torstorv

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Academic interests

  • Contemporary Music in Iceland
  • Environmental humanities
  • Ecocriticism
  • Musical style and aesthetics
  • Music analysis 

Doctoral research project 2016-2019:

In a time of global climate crisis, “nature” is taking on new shapes and new meanings. What we imagine by the term “nature”, and what kinds of values we attach to it, are among the most important questions for the new century. My research project explores the relationship between music, nature, and identity in contemporary Iceland. I research how different conceptions of nature and landscape appear in music across genres, and what this can tell us of how we relate to our natural surroundings. 

Since the devastating financial crash of 2008, both the social and natural landscapes of Iceland have experienced pressure from unsustainable mass tourism and controversial industrial hydro- and geopower developments. These issues have sparked a range of artistic and musical responses, many of which amount to a critical questioning of the nation through engagement with nature. On another level, global views on Iceland have largely been shaped by dramatic images of unique landscapes in a history of exotic representation. This makes "nature" a politically significant topic in contemporary Iceland, with environmental issues being strongly felt as they cut across issues of national and cultural identity.

My project uses music analysis to shed light on how music is registering and reacting to these issues. Ecological awareness seeps into artistic practices, sparking developments in musical aesthetics. How are artists and composers using the unique potentials of musical form to enter into environmental debate? Starting from the context of Iceland, these questions resonate globally. 

 

Background

  • BA in Musicology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • MA in Musicology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

 

Tags: Iceland, Icelandic music, Music analysis, Popular music, Ecocriticism
Published Sep. 6, 2016 10:20 AM - Last modified June 27, 2018 11:25 AM