Toxværd blog 1: Introduction

Composer Laura Toxværd introduces her artistic research project combining improvisation, co-creation and graphic notation.
3. Jun 2015

In this blog I will share my reflections on the processes and results of my artistic practice the coming year. My name is Laura Toxvaerd and I am a composer, saxophonist and artistic researcher ( Beginning of 2015 I started to work on an artistic research project at Rhythmic Music Conservatory, Copenhagen, financed by the Ministry of Culture, Denmark.

The project title is: 'Composition of graphic and sonic works through the improvisors’ co-creation'

and the following is a summary of my project description:

Taking my compositions as point of departure the project investigates the improvisors’ co-creation in the compositional process. The composer explores how improvisors’ ideas can be integrated in the development of the compositions and which impact the integration has on the works of art. In the project graphic scores are being designed through which I seek to create new aesthetic forms of expressions.

My artistic research deals with how the unpredictable and spontaneous improvisation can be maintained while inspiring the improvisors by my own musical ideas notated as graphic compositional structures. During the project my compositions continually will be worked out as graphic scores. As the music is being created it will be rehearsed and performed by improvisors again and again. Every time I will use graphic notations to incorporate inputs from the improvisors in the compositions. Video recordings of rehearsals and performances are an important part of my working method.

In March I had the opportunity to be a Nordic guest at Supervisor’s Seminar & Norwegian Artistic Research Spring Forum in Norway. Here the term “methods” were being discussed in interesting ways. The seminar crossed the artistic borders which meant that I could experience presentations of artistic research from other forms of arts which was very fruitful. In April I went to Austria to the conference of European Platform for Artistic Research in Music where artistic research from many parts of the world was presented. At this point I am very encouraged by these meetings with the international field of artistic research. 

The music I am composing at the moment combines ideas from Ornette Coleman’s works of the late 1970-80s with sound-oriented free form improvisation, as well as Aylerian folk songs. Besides I involve my clarinet’s low register to build a lullaby atmosphere. I establish spaces for the band as a whole, for the improvisers as soloists, and for duets. Even though the music is abstract to some point I still want a sort of characteristic for every piece. Possibly one work can be recognized from performance to performance from the groove, the melody or the dynamic development.

In the next blog I will go into the project’s first videotaped rehearsal and performance with me and the trio Dødens Garderobe as co-creating improvisers of my graphic scores.

About Laura Toxværd

Altsaxophonist, composer and teaching assistant professor at RMC.


Has released three albums under her own name. Co-founder and former chairwoman of the artist collective and record label ILK. 


In 2009 awarded with the Danish Art Council's three-year working grant by the Rythmical and Classical Committees in unison. 


Educated from RMC (2004) and holder of a Master's degree with Music Education as area of specialization from Aarhus University (2013).


Click here for Laura Toxværd's profile at


By the Danish Ministry of Culture's definition, artistic research is an integrated part of any artistic process ammounting to an outcome available to the public, and accompanied by a reflection upon the process itself as well as the presentation of the result.