The past few months have been a very busy period.

I should have reported earlier on the concert Caput gave with my music on November 30, announced in my last news post. In short a very enjoyable experience for me, and for many a good occasion to get to know my music since these pieces aren’t that often performed in concert here in Iceland. The soloists deserve special praise: Guido Bäumer, saxophone in Brain Trill, Anna Guðný Guðmundsdóttir, piano in O versa and Borgar Magnason, contrabass in Cono di fede. The ensemble was outstanding as always, this time conducted by Guðni Franzson.

Guðni Franzson also conducted the Icelandic premiere of Orgoras Speaks in the Nordic House, Reykjavík, on March 14th. Soloists were the ‘owners’ of the piece, Beate Zelinsky and David Smeyers from Cologne. This marvellous performance secured the piece’s position as one of my very favourite creations.

Time must tell if the same will hold for the piano concerto premiered on April 19 by Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ilan Volkov. The Icelandic title is: Lokalagið úr kvikmyndinni Í draumi sérhvers manns er fall hans falið. Let’s attempt a translation: Final Theme from the film In each mans dream his downfall lurks. This rather lengthy title bears a reference to a poem by major Icelandic modernist poet Steinn Steinarr, but the film quoted in the title actually doesn’t exist. The following link to the performance should be active until the beginning of May 2013 (my piece starts at 19:55 minutes. http://www.ruv.is/sarpurinn/ur-tonlistarlifinu/21042013-0  It was a mighty good performance by Iceland’s greatest talent at the piano and very well received indeed.

The Cottbus Symphony Orchestra has appointed me as one of two composers in residence for the ’13-’14 season (Luis Pena being the other composer). This is part of the orchestra’s Cottbus Sound Lab project, terminating in the premiere of two new orchestra pieces by each composer. It comprises our stay in Cottbus the whole month of September to explore the orchestra during some rehearsal sessions. It is a great opportunity to be able to test some ideas and orchestration before employing them in a score (or abandoning them...). My two new orchestra pieces will be premiered in April and May 2014.


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!




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