BEAM SPLITTER (Audrey Chen and Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø) is a duo for amplified voice, trombone and occasional analog electronics.
Utilizing the pure sounds of acoustic and closely amplified sound sources, the duo joins together two individual voices into a distinct dialog that delves
beyond the borders of the corporeal elements of extended technique and sound. There is an intimacy and conflict that becomes evident as the two personas intertwine,
in moments joining together seamlessly and in the next, being left with the feeling of irrevocable fracture.
The two manage between these extremes with a kind of improvised grace that reveals an effort towards a common goal.
It is an honest metaphor for a human relationship in process that even in the most serene moments can leave one raw and entirely exposed.
Since beginning their collaboration in 2015, Nørstebø and Chen have been extensively touring the globe, in Europe, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Taiwan and the USA.
They have presented their music in a wide variety of spaces, taken part in larger commissioned works at the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires
and largely conceptualized a theatrical adaptation of MEDEA in front of the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine (for butoh dancers and musicians) produced by the Ukho Agency.
They have shared their collaborative projects with artists such as Phil Minton, Bob Ostertag, Michael Vorfeld, Thomas Rohrer, Valentin Tszin, Flavia Ghisalberti,
Leonel Kaplan and the Norwegian duo, Streifenjunko, with Eivind Lønning and Espen Reinertsen.
“Beam Splitter is highly improvised, extremely crafted and held in an iron will for experimentation.”
– Jean Louis Fernandez, La Nacion, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2016.
BEAM SPLITTER's debut album "ROUGH TONGUE" was released to rave reviews in late 2017.
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"Audrey Chen and Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø’s album is quite something. Henrik Nørstebø’s meticulously realised trombone scapes combine elegantly with Audrey Chen’s
extraordinary array of virtuosic formant manipulations. Always inventive, often deeply emotive, this is a beautiful duo."
— Chris Abrahams (The Necks)
"Slow in motion, yet quick in phrasing, Beam Splitter swings precariously from trapeze bars, spinning wingless above the ground, taunting Mother Earth to claim gravity’s fugitives."
— Todd Gruel, A closer listen (USA)
"For each of us, breath is a highly personal signature at the audible edge of sound; to magnify it, as Nørstebø and Chen do, is to make oneself available in a particularly bold way.
And the work on Rough Tongue is nothing if not bold.”
— Daniel Barbiero, Avant Music News (USA)