Forum Artistic Research

Lecture Performance

Expanding Artistic Dimensions of Conducting. Listening Actions to Create, Explore and Connect

Halldis Rønning

on  Fri, 15:15in  Neuer Saalfor  30min

I will present some ongoing research related to listening as a creative artistic practice and what role transdisciplinarity can have in that context. I will, in a video, refer to an art project that relates to this. I am a conductor. These are some of the established conventions and norms for a conductor: She interprets a score / She performs notated music / She uses a given moving pattern to organize and shape the music / She leads the rehearsal process and has the role that forms most of the result / Her artistic role is limited to the rehearsing and performing of the music. What if all of these conventions were dissolved and there is a new collaborative, creative space to be defined? What processes, results and insights could arise from this new situation? In this research project I challenge our conceptions of what a conductor can be and do. I cross the borders of my profession in the direction of performance art, dance and composition. Listening is the core method of my artistic practice, and the different disciplines represent different modes of listening that can inform each other. Artistic projects in the research: - Creating, co-composing, dancing and conducting the transdisciplinary multimedia performance «Black Obsidian» (performed at the Reykjavik Arts Festival in cooperation with the Icelandic Opera in 2022). This was a collaborative art project based on improvisation where we fused visual art, acoustic and electronic music and dance. - Curating, composing and leading a concert with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, August 2025. In this production I will try to open the space for shared creative listening both for the musicians in the Symphony Orchestra, for the audience and for myself. I will challenge our preconceived ideas about what a conductor is as well as applying some of my ideas about listening and transdisciplinarity into the concert hall. We will perform compositions by Maja Ratkje, Arvo Pärt and myself. Some keywords for the presentation: Listening to a process. Transdisciplinarity as a method of listening. Listening with the body as a method. Mutual exchange: discussing Pauline Oliveros’ quote from Quantum Listening 2022 (p.9): “As you listen, the particles of sound decide to be heard. Listening affects what is sounding. It is a symbiotic relationship. As you listen, the environment is enlivened. This is the listening effect.”

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