Aarhus Universitets segl

Marie Koldkjær Højlund


Lektor, Associate Professor of Sound Studies

Primær tilknytning

Marie Koldkjær Højlund




I am an associate professor of sound studies, audio design and musicology at Aarhus University as well as a composer, musician and performing sound artist. For years, I have been researching what everyday sound environments mean for our way of life. I am interested in listening and sonic citizenship in a variety of contexts from a practice-based and artistic approach, where auditory boundaries blur between the private and the public, the individual and the community, unraveling questions of privilege—Who holds the right to raise their voice, to be heard? How do we harmonize through attuning practices?
My emergent research agenda and ambition in teaching is to develop and widening both the sound studies field as well as the interfaces between culture and health, through artistic and design research that engages with society through collaborative projects, outside-world activities and practice-based experiments. I have coined this an attuning approach, highlighting the importance of addressing not only the physical and perceptual aspects of listening to/in sound and music, but also how the affective, embodied, enactive, multisensory and atmospheric shape those experiences. I explore practice-based ways to open up these affective zones for attunement through methodologies and technologies related to situated listening and doing with sound through attunement practices. 

My practice-based PhD dissertation about sound and noise in hospitals charged my interest in the intersections between culture, art, senses, and health. The new super hospitals being built in Denmark are the research context. These hospitals are being created with the goal of enhancing overall quality by moving the emphasis from hospitals for treatment to hospitals for healing. However, I identified a gap in the area of sound, noise and listening for strategies beyond insulation and isolation, and a need to focus on giving patients, relatives and staffs opportunities for attuning practices. Building on this foundation, during the last years, I have worked intensely on various practice-based projects in hospitals and nursery homes in Denmark. I created the soundscape for 12 new sensory delivery rooms at both Regions Hospital in Nordjylland and Gødstrup. At Aalborg Universitetshospital I developed and designed the soundscape for a new sensory delivery room and new religion neutral ritual for stillborn. Performing public sector consultancy service for Aarhus municipality, I conducted a large-scale soundscape analysis and intervention study of nursery homes from 2020-23.

Committed to crafting sound technologies for alternative listening experiences, I co-founded The Overheard with Morten Riis, presenting large-scale sound sculptures across Denmark. As a composer, my sonic expressions have reverberated in diverse realms—from bands and albums to compositions for TV, theatre, and computer games. Recently I was honored with the Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsens award as a composer. During 2023 and 2024 I am a guest researcher at the Pufendorf Institute of Advanced Studies at Lunds University in the theme "Sound of Democracy".

Udvalgte publikationer

Brug piltasterne på tastaturet for at scrolle
Brug piltasterne på tastaturet for at scrolle
Brug piltasterne på tastaturet for at scrolle