Kenneth Knudsen

- Black Diamond (Sound Installation). The young Kenneth Knudsen’s work in Danish rock, beat and jazz groups is a long way from the mature artist’s exploration of the possibilities afforded by computer and synthesizer generated music.

Knudsen originally trained as an architect and is a self-taught composer, but made his mark early as a pianist and composer in Danish combined groups such as Secret Oyster and Palle Mikkelborg’s Entrance.

He later formed his own group, Anima, and has also participated in a large number of major Danish rock and beat records, working with Svend Asmussen, Miles Davis, Sebastian, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and Marilyn Mazur, amongst others.

Knudsen’s co-operation with dance and theatre groups began early, and in the 1970s he had already begun to devote himself seriously to the opportunities of expression opened up by electronic instruments such as the synthesizer.

Consequently since 1990 Kenneth Knudsen has gradually deserted the rhythmic main stream and turned more towards personally based experiments.

Knudsen has written a number of works for installations related to architecture and exhibitions, and in that context has often worked with the installation artist Christian Skeel.

The nominated work – recorded by Stunt, STXCD20212 – was performed for the first time in 2002 in the monumental extension to the Royal Library in Copenhagen known as the Black Diamond, hence the title of the work.

Knudsen himself states that the building’s appearance was an important inspiration for the formation of the work, and he adds that, in drafting the work, he had been thinking within architectural parameters such as surface texture, material, distance, leather, light and dark, heaviness and lightness.

Despite being relatively unnoticed by the wider musical public, Kenneth Knudsen has won great recognition and several awards for his works, e.g. a lifelong award from the Danish State Art Foundation in 1998 and nomination for the Nordic Council Music Prize in 2000.