Photo: Ellen Inga

Photo: Ellen Inga

Impossible Situations

a Collective Experiment 


What if, instead of creating a piece of chamber music, one were to use the chamber, that is, the performance space, as an element in the composition? What if, instead of writing for piano and violin, one were to compose for a pianist and a violinist? In brief, how can simple changes of perspective can allow for previously absurd ideas - or rather, musical dreams - to become possibilities? 


Impossible Situations: A Collective Experiment (IS:CNE) is a platform for artistic creation initiated by Duo Hellqvist/Amaral to facilitate dialogue, long-term projects and exchange between artists, as well as between artists and audiences. IS:CNE artists meet, think and work together regularly in open workshops, organized independently or in partnership with festivals and curators, in order to create, out of the intimacy of the chamber music situation, spaces that extend instrumental, scenic and performative boundaries  along with the very role of the participating artists and the way they interact. The collective includes Duo Hellqvist/Amaral, Filippa Berglund (architect/performance design), Max Sauer (sound design), Lars Petter Hagen, Marina Rosenfeld, Simon Løffler, Ida Lundén, Ricardo Eizirik, Catherine Lamb, Daniel Moreira, Kaj David and Øyvind Torvund (composers)


IS:CNE believes in the transformative power of artistic performances and their impact on real-life processes and situations. By tweaking and twisting givens and conventions of musical performance IS:CNE challenges involved artists to think differently and to question what skills, expectations, relationships and traditions should still be kept today and how they might be used as sources of renewal.


In IS:CNE, performers and composers participate together in the production of the musical discourse. Activities such as talks and lectures emphasize the role of the performers as initiative-takers at a conceptual and artistic level and as significant dialogue partners in the practical and theoretical discourse of experimental music, on the same foot as composers and music scholars. Traditional hierarchies are further dismantled through the engagement of a sound director that participates in all performances and takes part in the dialogue with composers at the same level as instrumental performers.


While a number of IS:CNE composers construct own visual and/or sound devices, the project also engages a number of artists from other disciplines to explore the visual dimension of musical performance, among them an architect who provides advice on how to design performances and connect the new compositions of IS:CNE in cohesive concert concepts adapted to different venues and festivals.


Seen the lack of infrastructure for collective work for larger and long-term artistic projects in the Nordic experimental music scene, IS:CNE functions as a bridge to stimulate artists to exchange knowledge, before, after and during the creative process, both through structured activities and through spontaneous meetings, thus establishing lasting bonds and connections. The IS:CNE methodology is elaborated in workshops organized in collaboration with festivals or other partner institutions. Each composer involved in the project takes part in at least three workshops, at early stages of conceptual work (introductory workshop), before the first performance of a composition and after the premiere (finishing workshop). Finishing workshops are rare occasions to work on, review and evaluate pieces collectively.


The result of IS:CNE’s workshops are new compositions and a series of concert concepts to be shown in various festivals and venues for experimental music such as Kontraklang (DE), Cycle (ISL), Disko Bay Greenland, SPOR (DK), Time of Music (FI), Eclat Festival (DE), Borealis (NO), National Sawdust (US, tbc) and Ny Musikk (NO) in 2017 (pilot phase), 2018-19.


IS:CNE activities are presented to the general public through lectures and other outreach events connecting music and issues of broader social relevance, as well as to a more specialized audience through seminars and open rehearsals. In addition, an invited photographer acts as “external eye”, documenting the project with total artistic freedom. The material thus collected will be shown in a final showcase including concerts, an exhibition and online publications.


Coming up: 

November/December 2018, Ny Musikk Tour (NO). More soon.


Impossible Situations Workshop and Concert, 2-6 May 2018 at SPOR Festival, Aarhus (DK).  With Duo Hellqvist/Amaral, Max Sauer (sound direction), Filippa Berglund (architect), Ellen Inga (photographer), composers Ida Lundén and Daniel Moreira. The concert includes work by Lisa Streich, Daniel Moreira, Alberto Bernal and Ida Lundén. Pictures by Ellen Inga.


Impossible Situations Workshop and Concert, 6-10 March 2018 at Borealis Festival, Bergen (NO).  With Duo Hellqvist/Amaral, Max Sauer (sound direction), Filippa Berglund (architect), composers Cathrine Lamb and Daniel Moreira. The concert included work by Marina Rosenfeld and premieres by Cathrine Lamb and Daniel Moreira. Photos by Cat Lamb, Klaudia Kot, Xi Lin and Alicia Liu.



Impossible Situations Workshop, 18-21 January 2018 at Khimaira, Stockholm. With Duo Hellqvist/Amaral, Max Sauer (sound direction), Filippa Berglund (architect), Ellen Inga (photographer) and composers Lars Petter Hagen, Cathrine Lamb, Simon Løffler and Daniel Moreira. Photos: Ellen Inga.


Impossible Situations Workshop and Concert, 9 -12 September 2017  at Cycle Music and Arts Festival (ISL).: Open workshop with Duo Hellqvist/Amaral, Max Sauer (sound direction), Filippa Berglund (architect), Ellen Inga (photographer) and composer Ida Lundén  at the Kopavugur Art Museum. Concert with works by Marina Rosenfeld (WP of My red red blood in duo-version) , Ida Lundén (WP) and Øyvind Torvund. Photos by Ellen Inga.


Impossible Situations Kick-off and Concert, 20 February 2017 at Nordic Embassies and Kontraklang Concert Series in Heimathafen, Berlin (DE): Works by Øyvind Torvund, Kaj Duncan David, Natasha Barrett, Johannes Kreidler and Carola Bauckholt. 


Current repertoire includes:

Øyvind Torvund (NO):  Plans for future violin and piano pieces (2016) for violin, piano, video and electronics

Kaj Duncan David (DK)Miniatures for violin, keyboard, electronics and four light bulbs (2016)

Marina Rosenfeld (US):  My red, red blood (duo version 2017) for violin, piano, video-score and electronics  

Ida Lunden (SE): Ba-ro-me-ter for violin, tape or live electronics and piano with pedals(2017)

Daniel Moreira (BR): The Delivery (2018) for piano, violin, video and electronics

Alberto Bernal (ES):  numbers #2 “variations on a theme by Brahms” violin, piano, video and  electronics  (2018)

Catherine Lamb (US):Prisma interims for violin and rainbow synthesizer (2018)

Christian Winter Christensen (DK): New work for piano og violin (tbc)

Simon Løffler (DK): New work for violinist and pianist (2019)

Lars Petter Hagen (NO): New work for piano, violin, electronics and light (2018)




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