Toxværd blog 4: SONICS, part 3 (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 'V' and 'VOW'.
2. Mar 2016

Here comes the third and last blog that has SONICS as heading focusing on my graphic notated compositions’ sonic transformations. I will now tell about the compositional processes of V and VOW and finally about all of the compositions considered as a whole. 

The development of the compositions V and VOW

My intention with composing V was to create a sonically recognizable dynamic development. The volume of the music should gradually move from very loud to very quiet to very loud. And I wanted four interruptions of silences. The co-creation by the improvisors would be to establish a texture of sounds with many activities in the first half of the composition and with few activities in the second half (see 16:06 in the video below).

When V was played at the rehearsal we realized that it felt unnatural to keep creating many sound activities while the volume went down and then to create few activities while the volume had to go up. It was a challenge to find the meaning of our co-creating improvisations. So instead of an individual focus on how one instrument could interpret the graphics our reflections led to regarding all the sounds of the instruments as a whole – a mass of activities – that could be loud as well as quiet and contain many or few activities. With that approach it became meaningful to create V’s sonically recognizable dynamic. And I discovered a new way of co-creating with the improvisors; by reflecting on improvisation we developed our musical expressions. In the composition of VOW I kept my ideas of sonic recognizability and co-creation but with a newly gained recognition.

All of the compositions considered as a whole

It was my intention that the order of the compositions when we played concert was to be decided when we rehearsed. And I also intended to have solo improvisations by the improvisers in between the compositions. But when we arranged the order at the rehearsal I realized that we were actually co-creating the overall form of the concert. The decisions we made about the order of the musical material at the concert turned out to be a co-creation of a large composition where the single compositions and solo improvisations were parts of a whole form. The order became as follows:

Q (see 0:00 in the video)

S (see 5:58 in the video above)

Solo improvisation by Jeppe Zeeberg on piano (see 9:18 in the video)

V (see 16:05 in the video)

Solo improvisation by Nicolai Kaas Claesson on bass (see 21:00 in the video above)

U (see 23:45 in the video)

Solo improvisation by Rune Lohse on drums (see 32:22)

R (see 34:42)

Solo improvisation by Laura Toxvaerd on alto sax (see 40:11 in the video above)

T (see 43:00 in the video)


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.