K!ART [pronounced klart] is a denmark-based experimental platform that was founded by Mikkel Schou in 2019 as a hybrid between a new music ensemble and an artist collective. With an aversion to the notion of a standard repertoire in art music practices and a fixed constellation of musicians, the idea behind K!ART was to provide a more flexible approach, which could prioritize the artistic material, and artistic freedom for composers, and shape the ensemble around individual projects.

During the years, K!ART has consolidated into a smaller group of permanently engaged performers with diverse artistic profiles, such as  instrumental, compositional and curatorial practices. K!ART is not a collective in the sense that all artistic choices are made collectively, but the ensemble always works as a cohesive group that facilitates a variety of projects, many co-curated with the individual members of the group, guest curators or collaborating artists.

A key focus for K!ART is on encouraging composers to create passion projects, to defy expectations, push boundaries and create unique and engaging art. In addition to this, the group has presented significant international pieces that had not been performed or presented in Denmark before, aiming to present significant aesthetical developments from central Europe in Denmark and start a dialog about what is happening in the contemporary music scene both internationally and locally.

Another key focus is to provide opportunities for growth and development for young composers and those who may struggle to find good working conditions in the industry. By creating an informal space which enables collaboration, experimentation, and risk-taking, our  approach is fundamentally rooted in an interest to go new directions and actively encourage projects that investigate and even challenge our understanding of art and music. K!ART works to inspire a change in the way people work and collaborate in the music industry, circumventing the institutions such as conservatories and symphonies that previously have set the trends and framework for the industry, leaving little room for innovation and creativity.

Accessibility is a significant concern for K!ART. Instead of making artistic compromises, we focus on communicating and presenting experimental ideas in ways that are interesting, accessibly and engaging. Curatorially we draw on multidisciplinary approaches, including multimedia works with for instance video, performance, text, electronic instruments and similar to make our projects engaging and accessible. We also develop intimate concert formats, with a maximum of around ten attendees, blurring the line between audience and performer and creating a more participatory experience for all involved.

In seasons 2019-2023 K!ART has presented 50 concerts, 120 individual works and 48 premieres.

K!ART is:

Mikkel Schou [artistic director, producer, curator, (el.)guitar, el.bass, electronics]
Rob Durnin [keyboards, electronics, composer, curator]
Hsiao-Tung Yuan [percussion]
Joss Smith [clarinet, electronics, composer]
Ida Nørby [cello]

Recent collaborators:

Iiris Tötterström [cello]
Michael Hope [voice, piano]
Cake Of Day [clarinet, flute]
Roberto Beseler Maxwell [curator]
Current Resonance [composer/performer ensemble]
Dylan Richards [curator, performer]
Connor McLean [voice]
Andrew Power [cello]
Nikolaus Von Bemberg [piano]
Ekki Minna Duo [accordion, cello]

K!ART’s 2023 concert season has been presented with financial support from Det Obelske Familiefond, Knud Højgaards Fond, William Demant fonden, Statens Kunstfond, Koda Kultur, Louis-Hansens Fond, Solistforeningen af 1921, Københavns Kommunes Musikudvalg og Frederiksberg Kommunes Musikudvalg and in collaboration with Aarhus Unge Tonekunstnere, SecondSound & MINU Festival.

Marcela Lucatelli [voice]