Building Music

Building Music

14 November 2019

Led by:

  • Espen Sommer Eide – a composer and artist based in Bergen, Norway. Using music and sound as both method and medium, his artistic practice involves long­ term engagement with specific landscapes, archives, languages, and rhythms, with an experimental approach to local and embodied knowledge. In addition to installa­tion and performances, he has been a prominent representative of experimental electronic music from Norway, with main projects Alog and Phonophani, and a string of releases on the labels such as Rune Grammofon, FatCat and Hubro.
  • Martin Taxt – born in Trondheim, Norway, finished his studies at the Academy of Music in Oslo and CNSMDP in Paris in 2006. Since then he has established himself in the international experimental music scene. He is releasing albums and touring with groups such as Koboku Senjû and Microtub. Since 2013 he has been a part of the award­winning art collective Verdensteatret.
  • Mari Kvien Brunvoll – one of Norway’s leading improvisers in song and various eclectic instruments. A graduate of Grieg Academy in Bergen, Brunvoll has performed solo and in groups at some of Europe’s best jazz clubs and festivals and released twisted albums on labels like Jazzland Recordings and Hubro. Mari Kvien Brunvoll is also part of the trio Building Instrument.
Intended learning outcomes (more on programme level)

Part of Marres’ Workshops ‘Training the Senses’.

Learning objectives (course specific)

To see how sound reverberates differently depending on the acoustics of the room, the size of the room, and the frequency of the sound.

Objective statement (course description)

Inspired by the novel The Waves by Virginia Woolf, the Norwegian composer Espen Sommer Eide makes an eponymous spatial music album for Marres, which will ‘live’ inside the house during the exhibition, and will be printed on vinyl. In the year preceding the opening of The Waves, Sommer Eide recorded in the different rooms of Marres in the night, in collaboration with the voice of Mari Kvien Brunvoll, and Martin Taxt on microtonal tuba. Jochem Vanden Ecker was invited to capture the entire process. With these recordings, Sommer Eide composes a series of works that succeed each other in space and to be listening to either separately or jointly. In taking this Training The Senses session Sommer Eide, Kvien Brunvoll and Taxt guide you through the entire creation of the exhibition.

Type of course :

extracurricular course

Target group :

general audience

Teaching method:




  • The participants are taken through the exhibition, where it is explained to them how the artists used the acoustics of the Marres house to their advantage while building the exhibition.


  • Mari sings notes in high pitch so the participants can hear the echo and then Martin plays tuba in a different room, demonstrating the difference of high- and low-pitched sounds and how they reverberate differently in different rooms and how rooms have different sounds.
  • “When I hear my voice reflecting from the walls, I hear myself and it makes me keep looking. It’s answering: the room is answering me there.” – Mari
  • “[The] first floor is even more reverberant than upstairs. You have something they call reverberation time, which is the duration before the sound disappears. In music we also talk about frequencies which is the nature and physics of sound. High-pitched sounds which Mari is able to produce and low frequency sounds which the tuba is able to produce.”
  • “One of the themes of the exhibition is these loops. A loop is something that is repeating itself over and over again and the exhibition is constantly looping. The lighthouse in the middle is sending out sounds. It is a little bit about the similarities between light and sound. Both are waves…” – A light fixture placed on the floor in the middle of the room spins around, sending light in a circular motion. People observe.
  • “We have talked so much about reverberation, and echo between the walls so why not make the instruments themselves hit the walls?” – metal tuners are thrown against the wall or on the floor to create a sound.
Assessment of learning:




Additional biblio sources (available at Marres):