Toxværd blog 3: SONICS, part 2 (of 3)

Composer Laura Toxværd continues her reflections on how she integrates improvisors’ co-creation while maintaining a sonic recognizability, now focusing on the compostions 'T', 'TIC', 'R' and 'RAW'.
16. Dec 2015

Now I will continue blog 2 and tell about the compositional processes of T, TIC, R and RAW. This blog post is the second out of three parts concerning my graphic notated compositions’ sonic transformations.

The development of the compositions T and TIC

When I composed T my intention was to create a very simple melody with chords in triple meter that you would think you already knew even though you heard it for the first time. I wanted the whole ensemble to join it and naturally this “folk song"-ish waltz would be the sonically recognizable element in the composition (see 43:00):


The improvisors had to co-create an introduction and an ending to this melody. At the rehearsal we discovered that it worked well if the sax played a solo improvisation just before the melody entered. My idea of a co-created introduction by the improvisers was therefore cancelled. After the melody everybody improvised freely and intuitively we went back to the melody and then ended the composition. Because this new form worked well there was no point in keeping my original intention concerning the form. I therefore used this new co-created form when I made the composition TIC. The important aspect of my intention with the composition was not the form but to have this sonically recognizable melody that you would think you had heard before.

The development of the compositions R and RAW

I intended when I composed R to have lines of melodic material played by the sax in the form of AABA with a tonality in B that was different from A’s tonality. A and B had to have an uneven number of bars but in such a discreet way that it would not feel odd. This material should work as the sonically recognizable element in the composition (see 34:42 in the video above). The improvisors’ role were to play a groove with random notes and chords. I had no special intention in relation to the form. When R was played at the rehearsal and the concert there was no groove with a metronomic pulse. But there was a lively unmetronomically feeling of an abstract groove. This feeling contrasted the melodic lines in a way that made the music as a whole more interesting. My prior thoughts of the composition had not reflected the possible challenge related to the static quality of the melodic lines. Now a solution turned up in the co-creating improvisors’ playing. When I made the composition RAW I therefore replaced the metronomically grooving pulse with the feeling of an abstract groove. Concerning my intention I still kept the lines of melodic material as sonic recognizable fragments.


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.

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