March 6.-15. Cesilie Kverneland and “Limbo”

14. June 2017

I did not really know Cesilie when I asked her to have a duo session with me, so it was a relief that from the first moment, she was very positive and bubbling over with ideas. Cesilie is a great dancer who works for, among others, Sita Ostheimer (D) and James Cousins Company (UK). She is also a choreographer.

Cesilie has her dance education from University of Stavanger and Peridance Capezio Dance Theater in New York City. She studied choreography at California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles and Master of Arts in Contemporary Dance from London Contemporary Dance School in London.

We hit it off quickly. Cesilie was really into both the underlying philosophical part of the Duos Project and the part about communicating cross-disciplinary as equals. Meaning that our “session” was not her requesting music to accompany her choreography, neither a request from me that she make a choreography to my music. It was building a piece together, simultaneously. And we decided to make a real piece, as far as we could get in 1,5 weeks, not just a one-day jam. Tou scene gave us an artist residency in March, preprod time plus show the result for an audience. We had conversations during the weeks before the residency, during which we gradually circled in a theme. I spent some time in a refugee camp during that period. So we were inspired by that theme, and also by our conversations about themes related to the Duos project. And on March 6th we went to work.

During the residency, we started as a conversation, showing each other small ideas. I played Cesilie a small taste of my music that she could draw inspiration from. The she showed me a bit of choreography that I could draw inspiration from. And it went on back and forth like that for a while until we had a unified idea, and from then it was free flow. Everything in the performance we did ourselves, dance and music of course, but also text writing, voice and instrument recordings, lights, you name it. We were outside our comfort zones and we enjoyed it so much that we earned ourselves the nickname “positive punks” by the staff at Tou Scene.

You can find video of the whole 30 minute performance here, but this is a short video excerpt:

In this -my- year on working grant, the composer big picture angle has seemed a bit distant, as there were many other things I had to do that has to do with being able to PLAY this instrument of electronics. My composition practise has always been closely connected with my own playing. With electronics I needed a learning period and just play around. So while that has been going on, I have missed the pure composing part, it has somehow felt a bit less productive, but now I am starting to feel this new skill set, how It gives me many new possibilities. In the process of making LIMBO I could take a step back, focus on making tracks, large form, mixing, the big picture, framing. I played myself all the acoustic instruments I recorded. But at the performance, I for once did not play instruments live, other than the laptop. Conclusion: This way of working was really really fun, and I’d like to do it again. Also it would be great to work more on LIMBO to take it to the next level.

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