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Translated by Tim Challman
Lisa Dillan (1969) is a singer, composer and performing artist. She was born in Bodø, Norway, in 1969, and started her singing career in Bodø Big Band about 1991. Bodø has a unique jazz environment with eminent musicians such as Jan Gunnar Hoff, Børge P. Øverleir, Finn Sletten, Henning Gravrok and others, and it was these musicians who contributed greatly to Lisa’s first experiences as a performing jazz singer. A jazz course arranged by The Norwegian Jazz Association in 1992 brought Lisa into contact with Sidsel Endresen and free improvisation as a performing medium and art form. Sidsel contributed particularly to Lisa’s finding her own style as a singer, and freely improvised music has also become Lisa’s main form of expression since 1997. During the period of 1990–1996 it was still the standard jazz repertoire that was Lisa’s “school”, in addition to her own compositions. After an encounter with pianist Steve Dobrogozs at Sinus Jazz Club in Bodø, Lisa was sent 7–8 songs from Steve. Some of these tunes were aired on NRK radio in 1994, featuring Tord Gustavsen on piano. In 1996, Lisa gained admission to the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo, with jazz as her major.
Her years at the Norwegian State academy of Music in Oslo were Lisa’s first encounter with contemporary music, and through composers such as Lene Grenager and Jon Øyvind Ness, the term “music” acquired a new meaning. Contemporary music has together with jazz,- noise,- electronic,- ethno, rockmusic and even dance, influenced Lisa during recent years. Improvisation has been a key element during the entire period, and for the first section of her examination concert in 1997/98, Lisa performed her first solo improvisation. The solo format has in later years become one of the formats she is keenly interested in, and the result of which we can hear on her debut album that was released during the late spring of 2005.
In recent years, she has worked with various constellations of performers, and we find her together with names such as Lene Grenager and Hild Sofie Tafjord in the trio ”Slinger”, Ingar Zack, No Spaghetti Edition, Helge Lien, Geir Lysne and with Anne-Lise Berntsen in the improvisational duo “Hipp, hipp..”, taped for NRK TV. The latter was chosen as NRK’s entry in the “Gullpalmen” awards in 2002. The same year, Lisa was invited to join Sidsel Endresen's band for the commissioned work "Living Rooms" for the 30th anniversary of "Nattjazz" in Bergen, working alongside Solveig Slettahjell, Christian Wallumrød, Jan Bang and video artist Tone Myskja. Currently Lisa works with various performers using a variety of forms of expression (see below, as well as "Projects" on the overhead menu, for an updated overview).
The album project began in 2000/2001, with Kristin Andersen (SPUNK) at the controls of the sound studio at the Norwegian College of Music. Many of the ideas and the sound production are a result of this first studio session. Up until 2004 much time was spent working on and reworking ideas, new approaches and the production of new material. The record comprises compositions and improvisations by, and featuring, Lisa Dillan, mainly in a solo format. The album is also 100 % acoustically produced. Sound engineer is Thomas Hukkelberg, Audun Borrmann, Ingar Hunskaar, and is mastered by Audun Strype.
Performance and movement
Parallell with her somewhat untraditional and acoustic focus, Lisa has worked in the field of performance art, with movement as a form of expression. Lisa’s credits include working titles such as ”Ostrich tuba”, ”In a drum case”, etc. This is also a result of Lisa’s examination concert, during which she suddenly broke with the role of singer and continued with a more performance-related form of expression. Later, together with both Norwegian, Finish and Swedish dancers, she developed her increasing interest in performance and movement as a medium. The show ”FRIKSJON” by, and featuring Hild Sofie Tafjord (Horn and electronica) and Lisa Dillan (vocals), are a prime example of this. The performance was created on commission from “New Music” and played on Blackbox during March 2003.
Since 2001, Lisa has taught improvisation at the Norwegian State Academy of Music and at the University in Oslo (UiO) and Toneheim Folkehøgskole in the subjects of jazz singing and improvising. She has also taught regular seminars in improvisation for teachers in elementary schools and culture/music schools, besides tutoring private students. Read more under the section "undervisning" on the menu line.
A sampling of reviews, interviews and concert reviews are available under “artikler og intervjuer” accessible from the “Presse” icon on the menu line, unfortunately only in Norwegian. Contact Lisa on the menu line if further information is aquiered.