A native of Seoul, Korea, Lisa Ullén grew up in the northern part of Sweden, and is based in Stockholm.
She is a graduate of the Royal Musical Academy in Stockholm, Sweden, where she studied classical piano in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Since the late 1990s, she has devoted herself entirely to improvised music, in the form of free jazz as well as avant garde and contemporary classical and experimental music.
A versatile player with a singular musical vision, Ullén has repeatedly proven her ability to imprint her absolute sense for tonal texture on whatever musical context she appears in. She leads her own free form quartet, as well as post-bop power house trio Jello, and has a long standing collaboration with double bass player Nina de Heney, as well as with Korean cellist Okkyung Lee. Her recent collaboration with indie-pop singer Mariam Wallentin as well as her own solo album, Catachresis, display a surprising sensibility for pop music, radically deconstructing its repetitive structures yet retaining a great deal of its immediate aural simplicity.
Over the last decade, she has been an important figure on the impro-music scene in Sweden not only as a composer and a musician, but also as a curator. She has been a member of the booking committee of intermedia venue Fylkingen, and has arranged several festivals of improvised music in Stockholm. In 2012, she was curator of the Perspectives International Festival for creative Music in Västerås, Sweden.
Besides working internationally as a soloist and leader of her own groups with tours and concerts in Sweden, Europe, USA, Canada, and Japan, Ullén has collaborated extensively with many well-known Swedish artists and dancers, and has also scored several dramatic productions. She’s also performed and recorded music by contemporary composers .
“Extraordinary is all I can say as I dive in to her unique approach. …Amazing piano, some of it prepared, which should appeals to fans of John Cage as well as of Cecil Taylor”.
— Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
contact: lisaullen at gmail . com