Torben Snekkestad: tenor & soprano saxophone & reed-trumpet

The Norwegian saxophonist Torben Snekkestad is a multi-facetted musician dedicated to contemporary music and improvisation of all kinds. Over the years he has explored vast areas of music in a conscious and open-minded way both as a performer, composer and improviser. Snekkestad’s broad musical knowledge has led him into very different musical settings, ranging from baroque and contemporary classical music to rock, folk music, free improvisation and free jazz. All these inspirations are particularly audible in his solo performances – shaped with a highly personal voice.

Snekkestad’s solo performance is partly a result of his artistic research project “The Poetics of a Multiphonic Landscape”, which focuses on his fascination of extended techniques for the saxophone – most notably, the complex possibility of producing simultaneously multiple sounds on an instrument considered monophonic. The performance includes various creative ways of using these sonics as an “energy center“ in a solo improvisation setting.

The main question Snekkestad asked himself in this process was:

What happens if the raw musical material, in the creation of a set of solo saxophone works, is based on the multiphonics only and what this material in itself suggest – unconcerned by any stylistic affiliation?’

This led Snekkestad to use underwater soundscapes as an inspiration for his acoustic explorations, an increased awareness of the complex multiple sonic’s intrinsic worth, and furthermore to make use of a hybrid instrument called ‘reed trumpet’. Experienced at the intersection of free improvisation and compositional praxis, his solo playing is further enriched through the deep immersion in extended techniques and subtle textural sonics.