1985 | QUINTET FOR WOODWIND | fl , ob , cl in Bb (cl in A) , hrn , bn 10’
Quintet (subtitled “Der Wahrheit Gewidmet”) was composed for the Icelandic Radio’s composition competition, where it received the first prize. It consists in a series of “images” which do not evolve radically, the variation in time of each image being based mostly on degree of pitch saturation and movement in register. There is not a strong harmonic scheme in the piece. Each of the five movements is however focused on one note of the e minor chord, and this chord lurks behind the music like a ghost.
main performances
Reykjavík, September 1985
Reykjavík, February 4 1998 (Reykjavík Wind Quintet)

1994 | VINK II | picc , cl , vn , vc , pno 4’
The Caput Ensemble had a concert in London in the summer of 1994. They told me with short notice that they needed a short piece to fill in the programme, but they preferred it was for the complete quintet which figured in the concert. I hastily added a violin part and a couple of new passages to Vink from the year before.
main performances
London, June 1994 (Caput Ensemble)
Barcellona, 1995 (same)
Berlin, 1995 (a German group…)
Reykjavik, August 1999 (Atonal Future)

1998 | THE ELVE’S ACCENT | (BMG Ricordi) fl , cl , vn , vc , pno 8’30’’

The Elves’ Accent originated as an arrangement of a solo viola piece entitled The Elves’ other Self, composed in 1994. During the transcription into the quintet form the material soon took another direction, and at the end the new piece had little more in common with its predecessor than the rhythmic structure of the beginning and part of the harmonic matrix. It seemed necessary to me to develop the metric proposition of the beginning of the solo piece with new rigour, undertaking a sort of metric narrative that runs through the whole piece. The metric in fact constitutes a sort of structure of support on which the instrumental ideas are fixed, seeking the borderline between information and redundancy. The harmony is derived from a progression of chords which in itself has a highly preaudible character although this character is seldom revealed.
main performances
Milano, May 12, 2000 (Icarus Ensemble)
Bergen, June 2000 (Ensemble MusicAttuale)
Bologna, June, 2000 (same)
Reykjavík, October 2000 (same)
New York, Toronto, Calgary, October 2000 (Ensemble Caput)
Reykjavík December 2001 (same)


2005 | SNAP | bfl . bcl . vn. vc. sampler 6’

Snap is part of a curious project conceived by Alter Ego in collaboration with Pan Sonic, the electro-duet from Finland. Four composers were asked to write short pieces that would be sort of written remixes of Pan Sonic’s music. The pieces are then to be performed in concert, with Pan Sonic commenting them musically and partly remixing them once more. The title of the project is Microwaves. In my piece I borrowed some rhythmic sounds from Altopiiri, Pan Sonic’s cd, put them into my own rhythmic framework and let them form a rhythmic basis for the whole piece. The instruments play simple parts, mostly in contrast to the strong ongoing Pan Sonic sounding rhythm. The result is a hybrid which neither sounds totally like a piece of mine nor totally like a piece by Pan Sonic. A project of the sort was originally to be written by Fausto Romitelli. After he passed away four of his friends took his place and dedicated the result to his memory. Besides myself these composers are Yan Marez, Riccardo Nova and Giovanni Verrando.

2007 | THE BLESSINGS OF MADNESS | flute in G. cl. harp. perc. piano 12’

The Blessings of Madness is mostly based on Trust Me, a trio from 2003. Its form may perhaps be compared to a constant process of unveiling. I never sought a dialogue of contrasting ideas or sections but insisted as long as I could on a particular development where a certain general image is gradually unveiled until it is overstated and a new development begins. The title comes from an article by E.R. Dodds about Plato's view of altered mental states. Main performances: Berlin, Kiel, Hamburg, Reykjavik, May and June 2007, Adapter from Berlin.