Knut Vaage

Knut Vaage

Knut Vaage - foto: Thor Brødreskift

Thor Brødreskift
Knut Vaage is nominated for the 2022 Nordic Council Music Prize for the work Hybrid Spetakkel, ensemble, electronics and visuals (2020).


In several projects, Knut Vaage (born 1961) has explored the boundaries between improvisation and composition, as well as acoustic and electronic hybrid sound. He has composed music ranging from symphonic works and opera, to solo pieces. 


In Hybrid Spetakkel we hear tiny and usually unheard sounds from instruments, amplified through powerful electronic programming. Small transducers turn various things into sound-creating objects and help to create a distinctive futuristic landscape. On top of the electro-acoustic soundscape, Vaage and his team add light, laser and video, which builds up a musical and visual experience in several layers.


It creates a dystopian melancholy and maintains a firm grip throughout the hour-long work. The relationship between man and technology is illuminated and the expression invites reflection.


The starting point for the visual are many small cameras controlled by a computer programme to “monitor” the musicians, as well as show various playing techniques at close range. The images are superimposed on the polyphony in the score, and at the same time transferred to the large canvas placed around the room. In the light/sound sequence at the end of the work, parallel sound and light from three different lasers are staged. The connection between the various instruments is examined along the way: electronics, acoustic sound, light, laser and video. 


Hybrid Spetakkel is thought-provoking and poetic, and allows for new sensory experiences.