Christmas is coming and not much teaching and research work remain of the autumn semester. I’m working on completing my Creation oratorio before the end of the year. I am working with a shortened version of the English libretto for Haydn’s creation oratorio, ending on the completion of the sixth day. In my previous oratorios there were electronics involved as performed on synthesizers/samplers. This time I am introducing more electronic elements into the work, while still relying heavily on the choir and soloists.
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.
I am now in Montréal for the Fourth International Conference on Technologies for Music Notation and Representation – TENOR 2018. I presented my case study with the hybrid notation system combining sound-based notation and traditional music notation. Everyone here is interested in working with new forms of music notation together with technology. Several systems presented so far use network protocols to distribute instructions and information to performers. There were also examples of animated scores, augmented reality interfaces for musical performance, and much more.
I’m also working on a new large-scale piece for choir, three soloists, instruments and electronics, using the English text from Haydn’s masterpiece, the Creation. I don’t know how soon I can finish this work because of teaching, research and all. Perhaps a year from now. It’s going to be 50-60 min of music, so it needs some time.
I have, along young composer Jacob Mühlrad, been awarded Musikföreningen i Stockholm’s annual scholarship awarded for contributions to Swedish classical music. Musikföreningen i Stockholm was founded in 1880 as an oratorio choir and was in 1928 reformed as a foundation, handing out one or two annual scholarships to composers, starting with Hugo Alfvén in 1936. I am much honored and humbled to accept this scholarship joining an impressive list of past recipients for whom I have great respect.
Beside the usual teaching at the KMH, I have been much occupied with getting my experimental notation research started at the Royal Institute of Technology, which includes performing a case study that will be presented in a conference paper some time in the first half of 2018. I have however found the time to do some Max patching (see synth image below), also expanding my modest Eurorack modular. So there are definitely some new electronic music tracks on the way. Ultimately the notation research aims to bring the acoustic and electronic music worlds closer together by finding a means of representation that does both worlds justice. So maybe there’ll be a piece for choir and modular synths in the future.