psychoacoustic research focusing on singing
The hashtag #libertéegalitétonalité will from now on be used for posts here and other social media, for posts related to Kristin Borghed’s PhD project at the University of Aberdeen. The project is called Tuning the Human Voice: An Empirical Exploration of Tonality in Northern Traditional Singing. Feel free to scroll down this page for a short info film.
This PhD project on singing traditions in northern Europe, is in close cooperation with Folk Practice Academy, in fact, the work is inseparably intertwined.
This is a picture of me, my mother Elisabeth Bjurström Jonzon, Malungsfors, Sweden and my aunt Anna Hedin, Malungsfors, Sweden. They are the two singers that have had the greatest impact on me in terms of songs, singing style, story telling, general life advice, as well as together with other relatives always helping my family when I have been away singing, recording and writing.
For more info of the project, please read here!! http://www.abdn.ac.uk/staffnet/profiles/r01keb12
A few pictures from recent rehearsals with #koraleriet
“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15)
Everything taught by heart, including incredibly tricky monodic and polyphonic microtonal music. No music sheets handed out. Ever.
Even if a 200 year hymn book often is smaller than a contemporary phone, it still lasts a hundred times longer. How about that for sustainability and transcendence?!!
Soon we are off to start our performances!!
Kristin & Astrid
#sjungamaj, #folkpractice, #folkpracticeacademy – ethnographic research in local contemporary context
For this years May singing, the 30 of April as every year, we launched the tags #sjungamaj, #folkpractice, #folkpracticeacademy. Launching a hashtag might seem like an everyday thing, but was really an important step in out work. (Another one for our female religious singing project is #koraleriet )
Here is the three year old start of the public project on May singing. This is a result of Astrid Selling’s own ethnographic research, connected via FPA through projects at Lunds Universitet, Linnéuniversitetet and Högskolan på Gotland.
For the modern ethnographic researcher, social media has many benefits apart from only being a fashionable (and measurable!) way of getting her work known to the public audience. What is more important is the possibilities it gives to collect research data, and to, through a constant dialogue with other people interested in ethnography, folk music, folk art, etc, build mutual confidences around our practice. This is often called field work, and may happen actually in the fields, as on our camps with Krusznia in Poland, or, by the computer. We are pleased and proud to say that this dialogue does currently involve most parts of Europe, and even beyond!!
If you have something you want to share with us – please use the tags for photos/films/music, or mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org!!
Inför årets majsjungning drog vi igång #sjungamaj, #folkpractice, #folkpracticeacademy. Här är den tre år gamla uppstarten av den publika satsningen av majsjungningen, vilken är ett resultat av och i konstant dialog med Astrid Sellings etnografiska forskning och arbete!!
This weekend yet another practice with the women singing ancient local religious psalms, songs and hymns is taking place. The choir is newborn, and the ladies, handpicked and of all ages and places in Blekinge.
All needed on a long train ride is some påskmust and a twohundred year old hymn book!! We are looking forward to see where our group’s ideas might take us! Next time we’re on stage!!
Back later with films and pictures!
Kristin & Astrid
Here is a short film from one of our archive sessions with young musicians in southern Sweden. The film shows that archives can offer a little of each. Who knew that there were ancient rap musicians in Blekinge back in the days…
With a few days’ distance to sonADA 2015 | Theme: MESS (http://sonada.org/sonADA2015/), I have the opportunity to sit down and share som of my thoughts.
The festival invitation said “If music is organized sound, composing really starts by identifying chaotic elements. sonADA invites and challenges artists to showcase mess of their own.”, and I made two contributions. On the opening night of the festival, at the 17 Art Gallery in Aberdeen, Scotland, (https://www.list.co.uk/place/52799-seventeen/) I took part in a panel discussion as one out of three female composers/performers. With lively input from the audience, we talked about our backgrounds, but also if and how embodiment, and the aspect of gender/femininity, has impact on our creative and scientific work. My own contribution did, as always, start with some live singing. A little microtonality, and asymmetrical beats here and there sure wake up most audiences! It is a fine and thought provoking experience that when travelling abroad with the music that is closest and most intuitive to you, like a “nonsense song” or a lullaby you learned as a small child, musicians with decades of formal music education could make comments like “that must be difficult!” Yes, it is, and no, it’s not!
My talk was mainly on how singing and playing instruments are not only something you do in your spare time, but how the performative act of making live acoustic music is actually a form of technology in itself. Lots of discussions circled around what could be said to be a musical piece, regarding tradition. A very good question – please fell free to make comments here! (in any language, as always!)
The second contribution was giving a performance together with my English Aberdeen colleague Nathan Bissette (http://www.serg-aberdeen.net). We have worked together for years, around performing and composing traditional, as well as classical and electronic music. We were invited as two separate composers, but chose to collaborate on a longer piece, made for this special occasion. It was a nice crowd, and we were prepared with our two chairs, the floor, a scarf, a computer, a guitar and two voices. The reception was very good, and people were singing along – as we encouraged them to, despite that this was not the typical folk audience that are used to that.
I left the festival with many good impressions, and an increased courage and interest in continuing to work for highlighting the multi-dimensional skills it takes being a traditional musician!
Tack för er stund!!
Kristin, PhD student at Elphinstone Institute (https://www.abdn.ac.uk/elphinstone/)