Morten Riis (b. 1980) is a composer, sound artist and researcher.
Morten Riis's music can be characterised as an electronic music that fuses elements of sound art with a more acousmatic and electro-acoustic approach.Lately his artistic work has focused around the investigation of the myriad of errors that arises when working with analogue and digital systems. Common for all of Riis's artistic endeavours is a fascination of working on the limits of what is technological possible when finding new sound material. Pushing machines to their limits to obtain an aesthetic that emphasises the imperfections of modern technology. Yet perhaps the sound of a computer crashing is not an expression of error, but rather an expression of anintangible beauty. From these digital shortcomings a sound universe is created that might be defined as modern day music concrete, that utilizes the sounds that are a part of our modern everyday lives. They are not physical objects but are very concrete in our daily interaction with technology, and in that sense perhaps a more concrete sound statement for our generation than the sound of a rumbling train.
Has published a range of topics on the mediation of sound, and artistic research in books, anthologies, and journals. He holds a Ph.D. degree in electronic music from Aarhus University and is educated in composition from the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus. Together with composer Marie Højlund he is the co-founder and leader of The Overheard project presenting large scale sound installations in Denmark and abroad. Riis has also organised international academic conferences, acted as editor of journals and successfully fundraised large scale academic and artistic projects.
Full CV
RECENT EMPLOYMENTS· Studielektor at Audio Design, Aarhus University. 1st of April 2021 -· Ekstern lektor at Audio Design, Aarhus University. 1st of September 2020 - 30th of April 2021. · Associate Professor in Electronic Music at The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus. 1st August 2018 - 31 August 2020. · Researcher and teacher at Audio Design and Center For Sound Studies, Aarhus University. December 1st 2016 to June 30th 2018. · Post doc position at PIT – interdisciplinary research center, Aarhus University. August 1st 2014 to November 1st 2016.· Head of the electronic music department at The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus. June 1st 2013 to June 31st 2014 (part time). · Post doc position at PIT – interdisciplinary research center, Aarhus University. January 1st 2013 to February 15th 2014 (full time).· Teaching electronic music composition and supervising MA projects at The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus. August 2012 to July 2013.· Teaching electronic music composition at ‘Musik og Dans’ Højskole, Toftlund. August 2012 to December 2012.· PhD scholarship. Co-financed between The Royal Academy of Music and Aarhus University. 1 September 2008 to 1 September 2012.
EDUCATION· PhD degree. Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University. 15 January 2013.· Master of Science (MSc) in Information Technology, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University. 15 September 2010.· Initiated a master in electronic music from The Royal Academy of Music, combined with a transition to 4+4 PhD scholarship (2007 – 2008).· Bachelor degree in electronic music from The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus. 11 June 2007.· Musicology, Aarhus University (1999 – 2002)· Mathematical high school degree from Marselisborg gymnasium, Aarhus (1996 – 1999).
CHOSEN CONCERTS2022- KLANG Festival, Musikhuset Copenhagen2021- Freiburg Ensemble Haus - with ensemble recherche2020- Klang Festival, Copenhagen- Musikhuset Aarhus, with ensemble recherche2018- Resignation concert for Prof Wayne Siegel, Musikhuset Lille Sal, Aarhus- Klang festival with Copenhagen Phil. Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen- Solar Plexsus with poet Morten Søndergaard et. al. Åben Scene, Godsbanen, Aarhus- Sonificeret Omfagnelse - 3D sound diffusion festival, Dome of Visions, Aarhus2017- Sonic Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark- Struer Tracks (in collaboration with Marie Højlund), Struer, Denmark- Keddelhuset, Silkeborg, Denmark2016- Define Festival, Denmark.- Hindsgavl Festival, Denmark- Utzon Center, Aalborg, Denmark2015- Klang Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark- SPOR festival, Aarhus, Denmark- Critical Alternatives Conference, Aarhus, Denmark- Nordic Music Days, Copenhagen, Denmark- Lab of Aesthetics & Ecology Festival, Dome of Visions, Copenhagen- Kunsthal Aarhus2014- Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus, Denmark- Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany- ACTS Festival-14, Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde, Denmark- SPOR Festival-14, Aarhus, Denmark2013- Nordic Music Days, Helsinki, Finland- Open Days - festival for new music and sound art, Aalborg, Denmark- Aarhus Sound Festival (Aarhus Lydfestival), Denmark- Land Art Park, Rodekro, Denmark.- Hindsgavl festival (playing 4 concerts). Middelfart, Denmark- Danish Royal Library, Copenhagen, Denmark.- Danish National Radio building. Copenhagen, Denmark.- Humboldt University. Berlin, Gemany. 2012- Eskilstuna Contemporary Art Museum. Eskilstuna, Sweden.- Kunstbaustelle, Flensburg, Germany.- Synaesthesia festival. Wroclaw, Poland.- LAK sound art festival, Copenhagen, Denmark- Aarhus Art Building (Aarhus kunstbygning), Aarhus, Denmark- Musikhuset Aarhus, Rytmisk sal. 25th anniversary for DIEM. Aarhus, Denmark.- Galerie Pi. Copenhagen, Denmark.- Transmediale festival. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany 2011- Kunstbaustelle Klang Kunst Festival. Flensburg, Germany- Performing Music.television at relaunch of Aarhus Young Toneartist (AUT). Aarhus, Denmark- Live electronics with Messer String Quartet. Medical Museion. Copenhagen, Denmark 2010 - Worldtronics10. Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Berlin, Germany- International Electronic Music Festival, Sonderborg, Denmark- Concert at the Danish pavilion at the world EXPO in Shanghai, China- DADA, Shanghai, China- The Raying temple, Beijing, China- Concert with Jonas R. Kirkegaard at the Queen of Denmark’s coach trip through the city of Aarhus.- Headphones festival at SPOR festival, Aarhus, Denmark 2009- International Electronic Music Festival, Sonderborg, Denmark- NOTCH09 digital art festival Guangzhou, China- NOTCH09 digital arts festival Beijing, China- Roskilde festival, Denmark- Concert performing ONE IS LISTEN at CAVI, University of Aarhus, Denmark- Premiere of the concert band piece A.R.O.S. Musikhusets great hall, Arhus, Denmark 2008- Concert at the Danish National Gallery, Copenhagen. Performing LEGO.MUSIC - Electronic Jazz Juice 08, “Musikcaféen”, Aarhus- SPOT festival, “Musikhuset”, “Filuren”, Aarhus- Premiere of the piece LEGO.MUSIC for 8 LEGO Technics engines. Literaturhaus, Copenhagen 2007- Kulturnat07. Duo concert with Jonas Olesen at The Danish Ministry of Culture. Copenhagen- Sonic Arts Network, Expo festival, Plymouth, England- Bachelor concert from The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus, Denmark 2006- Solo concert and VJ for J. Olesen, Huset Aalborg. Arranged by North Jutland Young Tone Artists- Konturfestival, PLEX Music theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark- Recession festival, Lynfabrikken, Aarhus, Denmark- Electronic Jazz Juice 06, Musikcaféen, Aarhus, Denmark- Duo concert with Jonas Olesen, Overgaden -Institute for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark- Vrioon for 2x double bass, viola and computer. Ridehuset, Aarhus, Denmark- Impro.v1, for solo violin and computer. Soloist Tim Summers. Musikhusets small hall, Aarhus, Denmark 2005- Science festival, Studenterhus Aarhus, Denmark. Moraville for piano, viola, double bass and computer - Syntèse festival05, Bourges, France. Premiere of the piece Hier la méme chanson- Musikhusets great hall, Aarhus, Denmark. Granville for 8 cello and computer
INSTALLATIONS2022(Dette er ikke) ET TRÆ. Permanent sound sculpture at UC.SYD campus Kolding.2021Chasing the Moods - permanent sound sculpture, Hjørring Hospital - In collaboration with Marie Højlund. 2020Vi Lytter Sammen - permanent sound sculpture, Struer - In collaboration with Marie Højlund. 2019- Hemmeligheder bygger bro MK2. Piece for the automatic carillons in the cities of Randers, Herning, Silkeborg and Aarhus. In collaboration with Marie Højlund.2018- Hemmeligheder bygger Bro. Piece for the carillons at Aarhus City Hall. In collaboration with Marie Højlund. Aarhus Festuge, 31 August to 9 September. - L/R & R/L at the group exhibition Art By Numbers - KH7 Artspace, Aarhus. June 2018.- Anotações Sonoras: Espaço, Pausa, Repetição. Sound design for the installation made by Pedro Tudela & Miguel Carvalhais at oMuseu - Faculdade de Belas Artes Universidade do Porto.- Nephew // The Overheard. Live augmented audio/video broadcast from Østerild windmill testcenter, Thisted, running live at 1st January to 31st December 2018. In collaboration with Marie Højlund & Nephew.2017- 199 Stemmer. Site specific 10 + 3 channel public sound installation. Sct Marie Church Sønderborg. Commissioned by Define Festival. 6th to 12th November. In collaboration with Marie Højlund.- 4140 Voices. Site specific 24 channel public sound installation. Memorial site for the fallen Danish soldiers during the First World War, Mindeparken - Aarhus. 1st of July to 25th of September. Made in collaboration with Marie Højlund.2016- OFFSTAGE. Public sound art installation at Ofelia Plads, Copenhagen. Commissioned by The Royal Theater and Danish Composers Society. Made in collaboration with Marie Højlund and Jonas R. Kirkegaard.- Norner. Sound atmosphere for exhibition at Utzon Center, Aalborg, Denmark. Made in collaboration with Marie Højlund and Nicolas Vetterli.2014- Magnetic Groove Memories. A re-introduction of the physical music archive consisting of an exhibition, workshops and performances. In collaboration with Sandra Boss and Jonas Olesen. Roskilde library January 11 to January 30 2014.2013- Cassette Memories. Performative installation/workshop in collaboration with Andrew Prior. Roskilde Festival, July 3rd and 4th 2013.2012- Carla Sleeping. Eskilstuna Contemporary Art Museum. 10th of November 2012 to 6th of January 2013. Eskilstuna, Sweden. - Carla Sleeping, an interactive audio/mechanical moving sculpture made in collaboration with Jukka Vikberg. Galerie Pi. 2nd March to 31st of March. Copenhagen, Denmark. 2010- Bamboo Weave, an audio/visual sculpture made in collaboration with Mogens Jacobsen & Jacob Sikker Remin. NOTCH-10 festival, Beijing, China 2009- The Sound and Sight of CO2, an audio/visual installation made for the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen, placed at the central town square 2007- Music.television, an audio/visual installation for 8 Televisions. Premiered at Magasin department store, Aarhus, Denmark- SIC, an Interactive computer installation. “SPOR-festival”, “Ridehuset” Aarhus, Denmark - SIC, an Interactive computer installation. Premiered at PLEX music-theater, Copenhagen, Denmark 2006- Reception, an interactive audio/visual installation. Premiered at the opening of the TEKNE network, The Aarhus Art Building – Center for contemporary art, Denmark- Knowledge-Room, an Interactive audio/visual installation. Made in collaboration with Jonas Olesen. Premiered at “Knowledge-festival 06”, Aarhus Student-house, Denmark
VIDEO WORKS20218 Rooms Listening to Me (in the wilderness) - commissioned by Aarhus Sinfonietta2021Close to You - with ensemble recherche, in collaboration with Allan Gravgaard Madsen2020Close to You Fragments - with ensemble recherche, in collaboration with Allan Gravgaard Madsen2008TETA 1-3 - produced at Aarhus Filmværksted, in collaboration with Jonas Olesen
CURATORIAL- The Overheard. Large scale sound art project (official part of The European Capital of Culture, Aarhus 2017) that presented 6 outdoor public sound installations spread over Region Midt, (jutland). A live streaming web page, and a series of concerts. In collaboration with Marie Højlund.
THEATER Composer and sound designer on Dancer In The Dark, Aarhus Teater, autumn 2018.
SOFTWARE VibraNode (2013) Application for iPhone using the vibrator of the phone to excite the physical world. Made in collaboration with Redia - commissioned by Danish Composers Society.
FILM MUSIC- The Fringe. Docu/fiction directed by Christian Vium. Premiered at Proyecta 2017 "Imaginando Otros Posibles" - Plaza Mayor, Madrid (2017). - Manenberg. A documentary produced and directed by Karen Waltorp & Christian Vium (2010). Official selection CPH:DOX -10- Borderland. A documentary produced and directed by Knud Brix, Kristian Djurhuus & Maximilian Westphal (2008). Distribution by Equator Pictures- E-magiciens. Animation film workshop festival, Valenciennes, France (2005)
GRANTS- Danish Art Foundation, work grant 2022- Danish Art Foundation, work grant 2021- Danish Art Foundation, work grant 2020- Danish Art Foundation, work grant 2019- Danish Art Foundation, work grant 2018- Danish Art Foundation, work grant 2017- Danish Art Foundation, work grant 2016- Danish Art Foundation, work grant 2015- Danish Art Foundation, work grant 2014- Danish Art Foundation, work grant 2008
COMMISSIONS- Aarhus Symphony Orchestra 2023- Klang festival 2022 - 2024- Aarhus sinfonietta 2021- ensemble recherche 2020- Klang Festival (Copenhagen Phil) 2018- Define Festival (Skt. Mariekirken) 2017- The Royal Theatre, Copenhagen 2016 - Define Festival (Silesian String Quartet) 2016- Klang Festival 2015- Spor Festival 2014- ACTS Festival 2014- Danish Composers Society 2013- Danish Royal Library 2012- DIEM (Danish Institute of Electronic Music) 25 years anniversary 2012- Messer String Quartet 2011- Tonica concert band 2009- Contemporanea 2009
NOMINATIONS- Danish national radios P2’s Lyt til Nyt prisen (best new composition music) 2010 for the CD getString
RELATED ACTIVITIES- Jury member, Open Call, Ofelia Plads 2017.- Organiser, curator, fundraiser (in collaboration with Marie Højlund) on The Overheard - part of the European Capital of Culture, Aarhus 2017. - Co-Musical supervisor for the opening of European Capital of Culture, Aarhus 2017.- Guest editor of special issue on Voice and Memory in the journal SoundEffects, 2016-2017.- Co-organiser Sound Art Matters - international conference on sound art, Aarhus University 1-4th of June 2016. - Developer on project Folkelab, a collaboration between public libraries and Aarhus University. March 2013 - February 2014.- Curator and editor of DIEM’s (Danish Institute of Electronic Music) 25-year anniversary CD, released March 2012- Curator and member of Aarhus E (Electronic Music Aarhus), a project initiative to promote and distribute electronic music from Aarhus, 2008-2011- Co-management and fundraising of the conference: The Art of Inverse Surveillance. Aarhus University. 8th through 9th of February 2009.