“Dance crazy and listen deep”

Delve into the experimental world of sound artist SØS Gunver Ryberg.


Performer, artist, musician, wizard—the radically alternative SØS Gunver Ryberg creates fiercely energetic dance music. Renowned for her live performances, the Danish composer/sound artist adds a whole new dimension to the experimental music scene. Whilst at a SØS Gunver Ryberg show, you can expect to be taken to your audible limits whilst she generates a sound that transports you to a dark and sometimes haunting universe. Making her debut at TodaysArt Festival this weekend, anticipate tormenting beats and an experience you won’t easily forget.

You have previously described your music as site-specific, collaborating with choreographers and film directors in order to transform your live performances into a visual experience as well as an auditory one. Why do you think this is so crucial to who you are as an artist?

I use the term site-specific at different times. It could be that I perform a multi-channel concert or I perform in a space with challenging acoustic properties, which demands me to create music for only that location. I also talk about site-specific recordings, if it’s field recordings from a special location, like my recordings from Svalbard in the arctic or the shamans from South Korea. When I’m asked to collaborate with artists such as choreographers, directors, video game designers and set designers, I say yes when I believe WE as individual artists TOGETHER can create something GREATER.

My collaborators have heard my expression from other things I have done. I’m interested in creating a Gesamtkunstwerk—where all the expressions are equally important. There is freedom in expressing my music through different mediums; it connects with people who would not have found my music. For example, the music I have done for the video games INSIDE by Playdead and THOTH by Carlsens Games have reached many people through them playing these games. In my experience it has been very stimulating and given me a new perspective on many levels.

If live performance is so important to you, do you think your music can be fully appreciated as a recording? In what context do you actually create your music?

Now I have a much stronger focus on recordings, it feels just as important as performing live. I look forward to having enough time to be deep in the studio and I hope my recordings will be appreciated fully.

Would you describe yourself as a musician, a performer or an artist?

I would say Composer/Sound Artist/Performer of Electronic Music—that’s what describes me best. It expresses how I work, what sort of music I make and that I’m also performing the material.

Location is clearly very important to your performances. If you had no limitations and could perform anywhere, where would it be and why?

It’s the variation of locations and the people being present I enjoy. It would range from a cave in the Faroe Islands, where you sail to as a group in a little boat, and experience the music through the acoustics of the cave, to a venue with an amazing sound system.

What part of the experimental (music) scene are you hoping to try out next?

I’m always creating the music that feels important to me. I have never thought about a scene.

We hear you are performing at TodaysArt Festival in The Hague this week—could you tell us a bit about what you have planned?

I have planned a smashing set where you can dance crazy unknown moves and listen deep.

SØS Gunver Ryberg performs at TodaysArt on 24 September.





Words by Lottie Hodson

Photo by Camille Blake


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