Ragnhild May's (DK) works are centered around the relationship between body and instrument. Musical instruments can be seen as extensions of the body, and her works explores their structures, systems and cultural connotations as well as acoustic qualities.
Ragnhild May has been artist in residency at International Studio and Curatorial Program, she has studied at visual arts at The Jutland Art Academy (DK) and Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (AT) and composition at Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts Bard College.
Photo credit: Phoebe D'heurle
An AIR-programme grant from Nordic Culture Point
has made it possible to invite Ragnhild to work at EMS.
photography, and film. She has toured extensively in the U.S. and throughout Europe including the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, France, Switzerland,
Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Spain, and the UK in both England and Scotland.
that is centered on embodiment and ecology. The multitude of voices carry each part of a whole which separate, follow, fall apart, and come together
in a dance of interdependent dualities..
Her main area of interest is the synergy of the academic, electroacoustic music and nature; for example using chemical formulas as the basis for composition, exploring underwater sound recording possibilities, and synthesising certain environments with musical input.
She is particularly inspired by nature, especially the forest. This inspiration was recently used to conceptualise and compose “The Opera of Trees”, in which vocalists were positioned in treetops, while three percussionists worked at ground level, using a total of 32 instruments. The opera was performed deep within a forest in the Latvian countryside.
The second part of “The Opera of Tress” is a work in progress and will be premiered on 1 September 2018 near the Mustarinda Residency in Finland (Kajaani). The story is based on scientific research, namely the German forest expert Peter Wogelleben’s book ‘’The Hidden Life of Trees’’. The chamber ensemble performing will consist of two flutes, clarinet, trombone, and a Paetzold contrabass recorder played by Anna Petrini. The string section include two violins, viola and cello. The eight singers are from the Latvian Radio choir.
The character of the musical material is created by using the zoom-in principle as a metaphor, resembling the overall artistic goal – to look deeper in nature’s processes.