Trondheim Voices, Jon Balke, Asle Karstad

A World of Daughters: Trondheim Voices, Jon Balke, Asle Karstad and strings

The woman’s role as creative and supporting force throughout history forms the basis when Trondheim Voices, Jon Balke, Asle Karstad and the strings sets music to the words of the poet Yusef Komunyakaa. “A World of Daughters” premiered October 2019 in Munich, as a collaborative project between Trondheim Voices, Jon Balke and the Munich Chamber Orchestra. Based on the poem of the same name by Yusef Komunyakaa, Balke has composed a piece of music for strings, voices and electronics that illuminates the poem from several angles. The poem is written in a semi-abstract tradition, using images to describe the role of women as a creative force throughout human history. Pulitzer Prize winner Komunyakaa, with his African-American background, is a distinctive musical and rhythmic poet who writes in a pulsating language. The work is written as a framework for the dialogue between the string ensemble and the singers, and allows for Trondheim Voices’ unique abilities as improvisers and sound painters.

In the concerts at Moldejazz 2020 and Olavsfestdagene 2020, the first part of the music also includes a “remixed” version of the previous collaboration between Balke and Trondheim Voices: “On anodyne. ” Similarly this collaboration based on a poem by Komunyakaa, but then written for percussion and voices. This work is presented here in a new version for strings, voices and electronics, which together makes a rich presentation of Komunyaka’s musical poetry.

As an important part of the piece, Trondheim Voices uses the wireless controller, maccatrol, made by Norway’s leading sound designer Asle Karstad. He has with his deep knowledge of the ensemble and its individual performers, designed and tailored the maccatrol; small boxes that are carried on the body and allow singers to manipulate their voices electronically and wirelessly. The sound comes from the voices, and magnificent ambient landscapes, beautiful melodies and abstract soundscapes are improvised in the moment, intuitively and as if the singers were a common breathing organism. Karstad puts the finishing touches on the momentary music, creating a space within the room through his surround mix.

Jon Balke – composer and electronics
Asle Karstad – maccatrol and sound design
Trondheim Voices:
Sissel Vera Pettersen (artistic leader)
Siri Gjære
Tone Åse
Live Maria Roggen
Kari Eskild Havenstrøm
Anita Kaasbøll
Torunn Sævik
Heidi Skjerve

Munich 2019:
Clemens Hagen, conductor
Munich Chamber Orchestra

Moldejazz 2020 and Olavsfestdagene 2020:
Christian Eggen, conductor
Trondheim Soloists

A World of Daughters 

By Yusef Komunyakaa 

Say licked clean at birth. Say
weeping in the tall grass, where
this tantalizing song begins,
birds perched on a crooked branch
over a grave of an unending trek
into the valley of cooling waters.
The soil’s thirst, lessons of earth
unmoor the first tongue. Say
I have gone back, says the oracle,
counting seasons & centuries, undoing fault
lines between one generation & next,
as she twirls sackcloth edged with pollen,
& one glimpses what one did not know. Say
this is where the goat spoke legends ago
in the ring of fire to deliver a sacrifice.
To feel signs depends on how & why
the singer’s song puckers the mouth.
Well, I believe the borrowed rib
story is the other way round, entangled
in decree, blessing, law & myth. One
only has to listen to nightlong pleas
of a mother who used all thousand
chants & prayers of clay, red ocher
blown from the mouth onto the high
stone wall, retracing land bridge
to wishbone. My own two daughters
& granddaughter, the three know how
to work praise & lament, ready to sprout
wings of naked flight & labor. Yes,
hinged into earth, we rose from Lucy
to clan, from clan to tribe, & today
we worship her sun-polished bones,
remembering she is made of questions.
No, mama is not always the first word
before counting eggs in the cowbird’s
nest. It begins in memory. Now, say
her name, say Dinknesh, mother of us all.

Scroll to top