Amund Ulvestad Sound Vision

The Composer

The Composer is a musical instrument intended to symbolize the compositional process, and, in extension, cultural development in general. It consists of 12 motorized music boxes, containing melodies such as Jingle Bells, Frere Jacques, The Internationale and I Did It My Way - cliches of the Western musical canon. I have used The Composer both in improvisation with direct control and as a standalone installation with algorithmic control. The idea is to recombine snippets of each melody into new phrases and chords. Much like in a visual collage, the different cut-outs take on new meanings and connotations as they contextualize each other. I see this process as analogous to traditional composition and other cultural practices, where the familiar - what else? - is deconstructed and rearranged to create new forms and patterns.

Composer front

Composer back


The sound and light installation Schizophonium was exhibited at Trøndelag Centre for Contemporary Art in 2015. This work is an exploration of the separation of sound from its original source and acoustic environment - a phenomenon described as "schizophonia" by Dr. R. Murray Schafer. The installation consists of nine recordings of nine very different musical ensembles and solo musicians performing at different places at different times. Each ensemble was instructed to play one note only over a course of four to five minutes. Each recording is reproduced in the room by nine dedicated speakers and simultaneously transformed to 220V electric streams feeding nine fluroescent lighting tubes. The idea is to show how the recordings - i.e. extracts of different times, situations and musical intentions - recontextualize each other and blend together to form new, supernatural structures.

^ Short promo video for Schizophonium.


SKIMR is a video projection system intended for live use in musical and theatrical contexts. It was created in an attempt to communicate the conflicting feelings experienced when seeing a corpse: The familiar human is only a fragile projection on inanimate, neutral matter. The stark contrast between the mask's statuses as subject and object is what interests me in this work. The video below is a very short snippet showing the drastic, almost unbelievable transition from "alive" to "dead". I will have a longer and more involved video of SKIMR up here soon.

SKIMR in use

^ SKIMR in use in my performance Objekt.

SKIMR closeup


In a cooperative project with students of architecture at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the Metamorf biennale in Trondheim, Norway, I made three low budget sound transformers in 2012. Two were ment to be worn like headsets whereas the third was mounted on the architectural sculpture made by the students. They were made from the cheapest possible materials; four red plastic 1 euro vases and a couple of metal bowls from IKEA, two bucket handles and a couple of metal angles. The idea was to have the audience listen to their surroundings "with new ears", enticing them to explore the soundscape as active listeners. To that end, I found, less is more.


^ A rough sketch of the installation.


^ The bowl transformer featured in a TEDx presentation by professor Øyvind Brandtsegg.

Bernt Isak Wærstad

^ Bernt Isak Wærstad experiencing new sonic dimensions.