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2006/1

May 2006

My site actually isn’t updated often enough to keep out a fresh news column but this might change sometimes in the future.

Right now I can only offer a quick overview of what has been happening more or less recently:

new cd

The profile cd, ENTER, finally came out in March 2005, distributed by BIS records. Reviews have been mostly from good to very good (see reviews section). Although a big recognition goes to the marvellous musicians playing on the cd, I like to think some of its merits also consist in its recording and post-production criteria. ENTER was nominated for the Icelandic Music Prize as disc of the year in the classic and contemporary music category.

recently finished projects

I worked on three projects last year, all of them quite unique as compared to what I have been doing until now:

Play and Destroy for electronics and six instruments is the project I worked on at the CIRM in Nice (see programme notes in the catalogue section) with a video realised in collaboration with Simone Bellotti, sculptor, scenographer and designer. The electronic part greatly benefitted from the fruitful and instructive collaboration with Frédéric Voisin, musical assistant and head of research at the CIRM. The premiere took place on November 5 in Nice, played by the Ensemble Sillages. The Caput Ensemble then performed the piece in Reykjavik on February 11, 2006 and again in Montréal in the beginning of March.

Snap for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and sampler, part of the Microwaves project by Alter Ego in collaboration with the electroduo Pan Sonic from Finland. This is a small piece but part of a bigger whole, premiered on February 24, 2006 in Stockholm. It has been scheduled also in Berlin (MaerzMusik), Geneva (Archipel), Barcelona (New Sounds), Paris (IRCAM), Rome (RomaEuropa) and other places will probably follow.

Suzannah, the music-theatre piece for the Cinnober Theatre Group in Gothemburg and Göteborg Kammarsolisterna. Text by Jon Fosse. Directed by Svante Aulis Löwenborg. Premiered on December 5th 2005 and showed eleven times between December and January. Quite a success with critics who generally noticed how the work strives for a rare balance between words and music. Has already been booked in Oslo, Black Box, for a couple of evenings in October and a tour to Reykjavik is all but certain. It seems like other venues might follow but this cannot be confirmed.

works in progress

In 2006 I hope to complete Brain Trill, a solo for alto saxophone, to be incorporated in a single performance designed for the fantastic Poing Trio from Oslo. The performance should contain solos for each one of the players (I already have the accordion and double bass solos) and some connecting parts.

For the autumn 2006 I am preparing a 25 minute electroacoustic installation sponsored by Orkuveita Reykjavikur, the Reykjavik Power Company.

Oboist Helen Jahren has also commissioned from me a piece for oboe and chamber group. This obliges me to come back to apparently more conventional settings, which is only a welcome challenge.

recent performances

To mention some recent performances, I was happy to know of the reprise of Sulphur Pulse for six percussionists in Royaumont on August 27 (Les percussions de Strasbourg). I had two pieces on programme in Saint Petersburg at the end of September. I was able to hear Orchestra B played by the Munich Radio Orchestra in February, Arturo Tamayo conducting. That was good.
Accordionist Frode Haltli keeps playing Radioflakes here and there, and the young Peter Katina also did it. Haltli’s last performance of the piece was in Vitasaari in July 2005. Some of my pieces have had their Icelandic premiere since I moved back, Opna, Kvenna Heiti, The Juggler’s Tent, and it seems others are to follow.

I would like to thank some guests on the site for very friendly remarks. You’re right, I should update and correct more often. Will try and make that happen.