The nonlinear spring

2018.19 Artistic research residency. Hans Peter Stubbe Teglbjærg. In collaboration with the Sound Systems and Signals: Audio/Acoustics, InstruMents IRCAM-STMS Team and the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (ZKM).

2018.19 Artistic research residency

"The nonlinear spring"
In collaboration with the Sound Systems and Signals: Audio/Acoustics, InstruMents IRCAM-STMS Team and the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (ZKM).

The aim of this proposal is to study various forms of nonlinear coupling and gradual coupling applied to an instrumental trio setup. Inspiration from Physical Modelling Synthesis is “transposed” onto the design of a musical setup, whose complexity requires theoretical and practical experimentation in the field of physical modelling in order to master it.

Coupling is understood in its physical definition as interactions between sonic objects. Interactions have many meanings ranging from low level physical transmission of energy via the sound producing mechanisms and gestural control of a musical instrument to how musicians respond to each other. None of which are trivial.

The couplings found in musical instruments are basically nonlinear in nature. Real strings, tubes, plates, membranes (etc) all have nonlinear components. Coupling between sounding objects will often “fuse” with the objects and become an integral part of them, in a sense have an effect in retrograde on the behaviour of the objects. It is thus interesting to study various degrees of coupling ranging from uncoupled independant objects to fully coupled morphing objects.

Nonlinear couplings relates to bifurcation theory. When the theory is applied to audio physics one must tackle the question of “scale” (“local” or “global” bifurcation). Therefore a complex setup has been devised comprising both bidirectional couplings, feedback and interaction on several multiple levels. In particular “a nonlinear spring” will be implemented for in-depth study, and applied to the interactions of the instrumental setup for a “reality check” (using smart instruments technology). The research will conclude with a reflection of the musical-aesthetical value of nonlinear coupling, and control of its hardto-predict musical potential.

Hans Peter Stubbe Teglbjærg



Born 1963 he grew up in an artistic home with music, art, ceramics and sculptures as a daily diet. He studied instrumental and electronic composition at the Royal Danish Academy of Music (Copnhagen) and with J.W. Morthenson (Stockholm) as well as computer composition at the Institut voor Sonologie (Hague) and at IRCAM (Paris), where he also worked as a composer, researcher and teacher.

He has a keen interest in the instruments physical / acoustic nature, and the phenomenology of natural sounds. "To penetrate the sound, to compose the timbre" constitutes his real motivation to use modern technology in composing. He also likes to work with other artforms and has composed  chamber and orchestral music, instrumental and vocal works, works for instruments and electronics, soundart works, stagemusic and music to art videos and art installations.

In 1996 he received the National Arts Foundation 3-year grant and is working since then as a composer. In 2009-2011 he was composer-in-residence for the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, for whom he wrote two new orchestral works. In 2016-18 he is composer-in-residence at the Music Innovation Studies Center (Vilnius) where here composes 3 ambisonic works. He teaches since 2001 at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Electroacoustic composition and 2007-15 at the Southern Academy of Music in 3D sound.