Listen and watch Mongrel on Vimeo

The Western world is saturated with images. Hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and there are more than one billion unique visitors each month. 200 million photos are uploaded to Facebook each day. The streaming film and TV service Netflix uses up nearly a third of the bandwidth in Northern America. Mobile phones, tablets and portable computers give us access to these services wherever we are, and we are immersed in media to a point where the discussion concerning virtual reality becomes nearly ubiqiutous as we are always potentially virtually present. Furthermore, as international corporate conglomerates are producing as well as controlling the flow of media, the ``superconductive of illusion and non-meaning'' as Jean Baudrillard calls it , we are all part of the same aesthetic effectively eliminating local variation and cultural diversity. For Paul Virilio the photographic snapshot and the optical illusion of cinema are part of the ``sensory deprivations we owe to the technological and industrial wastage of our perceptual capacities'', ironically producing what Walter Benjamin dubbed the image illiterates and from where we adopted the working title for our project. (Benjamin is likely to have picked this idea up from the Bauhaus artist Laszlo Moholy-Nagy who predicted that the illiterates of the future will be those ignorant to both the pen and the camera. The question today is wether the overload of visual stimuli leads to a better understanding of the visual language or, the opposite, to a lack of understanding for its nuances.

Wether this development is good or bad is not our concern here, we have no wish to value communication strategies in media, nor their social and cultural consequences. As artists working with media, however, we need to relate to the situation, not the least since the enormous focus on moving images affects the way our audince approaches our work. In the 80's artists could work with Virtual Reality and create works that were not only artistically impressive but also technically elaborate. Today, while there appears to be an infinite number of amateur videos shot with low resolution cameras, suggesting that quality is by far superceded by content, the technical quality and manpower put into producing the big blockbuster movies is far from what can be done in an artists studio, and the level and sophistication of interactivity in some aspects of computer games overreaches what is possible to achieve even in large artistic research groups. The changing landscape of media consumption and the altered means of production clearly influences also the dramaturgy and the narrative stance. What is the role of intermedia art in the context of present day entertinment consumption? How can we communicate with our audience, cirumventing the many pitfalls of commercial film and TV production? How can we approach and make use of dramatic concepts common to film, media and music without losing our artistic integrity? Our hypthesis is that by drawing on some of the traits of media we will be able to understand and contextualize our own work within this quickly changing landscape while at the same time create a potential interface to our work for the audience.

In our projects we are interested in entering this field asking questions concerning the roles of music and video in coexistence. Our method is to deconstruct the narrative of the themes we chose as our working material in order to find a common ground on which we can found both the music and the video. In a twisted version of the \emph{the common third} we allow a common aspect of the work to be the negotiator between the two elements. In our previous work we have used the narrative as our third element. In this sense the work itself is merely the carrier, the media, through which the thematic contents, non-narrative or narrative, temporal or a-temporal, are communicated. In our previous work this is the way we have approached the task, but in the proposed project, and through the etudes, we will work with others. These can range from concepts specific to one of the mediums such as dramaturgy, counterpoint and logic but can also aproach phenomena or specific techniques such as cliffhanger, visuality and synchronicity. Our overarching goal is to allow both the music and the video to transcend the boundaries of their respective idiomatics and become interdependent narrative players in the evolving drama.

The exact process may be altered as we go along, but in essence we are interested in continuing to explore a set of well known dramas or myths and reenact these in different ways, using some of the techniques discussed above. Iterating through our chosen material we might eventually begin combining some of the etudes in larger works, but most of all, this will build working material and exsxperience for a larger artistic project in 2015.


Machinic Propositions (2019-04-25)

Machinic Propositions (excerpt) (2019-04-25)

Elle a dansť, Il se tourna (single screen) (2015-01-12)

Go to Hell (2013-10-07)

Elle a dansť, Il se tourna (three screens) (2013-10-01)

Posted: 2014-10-09, updated: 2019-04-25

The Six Tones

The collaboration started in the spring of 2006 with the main ambition to create a foundation for a meeting between two different musical cultures on equal terms. An other ambition has been to reach beyond merely a superimposition of elements and strive for a more coherent and experimentally oriented sound. From this point of departure Henrik Frisk has composed a trio for Dan Tranh, Dan Bau, banjo, e-bow, 10-stringed guitar and electronics. Friskís new work for 10-stringed guitar (Repetition Repeats all other Repetitions), also part of the program, uses a transcription of a first, aleatoric version of the trio as its material.

Our latest project, Tri Minh and The Six Tones, is touring in 2013. Tri Minh and The Six Tones brings the lively and innovative new music scene in Hanoi in dialogue with experimental Western music and the traditional music of Vietnam. Below is a link to an info sheet about this project, as well as some music examples (The Six Tones and Tri Minh - ReMix)

Watch our October 2006 concert in Hanoi here.

Download press release for spring 2007 tour: [pdf]


Drinking (2020-11-26)

Go to Hell (2013-10-07)

With only my hands (2013-05-15)

The Six Tones and Tri Minh - ReMix 1 (2012-11-14)

The Six Tones and Tri Minh - ReMix 2 (2012-11-14)

The Six Tones and Tri Minh - ReMix 3 (2012-11-14)

The Six Tones at Atalante, GŲteborg (2009-05-20)

The Six Tones (2007-06-03)

Traditional (2006-10-20)

Khoi Truong-Chi (2006-10-20)

Posted: 2006-10-14, updated: 2015-03-01


The development of jazz and improvised music, like that of many other genres that rest on originality and personal expression, rests on a sound relation between administering the tradition and developing the new. Obviously, a too firm focus on restating the past will bring the development to a halt, while context serves most improvised music well. All three; restating the past, administering the tradition and recreating the new, may be artistically intriguing and display great aesthetic integrity. Nevertheless, the aesthetic discussion, and to some extent the understanding of the artistic expression in question, depends on the context and the context depends on the expressionís dialectics and meta-level.

One of the main purposes of expEAR is to attempt to map out the potential openness and opacity of contemporary jazz and improvised music, and the method is to seek out musicians and artists that have a long and particular experience of developing a unique voice in music. Together we them we will attack questions concerning the possibilities for openings for freedom from, and the closing of the structure. Or, phrased differently, how can improvisation be structured without loosing its freedom. Over the last few decades similar investigations have been performed by Paul Berliner and Ingrid Monson, and to some extent within the large trans-disciplinary Canadian project iCast, taking a musicological stance. Our take will be to perform the investigation in our own artistic practice and through our informers practice.

Since the 70s jazz is a natural part of any music education in Europe and Northern America but jazz theory is still rooted in the bebop tradition with little or no relevance to the music of musicians such as Cecil Taylor, Marilyn Crispell or Anthony Braxton. This is only one reason that this project needs to take place in the rehearsal room as well as on the stage: at the place where the actual development takes place, in a musical dialogue rather than a theoretical. Historically we have reached a point in the music history where the senior defining forces are no longer musicians that started their careers in the 40s, 50s and 60s, but rather eclectic artists like John Zorn, Sylvie Courvoisier and Rita Marcotulli whose relation to the jazz history is of a different kind than Freddie Hubbardís for example.

Together with musicians such as Drew Gress and Katt Hernandez we will attempt to re-enact some of the methods that they have been used in the past. Combining intense rehearsals, live concerts and recordings along with documentation and discussions we are looking forward to present a large and varied material for others to take part of and further develop.


expEAR with Katt Hernandez (2019-08-01)

expEAR: Prime Directive (2019-03-01)

Posted: 2015-03-01, updated: 2015-03-01


Together with Swedish violist Henrik Frendin, I perform contemporary composed and improvised music. We work extensively with real time electronics. We have performed in Sweden, Iceland, Germany, Denmark and USA. Henrik Frendin plays Viola, Viola d'amore and his custom built Electric Viola Grande - a five string electric viola. Depending on the program, I play Saxophones and LapTop.

Here are some musical examples.

  • Drive, one of my compositions. A video from the recording of Viola con Forza
  • This is a concert recording from Fasching, Stockholm, where we played with Danish drummer Lars Juul. At this concert Frendin played piano and keyboards, as well as viola.
Download our technical rider here.


Frendin/Frisk Duo live in Halmstad (2012-11-17)

Frendin/Frisk duo (2007-09-26)

Drive (2003-10-20)

Posted: 2006-01-10, updated: 2006-01-10


Listen and read more about etherSound on the site dedicated to it.


etherSound: Pantokrator (2009-01-15)

etherSound: Luc:)Knallal (2009-01-15)

etherSound: Emancipation (2009-01-15)

etherSound (2005-05-11)

etherSound (2003-09-07)

Posted: 2004-08-20, updated: 2005-03-05