About

Biography

Sigurd Hole is a Norwegian composer and musician (double bass), focusing his work on the dialogue between composition and improvisation in a musical landscape where other sounds besides those of musical instruments and humans may occur as vital parts of the music itself. This results in a unique musical world that more and more people are turning their ears towards, both at home and abroad. His music recently found its way to Carnegie Hall, and he has received strong reviews both for his solo and ensemble albums in media such as the The New York Times, DownBeat and BBC3. In May 2022 he was awarded the prestigious German Record Critics' Award (Preis der deutschen Shallplattenkritik) for his latest album “Roraima”.

Sigurd has been a vital part of the Norwegian music scene for the past decade, both in jazz ensembles like Tord Gustavsen trio and Eple Trio, and through his work related to Norwegian folk music with musicians like Karl Seglem and Eli Storbekken. Composing has always been an important part of his expression as an artist, and he has written music for ensembles ranging from small duos and trios to orchestras like The Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK) throughout his career.

After extensive touring world-wide for many years, Sigurd decided to slow things down a bit and return to the core of his interest in music: exploring the rich timbral spectrum of the double bass, from high-pitched harmonics on the brink of what the human ear might hear to the deep, dark roars of rumbling strings.

These double bass explorations resulted in the solo bass album “Elvesang” (2018), recorded in an old wooden church close to where he grew up in Rendalen, Norway. The album received world-wide critical acclaim in a wide range of media, far beyond expectations for something as unusual as a solo album with free improvised music performed on the largest and most a-typical solo instrument of the string family. In February 2020 came the sequel to “Elvesang”, the monumental "Lys / Mørke" - a solo bass double album close to 80 minutes long recorded outdoors on the arctic islands of Fleinvær in Northern Norway. The album was premiered in Carnegie Hall, and was listed on several Best of 2020-lists like DownBeat´s “Top Rated albums of 2020” alongside recordings by Chick Corea, Keith Jarret and others.

In February 2022 Sigurd released his most recent album “Roraima”. "Roraima" was commissioned by Oslo World for the festival in 2020, and reflects themes such as solidarity and ecological vulnerability. The work draws inspiration from the creation myth of the Yanomami people and the sound of the Amazon rainforest, and also includes field recordings of the Amazon biophony by US soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause. The ensemble features Trygve Seim, Frode Haltli, Helga Myhr, Tanja Orning, Håkon Aase, Per Oddvar Johansen and the composer himself.

In a time when the noise of humanity threatens to overwhelm and destroy the very habitat in which they live, examining every aspect of human interaction with the external world seems to be of grave importance. At the core of Sigurd´s work both as musician and composer is an ambitious and ever-present curiosity towards the medium of sound and a deep fascination for the conscious act of listening. This foundation manifests itself in an explorative attitude towards music as such, examining what music can be, different ways of experiencing music, and ultimately how we as humans interact with music and other sounds and how this interaction might teach us something about listening in a wider sense.

A GLIMPSE AT CURRENT CREATIVE OUTPUT
(here, a brief glimpse into whatever is presently being created will be shared from time to time)

November 21st, 2022: currently composing new pieces for solo double bass to be premiered next year as part of the project "Interobjective soundscapes". I am planning several concerts in art galleries around Norway where the scores, a combination of traditional notation and different graphic elements ranging from geometric figures to actual objects like a leaf, will be displayed in the gallery before, during and after the concert.

Personal info & experience

Personal information

Name Birth date Birthplace City Country
Sigurd Hole 13/07 1981 Elverum

Education

Year Degree Institution
2022 Philosophy of mind University of Oxford
2022 Metaphysics University of Oxford
2021 Astronomy University of Oxford
2002 to 2008 Masters in jazz / improvised music, focusing on double bass and composition The Norwegian Academy of Music

Projects

Work

Year Position Workplace
2007 to 2019 Assistant professor in double bass, improvisation and ensembles The Norwegian Academy of Music

Scholarships and grants

Year Title Description Venue
01/2022 to 12/2022 Innlandet Fylkeskommunes kunstnerstipend Composers grant Innlandet Fylkeskommune
01/2014 Forsbergs og Aulies legat Composers grant Forsbergs og Aulies legat

Discography

Albums as band member

Roraima, Large ensemble 2022
Lys / Mørke, Solo 2020
Encounters , Trio 2018
Elvesang, Solo 2018
Bak Jorda Ein Plass, Jon Eberson Group 2017
Fabel, Eli Storbekken / Sigurd Hole 2016
Skoddeheimen, Other projects 2014
Jorba, Other projects 2013
The Coarse Sand & The Names We Wrote, Jon Eberson Group 2011
Comfort Call, Jon Eberson Group 2010
Arme jord ha jolefred, Other projects 2009

Compositions

Cover Title Length Album
Chrome Hill 5:29 Made This
Moon Tint 5:12 Made This
Angular Momentum 4:12 Made This
Buoy 5:14 The Widening Sphere of Influence
River Song II 9:53 In the Clearing / In the Cavern (2CD)
Birds of India 11:28 In the Clearing / In the Cavern (2CD)
Angular Momentum 4:04 nyesongar.no
Dordei 5:32 nyesongar.no
Etter Snø (Odda) 5:21 nyesongar.no
Live in Germany (K4) / Ventande 4:16 JazzBukkBox
Live in Germany (K4) / Veksande 2:58 JazzBukkBox
Live in Germany (K4) / Vandrande vågal 6:19 JazzBukkBox
Live in Germany (K4) / Vaktande 3:39 JazzBukkBox
Solhaug 4:43 Nordic Balm
Azzahrat 5
Red Sky Encounters
Azzahra Encounters
Sakura Encounters
No Clouds Encounters
Dew of Tears Encounters
Pilgrimage Encounters
Old Branches Encounters