| SÍSÍFÚGA | 2012 for piano 3'

Pianist Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson, with Halla Magnúsdóttir, is preparing a television series on music and its forms.  In an episode on the fugue where I appear, we thought it a good idea to compose a fugue on a popular Icelandic theme.  I therefore wrote a fugue in a minor on the theme Sísí fríkar út (Sisi freaks out) by Ragnhildur Gísladóttir, which Víkingur promptly recorded for the show.

| TRATTO | 2012 for oboe 2':30''
I am proud to be one of the founders of the Fontana Mix Ensemble, based in Bologna, Italy.  The ensemble organised a mixed concert-party event to celebrate it's ten years of activity.  For that occasion each of the 'local' composers who have worked with the ensemble in the past wrote a solo for a musician of the ensemble.  Brevity was an important requirement as these should just be like post-cards from the composers.  I made a form out of a simple melodic outline which stubbornly remains almost the same, although constantly varied until replaced by a conclusive phrase.  A sort of meditation is the result.  In any case a fairly easy piece to play.

| MANI | 2011 orchestra 8’
instrumentation: 4343.4441.3perc.harp.strings (min.
Since Volkslied or world music was to be an underlying theme in my new piece I incorporated a sort of Lied-type tune in it. This tune was however not something I brought into the piece from the outside, not a preexisting tune. On the contrary I set about looking into my usual composing procedures to find out whether a Volkslied could be extracted from them. Indeed my rhythmic grid yielded a fragment of a tune in G major. This fragment is presented behind a veil in the beginning of the piece. As the piece goes on we discover that the notes of the tune are actually like five bells, each one of them ringing quite independently of the others and the piece evolves into a growing sound mass. Almost all sounds played by the orchestra are like single ringing bells of different amplitude, so there is not much melodic feel to the piece. The title, Mani, is the term for the Tibetan prayer wheel used in certain rituals. It was inspired by the fact that my piece is based on rhythmic cycles that are constantly repeated in different versions.
Main performances:
Cottbus, December 16 and 18, 2011 (Orkester des Staatstheaters Cottbus, Daniel Klajner)
Reykjavík, January 24, 2012 (Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Ilan Volkov)