Jenny Gräf Sheppard is an artist and musician based in Copenhagen. She activates peripheral places and states through sound composition, improvisation and participatory works. Her recent works deal with the multi-sensory aspects of listening and how relations and ecologies can be sensed and enacted. Her recent development of tactile speakers led to development of The Pidgin Choir (2022), a spatialized “choir” of porcelain speaker-instruments, that filter, translate and voice sound sources variously due to their design and performed manipulations, reflects an interest in deconstructing the enclosed, control over sound that the conventional speaker offers, replacing it instead with unpredictability, interference, noise and the possibility for performers and audience to manipulate the transduction of sound in live performances.
Gräf has created sound and video pieces from long term collaborations with people with Alzheimer’s (The Guitars Project , The Hilgos Project , Fantasi Rum), as a means to explore how agencies come forth in such contexts. Other works explore social behaviors within the context of server/consumer dynamic in pieces like Threshold for Action and Sound, where the audience’s menu selections generates a score for the musicians and food servers. In 2009 she formed The Stone Carving Oraclestra, a periodically performed work, which uses Experimental Archeology and the use of phonemes to channel sonic “readings” for members of the audience. In Channel Mist, a mobile Fragrance factory on a boat in the Copenhagen canals, the audience is instructed to harvest harbor water for use in the production and auctioning off of water in front of the old West Indies Pack House.
Jenny Gräf is also one half of Metalux, a duo with MV Carbon
2020 – 2023: Novo Nordisk Mads Øvlisen Scholarship PhD, University of Copenhagen and Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art. Project: Communicating Vessels: Re-defining Agency through Sounding. This is funded by a grant from Novo Nordisk Foundation. https://kunstakademiet.dk/en/schools-and-institutes/institute-art-writing-and-research
2021 – 2022: Sonic Orientations Ambisonic Research Project, funded by the Danish Ministry of Culture, a collaborative project, which involves the building of an Ambisonics (3D sound) chamber for experimental artistic research that works to explore sonic subjectivities. More information on her PhD and other research can be found here: http://jennygrafsheppard.com/phd-research/
2018-2020: Sounding Bodies: Researching Resonance in and Between Bodies, funded by the Danish Ministry of Culture and culminated in the Sound Forms Symposium, in Copenhagen.https://soundingbodies.kunstakademiet.dk/
Mei Bao interviews Jenny Graf Sheppard on Sound and the Sounding Bodies Research Project: https://rorelser.pinecast.co/
Lisbeth Bonde interviews Jenny Graf Sheppard on her practice-based PhD project Communicating Vessels: https://kunsten.nu/journal/praksisbaserede-kunstforskere-ix-jenny-graf-sheppard/
Seismograph interview: https://seismograf.org/artikel/et-kunstnerisk-studie-i-lyd-og-menneske
photograph by Suzy Poling