Tobias Pfeil (NO/DE) is a composer & digital media artist from Oslo, Norway. His works primarily play into the intersection between new music and contemporary theatre, with an emphasis on the creative use of electronics, lights, sound, video, 3D animation, computer game environments, text and performance.
Recent works have questioned the mechanisms of institutionalized society and the historical links between culture, spirituality and technology. An underlying existential thematic is often reflected in the works’ confrontational curiosity about their own being and purpose in the context of history, anthropocentrism and speculative philosophy.
Tobias Pfeil is currently studying with composer Alexander Schubert at HFMT Hamburg. He has studied music composition and performance with Simon Steen-Andersen, Jenny Hval, Carsten Dahl, Jakob Bro, Mats Gustafsson, Cathy Van Eck, Rama Gottfried, John MacCallum, Teoma Naccarato, Gilbert Nouno, Lotte Anker, Jacob Anderskov, Nis Bysted, Søren Kjærgaard, Georg Hajdu, Fredrik Schwenk, Leo Dick, Django Bates andXavier Dayer. He has performed and worked with Thurston Moore, Kjersti Horn, Simon Steen-Andersen, Alexander Schubert, Nils-Petter Molvær, Hanne Boel, Ensemble This / Ensemble That, The Entrepreneurs, Heartbreak Satellite, Tuvaband, Emma Acs, Sidiki Camara, Kresten Osgood, Søren Kjærgaard, Utku Tavil, Tani Dibasey and Ole Mofjell, and as his alter ego Tobi Duchampe, and performed at events and venues such as Roskilde Festival, Iceland Airwaves, Fika Fest Montreal, Øyafestivalen Oslo, Staatsoper unter den Linden Berlin, Vill Vill Vest Bergen, Jam Fes Tokyo, Dover Lane Music Conference Kolkata, The Great Escape Festival Brighton, Edinburgh Military Tattoo, The 21st Century Guitar Conference Lisboa, Playtime festival Bern, Oslo Spektrum, Det Norske Teatret, Sebright Arms London, Fluxbau Berlin and Espace B Paris.
To be honest I would have a hard time pinpointing the meaning or philosophy of my works. If they were trying to make some kind of discernible point, that would imply that they contained some kind of absolute answer or a self-contained end in themselves – right?
But that would also be really uninteresting, it would imply a worldview that regards the universe as an objectively comprehensible absolute holding an ideal code of ethics.
I think my works mostly make an attempt at exposing the multiplicity and multilayeredness of things, and using questions and contradicting statements as tools for opening up or expanding playgrounds for exploration. They often make use of found objects and phenomena in past and present as reference points for anchoring statements in time and place – and mostly, they try to project or speculate on events that may or may not unfold in the future.
Speaking of future, my coming works will probably deal with the human being, mythology and culture as things that probably should be examined more closely or from different perspectives in order to reflect current changes in ecology, technology and globalised society. For instance, I think there’s still a lot to be explored in terms of what constitutes an identity; The individual vs the collective, the human body and mind as something dynamically malleable by culture and technology, and other forms of consciousness and intelligence that are currently emerging or still are to be explored. I’m also interested in speculating on alternative ways to structure societies in the future, and this will probably be reflected in the works somehow as well.
I’m currently working with forms that focus on the combinations of sound, text, imagery, technology and performance, like computer game environments, interactive theatre and vocal music rituals. While deeply rooted in archetypical cultural practices I find there’s still so much to explore within these settings.