Lars Graugaard
Joined WSI in September 2019
Lars Graugaard

Denmark’s Lars Graugaard is a prolific and chameleon-like musical pioneer with a degree in flute-playing from the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen, Denmark and a Ph.D. in interactive music from Oxford Brookes University, England. As Visiting Faculty Artist since 2010 at New York University Steinhardt’s Department for Music and Performing Arts Professions, Lars maintains a relationship with the academic world even though he nowadays focuses his energies on music creation. And a background in a very contemporary mix of musical styles that include contemporary, improvised and urban, allows him to move with ease between a variety of musical areas that range from abstract sonic statements to effortless, street-smart rhythm designs.

As this takes Lars to different parts of the world for performances and oftentimes for long-term collaborations, his creative output has over the years distilled into three distinctive kinds: a purely electronic realtime and generative music, various improvisatory settings with versatile improvising artists, and score composing in the contemporary classical vein. He has close to 200 score compositions and numerous releases on LP, CD and digital formats on a wide range of international labels to his credit, including electronic and improvised music.

Lars’ score compositions are highly crafted and have a direct appeal, and there is at times a strong eclecticism in his music, adapted to the circumstances of a commissioned composition. Moreover, he permeates his compositional process with recent discoveries in human perception and cognitive musicology, and all of this makes for a body of musical work that reach both senses and mind.

In electronic music, Lars uses the laptop as his preferred performance and real-time composition tool, which he programs according to his needs. Everything coming from his computer is generated in realtime – no musical phrases or section are pre-recorded – and this allows him to instantly create, guide and affect musical expressions. To do so, he incorporates recent insight into human cognition and meaning-making in sound into his programming, as the point-of-departure for a music that is rich and intriguing, yet readily appreciable by the naked ear.

Lars Graugaard was composer-in-residence 1997-99 at Odense Symphony Orchestra (Denmark), 2014-16 at El Grup Instrumental (Valencia, Spain) and 2018-2020 with the Caput Ensemble (Reykjavik, Iceland). Artistic Director of the ISCM World Music Days 1996, the International Computer Music Conference 2007 (ICMC2007), and re-new digital arts festival 2008-2013. Lars was Associate Professor of Interactive Performance 1999-2004 at Carl-Nielsen-Academy of Music, 2003-2008 he lectured at Aalborg University Esbjerg's Department of Software and Media Technology, and 2007-09 he was a Research Fellow at Danish Centre of Design Research. He was guest professor at the Icelandic Arts Academy 2004-06, and he regularly holds lectures and workshops world-wide, such as at June In Buffalo, Boston University, New York University, Juilliard School of Music, Columbia University, Stanford University, University of California Sand Diego, and Rotterdam Conservatorium.

Articles by Lars Graugaard

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