The Concrescence Project: A Short Description

  • The Concrescence Project aims to bring together musical materials developed over the past half-century. It is an aesthetically orientated research project that intends to bring about innovations in vocal practise and composition*. The project also includes theoretical research and pedagogical practise. One important objective is to spread knowledge of a variety of existing vocal traditions in the hope of creating openings for new forms of musical expression based on the unpredictable synergy between them. The point of departure for the forthcoming seminars is an attempt to combine Western classical singing techniques with Mongolian harmonic chant (”diphonic” chant) and Norwegian traditional kveding. Models for possible syntheses of these elements may be found within”sound objects” of the French tradition of musique concrète.
  • Professor Lasse Thoresen (Oslo) is the artistic director of the project which is at present supported of the Norwegian Academy of Music.
  • The project will offer the opportunity to reflect on the compositional possibilities of these vocal innovations. An understanding of the relationship between tone colour/harmonic structure and the movement of the fundamental note requires a study of microtonality. Vocal exercises for improving note accuracy will be developed to help the singers master microtonal intervals more easily.
  • Improvisation is favoured as a way of exploring the potential of new vocal sonorities
  • The project was initiated through seminars during the Ultima Festival in Oslo 2005 and 2006; contributing participants were Nordic Voices. dr. Tran Quang Hai (Paris), folk singer Berit Opheim (Norway), prof. and composer Lasse Thoresen (Norway), senior lecturer Gro Shetelig Kruse (Norway), prof. and composer Guy Reibel (Paris),  assistant professor Benoît Aubigny(Paris/Poitier), prof. and composer Georg Friedrich Haas (Austria), dr. Sven Ahlbäck (Stockholm), singer/composer David Hykes.
  • The Ultima Festival through its director Geir Johnsen commissioned a number of compositions for Nordic Voices; they were first performed 15 October, 2006. The composers were Georg Friederich Haas (Austria/Switzerland), Guy Reibel (Paris), Bernat Vivancos (Spain/Catalonia), Ragnhild Berstad (Norway); Henrik Ødegaard (Norway) and Lasse Thoresen.
  • At present a pedagogical project at the Norwegian Academy of Music is now passing into its second year, having begun autumn 2006.
  • The project will be represented at the Tenso Days (Paris, June 2007), The Nordic Music Days (Norrköping, Sweden, August 2007) and at the Nordic - Baltic Symposium for Conductors (Bergen, Norway September 2007) locating possible collaborators in the European Community for creating international an international network.
  • Both theoretical and applied research projects are linked to the Concrescence Project:
    - dr. Benoît Aubigny: ‘Modèles (sonores) et procès élliptiques’ (IDEAC, Sorbonne)
    -  Senior Lecturer Gro Shetelig Kruse: Microtonal Solfège for singers (The Norwegian Academy of Music)
    - Lecturer Guro Gravem Johannesen:  Vocal Improvisation and microtonality.
  • The Norwegian Academy of Music is preparing to sponsor a major research project conducted by a team under the auspices of Concrescence, in which considerations of microtonality will be a major focus.
  • We are trying to build a network of individuals, singers, choirs, conductors, composers, and researchers that work with related projects. Please contact us:

*The word concrescence (from Latin con=together, crescere=grow) was originally coined by the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead and describes the process whereby various characteristics are brought together to form something concrete in the physical world.

Programme: English

Programme: Norvegian



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