The Transit experiment

Idea: I wanted to play music from my sampler machine on the public bus and the subway (giving a concert) meeting and being with a random travelling audience. I decided to play music, two days in a row, on different busses and on the subway. 


The elements I used : 

My sampler and a speaker.

Sound samples: saxophone, jazz, beats, harmonica, electronic music, hip hop and voice.



I learned how to use the sampler. 

I checked my loudspeaker and went through scenarios that could happen in my mind. 

I had decided to not interact with anyone. 

I wanted to stand out a little, as if I could be seen as a performer choosing to wear a military green jumpsuit. 



Playing with the sampler, different loops on the bus and at the subway.

The setting was changing because people were getting off and on. The first day I started around 12.00. There were not so many people on the bus. After 3 hours on the bus, I went to the subway and got on line 5. It was very busy and I had to stand. There was a kindergarten on the subway when I played and they were grooving to the sound I made between the stations Hasle and Rommen.

On the second day I performed during rush hour, between 15.00 and 18.00, where there were a lot of people. At the end of the second day an older lady came over to me and thanked me for the music, she had never heard electronic music before. She was 85 years old and went off at the station Etterstad sletta, where my grandmother lives. This was on the 37 bus to Helsfyr.



There was a mixed response from the audience, some people liked that I was playing, others did not pay attention and some came to talk with me and shared that they also wanted to make music. Others asked me about the machine, the speaker and how it worked. I was quickly reminded that performance in a public space needs to open for a possibility of some form of interacting, because a part of it is always a social experiment for me. I tried to understand how I appeared, if my appearance was a disturbance. It was interesting for me to stay in this situation for a long while. Observing and creating at the same time.


The dramaturgy of what was happening inside the experiment was determined by the specific situation. The experiment, the action in itself was the score. There is no rehearsal, and there is no introduction and there is also no set order. I link this experiment to the artist Allan Kaprow and his approach to a “happening”, where the situation is making the dramaturgy and when art and life gets blurred in a real place in real time. Not on stage, but in life. I wanted to see how I work when meeting the public, where I don't have control of how and who and when something will happen. 

I was inspired by this experiment and want to incorporate the approach and the atmosphere from a happening into my work


Guided tour in Transit

I include this Transit experiment from a workshop at school because it taught me about what failing can give to the later creative processes. I failed in not giving myself the time and space to honour the void. This experiment was in school, where I chose to make my presentation of the experiment into a new experiment, an interactive performance.


Idea: Being a tour guide and a Dj at the same time. Visiting social areas in school, pointing out physical elements in different areas that I usually overlooked, giving a surprise piano concert with another student from another course in the school, and me giving a concert using my sampler in Jim's cafe.


The elements I used:

Two speakers, my sampler, a microphone and two audience members as assistants.



My plan was to start by welcoming the audience and inviting them to a guided tour in transit. Starting with two audience members changing into jumpsuits. Then showing the video from my Transit happening in Oslo. After that video we were going to visit three different sites at school.The first site was under a sign which said “Compassion”. There I was planning to play music exploring that theme. Then I planned to go to the university cafeteria where we would play the piano and finally end up at Jim's Cafe, which is open to the general public, where I would give a concert. 



What happened was that I welcomed the audience, asked two of them to put on the  jumpsuit and help me with the wires and my microphone. I forgot to show the video, because I was too eager to start. When I was going to bring them all to the first site, the compassion sign, I realised that the battery on the sampler was empty. I panicked and didn´t find a way to say that it was impossible to do the presentation. I chose to continue without the sampler and the sound and improvised around what I was supposed to do. In the first location I told about how the sound was supposed to be. In the cafeteria I played the piano alone, because the guy who was supposed to play with me didn't show up. At Jim's cafe I just asked everybody if they could sing with me acapella, making up a tune, before I walked the audience back.



From this awful experience I learned that I had a lot of work to do when it comes to how I deal with the moment, and how important it is for me to take care of my own interests and my well being. How much I can handle, how much do I want to handle. And how do I know what's realistic, what can possibly be achieved when things go wrong. These two experiences were very rich and useful and changed my whole way of thinking around performance and production. Again I went into immediate solving mode when really I needed to step away from the situation or at least modify my own expectations according to new reality, the reality of not having a working sampler.