Footprints Of The Forest / Claim The Space

– Exploring the indoor space as an artistic quality in herding call.

This project is based on questions about the significance of the acoustic space for kulning (herding call). Can I perform kulning without a forest? How can I  explore the creative potentials of kulning in different acoustical rooms? Is it possible to create a Virtual Forest indoor where my voice can subside and echo the same way as outdoors? I explore these questions by improvisation and composition by kulning in a number of real and virtual spaces. Supervisor: Professor Susanne Rosenberg (both artistic and written part)


The Dome  – Spatial herding call composition for different acoustic indoor spaces.

•Part I – Composition for mixed choir in the dome of Floda kyrka, an 11th century church in Katrineholm. Performed by Katrineholms kammarkör the 31th of May, 2017. Supervisor: Karin Rehnqvist

•Part II – Composition for three female voices and recordings in the electro-acoustic 29 speaker dome at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Performed by Irmelin the13th of October 2017. Supervisor: Henrik Frisk

•Part III – Inside Out, solo performance in the electro-acoustic dome at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Performed by Maria Misgeld, the 9th of February 2018. Supervisors: Henrik Frisk and Susanne Rosenberg.

I would like composing for Ljudskogen to be the forth and final part of this project. Adding the possibility of interaction with the audience in the composition.

Methods in short

  • Kulning positions: exploring the effects of directions, body positioning, voice techniques on the sound of the herding call.
  • Shadow Composing: Using shadow singing to get musical ideas to implement in new compositions etc.
  • Grand Piano Lake – Using a Grand Piano as an acoustic space for herding call improvisation
  • Footprints of The Forest – creating virtual musical atmosphere using digital technology.
  • Tutorials – making Kulningstutorials to explore my tacit knowledge of the art of Kulning
  • Transcription and variation – Transcribe traditional material and analyze melodic and rhythmic variation
  • Recordings – explore technical possibilities and issues in the process of recording kulning in indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Improvisation – explore different frameworks for improvisation in live performances and recording


Herding call is an ancient singing style, traditionally used by women at the summer pastures to call the cattle and as a way of communicating with each other from a far distance. Herd calling are high pitched, melodic and strongly directed loops of music and calling that can be heard from several kilometers away. I use herd calling as a vocal expression in my compositions. Kulning is about liberating your voice and letting go and it demands space. That is why I choose room´s with high acoustics and long reverberation – like the church dome and the electro-acoustic 29 speaker dome at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

My background

I’m a singer from Stockholm. Kulning and folk singing became my musical language when I discovered folk music at the age of 18. I was seduced by the tonality, variety, flexibility and freedom to sing in my own personal way.

My question

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 create new music on the condition of the kulning for a specific room and get a satisfying kulnings experience?.

Where am I?

Folk music and kulning is my musical language. I live and work in a society of change, migrations, nationalism, and 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.

My methods.

I experiment with kulning in indoor spaces, recording and acoustics. Improvise in a open Grand piano, revalue technics, directions and positions. Try out tools to create “virtual musical SoundScapes” using digital technology. Experiment with exercises that can give my voice long durability. Try out composition models to get musical ideas to implement in new compositions.

My results

The insight that the room is an extension of the sound of kulning made me understand the importance of uncompromising acoustics. Only then can the kulning come out true and I can start creating music on my own terms.

Further questions

The question is whether I can create music only based on the premise of the kulning with the idea that the room is an extension of the kulnings sound?


Why do I want to challenge myself with kulning? Can I express myself and tell everything I want by kulning? Does the historical perspective matter? Can singing and kulning fit in the same composition? What happens when I change the historical context to a new one? How can I defend that I’m doing an outdoor music indoors? and so on…