Sofia Jernberg is a Swedish experimental singer, composer, improviser and performer, born in Ethiopia. She grew up in Ethiopia, Vietnam and Sweden, and has since 2011 been based in Oslo, Norway. One of her deepest interests as a singer is to explore the instrumental possibilities of the voice. Her singing vocabulary include sounds and techniques that often contradict a conventional singing style. She has dug deep into nonverbal vocalising, split tone singing, pitchless singing and distorted singing. She has performed several staged music theater pieces like Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Salvatore Sciarrino's Lohengrin. Composers have written roles especially with her in mind, like in Emily Hall’s Folie à Deux and Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s UR. She has performed together with visual artist Camille Norment and was a part of her piece Rapture for Venice Biennale 2015 and Lull during Festspillene i Bergen 2016. She is featured in the 80 minutes cinematic work Union of the North by Erna Ómarsdóttir, Matthew Barney and Valdimar Jóhannsson. As a composer, her main focus lies in blending improvisation and composition. Besides composing for her own ensembles, she regularly commissions for others. Previous commissions include: Barents composer orchestra, Swedish Radio P2, Stockholm Jazz Festival, Trondheim jazz orchestra, vocal ensemble Oslo 14, Klang – Copenhagen Avantgarde Music Festival and Ultima Contemporary Music Festival.
Photo: Jon Edergren