MOU and Global Competence Partnership Established

This week we formally established cooperation at the doctoral and postgraduate levels between universities in Norway and Hong Kong. 

This was through both signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and the holding of our inaugural joint doctoral symposium. I am grateful for the support of our rektor Gunnar Yttri, vice dean Vegard Fusche Moe and the vice president and dean of the Hong Kong institution, Prof. Sing Kai Lo. 

Koji Matsunobu, a highly accomplished scholar who I have known for many years, is the main partner for this project on the Hong Kong side. 

Click HERE for the project website.

Click HERE for the symposium program.


New Demo Recording: Sympathetic Resonance Trio

The Sympathetic Resonance Trio is now making its second demo recording. The latest repertoire includes songs from an unusually diverse array of genres: a local Norwegian boating song, a romantic Russian art song (by Glinka), a timeless Bob Dylan tune, a ritualistic piece by a Sami songwriter, a jazz standard waltz-ballad, and a Ukrainian folk song. 

In addition to singing and playing trumpet with this group, recently I have been developing technique on the cajon, a versatile percussion instrument from South America that helps to add some additional depth to the trio’s sound.

Our first demo recording was made about 9 months ago, so we now have plenty of material for a full 2-hour set and a full album. 

Below is a sneak preview of one of these songs, a duet performance of Glinka’s art song (with powerful lyrics by Pushkin), “Ja pomnju chudnoe mgnovenie”: 

Painting: Karl Briullov’s “A Dream of a Girl Before Sunrise”

Doctorate on Norwegian-American Music

I look forward to serving as the first Opponent (external examiner) at the end of May for a PhD defense at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.



Laura Ellestad has produced a very interesting dissertation in the field of historical ethnomusicology on Norwegian-American fiddling traditions. It is a quite interesting study, and I hope there will be an enthusiastic audience at both her trial lecture and doctoral defense. 

This will be my first time to take part in a doctoral defense at the Norwegian Academy of Music. I have previously participated in doctoral disputations at two of the other major Nordic music academies: Malmo Academy of Music (Lund University) and Sibelius Academy (University of the Arts Helsinki), but each institution has slightly different procedures.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Midt.jpg


Global Competence Partnership Launch

The Global Competence Partnership project is fully underway now, and on May 15 we will host a group of 20 professors, doctoral students, and university leaders from the Education University of Hong Kong at our campus in Bergen, Norway.

Our visitors will participate in an MOU signing ceremony (between Rector and Vice President), and have a shared doctoral symposium with PhD students from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.   

Below are links related to the Global Competence Partnership project and its May 15 launch event:

Click HERE for the project website.

Click HERE for the symposium program.

Shown above is a photo taken of curving train tracks, just a ten-minute walk from my home by the lake in Norway. Life often takes us on a curvy path, but eventually we go in the right direction.