Havet

Instrumentation: mixed choir and soloist
Duration: 3 minutes
First performance: Göteborgs musikhögskolans kammerkör, 8th March 2012, Göteborg

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Recording with Vokalensemble Chorioso and Göteborgs Vokalensemble, 1 November 2012, Lutherkirche Baden-Baden Lichtenthal

When learning a new language, a whole new universe of possible texts for musical settings is revealed. Havet is my first piece in Swedish: Its author Göran Palm’s poetry is not unlike the poetry of Robert Gernhardt, balancing between deep meaning and nonsense. I tried to find a way to translate this tightrope walk, keeping the wit of the text but also emphasising its serious side.

Performance instructions
The choir improvises with the six materials given in the score. The singers start with only the first event, during the piece the other materials are added – i.e. the new material does not replace the existing but instead the choices for improvisation are extended.
Each singer improvises individually: He or she chooses an event, performs it, takes a rest of arbitrary length and begins with the next event of his or her choice. Even the first material is not meant to be performed by the whole choir or by a group of singers simultaneously. The chord is only given as possible choices of pitch. The duration spans given with the events indicate their approximate length.
The soloist might be a woman or a man and should perform without amplification, if possible. The part consists of six events that begin at the times indicated on the duration axis. Each event is executed once. Together with the beginning of the soloist’s events the materials for the choir are added. Depending on the size of the choir it might be advisable to begin with only a part of the singers.