VASSVIK meets Omni Anima
In this evening concert the Sami musician and throat singer Torgeir Vassvik will merge and transform his singing with the interactive Omni Anima holophonic sound installation. The result is a spectacular transformation of Dokkhuset (the concert venue) into an immersive and visceral sound chamber, resonating with the magic of Sami Joik.
After an introductory opening performance Vassvik will continue with the onstage concert A foot in both worlds before the audience will be invited to interact with and play the Omni Anima installation themselves.
The Omni Anima project is a cross artistic collaboration between Torgeir Vassvik, artist Stahl Stenslie and artistic programmer Thom Johansen. Inspired by the enchanted, mystical, even seductive sound of joik, the project investigates how the traditional and indigenous expression of the Sami joik can be compiled, transformed, processed and shared through interactive electronic media.
Based on the magic awakening in traditional Sami joik, Omni Anima seeks to create magical sound experiences in the cross-over between ancient shamanism and new technology. The ancient joik is transformed through interactive holophonic multichannel sound systems. Via a touch-sensitive spherical instrument built as a traditional Sami drum, joik is composed into a three-dimensional world of sound in real time.
OMNI ANIMA seeks to put the audience in a state of trance like the noaiden, the Sami shaman, uses the joik to achieve. The traditional function of the trance is to send one’s spirit on trips to other places and worlds. In a similarly inspired manner, the project’s ambition is to create stimulating sound experiences that come alive in and through the audience. Hence, Omni Anima’s Latin title: ‘Everything’ (omni) and ‘Spirit’ (anima), that is, ‘everything is spirited’.
To engage and convey to an audience what joik is meant to be -voices from another world- the joik is transformed and disseminated through the use of an interactive and encompassing multi-channel, holophonic audio system. Omni Anima uses electronic media to enhance the bodily experiences of the music and make the most of the joik’s voice power. Through the immersive and physical sound experience the listeners themselves are dressed in the spirit of the animal. The project is thus aimed at a new and sensorial identification with the joik’s magic.
From a cultural perspective, Omni Anima seeks to enhance the dissemination of original forms of joik. How can new technologies contribute to the magic experience of traditional forms of expression? Here Omni Anima works towards joik being experienced as an intimate, rich and rewarding physical experience in itself and for all.
A foot in both worlds
Loleiloleilola. Breath of a newborn. Sigh of a mountain. Ananeinaoianeina. Rumble of the sea. Creak of an open door in the wind. Neijinaneijino. Hum of a sun in December. All is alive and connected, and Joik is the essence of it. Joik is a place, a person, an animal, a flower, a state of mind.
With his band VASSVIK the circumpolar Sami sound poet Torgeir Vassvik develops new visions of the animistic Joik, the vocal art of the Sami indigenous people of Northern Europe. He embeds it into an Arctic avant-garde sound. It is rooted in folk, classical, jazz and impro music. Torgeir’s Joik reveals deep and beautiful vibrations and overtones of the human soul, resonating with progressive, playful, groovy expressions on guitar, Sami frame drum, violins and sound design. These are vocal and percussion rituals updated for the 21st century. New music, created out of our most ancient traditions. Joikscapes of a sub-urban coastal Sami.
Please, experience Joiks of friendship and feminine power, death and love, darkness and pollution, stone labyrinths and drifting wood at the Arctic coastline. Experience the most powerful things in nature. Experience voodoo against Arctic oil drilling. Experience the world view of indigenous peoples as a key to change the world. Nature is not an enemy, but a friend. Bring out the good now, for the best in the future.
All of us become part of the concert. The room is explored together. There is interaction between the artists and everybody who is present. Traditional borders between stage and audience room disappear. The spaces between the thoughts get larger. Doors to different worlds open up. Let cruelty sleep for a while. Super naive. Super smart. VASSVIK.
Vassvik is the crew around mastermind Torgeir Vassvik. The Sami musician, Joik artist and composer was born and raised in Gamvik, Sápmi/Norway and now lives mainly in Oslo. His first and main instrument is the voice in all its facets, based on the Sami Joik. He grew up with the mandolin music of his father, trained himself on the guitar, played in indie rock bands, uses prepared guitars, bass, munnharpe, flutes, horns and the Sami frame drum.
Stahl Stenslie is an artist, curator and researcher, specializing in experimental art, embodied experiences and disruptive technologies. His research and practice focus on the art of the recently possible – such as panhaptic communication, somatic sound and holophonic soundspaces, and disruptive design for emerging technologies. In 1993 he built the cyberSM experiment, the first tactile, cybersex communication system in the world. He has been exhibiting and lecturing at major international events (ISEA, DEAF, Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH) and moderated symposiums like Ars Electronica (Next Sex), ArcArt and Oslo Lux. He represented Norway at the first Ichihara Biennial, Japan, the 5th biennial in Istanbul, Turkey, co-organized 6cyberconf and won the Grand Prize of the Norwegian Arts Council. As a publisher he is the editor of EE – Experimental Emerging Art magazine (eejournal.no), he has written numerous scientific articles and co-founded The Journal of Somaesthetics (somaesthetics.aau.dk). His PhD on Touch and Technologies (virtualtouch.wordpress.com).
Portrait Photograph (VASSVIK): Alex Bruun.