Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music
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(Un)Romantic / Improvising Interpretation

Live Maria Roggen sings in front of a microphone and Ingfrid Breie Nyhus plays the piano.

«(Un)Romantic / Improvising interpretation» is an artistic research project 2021–2024 at the Norwegian Academy of Music. The project follows two parallel paths: style and interpretation. It is led by vocalist Live Maria Roggen and pianist Ingfrid Breie Nyhus.

Milad Gholami

On the one hand, we explore what style/language/aesthetics mean to us as performers. As the main case study, we ask what «romantic» is and isn't. How do we speak of and understand «style» in musical performance across genres, and how can experimentation with a style challenge our own performer aesthetics?

On the other hand, we experiment with «traditioning», especially by working with improvisation as an interpretational process. This brings along additional questions on how we understand concepts such as «composition», «interpretation», «improvisation», and meetings between these activities across genres. The two paths are explored simultaneously and inform each other in the project's core, which is experimental work with (late) romantic songs.

At the beginning of the project period, an album was released, which documents the duo's work in the years leading up to the research project. The album/EP «Demanten» contains improvised interpretations or variants based on four songs by Jean Sibelius.

The abstract cover for the EP, Demanten, by Live Maria Roggen and Ingfrid Breie Nyhus.


An album by Live Maria Roggen and Ingfrid Breie Nyhus with improvised interpretations or variants based on four songs by Jean Sibelius.

Listen to Demanten

As a duo, our combined musical backgrounds form a broad knowledge base of different musical traditions (classical, jazz, contemporary, folk music). We also meet with several musicians and artists for conversations, workshops and feedback about the project’s main themes.

During the project, several performances and tests occur of (un)romantic or style-experimenting work, improvised or re-composed interpretation. There will be arranged open panel discussions, musician meetings, student workshops and workshop concerts. At the end of the project period, a recording and concerts are planned. Reflections are to be published in Research Catalogue.

Live Maria Roggen stands upright in front of a microphone and points toward sheet music. Ingfrid Breie Nyhus is sitting behind a grand piano while looking at Live.

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Published: Feb 1, 2021 — Last updated: Jan 7, 2022