| DONEC VESPER | 1997 3 percussionists
Player I: Large tambourine on table (ca. 35 cm), Suspended cabaza (or medium maraca), Medium tam-tam (ca. 60 cm) prepared with a bathtub chain or similar hanging from the support and rattling against the shield, Wood block, Tenor drum, Cowbell (e’’), Vibraphone (+bow)
Player II: snare drum, suspended large maraca (or goat-hoofs), hi-hat with tambourine frame (small) on top
temple block (b flat’), gong (b flat), marimba (from c to c’’’’), wrist rattlers on both wrists throughout the piece: choose very small and delicate bells.
Player III: medium tom-tom with tambourine on top, suspended small maraca, sizzle cymbal, brake drum, small log drum, vibraphone (+bow)
While I was preparing my piece for Sisu, my friend Sigfus Dadason (1928-1996) passed away. Since I was planning a short piece which represented a passage from white noise through rhythm to harmony (from object through speech to meaning) I found it particularly appropriate as a homage to the memory of this singular poet. I beleive the circumstances did influence my writing - the piece took on some attributes of ritual music - although it need not be taken as an epitaph.
The title, 'Donec Vesper', comes from the sixth of Virgils eclogues. It literally means 'till Vesper' (the evening star), remembering how the heardsman keeps on singing till the evening star comes and stops him.
The score furthermore bears a quotation from one of Dadasons poems, which roughly translated goes: "Actually, there is no mention of this on the wall"
As concerns the general style of the piece, it is in line with my recent work on the interrelation between rhythm and harmony, although here, due to the duration and character of this piece, they are expressed in more straightforward terms than in most of my other pieces.
Harstad, Norway, October 1997 (SISU Percussion Trio)
Reykjavík, May 2001 (Oosterhout, Gretarsson, Palsson)