In search of the Nordic electroacoustic




Journal Title

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


Routledge/Taylor & Francis


Book chapter

Peer reviewed



This chapter will examine electroacoustic music in the Nordic countries, with a focus on this question: is it reasonable to speak of a ‘Nordic identity’ in electro- acoustic music? An overview confirms that there is a long and rich tradition of this genre of music across the Nordic countries, each of which can boast a number of significant composers and works, as well as several notable institutions foster- ing it. Is it possible to locate trends or characteristics that bond these works and composers into a Nordic community? Can we locate an electroacoustic ‘Nordic sound’, or would this be simply an imposed narrative? It is hoped that the artists’ own perspectives on what it means to be a Nordic composer of electroacoustic music will provide some of the answers to these questions. Our five featured composers, each from a different Nordic country, have all made notable interna- tional careers as composers of acousmatic music (although three are also known for mixed instrumental-electroacoustic music), and they have been interviewed especially for this chapter.1 They represent what might be called the ‘mature’, middle generation of composers, who started work between 1977 and 1994, and were able to build upon the work done in establishing the electroacoustic genre during the pioneering (‘first wave’) and formative periods. As listening sugges- tions, we have chosen two case studies per composer for special comment, as being representative of their output over a long period.



Electroacoustic, Music, Nordic


Andean, J. and Bentley, A. (2019) In search of the Nordic electroacoustic. In: T. Howell (ed.) 'The Nature of Nordic Music'. Routledge.


Research Institute

Music, Technology and Innovation - Institute for Sonic Creativity (MTI2)