Therese Birkelund Ulvo has excelled as a composer in the larger formats in recent years and is one of few Norwegian composers in her generation who regularly gets her works performed with the major Norwegian orchestras. The music is often inspired by other art fields, such as film, text, and sound art. She has a close relationship with Norwegian traditional music, where one can find both the microtonal, the rhapsodic, and open forms. Her music is widely performed, at home and abroad.
“I work primarily with people, not with instruments or paper,” says composer Therese Birkelund Ulvo. She composes in intimate dialogue with performers and focuses on how this exchange of ideas with other musicians can supplement the written score. Her music is also inspired by other art fields, such as film, text and sound art.
Ulvo’s music moves in the intersection between the acoustic and electronic, both realms reciprocally colored by the other. The compositions often arise out of various forms of friction, noise and overtones created by the instruments.
The compositional forms seem to appear as open, sometimes bordering on the improvised, while still maintaining a strong narrative aspect. This openness allows both performers and listeners the freedom to shape the music. On one level, the composer gives up control, but in return she gains presence and a direct, almost tactile contact with the listener.
Therese Birkelund Ulvo studied composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She also has a tight bond to Norwegian traditional music, a genre that has a rich array of micro-tonal and rhapsodic passages, open forms and performer-based compositions.
Ulvo has written music for a wide range of ensembles. In Ensemble Epoch, which consists of Britt Pernille Frøholm on fiddle and Ulvo on electronics, she also experiments with the space surrounding the listening experience. The duo has performed in a variety of settings including open air events and club performances, leaving the performers in a closer and more committing encounter with the listener than in larger concert halls.