Throughout 2021 and 2022 experimental percussionist, composer and archivist Marshall Trammell, otherwise known as Music Research Strategies (MRS), takes up the role as Borealis’ Artist in Residence. Since a chance meeting over breakfast in Oslo in 2016 Artistic Director Peter Meanwell and Trammell have been exploring how music and politics can intertwine. This residency, currently happening remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, explores Trammell’s research based practice tying together the symbology of the Underground Railroad* with improvisatory music practices, in an exploration of solidarity and resistance across cultures. Taking cues from texts as diverse as John Steinbeck’s The Moon is Down and Chela Sandoval’s Methodology of the Oppressed, and drawing on historical reference points such as the 1680 Pueblo Revolt and the Norwegian WWII resistance movement, Trammell’s work brings together a conversation about how we as individuals enact change within our societies and draws these words and ideas in to a improvisational musical frame.
*The name given to the network of secret routes and safe houses enslaved African Americans would use to escape the slavery and torture of the American South.