HÉR! An Exploration of Artistic Agency / 75%-seminar
Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir
30 September 2021 - 1 October 2021

Doctoral candidate, Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, presents her artistic research project in Music.


Thursday, 30 September

15.00-20.30 Installations in the Red Room, VR/Sound Lab, Café, Artist Studio and foyer.

19.00 Concert in the Café area.

Friday, 1 October

09.00-13.00 Installations in the Red Room, VR/Sound Lab, Café, Artist Studio and foyer.

10.00-12.00 Seminar in the Red Room. Opponent:  Professor Marcel Cobussen from University of Leiden/Doc Artes.


Þytur by Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, location: Café area

‘Þytur’* is a sound installation of 9 independent mono channels. The work was created for National Trust Formby** as part of Stefánsdóttir’s site-respondent work titled ‘Spherical White with Diamond’, which was commissioned for ‘NATUR-North Atlantic Tales’ in collaboration with the National Trust (UK). The site is that of shifting shores and one of the most mobile dunes in the UK. Drawing on the concept of multi-entity-performance (Rawlings 2019, Stefánsdóttir 2019), Þytur grew out of field recordings, site specific scores, sonifications, archival digging, activations and improvisations, as a sonic response to National Trust Formby. At the same time the work uses the site’s morphing landscapes and transmogrification, as a key to its composition. Þytur links therefore to entanglement and intra-relating, even in its state of erosion or adaption, meanwhile bearing the signature of much of Stefánsdóttir’s work, which looks at the relation between human and environment.

The text in the work is constructed by Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir around Angela Rawlings work ‘Hocket barnacles’ found in ‘Sound of Mull’ (2019). In addition, Þytur draws on ‘strengur’ (2019) by Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir.

Voices of words in Þytur: Maja Jantar (BE), Angela Rawlings (CA/IS), Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir (IS).

As part of the event, Halla Steinunn will perform Kent Olofsson’s, ‘Violin with Þytur’ within the installation. The work links to their ongoing collaboration around space and agency within the field of music in the 21st century.

Mastering: Kent Olofsson.

*Þytur is Icelandic for ruffling or whistling.

** The premiere had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak but the commissioners have graciously allowed for a pre-airing of Þytur.

‘strengur’ – live performance videos, location: IAC foyer

A special pre-screening of performance videos that are set to be released by Carrier Records in 2022 as part of the ‘strengur’ album project. Instigated by Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir the project’s starting point is compositions for violin by Davíð Brynjar Franzson, Kent Olofsson, Mirjam Tally, Luong Hue Trinh and Stefánsdóttir. As a way of modulating the collaborative relationship between performer and composer, she invited Franzson, Olofsson, Tally and Trinh to improvise over the graphic score ‘strengur’ (Stefánsdóttir, 2019). The work was brought forth as a site-specific score created by the gut strings from Stefánsdóttir‘s violin alongside ink and wind at the Klagshamns udde, a peninsula south of Malmö, Sweden. The last stage of the album project sees the composers develop their improvisations into new compositions.

The videos all build on live improvisation and straight takes. The visual component was created by the improvisers themselves. The ‘strengur’ performance stream is supported by the Music Fund of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in Iceland.

He(a)r by Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, location: VR/Sound Lab

A work connected to ecology, acoustics and embodiment; drawing on encounters and what happens in the connection. A fluctuation between hear-here-hér*-her.

Performers are Carina Ehrenholm (SE), Angela Rawlings (CA/IS), Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir (IS) and Liv Kaastrup Vesterskov (DK). Text score extracted from writings and digital works by Angela Rawlings (In Memory: Jökull**, Jöklar) as well as by Roni Horn, Pauline Oliveros, R. Murray Schafer, David Suzuki, Bruce Chatwin, Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, Bernhard Leitner, Heidi Fast, Robert Macfarlane and Salomé Voegelin. He(a)r was recorded and composed by Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir at Inter Arts Center in Malmö, Sweden.

The work received premiere at Nordic Music Days 2016 and has since then been aired in Iceland, the UK and Sweden. ‘He(a)r’ also exists in a seven movement stereo version, which can be found on Nordic Affect’s album by the same title on the Sono Luminus label.

Mastering: Kent Olofsson.

*hér is the Icelandic word for here.

**jökull is the Icelandic word for glacier.

I play Northern Lights by Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, location: Red Room

‘I Play Northern Lights’, created for Nordic Affect’s concert at the 2017 edition of Dark Music Days (IS), is a surround sound installation in two movements. The sounds were recorded by Stefánsdóttir in the company of performer Angela Rawlings as they navigated through the dimmed Northern Lights Hall in Reykjavík, Iceland on one of the first days of 2017. The work was later composed at Inter Arts Center in Malmö, Sweden; to be sent back into space. ‘I play Northern Lights’ is the first work within Stefánsdóttir’s ‘Activation series’, which performs a speculative approach to human sensing and sense-making in relation to environment.

Mastering: Kent Olofsson.

I play cement by Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, location: Artist studio

‘I play cement’ (2019) is an audio and video installation. The footage was filmed and recorded in summer and winter 2017-18 as Halla navigated through a closed down cement factory, situated by the mouth of Elliðaár river in Reykjavík, Iceland. The work was later created at Lund University’s Inter Arts Center in Malmö, Sweden. ‘I play Cement’ is the second work within Stefánsdóttir‘s ‘Activation series’, which performs a speculative approach to human sensing and sense-making in relation to environment.

‘I play cement’ was originally created for Dark Music Days (IS). That version, created for two screens and four speakers was later reworked into a version of one screen and 8 speakers for ‘Carbon Ruins – An Exhibition of the Fossil Age’ (SE). It is screened here in a binaural version that was created for the DARE conference at the Orpheus Institute (BE).

Mastering: Kent Olofsson.

Image: Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, photo by Jason Lock.

Read more about Halla’s work – hallasteinunn.com

Find Halla Seinunn Stefánsdóttir at Lund University Research Portal – portal.research.lu.se

Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir