hellqvist til prosjektside II

Reversed Output – Investigating and Activating my Sonic Palette in Composer Collaborations

Project leader:
Karin Hellqvist

Project period:
2018 – 2021

Research centre:

Artistic research

Violin, Role of the composer, Composition, Contemporary music, Role of the performer

Fellowship project
Ph.D. in Artistic Research

The violin player Karin Hellqvist says: "The plethora of traits forming a person's musical identity I sometimes imagine as an artist's palette".

This project refers to the musical equivalent as the “sonic palette”. Though years of extensive collaborative work Hellqvist experienced that most composer collaborations fall into structures where the performer's role end by realising and presenting the composer's materials and ideas. Therefore, she has been longing for original collaborations capturing more of her personal sonic palette.

The sonic palette

In this project Hellqvist explore what happens when she as a performer am defining her sonic palette and using it as the main material in the process of collaborative work. As the project's spine and innovative take on observing the process from the inside - the outmost original exploration of her sonic palette, she will also be composing a work herself.

Through those explorations the project is challenging the hierarchy in collaborative situations and questioning who's defining the musical material. What happens to the process, work, music making and dynamics of collaboration when the composer aims at being brilliant at the performer's sonic palette instead of vice-versa?

The project is:

  1. Investigating and defining Hellqvist's sonic palette
  2. Activating it as the starting point in a composition of her own as well as in composer collaborations – reversing the output of the collaboration


The method of defining her palette includes: self-observation, composition and composition coaching sessions, dialogue with colleagues, interviews, improvising coaching sessions and text work. The method of activating it in composer collaborations/own composition includes six phases: activating the sonic palette, compositional work, pre-concert presentations, revisions, main presentation, evaluation and documentation, recording and presentations. Four composers will be involved working with the reversed output collaborative model: Patricia Alessandrini, Henrik Strindberg, Liza Lim and Christian Wallumrød.

The project focus on contributing knowledge to both research field and music milieu, adding valuable information and new structural pathways to the field of performer-composer collaborations and performer identity.


Context wise, the project is well anchored in historical practice as well as more recent research of the role of composer and performer in collaborative work situations. This project though, draws even further on the very output of the material and process, challenging inherited structures and expands the role of the performer through palette definition and composition.


The results of the project will be presented through high profile concerts, institutional pre-concert presentations, documentation, a blog, texts concluding reflections, interviews and institutional presentations, including a seminar.

Project leader

Karin Hellqvist

Karin Hellqvist

Research Fellow


Last updated: 14. August 2018