Jens L.Thomsen ger ljóðmynd til Royal Festival Hall

Jens L. Thomsen hevur fingið eina stóra uppgávu í sambandi við norðurlendska festivalin í London, Nordic Matters. Hann skal gera ljóðmynd til allar seks hæddir í London Southbank Centre. Ljóðmyndin, sum hevur heitið NORÐ skal á onkran hátt sipa til Norðurlond og øll her um leiðir eru vælkomin at senda ljóðupptøkur, ið verða partur av ljóðmyndini. Her er ein grein á enskum um verkætlanina, sum Eir Nolsøe hevur skrivað. Niðast er vegleiðing til hvussu mann sendir sítt ljóðuppskot til Jens L.Thomsen.

ORKA takes over Royal Festival Hall

Jens L. Thomsen, best described as a slightly mad scientist of sound, will transform the six floors of the London Southbank Centre into a quest to define Nordic sound.

The sound installation is part of Nordic Matters, a year-long arts and culture festival, which was launched on January 13. Thomsen has called on artists from the Nordic region to submit sound samples that will be incorporated into the piece, which will consist of more than 70 speakers.

Thomsen said: “I’m really excited about this project because of the large scale. My work has been a lot about finding a Nordic sound or tone but it’s always been fairly specific and limited to a certain site. This project allows me to draw on years of work and research from an entire region to be explored across a massive canvas.”

The artist, who has lived in London for more than decade, is known for taking an experimental approach to music and sound under his alias Orka. Former projects have included home-made instruments built from farm tools, sampling mountains to determine the sound of the Faroe Islands and creating beats in a pre-war cinema in Leipzig. Orka was also amongst the nominees for the Nordic Council Music Prize in 2016.

The installation will be called NORÐ, which is Faroese for North. It will be structured as a journey from the bottom of the sea to the sky, incorporating sounds from the elements ice, earth and fire. The auditorium of the Royal Festival Hall is often described as an ‘egg in a box’ as it is suspended in the midst of the building to improve acoustics. Thomsen aims to create a metaphorical nest around the auditorium, or egg, for it to rest in.

“The nest will be framed by sound imagery built with elements from the underwater world, the surface of the water, bird-cliff environments, and the sky,” he said.

Georgia Ward, head of festival site design, and Bengi Unsal, senior contemporary music programmer at Southbank Centre, commissioned the piece in relation to Nordic Matters. The festival aims to showcase the best of Nordic art and culture throughout 2017.

Ward said: “When we began the project, we recognised the difficulty of creating a visual representation of Nordic landscapes and so began to think about alternative artistic approaches. We were familiar with Jens L. Thomsen’s music and installation work and had heard about his collaboration with Uni Árting to create the sound installation Føroyar 5.2. (A piece exploring the sound of the Faroe Islands through sampling seismic vibrations in mountains).

“Thomsen created a thoughtful and beautiful proposal based on site visits and discussion. NORÐ is an immersive experience and representation of the stunning and diverse Nordic landscape, which is so different from the urban landscape of central London. It will be a central commission for Nordic Matters and will be an important part of the welcoming and scene-setting for visitors to the Royal Festival Hall during our Nordic year.”

NORÐ is expected to open in April at The Southbank Centre, the largest arts centre in the UK. Other Faroese artists taking part in Nordic Matters include Randi Samsonsen, Lena Andersen and Heiðrik á Heygum as well as many more, yet to be announced.


People from Åland, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden are invited to submit sound samples which will be selected and woven into the final sound piece. When sourcing sounds participants of the open call will be free to interpret the imagery and themes in either a naturalistic or abstract manner, which will contribute to a conceptual and speculative sound piece rather than a literal reproduction of sounds.

Participants are asked to submit a zip file containing wav or mp3 files to via or similar file transfer service by Feb 14, 2017. Qualifying contributors will not receive fees or royalties, but will be credited. It is therefore important that the sound files as well as the zip file are carefully labelled with a) country code, b) full name of the participant, c) file number. Example: FO Jens L. Thomsen 1.wav, FO Jens L. Thomsen 2.wav etc.