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. The individual strands cluster, entwine, swell, and then disperse, perhaps to leave a single voice exposed in all its natural beauty before others return to take up its cues and head off in a new direction. 

Richard Williams, music publicist and former director, Jazzfest Berlin


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, 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 is a pool of 11 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
  • Kari Eskild Havenstrøm
  • Natali Garner

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
  • Helge Sten
  • Terje Bjørklund
  • Siri Gjære
  • Eirik Hegdal

Commissioned works, projects and releases:

2020             The Sound of Contemporary Living. A collaboration with Jo Strømgren Kompani. Composer, Eririk Hegdal

2019              A World of Daughters by Jon Balke

2018              Folklore by Helge Sten and Ståle Storløkken

2018              Album release: Trondheim Voices + Asle Karstad: Rooms &

2017               Trondheim Voices + Asle Karstad: Rooms & RitualsRituals, Grappa

2016               Album release On Anodyne, Grappa
(nominated for Norwegian Grammy, contemporary music.)

2016               Abgesange der Posthauses with Goro Tronsmo and  Galleri Maria Veie, Berlin Art Week

2016               Space Unfolding : Siri Gjære, Asle Karstad, Laurents Theiner, Whitebox, Munchen

2015               Ekkokammer 2.0 by Maja Ratkje, Kamfest

2015                Gjestehus with Ann Cathrin Hertling, Christian Wallumrødand Asle Karstad, Olavsfestdagene

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)

2013               Popludium with Ann Cathrin Hertling
(nominated for UT-awards )

2011               On Anodyne by Jon Balke, Moldejazz, Olavsfestdagene

2011               Stagetracker@NIME 2011

2010               Album release: Improvoicing, MNJ Records

2009               Improvoicing by  Mazur/Balke/Gustavsson, Moldejazz

2008:              BINGO!! Rosseland/Storløkken/Roggen/Gjære/Cirka Teater, Olavsfestdagene

2006:              Norwegian Sanctus by Terje Bjørklund with the Trondheim Soloists, Arve Henriksen and Stian Westerhus. Moldejazz, Olavsfestdagene

2004/2005:   Raknes/Roggen works, Trondheim Kammermusikkfestival


Moers Festival (2019)
Punkt (2019)
Nordic Music Days (2019)
Enjoy Jazz (2019)
Soddjazz (2019)
Jazzfest, Trondheim (2010, 2019)
Jazzkaar, Tallin/Pärnu (2018)
Molde International Jazz festival (2003,2009,2011,2014,2018)
Whitebox, Munchen (2015, 2018)
Kongsberg Jazzfestival (2017)
Jazzfest Berlin(Berlin Festspiele) (2017)
Berlin Art Week (2016)
Ultima, Oslo (2016)
Olavsfestdagene, Trondheim (2006,2008,2011,2015)
Trondheim Chamber music Festival (2004,2015)
Kimen Kulturhus (2015)
Jazz Ahead, Bremen (2015)
Vossajazz (2013)
EJN (2013)
Palatia Jazzfestival(2013)
Jazzfest Ung, Trondheim (2012)
Trondheim Calling (2011)
Steinkjefestivalen (2011)
NIME,Oslo (2011)
Oslo Church Music Festival (2009)


Scroll to top