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2012/2

While work on the piano concerto proceeds, a profile concert of my work is being prepared at the Harpa Auditorium in Reykjavík.  It will be given on November 30 at 7:30 p.m. by members of the Caput Ensemble.  On the program there are Brain Trill, Forbidden Mantra, O versa, Cono di fede, La métrique du cri and Donec Vesper II.

The concert bears the title Hörd efni, Icelandic for 'hard materials' which also happens to be jargon for heavy drugs.  Music is the ultimate trip!

 

 

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2012/1

Various interesting collaborations and performances have occurred in the past few months.

 

The Staatstheater Cottbus Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Klajner, premiered the piece commissioned by them, Mani for orchestra, on December 16 and 18, 2012. The following January this piece was performed in a slightly revised version by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Reykjavík. It will now in July be recorded by the Cottbus Orchestra, along with other commissioned works from the same project. Yet again, the same little piece has been chosen for performance on the world music days in Slovenia and Vienna in November 2013.

 

The music theatre project I had been planning with Cinnober Teater in Gothemburg since a couple of years back finally came to life in the form of Play Alter Native for children’s choir, barytone, two actors, harp, recorder, viola and percussion. The text is by Norwegian playwright Finn Iunker, here in Svante Aulis Löwenborg’s translation and adaptation. It was altogether a wonderful experience to plan, complete, organise and rehearse this show of roughly 70 minutes which played eleven times in Gothemburg from March 24 through April. Director Löwenborg did an incredible job directing and keeping this all together, and my thanks also go out to main roles Niclas Franson, Anna Forsell and Jon Svavar Jósefsson, the children from the Oskar Fredriks’ School and last but not least the marvellous Stina Hellberg, harp, Katarina Widell, recorder, Margarida Edlund, viola and Einar Nielsen, percussion.

 

Reviews were very positive and we are planning to stage the work in other languages as well.

 

At present (june 2012) different projects are occupying the studio. The most immediate of them right now is throwing a big party to celebrate my fiftieth birthday. It should be preceeded by a concert featuring some of my more festive songs and pieces (or arrangements) and hopefully also the first screening of a video work artist Jeannette Castioni is working on to fit the music of Elsku Borga mín for choir. The music of this piece will be recorded in the autumn but Castioni bases her first cut on the rather good concert recording from 2009. But the concert/party will take place on August 24 at Norðurpóllinn Theatre, Reykjavík area.

 

Since the last news insert was written events have brought me to the composition of two epitaphs for mixed choir entitled Að Hreðavatni and Gróðurljóð in both cases to Icelandic texts (the latter to my own words).

 

Among happier occasions I might mention some performances of older pieces, such as Linda Chatterton’s inclusion of Three Mouments in the program on her Iceland visit in March 2012 and the performance of Forbidden Mantra, Vink II and Blast at the Brandon University School of Music.

To conclude here is a link to Chiara Telleri performing my rather lyrical Tratto for oboe solo, written for the ten year anniversary of Ensemble FontanaMix in Bologna.

Tratto for solo oboe

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2011/1

June 2011

I have had some technical problems with the site which I have not been able to solve yet. For example it seems like I cannot upload new media to the site. I am waiting for help to solve this. This problem delayed the publishing of further news articles, until I decided to publish the text in any case.

So here are some events of 2011:

This year began with the performance of Atloid 601 at the Fresh Winds Festival in the small town of Garður, SW-Iceland. As other atloids, this is an open form based on certain preorganised patterns, but the instrumentation was inspired by available local forces and instrumentarium: Handbells, quartertone stone-marimba and male chorus. See extract in this video [not available at present]. This one turned out as a long, ritual like performance, quite different from other things I have donemynd atloid601.

 

Last autumn (2010) saw the performance of Forgotten Step in three places in Iceland and in Copenhagen by the Gáman trio. After hearing their splendid performance I decided to write another piece for this particular instrumentation, the result bears the title Knast, but I haven’t been able to finish the score yet.

A performance of Flecte Lapis II in Helsinki by the Defun Ensemble was delayed for technical reasons. I probably have to organise the transcription of this piece for new media. I guess the Akai 3000 sampler it was written for is not that actual any more.

A clarinet duet was born from Orgoras Speaks. It bears the title Prelude and Graff and awaits a first performance from the reeds of the Zelinsky-Smeyers duo.

At present, besides finishing the clarinet duet, I am working on the first sketches for a short orchestra piece commissioned by the Cottbus orchestra in Germany, and preparing to dive into the theatre project with the Cinnober Theater in Gothemburg. We are hoping to be able to stage it next season, but this is not yet certain.

I was very happy to receive a commission for a piano concerto from Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson, young Icelandic virtuoso, and that piece will hopefully occupy my desk from late summer.