Jenny Hval Interview: A Face Split Open



“For me there is a big connection between singing and sexuality, and there’s also a connection in my lyrics between the mouth and the sexual organ.” Musician Jenny Hval writes experimental music, dealing with gender and sexuality.

Norwegian musician and writer Jenny Hval (b.1980) grew up in Oslo, and moved to Melbourne, Australia to study creative writing and performance. She has played in numerous groups, and released several albums under different names collaborating with various people. For 2013’s Innocence is Kinky Jenny Hval worked with PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish.

In this interview Jenny Hval talks about how singing is connected to crying: “There are certain voices which make my body sing, make me feel touched, and creates a little cry in the body.” And about how singing has to do with sacrifice, giving yourself, cutting into yourself, and being open. The voice contains an otherness, while the music contains sincerity, Hval explains. She also talks about how the 2011 attacks in Ut√łya, Norway affected her music, and about how one of her great fears has been being a replica, a stereotype.

Jenny Hval also talks of how she felt a certain suspiciousness towards things that were considered female, such as singing, but has experimented more and more with the voice over the years. “Maybe its time for something really dangerous — making something that sounds like pop.” She laughs.

Watch the beautiful and provocative music video ‘Innocence Is Kinky’ by Jenny Hval here: http://youtu.be/64e9HKXyUes

Jenny Hval was interviewed by Marie Skibsted Mogensen at Louisiana Literature 2013

Edited By Kamilla Bruus.

Produced by Christian Lund.

Copyright Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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