JENS L THOMSEN is a composer, artist and producer based on the Faroe Islands. He has an MSc in Environmental and Architectural Acoustics from London South Bank University as well as a BA in Music Technology from University of West London. His art typically explores the intersection between art, technology and environment. Through his project ORKA, Jens has twice been nominated for the Nordic Council Music Award.
ÆÐRA Subsea Tunnel Soundscape2024 / 2020
ÆÐR (meaning ‘vein’ in English) is a unique, atmospheric soundscape, exploring modernity and post-war freedom through a Faroese lens. Commissioned for Eysturoyartunnil, a 12km subsea tunnel - the largest of its kind - in Jens’ native Faroe Islands, a structural marvel with striking art. The soundscape lives as a live audio installation, broadcast around the clock on FM radio for anyone travelling through the tunnel. This is the first time a soundscape has been permanently installed and broadcast via this kind of technical solution and is an example of Jens’ innovative approach to creating art. 

A paean to human endeavour and the developmental history of humanity, the tunnel is at once progressive and ancient: a liminal setting where late-modern and pre-modern longings somehow seem to rub off on each other. These intersecting ideas are translated into a striking soundscape of dark drones, creeping frequencies, bleeping ambience, groaning masses of sound, and pulsating echoes from the hidden world beneath us. The underworld that we somehow are able to move through temporarily in our car under the sea, giving the tunnel and the islands a voice of their own, while exploring the parallels between the tunnel and Faroese society today.

This uniquely immersive and compelling work, previously existing only as a transitory experience for users of the Eysturoyartunnil, is now available on vinyl for the first time to be considered and enjoyed in all its fascinating detail. A thought-provoking and groundbreaking piece from one of Europe’s most exceptional composers and sound artists today.

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ALL AT ONCE Vinyl release2023
ORKA release their much anticipated sixth studio album All At Once available on vinyl and digital via Kervið on 29th September 2023.

Francine Perry from London and Jens L. Thomsen from the Faroe Islands aka ORKA’s long awaited sixth studio All At Once is an immersive opus that embodies the duo’s distinctive blend of earthy tones and a bold, adventurous spirit. Over ten tracks we are taken to a uniquely ORKA realm bursting with neon-lit hues, pulsating club beats, and an abundance of sensory stimulation that embraces themes of duality, connection and their combined story as artists and performers.

The collective result is ORKA’s own brand of queer erotic dance-floor mysticism, a shimmering futurist city of the night: collective, inclusive and alluring. All At Once signifies yet another remarkable leap forward in the duos’ artistic evolution, filled with unexpected twists and turns and as always, eternally captivating. A glorious and vibrant tapestry, we witness the merging of two exceptional artists in one compelling vision, mirrored in the album’s artwork by Kirstin Helgadóttir who combined the pair’s faces to create another figure that is both and neither at the same time.

Showcasing a bold approach to techno that pulsates with energy and forefronts their artistry as live performers, All At Once cements ORKA as one of the most captivating and urgent electronic acts around today. An unmissable record that brims with complex ideas and technical prowess, and a must-see experienced live at their launch show at Iklectik in London on the 5th of October.

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ORKA Pick Out Their Night Bus Playlist on Clash
ORKA  speak to Electronic Groove
ORKA on 15 Questions

KING LEARSound Design for Theatre2023
Det Ferösche Compagnie’s production of King Lear.

“DFC's KING LEAR stands as a bold and visionary exploration, plunging into the unsettling void of nothingness.

The project is deeply personal for director Búi Dam as it centers on his most cherished artist, his mother Birita Mohr, a retired actress grappling with severe Alzheimer's. 

With this production DFC has created a relevant and forceful play that is an homage to an actress and at the same time a social critique of our way of handling those who suffer from memory loss.”

Director -  Búi Dam │ Set Designer - Sámal Blak│Composer - Dánjal á Neystabö│Sound Designer - Jens L. Thomsen│Lighting Designer -  Matthew Richardson│Choreographer, Co-Direction and Rehearsal Director - Búi Rouch│Costume Designer - Sólvör Jacobsen│Makeup Artist - Dögg Nónsgjógv│Set and Costume Design Assistant - Anna Kristin Bæk│Set Builder - Björn Simonsen│Sound Technician - Baldur Kampmann│Ligthing Programmer - Villiam Soo Joensen│Ligthing Technician - Jákup Thögersen│Producer - Durita Sumberg

King Lear - Birita Mohr and Egi Dam│Cordelia - Kristina Sörensen Ougaard│Regan - Gunnvá Zachariasen│Goneril - Súsanna Tórgarð
Kent - Ria Tórgarð│Gloucester - Hans Tórgarð│Edgar - Bárður Persson
Edmund - Búi Dam│Fools - Anny Joensen Thorsen og Björn Simonsen
Brass Band - Rebekka Hjörleifsdóttir, Guðrun Sólja Jacobsen, Elin Guttesen, Eydna E. Petersen, Eirik Suni Danielsen, Marius Joensen and John Mikkelsen│Percussion - Rúni Mouritsen│Piano - Dánjal á Neystabö

FØROYAR 5.2Immersive A/V Installation & VR2022 / 2012
What do the Faroe Islands sound like? This was the question that composer Jens L. Thomsen and geologist Uni Árting asked themselves when they were commissioned to create a work for the European Researchers’ Night. Their playful answer to the question is presented in the installation FØROYAR 5.2.

To capture the unique sounds of the Faroese underground Uni Árting and Jens L. Thomsen travelled to five seismic stations across the Faroe Islands.  These stations, strategically located on Suðuroy, Vágar, Streymoy, Svínoy, and in the capital Tórshavn, represent the cardinal points of North, South, East, and West, with Tórshavn situated in the middle.

Árting and Thomsen recorded seismic vibrations in bedrock, cliffs and quarries and these recordings have since been sampled, composed and produced into a complete musical piece. Furthermore, the travels to the seismic stations, the preparations and the actual sound recordings were documented on video cameras and this footage is used in the work itself. Consequently FØROYAR 5.2 is an audio-visual installation in which the actual process becomes a part of the work.

In 2022, FØROYAR 5.2 was adapted for virtual reality (VR) as part of the exhibition Changing Landscapes at the Faroese National Gallery. The installation was recreated within a virtual cave, where four speakers and screens represented the cardinal points, and an additional fifth speaker and screen were positioned on the ceiling to represent Tórshavn.

Created by Jens L. Thomsen and Uni Árting
Producer: Urd Johannesen, The Nordic House in the Faroe Islands
Image Technicians: Rúni Friis Kjær, Heðin Ziska Davidsen, Jón Sand Davidsen
Seismic Technician: Uni Petersen
Camera: Petur Pólson (Suðuroy), Jóanes Árting (Vík), Kirstin Helgadóttir (Svínoy), Rúni Friis Kjær (introduction) 
Video Editing: Heiðrik á Heygum (introduction), Uni Árting and Rúni Friis Kjær (documentary) Thomas Koba (FØROYAR 5.2)
Trailer: Heiðrik á Heygum
Production Technology: No Parking Production
Graphic Design: Kirstin Helgadóttir
Leaflet Text: Knút H. Eysturstein
VR Developer: Bárður Fríi Mikladal
VR Technician: Barbara Biskopstø

Video Art2020
MANNAÁTARI [Cannibal] is a collage film that was created using VHS tapes from the 1980s, maintaining an entirely analog approach throughout its creation. The film draws inspiration from the writings of Mark Fisher, particularly his exploration of how the past is continually recycled and repurposed. The title itself, "MANNAÁTARI," refers to the asynchronic repetition that occurs in this process.

By employing obsolete medias and embracing analog cutting techniques, MANNAÁTARI taps into haunotological aesthetics while exploring themes of cultural recycling and the eternal recontextualization of the past.

The film was featured as part of the Always Coming Home contemporary exhibition 2020.

GENERATION LOSS samples a clip from the 1964 sci-fi Time Travellers. The clip is copied from one VHS tape to another 135 times.  With each copy, the image quality progressively deteriorates, resulting in washed-out colors, warped image and sound, and eventually transforming into abstract noise.

The piece takes inspiration from hauntological teachings which suggest that mankind has lost the ability to envision a future different from the present. 

The sampled clip depicts scientists who accidentally travel too far back in time, and this pivotal moment is replayed endlessly in the project. By offering the option to rewind the tape and start from the beginning, the audience is invited to contemplate the cyclical nature of time and the potential for new perspectives.

The film was featured as part of the Ólavsøkuframsýningin exhibition at the Faroe Islands National Gallery in 2020. GENERATION LOSS was made available for purchase as limited edition VHS copies.

NORÐA Nordic Soundscape at Royal Festival Hall2017
NORÐ is a soundscape commissioned by the Southbank Centre in London. It was created especially for the interior of Royal Festival Hall.

The work is an ambient representation of the stunning and diverse Nordic landscapes. Thomsen collected the different sounds, via an open call for sample sounds taken from Nordic countries and arranged them to create this composition. Many of the submissions had links with water in different forms: ice (arctic), running brooks and rivers, boiling (Icelandic geysers), air, vapour, rain, and the sea, which connects all Nordic countries. The piece references current issues such as global warming and is a reflection on the fragile ecology of the coastal regions.

This immersive soundscape was installed across Level 5 of Royal Festival Hall in the form of several separate sound pieces played out by a total of 24 speakers.

NORÐ was part of Summertime, Southbank Centre as well as Nordic Matters – a year-long programme of Nordic arts and culture at Southbank Centre. 

Composer: Jens L. Thomsen
With thanks to sound contributions from: Kristian Blak, Katrine Grønlund,  Helgi Jacobsen, Urd Johannesen, Nina K. Jørgensen, Høgni Lisberg, Dávur Juul Magnussen, Frida Malmø, Amirabbas Mohammadi, Varna M. Nielsen, Ólafur B. Ólafsson, Riccardo Pes, Ræppen, Torkil Tórgarð, Ryck Valli, David Webb, Jon Wesseltoft, Peter S. Wich, Matthew Workman