Sarah Hennies – Contralto

Åsane kulturhus
Show up an hour early and celebrate the opening of the festival with us!

Welcome Drink, pizza on sale in the café, an exhibiton of Raven Chacon's scores, video work in the library and amfi area

We offer a special price for the Opening Concert with The Royal Norwegian Naval Forces Band at 19.00 if you want to make a night of it. You access this offer by buying a ticket to Contralto via the ticket button above.

Vilde Sandve Alnæs – violin
Torunn Johanna Blåsmo-Falnes – viola
Ingvild Nesdal Sandnes – cello
Christian Meaas Svendsen – double bass
Anders Kregnes Hansen – percussion
Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø – percussion
Martin Rane Bauck – percussion

Borealis is proud to present this emotionally charged piece by composer Sarah Hennies to round off the first day of our 2021 festival. Contralto is a one-hour work for video, strings, and percussion that exists in between the spaces of experimental music and documentary. The piece features a cast of transgender women speaking, singing, and performing vocal exercises accompanied by a dense and varied musical score that includes a variety of conventional and "non-musical" approaches to sound-making.

When a transgender man begins taking testosterone it causes his vocal cords to thicken and his voice deepens and drops into the so-called "masculine range." It is not widely known, however, that trans women's voices are unaffected by higher levels of estrogen in the body. Being a woman with a "male voice" creates a variety of difficult situations for trans women including prolonged and intensified dysphoria and higher risk of harassment and violence due to possibly exposing someone as trans unintentionally.

Contralto – defined in musical terms as "the lowest female singing voice" – uses the sound of trans women's voices to explore transfeminine identity from the inside and examines the intimate and peculiar relationship between gender and sound.

Photos: Sarah Hennies