Interview with Anna Berit Asp Christensen and Anne Marqvardsen, artistic and festival directors at SPOR
AM: The concert hall becomes a challenge when it scares off the audience and restricts the composers with all its rules and regulations as to how things ought to be done. One of the most important things we have found out is that we and the artists at the festival need a great deal of freedom and elbow room – also when it comes to being able to think in terms of such unconventional venues as a cofferdam, an attic or urban space as the setting for art music. We’ve no interest in a concert hall where we can’t use a bathtub full or water or sand on the floor as an instrument! Because then it is suddenly the concert hall that determines what is possible purely artistically and musically – and that’s just not on!
AB: When we placed sound art and composed music on a par, it also became natural to include other neighbouring genres such as performance, modern dance and concept art. For us, contemporary art music is just as reflective and vociferous as all other contemporary art – it is not necessarily only about sound in itself, and it does not only address those with a knowledge of music, quite the opposite. Music art has the same potential for debative curating as all other art forms, and each year we focus precisely on bringing this out. For that reason, we always have such titles as: TOUCH ME; SPEAK UP; DO IT ANYWAY.