Residency at the University of Agder, Norway

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To begin with the team I became part of, headed up by the amazing Andreas Sønning of the Norwegian Academy of Music Oslo, Nick Long from Southampton University, and Rod Udo from Utrecht University of Applied Science. This team was exceptional. They really know their subject but they also understand the student and the importance of the student experience. We all immediately found a way of working together in inventing a program that was perfectly complementary. We were involved with students in the Bachelor program for “Musikkformidling” / Musical Entrepreneurship Program. The program ranged from concert dramaturgy for composing stage programs, production methodology and building value chains, to the importance of design and the business of entrepreneurship including finance and fundraising. The students were first rate and took every challenge we threw at them.

 Then there was the Marianne North that I was asked to help with. The Dean of the Department, Randi Margrethe Eidsaa, beautifully conceived this project and it proved to be such an exceptional experience for the students. She is to be congratulated for her extraordinary contribution in bringing the pedagogical and artistic sides together in such an integrated way for the student. Somehow the project managed to capture, in its story of an exceptional 19th century naturalist, so many of our contemporary issues: climate change, endangered species and the need for respect and tolerance that we should all show. The juxtaposition of words, narration and music brought this together in the most meaningful way. And if there is one moment that will always stay with me it’s the Phil Collins song immersed in a truly avant-garde piano piece by Konrad Øhrn. This was another example of Randi’s inspiration borne of her intellectual curiosity, which made for me such a breath-taking discovery! I felt very privileged to be part of this project and to take my bow at the end. This was a special moment in my long career.