18/06 – 18/06/2016
Doors open: Saturday 18/06 19:30

Concerts, panel discussion and summer party: Joan La Barbara, Nicholas Bullen, Sue Tompkins, Stine Janvin Motland. Curated by Mark Beasley

Presented by Kunsthall Oslo and nyMusikk at 1857





VOICE IS THE ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT is a mini-festival curated by Mark Beasley in collaboration with Kunsthall Oslo and nyMusikk, focussing on the voice and experimental vocal expressions. Four composers, vocalists and visual artists present a series of performances that examine the range and scope of vocal performance from its avant-garde beginnings through popular form and back again.

There will be concert performances by the renowned artists Joan La Barbara, Nicholas Bulllen, Sue Tompkins, and Stine Janvin Motland.




18:00 ● Odd Mouth Sound, a panel discussion at nyMusikk:
Joan La Barbara, Nicholas Bullen, Sue Tompkins and Stine Janvin Motland discuss their varying approaches to vocal composition; the meeting of visual art and vocal sound and what it means to “vocal fry” and “death grunt!” Moderated by curator Mark Beasley. 
20:00 ● Concerts at 1857 (doors open 19:00)
Stine Janvin Motland, Sue Tompkins, Nicholas Bullen, Joan La Barbara (approx. 30 mins each)
22:00 ● Summer party (with surprise guests?)





About the artists

Joan La Barbara is an american composer and singer whose seminal work Voice is the Original Instrument (1976) and collaborations with composers John Cage, Steve Reich and Robert Ashley and visual artists Bruce Nauman, Judy Chicago and Matthew Barney connect the worlds of music, performance and visual art. Her early works are recognized classics of the form and set the bar for subsequent extended vocal techniques and vocal composition.


Nicholas Bullen is a british musician and a founding member of Napalm Death and Scorn as well as his recent solo-vocal project Alienist. Bullen’s extreme vocals helped found the Grindcore genre and continue to push the voice to the edge of discernible meaning and comprehension.


Sue Tompkins is a visual artist and the one-time singer of cult Glasgow-based band Life Without Buildings. Her vocal performances and text works provide a unique perspective on the meeting of text and voice, and deconstruct the phraseology of the pop song and recontextualize them as sculptured poesis.


Stine Janvin Motland is a Berlin-based Norwegian vocalist who works with experimental music, sound and audio-visual performance, and whose recent performance creates illusory electronic music from acoustic voice alone.


Mark Beasley is a curator, writer and artist based in New York.





The project is kindly supported by Oslo kommune