The pandemic has had a sever impact on concerts all around. There were however recently two streamed performance of new works of mine: first the chamber ensemble adaptation of Counterpoint for ensemble Sonanza in Kungasalen at KMH, and then Values of Sound #1, fixed media music written for the multiple-speaker sound dome at KMH. See YouTube clip below (at 49:40) for Sonanza’s performance of my piece. This concert was part of Svensk Musikvår, a very ambitious festival of contemporary music led by brilliant Saxophone player Jörgen Pettersson.
Counterpoint was originally written för my friend Nazanin Aghakhani, for her master degree concert with Kuopio Symphony Orchestra in Finland. It was written around the time I wrote my Requiem when algorithmic composition of counterpoint structures was a big focus of mine.
I just realised I forgot to mention here that I was invited to contribute to the wonderful Halffloor sonic artwork project, where sound artists create a 60-second work. The project is run by Marie Gavois, Susanne Skog and George Kentros and already includes a great number of artists’ contributions. The music is available as a podcast, a soundcloud playlist and in a map-style web interface.
Last year ended with a 30 % PhD seminar where I summarised my research on sound notation at this point, and what will be the next stage. The research can be studied further in these publications:
Sköld, M. (2019). The visual representation of spatialisation for composition and analysis. In Nordic Sound and Music Computing Conference 2019 (pp. 70-77).
Sköld, M. (2019). Visual Representation of Musical Rhythm in Relation to MusicTechnology Interfaces-an Overview. In CMMR 2019 (pp. 725-736).
Panariello, C., Sköld, M., Frid, E., & Bresin, R. (2019). From vocal sketching to sound models by means of a sound-based musical transcription system. In Sound and Music Computing Conference (pp. 1-7).
Sköld, M. (2018). Combining Sound-and Pitch-Based Notation for Teaching and Composition. In TENOR’18–Fourth International Conference on Technologies for Music Notation and Representation (pp. 1-6).
Sköld, M. (2017). The Harmony of Noise: Constructing a Unified System for Representation of Pitch, Noise and Spatialization. In CMMR 2017 13th International Symposium on Computer Music Multidisciplinary Research (pp. 550-555). Les éditions de PRISM.
The notation example shows one short sound notated using most of the spectrum-oriented symbols to specify its timbre, speaking of which, I will be submitting an article on the notation of timbre shortly.
Otherwise, future research efforts will focus more on the use of the notation system in various musical settings, beginning with a chamber music piece for four musicians with a mixture of acoustic and electronic sound sources.
This autumn has been filled with research oriented activities but also some new electroacoustic music. I presented an exploration of the notation of rhythm at the CMMR 2019 conference in Marseille, then a presentation on the notation of timbre at the music and research festival Between 2019 at KMH, then a paper presentation of the notation of spatialisation during the celebratory Bill Brunson session at the Nordic SMC 2019 conference at KTH. A conference paper on the notation of timbre will follow, perhaps finalising my studies on major notation parameters.
At the Between 2019 festival I also premiered In the beginning, a multi-channel electroacoustic work meant to work as an opening movement for my Creation oratorio. The sound in our (relatively) new 45.4 speaker dome at KMH is truly amazing.
Last night (2019-06-12) my latest oratorio, The Creation, was finally premiered and it was a joy to sit front row and hear the music fram start to finish for the first time. Though the music at times almost romantic and full of harmonic passages, the structure is not without difficulty for performers because of my fondness for time signature changes and non-traditional harmonic progressions. Regardless, the soloists and ensemble gave the piece a wonderful first performance. For anyone interested in hearing the music, Swedish Radio P2 recorded the concert for (Swedish national) radio broadcast 25th September and later also on www.sr.se for 30 days following the broadcast.
It’s soon time for the premiere of my Creation oratorio. It is written for three soloists (Soprano, Alto and Tenor), choir, brass sextet, percussion, synthesizer and electronics. The text was compiled from Haydn’s English creation oratorio libretto. The first performance takes place on June 12th 19:30 in the Eric Ericson Hall in Stockholm.
This fall has seen three anniversary-related performances of my 2002 choir piece, We Know Not Where the Dragons Fly: first the Swedish Radio Choir performing the piece for the celebration of the Swedish Composers Society’s 100th anniversary concert in Grünewaldssalen in Stockholm, then Mikael Chamber Choir performing the piece for the celebration of Gehrman’s Publishing Company’s 125th anniversary as well as Swedish choir conductor legend Eric Ericson’s 100th anniversary, and finally S:t Jacobs Vokalensemble performing the piece for the Swedish Composers Society’s actual birthday celebration at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm.
I am now in Hamburg overseeing the final projects of the second run of the international joint master program CoPeCo (contemporary performance and composition) which is a collaboration between music colleges in Tallinn, Stockholm, Lyon and Hamburg. A small class of 8-12 students study one semester in each city. For students interested in composition, performance, improvisation and new technology this program should be worth checking out. More info here.