Kåre Kolberg is a pioneer of electroacoustic music in Norway, and he was the first Norwegian composer to write a piece of computer music (in 1973). […] Kolberg’s basic ideas for electroacoustic form were shaped in his first works made in Sweden and Poland in the early 1970s, and he used a collage technique with easily recognizable elements that communicated well with audiences. Later, he extended his technique by adding a more electronic-sounding and abstract timbral palette.
In Polish Radio Experimentral Studio Kolberg worked with Bohdan Mazurek, who had been educated in Germany as tonmeister. Kolberg’s first piece in Warsaw was called Omgivelser (Surroundings), completed in 1970. Soon he composed several more pieces, including Til Mozart i himmelen (To Mozart in Heaven) and Nova. He also received a commission from the Experimental Studio, resulting in the piece entitled Anonymous (1972).
It is natural to see Kolberg’s compositions as contributions to the cultural debates in the 1970s and 80s, not because he composed particularly political music, but because his attitudes and opinions were reflected in writing, organizational activities and music. Kolberg represented a radical departure from rigid genre hierarchies, combining modernist artistic approaches with the affordances of increasingly available technologies. Kolberg drew on ideas from the associative character of concrete music, where sounds from widely diverging contexts and perspectives were combined into new experiences, while at the same time challenging the strict construction principles that were dominant in early electronic music.