strings

 

-2017-19-

seals IV – part 11 of Cycle III from synthetic fragments
for contrabass and ensemble or contrabass solo
Instrumentation: contrabass and ensemble (or contrabass solo)
Premiere: October 31, 2020 – Johannes Nästesjö in Malmö, Sweden
Duration: approx. 5 minutes
Score: Buy score at BabelScores!

 

Program note:
The title of this work, seals, comes from the Italian philosopher, mathematician, poet, Dominican friar and astrologer Giordano Bruno (1548 – 1600). Although not widely recognized he is celebrated for his cosmological theories, which went even further than the then-novel Copernican model. Bruno also correctly proposed that the Sun was just another star moving in space, and claimed as well that the universe contained an infinite number of inhabited worlds, identified as planets orbiting other stars. Because of his, at the time, radical thinking (including supporting Galileo Galilei) Bruno was forced to leave Italy in 1576, first to France and later to England and Germany. In 1591, in a time when the Inquisition seemed to be losing some of its impetus, and Venice seemed especially safe as it was the most liberal state in Italy; therefore Bruno was lulled into making the fatal mistake of returning to Italy. In 1592 he was arrested by the Venetian Inquisition, sent to Rome and charged of blasphemy and heresy. After 7 years of trial the Inquisition found him guilty, and in 1600 Bruno was burned at stake in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori. Bruno’s case is still considered a landmark in the history of free thought and the future of the emerging sciences. 

In addition to his cosmological writings, Bruno also wrote extensively on the art of memory, a loosely organized group of mnemonic techniques and principles and it is these writings that the title of my piece refer to. Early in 1583, soon after his arrival in England, Bruno published the massive volume on memory which is referred to as Seals, though it really consists of four items, as follows:


     Ars reminiscendi
     Triginta sigilli
     Explanatio triginta sigillorum
     Sigillus sigillorum



So, 30 seals (Triginta sigilli) and the seal of seals (Sigillus sigillorum). What then are these seals? The art of mnemonics tradition, e.g. Fra Agostino del Riccio’s work Arte delle memoria locale (unpublished, but the manuscript exists in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence) uses the idea of presenting the principles and various techniques of the art through little symbolic pictures, with titles. This is exactly what the Seals are, statements of the principles and techniques of the art – but, magicised, complicated with Lullism and Cabbalism, blown up into inscrutable mysteries.

The seals are not confined to any one system. On the contrary Bruno states that he is trying every possible way; perhaps something for which he is not looking may emerge out of this, as alchemists who do not succeed in making gold sometimes hit on other important discoveries. In the later Seals he is trying variations of astrological arrangements, devices of a Lullist nature (or what he supposes to be Lullist), infiltrations of Cabalist magic in the unending search for a really operative organisation of the psyche. And the search always brings in the tricks of the memory trade, the old techniques of which can be recognised in Seal after Seal, though now presented as occult mysteries.
If we drop the word ‘magical’ and think of the efforts of an occult memory artist as directed towards drawing out of the psyhe combinations of ‘archetypal’ images we come within range of some major trends of modern psychological thought.

There is something, to my mind, profound in the Seals, as though in its inner moulding of significant memory statues, this drawing out of tremendous forms by subtraction of the inessential, Giordano Bruno, the memory artist, were introducing us to the core of the creative act, the inner act which precedes the outer expression.

The work seals IV is one of eleven works for solo instruments which form cycle III of “synthetic fragments”.

2018

Ein deutscher Traum – part II of Cycle I from synthetic fragments
for ensemble 
Instrumentation: flute, clarinet (Bb and Bass), percussion, piano, violin, viola, cello
Premiere: Mars 27, 2019 – Norrbotten Neo in Luleå, Sweden
Duration: approximately 10 minutes
Commissioned by: Norrbottensmusiken
Score: Buy score at BabelScores!

Program note:
Ein deutscher Traum (A German dream) takes its title from the second part of Hans-Jürgen Sybergergs mega-film “Hitler – ein Film aus Deutschland” (1977).The film has no clear plot or chronology, instead, each part explores one particular topic with the second part focusing on the pre-Nazi German cultural, spiritual and national heritage that the Nazi propaganda related to.

Rather than devise a spectacle in the past tense, by attempting to simulate unrepeatable reality or showing a photographic document, this is a sort of spectacle in the present tense – “adventures in the head”. Reality can only be grasped indirectly – seen reflected in a mirror, staged in the theater of the mind. A fiction without being a narrative and a document without claiming objectivity for it: a hybrid form without respectable parentage? But in contrast to the lavish DeMille-like décors that Wagner projected for his tetralogy, Syberberg’s film is a cheap fantasy.
The music should however not be misinterpreted as crudely illustrative, some (more or less) musical (symbolic) references are made; like beginning and closing all parts with a silent lonely child, an ironic mock of the complexity of the subject presented as something simple and also evoking symbolism of melancholy which musically is referred to by the, seemingly simple, beginning and ending on “one” note. Maybe this music could be viewed upon as “abstract storytelling”, having no real “plot” but constantly shifting its focus with different gestures, states, and reflections and so on.

Ein deutscher Traum is the second part in cycle I (from the large work “synthetic fragments”) consisting of 4 parts named after Syberbergs film; I – Der Gral, II – Ein deutscher Traum, III – Das Ende eines Wintermärchens, IV – Wir Kinder der Hölle;

A grail, a dream, a tale.
Hell.

2017

Zwischen der kürzeste Schatten
for solo violin or violin and spatialised electroacoustic sound
Instrumentation: violin and optional electronics
Duration: approx. 13 minutes
Score: Buy score at BabelScores!

2015-16

matheme
for double trio
Instrumentation: bass flute, bass clarinet, contrabass, violin, alto trombone, piano
Premiere: 24 october 2016, New York
Duration: approx. 14 minutes
Score: Buy score at BabelScores!

Program note:
The matheme indicates a relationship, where the relationship is problematic, unstable and continuously open to re-negotiation.
Two separated trios playing separate music. The ambiguity of where this music can meet seems to endorse the notion of a ‘transitive’ space – a matheme, creating an invisible third space perhaps.

Recording:

2015-16

mirrors
for trio
Instrumentation: violin, alto trombone, piano
Duration: approx. 13,5 minutes
Score: Contact the composer

2015-16

Meaning of No Meaning
for trio
Instrumentation: bass flute, bass clarinet, contrabass
Premiere: 9 october 2013, Brussels – Katrien Gaelens, Dries Tack, Jens Similox-Tohon
Duration: approx. 13,5 minutes
Score: Buy score at BabelScores!

Program note:
On a pure musical level this music is about contrasts.
Two ‘themes’; one melodic, looping restatements, obstacles and ornamented planes, tentative lattices of simultaneity, networks forming and diffusing with a fine tread running between the instruments;
the other like a broken machine, jolting and splattering. But also ‘themes’ against ‘no-theme’, or development against ‘staticness’ and so on… (Meaning against No Meaning).

Maybe what I am after with this music is what’s between these contrasts, leaving the music for itself, “being by itself”.
But in the moment that is created between these contrasts a new thought can be formed by the listener.
When you turn your attention to it, the meaningless meaning assumes a meaning that defeats its own purpose.
There is no more meaningless meaning.
Meaning now has some meaning. It points to something else.
But when we become meaning itself, we need not talk about meaning anymore.

-2016-

O ew'ge Nacht
for piano, cello and electronics
Instrumentation: piano, cello and electronics
Premiere: 28 June 2016, Santiago de Compostela; Vertixe Sonora (David Durán, Thomas Piel)
Duration: approx. 19 minutes
Commissioned by: Vertixe Sonora
Score: Buy score at BabelScores!

Program note:
When approach to participate in the project “Sound Correspondences” I was told that the concert was to be related to a collective exhibition of the CGAC. For me the artist involved is María Ruido who presented her work “La memoria interior” for me. While there may be certain connections between our works (construction of memory would be one), what immediately struck me was the very beginning where, in complete darkness, Nur Stille, Stille (from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte) is heard.
The title of my piece, O ew’ge nacht, is also taken from Die Zauberflöte where it is a short recitative; the topic being that of questions about the afterlife, eternal life, and love.

If the recitative is a Message from Beyond, this music struggles, through the performers (as some kind of deformed Papageno and Pamina figures), trying to ask a question. The effect of struggle is twofold, for while the music itself articulates a search through potential material, the player is faced with notation of great complexity from which a performance must be extrapolated. In this sense, the struggle is not only that of the extreme performance situation, but also one of creating a piece of music of any real significance.
It (tries to) offer a reflexive narrative of how it is to be in the world; it can never hope to be objective or to tell anyone anything new, but nevertheless holds out for the possibility that one might, in the telling, somehow stumble across something of note; musical composition (and, by extension, listening) as an attempt to bring order to a (fictionally) broken down remnant of… what? The distant past? The depths of the subconscious? (The inner Memory?)
When the chorus answers Tamino’s question “O eternal night, when will you disappear? they represent a calling from an afterlife, and they provide two answers: to the question of when he should find light, the dying Mozart receives the response “Soon, soon or never more,” and the syllabic singing of the name “Pa-mi-na” becomes an incantation…

-2016-

Beyond the Quintessential Quincunx
Instrumentation: bass clarinet, violin, acoustic guitar, sound objects
Premiere: 31 Mars 2016, Århus; Curious Chamber Players (Dries Tack, Karin Hellqvist, Frederik Munk Larsen, Rei Munakata)
Duration: approximately 6 minutes
Score: Buy score at BabelScores!

Recording:

-2015-

monade (diskontinuierliche Endlichkeit)
for trio
Instrumentation: clarinet in A, cello, piano
Premiere: 10 january 2016, Paris; Ensemble Aleph (Dominique Clément, Christophe Roy, Sylvie Drouin)
Duration: approx. 10 minutes
Commissioned by: Ensemble Aleph
Score: Contact the composer

Program note:
Monad (from Greek μονάς monas, “unit” in turn from μόνος monos, “alone”)

The monad, the word and the idea, belongs to the western philosophical tradition and has been used by various authors, most famously by Leibniz that designates the monad as metaphysical point (without extension) in which the entire universe is reflected.

Monads are manifest, they are everywhere, and there is no extension without monads. They are, then, the plenum, that is to say, the condition of an infinitely dense universe, but nevertheless they are unextended. However, this doesn’t mean that they lack of any function (as far as they project and reflect force), matter (since they come with it) or that they are extended (considering that they don’t interact with anything in the world).

The ‘intensive infinity’ within the monad is in excess of any concept. Monadic fullness is dizzying, ‘confused.’ The infinity within the monad is infinitely analyzable, which means that it cannot be captured by a finite consciousness, but is lost for intentionality. Nonetheless, this loss is not an abstract negation of knowledge, since the monad has all the complex determinacy of an intensive gathering of relations.

The ‘pregnant’ fullness of the monad intends no mythic re-enchantment of nature. On the contrary, it definitively secularizes temporality, and shows how the modern notion of progress reintroduces the Christian via recta into the representation of time.
Walter Benjamin’s monad is simultaneously packed with all of its predicates – past, present, and future. Benjamin describes the intensive infinity within the monad as its absorption of all of its ‘virtual history’ (both becoming and passing away) in a pre-stabilized essence. We become aware of the infinite complexity in our perceptions by intensifying our attention to what is already implicit in our representations.

monade (diskontinuierliche Endlichkeit) – Oscillation measures the failure of a limit to exist.

Recording:

-2015-

seals II – part 4 of Cycle III from synthetic fragments
for cello & soprano or cello solo
Instrumentation: cello & soprano (or cello solo)
Premiere: 2 mars 2017 (both versions), Brussels
Duration: approx. 1 minute
Score: Buy score at BabelScores!

Program note:
The title of this work, seals, comes from the Italian philosopher, mathematician, poet, Dominican friar and astrologer Giordano Bruno (1548 – 1600). Although not widely recognized he is celebrated for his cosmological theories, which went even further than the then-novel Copernican model. Bruno also correctly proposed that the Sun was just another star moving in space, and claimed as well that the universe contained an infinite number of inhabited worlds, identified as planets orbiting other stars. Because of his, at the time, radical thinking (including supporting Galileo Galilei) Bruno was forced to leave Italy in 1576, first to France and later to England and Germany. In 1591, in a time when the Inquisition seemed to be losing some of its impetus, and Venice seemed especially safe as it was the most liberal state in Italy; therefore Bruno was lulled into making the fatal mistake of returning to Italy. In 1592 he was arrested by the Venetian Inquisition, sent to Rome and charged of blasphemy and heresy. After 7 years of trial the Inquisition found him guilty, and in 1600 Bruno was burned at stake in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori. Bruno’s case is still considered a landmark in the history of free thought and the future of the emerging sciences.

In addition to his cosmological writings, Bruno also wrote extensively on the art of memory, a loosely organized group of mnemonic techniques and principles and it is these writings that the title of my piece refer to. Early in 1583, soon after his arrival in England, Bruno published the massive volume on memory which is referred to as Seals, though it really consists of four items, as follows:


     Ars reminiscendi
     Triginta sigilli
     Explanatio triginta sigillorum
     Sigillus sigillorum



So, 30 seals (Triginta sigilli) and the seal of seals (Sigillus sigillorum). What then are these seals? The art of mnemonics tradition, e.g. Fra Agostino del Riccio’s work Arte delle memoria locale (unpublished, but the manuscript exists in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence) uses the idea of presenting the principles and various techniques of the art through little symbolic pictures, with titles. This is exactly what the Seals are, statements of the principles and techniques of the art – but, magicised, complicated with Lullism and Cabbalism, blown up into inscrutable mysteries.

The seals are not confined to any one system. On the contrary Bruno states that he is trying every possible way; perhaps something for which he is not looking may emerge out of this, as alchemists who do not succeed in making gold sometimes hit on other important discoveries. In the later Seals he is trying variations of astrological arrangements, devices of a Lullist nature (or what he supposes to be Lullist), infiltrations of Cabalist magic in the unending search for a really operative organisation of the psyche. And the search always brings in the tricks of the memory trade, the old techniques of which can be recognised in Seal after Seal, though now presented as occult mysteries.
If we drop the word ‘magical’ and think of the efforts of an occult memory artist as directed towards drawing out of the psyhe combinations of ‘archetypal’ images we come within range of some major trends of modern psychological thought.

There is something, to my mind, profound in the Seals, as though in its inner moulding of significant memory statues, this drawing out of tremendous forms by subtraction of the inessential, Giordano Bruno, the memory artist, were introducing us to the core of the creative act, the inner act which precedes the outer expression.

The work seals II is one of eleven works for solo instruments which form cycle III of “synthetic fragments”.

full score

-2015-

verzeitlichung
for ensemble 
Instrumentation: clarinet (Bb/bass), piano, violin, viola, cello
Premiere: 23 April 2015, Fabra i Coats, Barcelona (Spain); Ensemble Recherche
Duration: approx. 11 minutes
Commissioned by: Mixtur Festival for Ensemble Recherche
Score: Buy score at BabelScores!

Program note:
Perhaps it is first in the interpretation process that an artwork unfolds to what it is interpreted as. Interpretandum is thus not something instantly given but grows from esthetic experience and critical reflection – it is both the result of and the object of the study. Also in a temporal respect, mediation between production and interpretation is crucial: the artwork is produced not in its contemporary history (the past), but its time (the present) in the artwork. This temporalization (verzeitlichung) of the artwork during the process of composition transforms its interior into a “micro eon”. The interpretation crystallizes the work to a structure.

score excerpt page 1-2

Recording:

-2015-

seals I – part 1 of Cycle III from synthetic fragments
for violin solo & ensemble 
Instrumentation: violin solo, english horn, Eb clarinet, piano, soprano, cello
Duration: approx. 2 minutes
Premiere: 21 June 2015, Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel;
Veerle Houbraken – soloviolin & Odysseia Ensemble conducted by Bart Bouckaert
Score: Buy score at BabelScores!

Program note:
The title of this work, seals, comes from the Italian philosopher, mathematician, poet, Dominican friar and astrologer Giordano Bruno (1548 – 1600). Although not widely recognized he is celebrated for his cosmological theories, which went even further than the then-novel Copernican model. Bruno also correctly proposed that the Sun was just another star moving in space, and claimed as well that the universe contained an infinite number of inhabited worlds, identified as planets orbiting other stars. Because of his, at the time, radical thinking (including supporting Galileo Galilei) Bruno was forced to leave Italy in 1576, first to France and later to England and Germany. In 1591, in a time when the Inquisition seemed to be losing some of its impetus, and Venice seemed especially safe as it was the most liberal state in Italy; therefore Bruno was lulled into making the fatal mistake of returning to Italy. In 1592 he was arrested by the Venetian Inquisition, sent to Rome and charged of blasphemy and heresy. After 7 years of trial the Inquisition found him guilty, and in 1600 Bruno was burned at stake in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori. Bruno’s case is still considered a landmark in the history of free thought and the future of the emerging sciences.

In addition to his cosmological writings, Bruno also wrote extensively on the art of memory, a loosely organized group of mnemonic techniques and principles and it is these writings that the title of my piece refer to. Early in 1583, soon after his arrival in England, Bruno published the massive volume on memory which is referred to as Seals, though it really consists of four items, as follows:


     Ars reminiscendi
     Triginta sigilli
     Explanatio triginta sigillorum
     Sigillus sigillorum



So, 30 seals (Triginta sigilli) and the seal of seals (Sigillus sigillorum). What then are these seals? The art of mnemonics tradition, e.g. Fra Agostino del Riccio’s work Arte delle memoria locale (unpublished, but the manuscript exists in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence) uses the idea of presenting the principles and various techniques of the art through little symbolic pictures, with titles. This is exactly what the Seals are, statements of the principles and techniques of the art – but, magicised, complicated with Lullism and Cabbalism, blown up into inscrutable mysteries.

The seals are not confined to any one system. On the contrary Bruno states that he is trying every possible way; perhaps something for which he is not looking may emerge out of this, as alchemists who do not succeed in making gold sometimes hit on other important discoveries. In the later Seals he is trying variations of astrological arrangements, devices of a Lullist nature (or what he supposes to be Lullist), infiltrations of Cabalist magic in the unending search for a really operative organisation of the psyche. And the search always brings in the tricks of the memory trade, the old techniques of which can be recognised in Seal after Seal, though now presented as occult mysteries.
If we drop the word ‘magical’ and think of the efforts of an occult memory artist as directed towards drawing out of the psyhe combinations of ‘archetypal’ images we come within range of some major trends of modern psychological thought.

There is something, to my mind, profound in the Seals, as though in its inner moulding of significant memory statues, this drawing out of tremendous forms by subtraction of the inessential, Giordano Bruno, the memory artist, were introducing us to the core of the creative act, the inner act which precedes the outer expression.

The work seals I is one of eleven works for solo instruments which form cycle III of “synthetic fragments”.

score excerpt page 3-4

Recording:

2014

Rhizom
for ensemble 
Instrumentation: flute (C/alto/piccolo), soprano saxophone, percussion, piano, cello
Premiere: 30 November 2014, La Caja, Vigo (Spain); Vertixe Sonora Ensemble
Duration: approx. 15 minutes
Commissioned by: Vertixe Sonora Ensemble
Score: Buy score at BabelScores!

Program note:
“A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo. The tree is filiation, but the rhizome is alliance, uniquely alliance. The tree imposes the verb “to be,” but the fabric of the rhizome is the conjunction, “and. . . and.. . and. . .”
So far Deleuze. Subterranean passages of thought: that is what Deleuze and Guttari call a RHIZOME. It tests the intelligent capacity for finding beginnings. A labyrinth without beginning or end: “A non-hierarchic structure of concepts that propagates in all directions and invites to multiplicity.“
When I a few years ago read their book “A Thousand Plateaus” (“Mille plateaux”) I did it enthusiastically even though I may not have completely understood all of the ideas (some are even still quite difficult to understand). But at least some thought images have had a lasting impression. When I started this work I came to think about how their philosophical concept “Rhizome” has gradually become a way for me to think about structures in musical composition (form) and how these structures can communicate itself to listeners.
Rhizom is based on a “predefined book” of rhythmical structures, harmonic progressions and instrumental combinations. In order to try to adhere to the conception of Rhizome it is composed in a non-linear fashion.

score excerpt page 22

Recording of the premiere with Vertixe Sonora Ensemble

2014

breathing
for cello solo 
Instrumentation: cello
Premiere: 14 August 2014, Darmstadt; Alice Purton
Duration: approx. 6 minutes
Score: Buy score at BabelScores!
Program note:
breathing for prepared cello is the last section (section 10), but the first to be composed, from a much larger work for cello, electronic music and visual performance.
Performed as a solo piece, breathing does not utilize any electronics or video.
The music isn’t intended to illustrate any kind of breathing but to be in itself the “breathing”, in the large scale work as a re-wakening and as a solo piece, the enjoyment of life (breathing gives life!). Structurally the work as a whole and down to its very details is influenced by prime numbers. The reasons for this are manifold. They grow like weeds among the natural numbers, seeming to obey no other law than that of chance, and nobody can predict where the next one will sprout. The second fact is even more astonishing, for it states just the opposite: that the prime numbers exhibit stunning regularity, that there are laws governing their behavior, and that they obey these laws with almost military precision. The stability of the structure, its symmetry and beauty, is the way in which the understanding takes its perceptible form and communicates itself to the listener… to understand something about the material and how, conceptually, music communicates itself to the listener.

“the dichotomy between the very predictable world of mathematics and the almost whimsical nature of prime numbers”

score excerpt page 1

2014

seals I – part 1 of Cycle III from synthetic fragments
version for violin solo 
Instrumentation: violin solo
Duration: approx. 2 minutes
Score: Buy score at BabelScores!

Program note:
The title of this work, seals, comes from the Italian philosopher, mathematician, poet, Dominican friar and astrologer Giordano Bruno (1548 – 1600). Although not widely recognized he is celebrated for his cosmological theories, which went even further than the then-novel Copernican model. Bruno also correctly proposed that the Sun was just another star moving in space, and claimed as well that the universe contained an infinite number of inhabited worlds, identified as planets orbiting other stars. Because of his, at the time, radical thinking (including supporting Galileo Galilei) Bruno was forced to leave Italy in 1576, first to France and later to England and Germany. In 1591, in a time when the Inquisition seemed to be losing some of its impetus, and Venice seemed especially safe as it was the most liberal state in Italy; therefore Bruno was lulled into making the fatal mistake of returning to Italy. In 1592 he was arrested by the Venetian Inquisition, sent to Rome and charged of blasphemy and heresy. After 7 years of trial the Inquisition found him guilty, and in 1600 Bruno was burned at stake in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori. Bruno’s case is still considered a landmark in the history of free thought and the future of the emerging sciences.

In addition to his cosmological writings, Bruno also wrote extensively on the art of memory, a loosely organized group of mnemonic techniques and principles and it is these writings that the title of my piece refer to. Early in 1583, soon after his arrival in England, Bruno published the massive volume on memory which is referred to as Seals, though it really consists of four items, as follows:


     Ars reminiscendi
     Triginta sigilli
     Explanatio triginta sigillorum
     Sigillus sigillorum



So, 30 seals (Triginta sigilli) and the seal of seals (Sigillus sigillorum). What then are these seals? The art of mnemonics tradition, e.g. Fra Agostino del Riccio’s work Arte delle memoria locale (unpublished, but the manuscript exists in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence) uses the idea of presenting the principles and various techniques of the art through little symbolic pictures, with titles. This is exactly what the Seals are, statements of the principles and techniques of the art – but, magicised, complicated with Lullism and Cabbalism, blown up into inscrutable mysteries.

The seals are not confined to any one system. On the contrary Bruno states that he is trying every possible way; perhaps something for which he is not looking may emerge out of this, as alchemists who do not succeed in making gold sometimes hit on other important discoveries. In the later Seals he is trying variations of astrological arrangements, devices of a Lullist nature (or what he supposes to be Lullist), infiltrations of Cabalist magic in the unending search for a really operative organisation of the psyche. And the search always brings in the tricks of the memory trade, the old techniques of which can be recognised in Seal after Seal, though now presented as occult mysteries.
If we drop the word ‘magical’ and think of the efforts of an occult memory artist as directed towards drawing out of the psyhe combinations of ‘archetypal’ images we come within range of some major trends of modern psychological thought.

There is something, to my mind, profound in the Seals, as though in its inner moulding of significant memory statues, this drawing out of tremendous forms by subtraction of the inessential, Giordano Bruno, the memory artist, were introducing us to the core of the creative act, the inner act which precedes the outer expression.

The work seals I is one of eleven works for solo instruments which form cycle III of “synthetic fragments”.

2014

Das Ende eines Wintermärchens – part III of Cycle I from synthetic fragments
for ensemble 
Instrumentation: Bb clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, viola, ‘cello, contrabass
Premiere: April 13, 2014 – Ensemble Aleph in Fontevraud Abbey, France
Duration: 6 minutes
Commissioned by: Ensemble Aleph
Score: Buy score at BabelScores!

Recording by Ensemble Aleph

Program note:
Das Ende eines Wintermärchens (The End of a Winter’s Tale) takes its title from the third part of
Hans-Jürgen Sybergergs mega-film “ein Film aus Deutschland” (1977).The film that has no clear plot
or chronology , instead, each part explores one particular topic with the third part exploring the
holocaust and the ideology behind it.

Rather than devise a spectacle in the past tense, by attempting to simulate unrepeatable reality or
showing a photographic document, this is a sort of spectacle in the present tense – “adventures in
the head”. Reality can only be grasped indirectly – seen reflected in a mirror, staged in the theater of
the mind.

The music should however not be misinterpreted as crudely illustrative, some (more or less) musical
(symbolic) references are made; like beginning and closing all parts with a silent lonely child, an ironic
mock of the complexity of the subject presented as something simple and also evoking symbolism of
melancholy which musically is referred to by the, seemingly simple, beginning and ending on one
note (G and E respectively). This also acts as a dramatic form of the piece, building an arc from
simplicity – complexity – simplicity in its use of material.

Maybe this music could be viewed upon as “abstract storytelling”, having no real “plot” but
constantly shifting its focus with different gestures, states, and reflections and so on. As said above,
there is a certain dramatic form with a building of material starting with roughly-accented contrabass
harmonics, culminating with the strings + clarinet playing ordered, layered, almost mechanical music
(with each instrument “going through” the 24 quartertones of an octave in its own sequence and
with very exactly defined crescendos and diminuendos), eventually differentiating into more complex
and tangled textures. The music now tries to focus, with a decrease of the harmonic and melodic
material but is once again drawn to a scale using all 24 quartertones in the octave, but this time used
as harmonic material with crescendos, becoming ever shorter and louder. A shift of focus utilizing
multiple gestures and states (like looking at the material at different perspectives) the music finally
stabilize more and more until a single E in violin Is left… seemingly simple but constantly fluctuating
in its inner structure.

Das Ende eines Wintermärchens is the third part in cycle I from the work “synthetic fragments” where cycle I consists of 4 parts, all named after the parts
from Syberbergs film; I – Der gral, II – Ein deutcher traum, III – Das Ende eines Wintermärchens, IV – Wir Kinder der Hölle; A grail, a dream, a tail. Hell.
Dealing with the fascination of Nazism/Fascism, once again starting to grow in the western world, the work itself is truly an antithesis of a Nazi “artwork”; trying to be individual, complex, multidimensional and invite to reflection it would
probably be proscribed as “decadent art”. (“[…], it is the music of the born-again modalists that
wears the jackboots.” – R. Toop, On Complexity).

2014

empty space – part 1 of Cycle IV from “synthetic fragments
texts and material examples for structured improvisation 
Instrumentation: percussion, contrabass, (optional live electronics)
Premiere: May 5, 2014 – Núria Andorrà, Johannes Nästesjö
Duration: variable

Recording:

2006

VINGT-CINQ
for viola 
Instrumentation: viola with live electronics (4 channel)
Premiere: 2006-10-10; Jeriko, Mamlö/Sweden
Markus Falkbring – Viola, Henrik Denerin – live electronics

Program note:
Tautology – The common tendency is obvious enough, but it is also a narrative in the sense that its language is directly related to states of consciousness of a first-person narrator. The text can be read as a metaphor for life: as a movement toward the unknown point of death. Another aspect reveals itself in the inescapable impression that the totality of the text is apprehended like fragments out of a context that cannot be reconstructed and for whose existence there is no evidence in what is literally said. Certain formulations arise that elicit unreachable memories, as it were, memories of contexts that cannot be reconstructed. So, content, a story after all? As little of this as of purely abstract composition. A little of both.
Comment:
VINGT-CINQ is dedicated to Gertrud Heinerud and was written for her 25th birthday.