Work Residency: Espen Sommer Eide

BEK 25.03.2019 31.03.2019


What is an album? What can an album made for a building be? The Waves aims to rethink the album format of an era where the album is declared dead repeatedly and the music must be created for an audience with attention for no more than 35 minutes of focused listening. The difference between a “recording” and a live experience will also be questioned. These are often set up against each other, especially in alternative music and sound art, where the recording is said to never be able to provide justice in relation to the actual event, the performance.

For his work residency at BEK, Espen Sommer Eide will develop a new studio instrument for spatial recording. Testing and development will be made in collaboration with singer and composer Mari Kvien Brunvoll.

The album will be released on SOFA music and will become an exhibition at Marres Maastricht November 2019 where the audience is invited to walk through an album.

For the exhibition Marres will be turned into a music album, the development led by Norwegian composer/artist Espen Sommer Eide and involving a group of collaborators and improvisers. During the year leading up to the exhibition opening, often in-between or inside other exhibitions, a series of performances will be recorded in the various rooms of the Marres building. These will in turn be mixed down to musical pieces to be played back in the rooms as spatial listening pieces. The playback will form a series leading the audience through the building, following the audible shadows of the performances that have been there, while also referencing the older history of the rooms. A series of custom made musical instruments will be developed for the project, that will aid the improvisations in novel ways. These instruments will be a platform for a collective stream-of-consciousness and emphasise the use of the space and architecture of the rooms. Through the work the audience will experience a journey made up of music –  a walk through an album. They will hear sequences, melodies and rhythms where the voices and perspectives of the performers are multiplied and heard from many angles at once, like a hall of sound mirrors. A music that highlight the building itself as container for possible worlds, unobserved, unoccupied by any particular subject.

Photo: Jochem Vanden Ecker


Espen Sommer Eide is a composer and artist based in Bergen, Norway. Using music and sound as a starting point, his works investigates themes ranging from the linguistic to sensory biology, often resulting in long-term engagement with a specific site or culture. 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 Rune Grammofon and Hubro.

His works has been exhibited and performed at Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen Assembly, Manifesta Biennial, Henie Onstad kunstsenter, Stedelijk Museum, De Halle Haarlem, Sonic Acts, Mutek festival, GRM/Presences Électronique, Performa Festival, Museo Reina Sofia and more. Eide is also a member of the theatre/art collective Verdensteatret, with extensive international touring and exhibi­tions.

More about Espen Somer Eide here.