Morten Riis: Music for traumatized instruments Musikhuset - Klang Festival Copenhagen Experimental Music Menu

Morten Riis: Music for traumatized instruments Musikhuset

Buy Tickets

In the solo work Music for Traumatized Instruments, composer, sound artist, and multi-instrumentalist Morten Riis takes his family members' own traumatic experiences as a personal and vulnerable starting point. The instruments that Riis uses in the course of the work – a violin, a melodica, a recorder – have all belonged to family members who have each experienced different traumas, and in this way, Riis tries throughout the work to answer a very concrete, albeit extremely complex question: Is it possible that human trauma is embedded in- and inherited through physical objects?

Through a meticulous examination of the cracks and fractures in the instruments' exteriors and interiors, Riis tries to enter into a dialogue with the instruments and their traumas and hopefully answer this difficult question. If the answer is yes, how can one get in touch with these traumas? How can one interrogate them, process them?

Through the interaction with these questions, the work becomes both a speculative investigation of the porous materiality of the instruments – an investigation which points to the inherent agency of the objects – as well as an attempt to sensually encounter a past that can be difficult to come into contact with, and a series of memories and experiences that may already slowly and progressively be forgotten. Specially developed microphone and mechanical preparation techniques allow for the performer to get as close as possible to the very substance that the instruments are made of, and video projections play a crucial role in the work.

Supported by:


Bestilt af Klang Festival

Photo: Morten Riis


Musikhuset København

Vesterbrogade 59 1620 København V

> See Map


Morten Riis (1980)

Danish composer and sound artist who has received a large number of grants and commissions from festivals and ensembles throughout Europe. Morten Riis is Klang Festival's resident composer (2022-2024).