Projects

This list includes completed and ongoing projects. Among the research projects I have been involved in, some are funded through institutions while others are uninstitutionalized inititatives.

  • Roots and routes of the Jew’s harp in Asia

    Historical and organological project, in cooperation with Leo Tadagawa, Japan

    The Jew’s harp is a musical instrument with deep roots in the cultures of Asia. Neither musicologists nor archaeologists have paid much attention to this instrument, and there is much undiscovered and unresearched material, especially with regard to its ancient history, including the way it spread in the cultures of Asia. This is a new joint project with Leo Tadagawa, a Japanese performer and researcher of the Jew’s harp. It aims to rectify the scholarly ignorance in this field, and investigate the instrument’s earliest period in Asia. The project will search for, document and examine a variety of sources, and locate the distribution, routes, and cultural significance of the Jew’s harp from the early Bronze Age (or earlier) up to ca. 500 CE. In 2013 I got a travel grant for a pilot project called ‘Jew’s Harps in China and Mongolia’ from The Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture in Norway.

  • Supporter chanting, political singing and battle cries

    Singing as identity marker and agent in conflict

    The football tribune is an arena of modern battle cries. The soundscape of supporter chanting does not only consist of intense shouting, but represents a variety of songs, melodies and lyrics, demonstrating different styles of singing and performance ideals. In 2008 and 2009 I documented supporter chanting, commissioned by The Norwegian Collection of Folk Music, which then belonged to University of Oslo. I made sound recordings at the home matches of all the teams in the Norwegian Premier League. In an article (in Norwegian) about battle songs and revolutionary songs (‘Det e’ vi som e’ best. Kampsanger i politikk og idrett’, Sangen om Norge. Norsk populærmusikk gjennom 75 år) I write about supporter chanting. In conjunction with supporter chanting, I am working with battle cries and political singing. In 2016 and 2017 I receved scholarships from the Fritt Ord Foundation and the Non-Fiction Writers and Translators Organisation (NFF), to write a book about kampsang, literally meaning ‘fight singing’, where I will discuss different styles and phenomena, including the singing tradition of the labour movement and the so called singing revolution in the Baltic States.

  • Ringing stones, Norway and Scandinavia

    Documentation and analyses of ringing stones – traditions and archaeology

    A ringing stone (Norw. klokkestein or klangstein) is a large stone block or slab, which produces a metallic or ringing sound when struck with a smaller stone, and which can be connected to folk tradition or prehistoric contexts. I work alone, and cooperate with the Swedish music archaeologist Cajsa S. Lund, in recording and analysing the Swedish and Norwegian material of such stones (initially supported by The Foundation for Swedish- Norwegian Co-operation). We had a poster presentation on ringing stones at the 7th Symposium of the International Study Group on Music Archaeology, Tianjin, China, in 2010. With Jarle K. Øvrehus I have written an article on a ringing stone in Hardanger, Western Norway, published in the yearbook Hardanger 2013. I am continually collecting new stones, and my database contains more than fifty ringing stones from Norway.

  • Lyres in Scandinavia

    Reconstruction of medieval lyres from iconographical and archaeological sources

    I have worked with lyres as an instrument builder and a researcher. In 1997 I wrote an article about two bridges from the excavations of medieval Oslo (PDF, Norwegian text). One of these was probably a lyre bridge. In 2000 I published an article from a conference in Klaipeda, Lithuania, where I presented early lyres from Scandinavia (PDF). I have made a few copies of the instrument depicted at the carved stave church portal on Hylestad Stave Church, Setesdal, from about 1200, and I am currently working on reconstructions, through experimental instrument building, of several lyres found in depictions on wooden and stone artefacts from Norway, ca. 1100–1400 AD.

  • Soundscape Fjellstrand

    Documentary sound recordings of a modern acoustic landscape, Nesodden, Norway

    This is an ongoing project with the aim of documenting an acoustic landscape. The village of Fjellstrand in Nesodden (Akershus county) is the geographical framework for the project. This is my home place, which offers several interesting soundscapes, both man-made (boat traffic on the Oslo fjord, social dance parties etc.) and natural (forest, ocean, brooks mm.). My plan is to publish some of the recordings on different web pages, and produce a sound file that presents the soundscape of Fjellstrand throughout a calendar year.

  • The music culture of the Romani people

    Research project funded by the The Research Council of Norway, localized to The Norwegian Collection of Folk Music, University of Oslo (2007–2009)

    Some years ago I participated in a project about the music of the Norwegian Romanies (taters/travellers). It was part of a program funded by the The Research Council of Norway, and localized to The Norwegian Collection of Folk Music, University of Oslo. Read about the project here (from the University of Oslo, in Norwegian). From the project, two articles in English were published, one in 2008: ‘Development of Musical Style and Identity Among the Romani People of Norway’ (in R. Statelova et al. [ed.], The Human World and Musical Diversity, pp. 141–145 [Sofia: Institute of Art Studies – Bulgarian Academy of Science]) and one in 2009: ‘National Heritage and the Norwegian Romanies’, co-authors Mary Barthelemy and Atle Lien Jenssen [in Z. Jurková and L. Bidgood [eds.], Voices of the Weak: Music and Minorities, pp. 94–102 [Prague: Faculty of Humanities, Charles University]).

  • Archaeological jew’s harps in Europe

    Doctoral dissertation (University of Oslo), based on research grant funded by The Research Council of Norway (1997–2001)

    In 1997 I got a scholarship from The Norwegian Research Council to investigate the archaeology of the jew’s harp in Europe. The research resulted in the doctoral thesis Jew’s Harps in European Archaeology (University of Oslo, 2004). It was revised and published in 2006 by Archaeopress, Oxford, as part of the series BAR (British Archaeological Reports), International Series (No. 1500, ISBN 1 84171 931 5). It is a comprehensive survey of excavated jew’s harps throughout Europe, and has become a standard work within this field of research. The book can be ordered from this website. You can read more about the project at this Musark-website.