Murder Ballads: The Positive Reinforcement Campaign

Spor (DK), Ultima (NO)

Murder Ballads at SPOR 2024

What are Murder Ballads? Through improvisation, experimental soundscapes, and communal singing, the performance artist and composer Jessie Marino reinterprets the singing tradition of the past, which aimed to tell stories of murder and gruesome destruction. Drawing inspiration from Appalachian folk songs, she, along with the trio Pinquins (Jennifer Torrence, Sigrun Rogstad Gomnæs, Ane Marthe Sørlien Holen), performer Inga Margrete Aas, and tennis player Emilie Dorr, addresses contemporary subjects. Strong lyrics, expressive percussion playing, and tennis serve-and-breathing techniques are woven together in a unique work that, with its own distinct sonic language, reflects on the frightening stories of our time.

Jessie Marino

Jessie Marino is a Berlin-based composer, performer, and media artist. Her compositions and solo performances abstract ideas drawn from all stripes of popular culture and political discourse, girded by a definitively humanistic sensibility rife with equal doses of wit and pathos. Marino’s pieces score out sound, video, story, lighting, and staging, treating each of these elements as expandable musical materials. She transcends the conventional materials of composition to help audiences locate music in the most commonplace activities and relations. (photo from website)


Pinquins is an Oslo-based experimental music trio composed of Jennifer Torrence, Sigrun Rogstad Gomnæs and Ane Marthe Sørlien Holen. Pinquins has created numerous works with composers, instrument builders, scenographers, and diverse musicians spanning experimental genres from free improvisation to noise music. In particular, the group’s artistic practice focuses on objects, body, and voice to create works that challenge notions of genre and the role of the performer. (photo from website)

Inga Margret Aas

Inga Margrete Aas is an Oslo-based composer, improviser and musician, working in the field of experimental music. As a performer, she plays in the improv duo Vilde&Inga, the free folk band O, the classical chamber orchestra Ensemble Allegria and in short term projects. Inga is also a composer. (photo from website)

Murder Ballads: The Positive Reinforcement Campaign is also presented within Sounds Now by Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival.