Kulning is an ancient Nordic singing style, traditionally used by women at the summer pastures. A way of communicating and to call the cattels from a far distance. Kulning are high pitched, melodic and strongly directed loops.
I’m a singer from Stockholm. Kulning and folk singing became my musical language when I discovered folk music at the age of 20. I was seduced by the tonality, variety, flexibility and freedom to sing in my own personal way.
Where am I?
I live and work in a society of change, unfair distribution of resources between poor and rich, men and women. In my music I want to reflect past and present, based on the instrument and singing style I made to mine. I use kulning as a vocal expression in my compositions. Kulning is for me about liberating the voice and letting go, and it demands space.
The insight that the room is an extension of the sound of kulning made me understand the importance of uncompromising acoustics. Only in perfect conditionscan my kulning come out true and I can start creating music on my own terms.
I want to kula! How can I kula if I don´t have a forest? Could I be able to create a virtual “forest” where my voice can grow and spread out in the same way as outdoors?
Can I find an analog or electronic backdoor to the perfect kulnings soundscape indoor? Can I create music with the idea that the room is an extension of the kulnings sound? Can I tell everything I want by kulning? and in the end, how do I convey the artistic qualities of kulning to someone ells?
I have investigated these questions by creating new music for two different indoor spaces.
Part I – Wheel of Time /Tidevarv – for mixed choir and kulnings soloists. Performed by Katrineholm’s chamber choir in the dome of Floda kyrka, in Katrineholm. May 2017
Part II – Footprints of the Forest – a pease for three voices (myself Karin and Eva) in the electro-acoustic dome at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. October 2017
Part III – Claim the Space – Solo performance in the electro-acoustic dome at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. 2018
In the context of these three projects, I have explored the capability of “Kulning” in the way of making voice art. Tried out composition and improvisation models to get musical ideas to implement in new compositions. Experiment with exercises to extend my voice’s durability. Try out tools to create “virtual musical SoundScapes” and developed the concept of making tutorials to quickly teach others to do the kulning.
Artistic concepts for future development
The Grand piano lake– is an acoustic, analogue compromise where I can achieve a worthy sound scape for kulnings improvisation and performing art indoors.
I have just scratch on the surface of the fantastic possibilities that Klangkupolen/ The sound dome in KMH offers. I want to combine kulning with audio, light, images, motions and VR technology. Create a holistic kulnings forest for me and the audiens to literally step into.
The need to quickly convey kulnings technique and musical structure to choir soloists made me combine a free notation with tutorials, which resulted in a richer performance.
My fourth artistic concept and what inspired me for all my projects are well proven and perhaps the easiest way – Solistic and polyphonic kulnings performances outdoors in the forest.