Sonata minima

sonata-brevis-title

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Written for Eric Mayr
Instrumentation: piano solo
Duration: ca. 4 minutes
First performance: Eric Mayr, 14th october 2017, Heidenheim

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What does it need to write a classical sonata? A first movement in Sonata form complete with exposition, developement and recapitulation. A slow movement, favourably with a middle section and a varied reprise of the first part. A scherzo with the same ABA form. And a fast rondo-finale with a catchy theme.
Well, here you have it, it’s all there. But be alert, or the sonata might be over before you realised that it already started…

Tomten

Tomten Umschlag-01

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Cantata with words from Viktor Rydberg
Instrumentation: mixed choir SAB and string orchestra
Duration: ca. 19 minutes
First performance: students from Borås kulturskola, Borås Vokalensemble, 3rd december 2016, Gustaf Adolfs kyrka, Borås

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The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord title

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Psalm 23
Instrumentation: mixed choir SATB
Duration: ca. 7 minutes
First performance: Göteborgs Vokalensemble, 19th June 2016, Stafsinge kyrka, Falkenberg

The Lord Is My Shepherd employs stacked thirds to create a floating yet reassuring textures as well as polyphonic elements, creating reminiscences of renaissance music.

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Recording with Göteborgs Vokalensemble, conductor Katarina Solén Hiller, Stafsinge kyrka, 19th june 2016

 

Tre motetter/Drei Motetten

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The motets are originally in Swedish, but there is also a German version available, translated by Annika Baetge.

Du visar mig vägen till liv
Book of psalms 16:11
Instrumentation: mixed choir SATB
Duration: 2½ minutes

Se och smaka Herrens godhet
Book of psalms 34:9
Instrumentation: mixed choir SSAATTBB
Duration: 3½ minutes
First performance: Vokalensemble Chorioso and Göteborgs Vokalensemble, 1 November 2012, Baden-Baden

Prisa vår Gud, alla folk
Book of psalms 66:8–9
Instrumentation: two choires with three voices SABSAB
Duration: 2½ minutes

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This collection of three motets gatheres three quotations from the bible concerning trust in god:

You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Praise our God, all peoples,
let the sound of his praise be heard;
he has preserved our lives
and kept our feet from slipping.

Die Qual der Wahl

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Instrumentation: two male choirs with four voices each TTBB and a female choir with eight voices SSSSAAAA
Duration: 2½ minutes
First performance: Remigius Kammerchor Nagold, 8th june 2012, Frankfurt

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Early this year the Remigius Kammerchor Nagold, formerly known as Kammerchor Altensteig, commissioned a piece for the Chorfest Frankfurt 2012. It was supposed to be an arrangement of the swabian folk song Mädle ruck, ruck, ruck an meine grüne Seite, in which a youth courts a girl – Girl, come, come, come by my green side.

The song itself is very simply built with numerous stanzas and only little musical material. In my arrangement I keep this simple form, using Friedrich Silchers version of the song (Die Auserwählte) as a starting point. His plain setting for male choir is distributed on the two male choirs which stand at the edges of the choir. Starting of together the two male parties soon begin two brawl over the girl which undecisively see-saws between the two.

PRISMA

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Instrumentation: orchestra
(flute, alto flute, oboe, cor anglais, clarinet in eb, clarinet in a, bassoon, contra-bassoon
2 horns in f, piccolo trumpet in a or d, trumpet in bb, alto, tenor and bass trombone
violins 1/I–1/III, violins 2/I–2/III, viola I–II, cello I–II, double bass I–II)
Duration: 8 minutes
First performance: SNOA, 28th april 2012, Göteborg

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Recording with the Swedish National Orchestra Academy:

White light is composed of the continuous spectrum of all frequencies of visible light. To make this visible a prism is used in which the different wave lengths are refracted and thus all colours appear next to each other as in a rainbow.

Just as white light is made up of the continuous spectrum of all visible light, white noise is a continuous spectrum of (all audible) sound. But music consists not only of pitch, other parameters – such as rhythm, timbre, dynamics – are just as important for the musical result. Applying a prism in a musical context must therefore result in much more than just a glissando over the whole ambitus of the sound.

The initiation of PRISMA is white noise: A chromatic total through all registers of the orchestral instruments with every instrument individually repeating a small number of pitches at a different tempo. But what lies behind this energetic noise, which musical possibilities can be found in this undirected energy?

In several filtering processes different aspects of the initial sound like rhythm, timbre and melody are examined and developed. Coming from the original, chaotic noise, different stages of noise and clarity are discovered, displayed and combined.

This filtering process however overstrains the system. The filters begin to leak; holes, scratches and tears appear. Sounds that should have been erased by the filters get through the system and a background noise emerges which over time evolves and becomes more and more present. Simultaneously the filtering processes that happen in the foreground become unstable, disappear into the background noise which now has become the main focus, a new filter has emerged through the leaks that appeared in the system.

Sirén-Festival

Every year the composition and sound art students at Göteborgs musikhögskola get an amazing opportunity: They get to organise their own festival. For three days the whole school is committed to us students. For our projects and concerts we can use the school’s rooms, resources, people…

This year’s Sirén Festival will take place between the 8th and the 10th of March. Three of my pieces are going to be performed: On Thursday at 18 p.m. Proportionen and Havet will recieve their first public performances in Orgelsalen and in the final concert on Saturday at 21 p.m. in Konsertsalen Variationen über ein altes Thema will be spoken.

But apart from my own pieces there will be a lot of other interesting performances and installations. It will thus be definitely worthwhile to visit the school during these three days and see what is going on.

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.

Concert with SNOA

SNOA, the Swedish National Orchestra Academy, has commissioned a piece from me which they are going to play on Saturday, the 28th of April 2012. The orchestra will be conducted by Roland Kluttig, GMD in Coburg. Apart from my composition, Salvador Brotons’ Percepcions percudides for percussion and string orchestra and Franz Schubert’s 8th symphony in C major The Great will be performed.

Update: The piece has now been finished. It is called PRISMA, more details can be found here.