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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. 



  • 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


Størvold, Tore (2017). "Sonic Cartography: Record Production and Geographic Space in Ólafur Arnalds Island Songs". Paper presented at The 12th Art of Record Production Conference, Stockholm,  December 2.

Størvold, Tore (2017). "Performing Dreamland: Valgeir Sigurðsson's 'Grýlukvæði' in the Context of Environmental Debate in Iceland". Paper presented at The 21st Annual Symposium for Music Scholars in Finland, Jyväskylä, April 20.

Størvold, Tore (2016). "Beats, Strings, and Volcanic Things: Cross-Genre Musical Practices in the Independent Music Scene in Reykjavík, Iceland". MA Thesis, Norwegian University of Science and Technology. 

  • Størvold, Tore & Richardson, John (2021). Radioactive Music: The Eerie Agency of Hildur Guðnadóttir’s Music for the Television Series Chernobyl. Music and the Moving Image. ISSN 2167-8464. 14(3), p. 30–45.
  • Størvold, Tore (2020). Musical aesthetics below ground: volcanic action and the geosocial in Sigur Rós’s “Brennisteinn”. Journal of Aesthetics and Culture. ISSN 2000-4214. 12(1). doi: 10.1080/20004214.2020.1761060. Full text in Research Archive
  • Hawkins, Stan & Størvold, Tore (2019). Justin Timberlake's "Man of the Woods": Lumbersexuality, Nature, and Larking Around. In Hawkins, Stan & Burns, Lori A. (Ed.), The Bloomsbury Handbook of Popular Music Video Analysis. Bloomsbury Academic. ISSN 978-1-5013-4233-2. p. 317–336. doi: 10.5040/
  • Størvold, Tore (2018). Sigur Ros: Reception, borealism, and musical style. Popular Music. ISSN 0261-1430. 37(3), p. 371–391. doi: 10.1017/S0261143018000442.
  • Størvold, Tore (2018). Music and the Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant: Style, Aesthetics, and Environmental Politics in Iceland. Popular music and society. ISSN 0300-7766. doi: 10.1080/03007766.2018.1469390. Full text in Research Archive

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  • Størvold, Tore (2020). Sounds Icelandic. Edited By Þorbjörg Daphne Hall, Nicola Dibben, Árni Heimir Ingólfsson and Tony Mitchell. Sheffield: Equinox, 2019. 233 pp. ISBN 13 978 1 78179 145 5. Popular Music. ISSN 0261-1430. 39(2), p. 363–366. doi: 10.1017/S0261143020000252.
  • Devine, Kyle; Kraugerud, Emil; Jones, Ellis Nathaniel & Størvold, Tore (2019). First Things First.
  • Jones, Ellis Nathaniel; Kraugerud, Emil; Størvold, Tore & Devine, Kyle (2019). Dragging the Lake.
  • Størvold, Tore (2017). Sonic Cartography: Record Production and Geographic Space in Ólafur Arnalds' Island Songs.
  • Størvold, Tore (2017). Performing Dreamland: Valgeir Sigurðsson’s “Grýlukvæði” in the Context of Environmental Debate in Contemporary Iceland.
  • Størvold, Tore (2017). Performing Dreamland: Musical Responses to Environmental Debate in Contemporary Iceland.
  • Størvold, Tore (2019). Dissonant Landscapes: Nature and the Musical Imagination of Iceland. Oslo 07-Media.
  • Størvold, Tore & Howland, John (2016). Beats, Strings and Volcanic Things: Cross-genre Musical Practices in the Independent Music Scene in Reykjavík, Iceland . Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet.

View all works in Cristin

Published Sep. 6, 2016 10:20 AM - Last modified June 27, 2018 11:25 AM