It’s a strange phenomenon when perceiving the audio in a visual art context. Sound art, sonic art, audio installation – all encompass a portion of what has become know as “Sound Art”. Yet there is a large omission that has been left with this contextualisation, the major discourse coming from the musical aspect of the audio. The “big three”: Luigi Russolo, Pierre Scaeffer and John Cage have all elevated our thoughts on sound and art, however a major point to consider is that their contributions have all fallen deeply within the musical realm. Then there is Michel Chion with his copious amount of work within cinema and the importance of audio in relationship to the visual.

So with important figures across the spectrum in the media of sound, how can we digest what is the modern “Sound Artist” today? We could either pigeonhole individuals into one of the many categorises our society loves to make, or we can step back and observe an individual that has a broad horizon to play in.


Jacob Kirkegaard, a Danish contemporary sound artist is an interesting figure to consider in this line. While only recently leaving the Academy of Media Arts, Germany in 2005 – Kirkegaard’s work was represented in the MoMA’s “Soundings” exhibition, which took place this pass August to November.[1]




Yet on closer inspection this artist has an array of activities distant from installation work. For the 2011 documentary film Evolution of Violence, Kirkegaard produced the cinematic score that accompanied the film.

Another production of his – this time coming from a musical prospective – included a live remix of Else Marie Pade[2] Symphonie Magnetophonique in 2006 for the State Library of Denmark.

Else Marie Pade

Else Marie Pade


As we consider the various angles Kirkegaard works from – what question does this bring up? Many, in my mind. The most important of these questions, strikes at the heart of the multi-discipline conundrum, the reason for pieces on artist model archetypes, and categorisations etc. to be written, such as this piece; what is society’s compulsive need to partition ourselves, and others works or creations into a single box?

Alejandro Ball

[2] Else Marie Pade is a pioneer of Musique Concrete, and the first Danish composer of Electronic and Musique Concrete; Musique Concrete is French for “Concrete Music” and a term coined by Pierre Schaeffer for music created with sampled sound rather than conventional instruments – as well Musique Concrete is seen as one of contemporary electrical music’s forefathers.

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