Moving between aesthetic theory and artistic practice enables a theoretical work deeply informed by the interplay of academia and aesthetics. Rasmus Nordholt-Frieling follows a philosophy of interference and unfolds a sonically inspired thinking for theater, visual art, subjectivation and ecology. Guiding concepts are modulation, ritornello, rhythm and resonance. This thinking has lead to publications, lectures and academic seminars, all culmulating in his PhD-thesis Musikalische Relationen (Fink 2021).

Listening Guide

For the tonwelten festival in Münsterland I have developed audible essays, reflections and meditations on listening, field recordings and the local soundscape.

Synthesizer, Resonanz, Modulation: Auf dem Weg zur musikalischen Schicht des Theaters / Synthesizer, Resonance, Modulation: Towards the Musical Layer of Theater

ACT. Zeitschrift für Musik & Performance, 2021
The article explores the question of the musicality of theatrical structures. Musicality is to be understood as a specific, historically changing relationality that can serve to think and describe practices that are not primarily sonic. The sonic presents no manifest objects, but spatial processes in which various sound emanations modulate, mutually ‘fold in’ or expand. Musicians have dealt with this peculiar material and its constellation over the centuries, developing a technical and conceptual knowledge. Tapped time and time again, this knowledge was repeatedly used to deal with non-sonic questions also: in the Pythagoreans, in Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Paul Klee, Gilbert Simondon, or Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Along these and other settings, the ‘musical’ will be described as a structure of participation and mutual variation of heterogeneous agencies, forms of expression, and layers of meaning. In many cases we encounter theatrical forms in which the interplay of physical, technical, linguistic, medial and other dimensions is not oriented towards any final perspective, but rather figures itself in modulating superimposition (e.g. Arnold Schönberg, John Cage or Heiner Goebbels). These can be described as forms of theatrical musicality that are initially independent of the presence or dominance of music in the narrow sense. (Grafic: Rasmus Nordholt-Frieling)

Musikalische Relationen / Musical Relations

Musikalische Relationen explores the potential of musicality in non-musical contexts. Based on Paul Klee, Gilles Deleuze, Arnold Schönberg, John Cage and others, the author opens new perspectives on the interplay of heterogenous elements, agencies and semiotics in fine arts, philosophy and society. Musical Relations is based on Rasmus Nordholt-Frieling's doctoral thesis, which was written in theater studies and supervised by Prof. Ulrike Haß and Prof. Heiner Goebbels. (Foto: Rasmus Nordholt-Frieling)

"Ein Kaleidoskop der Schimpfkunst". Über die Kraft des musikalischen Sprechens // "A Kaleidoscope of Rant Art.” On Battle-Rap and the Power of Musical Speech

Burgtheater Wien, programme text for Cyrano De Bergeray, 2022
"Here we encounter the rhythmic tactics stated for Cyrano, which breaks expectations, creates tempo, builds up tension, feints, and comes fully to the point at the decisive moment. The physical force of the performance has nothing to do with physical strength. Rather, the force depends on how intensively a battlerapper connects to the musical current, with how much rhythmic force the lines are hurled, the syllables are timed." (Foto: Rasmus Nordholt-Frieling)

Ein musikalisches Gefüge der Modulation. „Liberté d’action“ von Heiner Geobbels / A Musical Edifice of Modulation. Heiner Goebbels's Liberté d'action

Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, 1/2022
The sonic relation of modulation is also evident in Goebbels' work where it is not only about sounds and their temporal organization, but also about spatiality, body, language and light. Modulation is a relationship in which two (or more) elements in their superimposition together produce something new, while the source elements remain perceptible. (Foto: Rasmus Nordholt-Frieling)

It begins rather classically: An explosion in the laboratory of biologist Alec Holland turns the scientist into a terrifying swamp monster. That’s the plot of The Swamp Thing. As a result, the creature tries to become human again. But when, in the early 1980s, writer Alan Moore takes over the series, the Swamp Thing discovers that it contains no human core at all, but is a purely vegetable creature: the Avatar of the Green, who can materialize in any blade of grass and represents the interests of the plant world. In this way, the comic series Swamp Thing, which has since been continued by Nancy A.Collins and Ram V., among others, reflects themes of equality and difference, the ecology and non-human agency.