Danish Collaborations

Recipient of the 2012 DIVA (Danish International Visiting Artist) residency in Copenhagen hosted by Edition S. and SNYK, Zoë spent her residency developing her own music and theatre pieces alongside collaborations with Danish composers, artists and musicians, building upon creative relationships established the previous year including that with composer  Line Tjornhoj.

Line’s multi-media, multi-genre site specific project “Portrait: dialogue between adult and child,” included work with counter tenor, social anthropologist, media artist, plus performance for cello, voice and live electronics premiered in Aalborg and Vordingborg in 2012. Zoë appears on Line’s new album #glimpse – the e-sessions, released in spring 2013.

Post DIVA, in May 2013 Zoë gave a solo performance in the Black Diamond, Copenhagen, of pieces she commissioned for cello and electronics (with the help of the Danish Arts Council) by Ejnar Kanding and Christian Winther Christensen, premiered Morten Ølsen’s Jernbryd and played Anders Nordentoft’s Kathedral. This programme is to be repeated in Christiania, Copenhagen’s controversial freetown, with the addition of her own music, that of Pelle Gudmundsen Holmgreen along with video projections by media artist Signe Klejs.

Taking part in a panel discussion (2nd from right!) on interdisciplinary aesthetics at the Royal Danish Academy of Music as part of the Pulsar new music festival. 

Earlier this year she took part in panel discussions (above), performance seminars and a master class at the Danish Royal Academy, and gave a couple of interviews for Danish Radio.

Shooting “Red Room”with media artist Signe Klejs at Bora Bora Theatre in Århus. Costume by Jane Munch.

DIVA projects included a collaboration with Signe Klejs on a short film of one of her songs Red Room, dressed by emerging young fashion designer Jane Munch; a multi-media “Host Guest Ghost” collaboration performance piece at the Dansehallern, work with director Mads Schaltz Christensen on some of her  theatre pieces; workshops with composers and students at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, performances of her works written during the residency at the Literaturhaus and Kayak Rebublic and an appearance on SNYK radio interviewed by director Thorbjørn Tønder Hansen.

Red Room. By Zoë Martlew and Signe Klejs
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Performing in “Frankenstein’s Lab” at the LiteraturHaus



With the “artistic lab” team at Dansehallern (left to right): Mads Schaltz Christensen, Sisse Tomczyk, Niels Erling, Rold Hind, me.

Z Blog began during DIVA days as a documentation of her experiences during the residency, and continues apace.


Zoë’s creative collaboration with Line Tjornhoj began in February 2011 at the Women’s Museum, Århus, Denmark, along with film maker/photographer Jurgen Diemer. During an intense week together they worked on a multi-media performance piece SPLIT, a “monodramatic opera” for cello/voice, sampler, electronics and video. The starting point for the work was an exploration of the experiences of the rape victims of the Bosnian War, as depicted by journalists and in interviews at the time, branching out into related issues and emotional states.

Here are some of the film pieces that emerged from the week in Århus:

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“Tone”: an abstract and poetic flowering of the initial creative process that contains the profoundly serious and existential themes inherent in Split. That breathing space where we can reflect and generate musical expression. I feel great apprehension and reluctance to begin working with “Born of Rape” – a central text of our work. I find my self again dealing with impossible life situations and unsolvable dilemmas. Trying to find a path to art music – hearing in Tone the deep sadness you feel in your body when it is not possible to fix the problems. Walking hand in hand with Zoë on the “edge of creation” – having her exceptionally beautiful and sensitive voice – able to bring hope and comfort – as the medium.
We need to bring our audience home, feed them with soup, good bread and a little whisky… and talk about adventures on the seven seas. After all, there is a sailor present… (Line Tjornhoj)

The initial meeting:

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Improvisation on the ice rink in Århaus:

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Further video can be found at splittheopera