what inspires me?

Øyvind Torvund (Norway), Composer

Øvind Torvund. Photo: Dimitri Djuric

Øvind Torvund. Photo: Dimitri Djuric

My work often starts with inspiration from other music. But I can also get formal ideas from visual art, which could lead me to wonder how music could trigger a similar sensation. I try to work with materials that have a clear sense of character, with references to other music and situations, but my ambition is to work with it in a way that leads these known materials into new places.

This could be an 1980s heavy metal overdriven guitar taken out on a river boat, or the sound of a car motor being doubled by a harpsichord. I’m fascinated by using caricatures, not necessarily in a comic way but more in a manneristic way, exaggerating certain aspects of a style or the specific ways the music behaves.

I tend to use a pool of materials that I like to come back to, reusing and rewriting them, and hopefully making new combinations or associations between them for each new piece. I often come back to ideas such as the archaic – speculating on where music comes from (animal noises, imitation between animals and humans, folk music) – and the idyllic, of paradise and its representation in history, from romanticism to new age drones.