A few selected works and performances
I have for a long time been interested in creating great tension by simple means in music. This idea may of course involve various things, but in Fugato it means that I tried to find new or "unusual" connections between very common basic musical features such as breaks, motifs and timbre. In the light of this thought, I have also chosen to begin the piece as a Fugue (imitative form), hoping to induce an expectation from the listener about the phrases and characters that imitate each other. Through this expectation (and by only partially responding to it) I hope the listener dares follow to unknown lands, and experience hidden forces in familiar forms. First performance by Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, led by Michael Bartosch, also performed in 2017 by Brussels Philharmonic led by Brad Lubman.
These five movements are parts of a longer cycle called Gycklarmusik (Joker Music) which includes aphoristic pieces for various small ensembles or solo instruments . The idea is to maintain a thread throughout the cycle so that you can perform the short and playful pieces independently from each other, as the instrumentation changes. I'm trying to create sharp contrasts and high tensions with relatively simple means, playing with the listener's expectations in an entertaining an hopefully beautiful way. Gycklmusik 5-9 was performed in London by the ensemble CHROMA (UK) in 2015. Instrumentation: fl, cl, vib, hrp, pno
Six Movements For Orchestra
(Variations on a gesture by Kurtág)
This orchestral piece largely builds upon the the idea of objects changing shapes in great contrasts – objects strongly influenced by György Kurtág’s music – but some things will however never really change despite the mood swings that objects undergo. The six short movements creates a dramatic, but not necessarily chronological whole.
Performed by Ensemble Nordlys (DK). This piece is inspired by Robert Azar’s poem Jakten på vändpunkter (The pursuit of turning points). In a somewhat concrete musical way, turning points here means that the music at certain processes is about to take an unexpected turn, but only to return to its origin, although changed. With this perspective, one can read the following lines from Azar's poem (my own translation):
like a tale with a beginning and an end
man walks strenuously chasing turning points
but the hours flows into each other like blended colors
to replace first names with first names satisfies few
It’s of course impossible that something that ends haven’t once started, but in this piece for solo piano, musical focus lies on The End. I’ve been trying to catch a sentiment of something that fades away and dies. Morendo is in this recording performed by Jonas Olsson.
Five Movements For Brass Quintet
In this piece I took the ideas of aphorism and contrasts to an edge, creating five short movements with high energy and a good amount of weirdness. Composed in an intense couple of weeks in 2012, I think this piece still is one of the most colorful in my repertoire with its wild, rhythmical and almost cocky expression. Performed by John Bauer Brass.
Trio No. 2 for Violin, Bassoon and Piano
In my own opinion, this is a very different and quite mysterious piece, also written for a very unusual setting. The piece is actually divided in two movements, the last one being a sort of comment or postludium to the first. The sky-high violin is often playing in a seductive contrast to the muddy bassoon, and the piano complement them both. Performance by Brusk Zanganeh, Samer Massaad and Kalle Stenbäcken.
The Joker Music series (Gycklarmusik) is characterized by a strong improvisational flair (impromptu), and I would say that no. 10 is especially affected by this. Despite the sonata-like structure that you can notice, it's rather the sense of something improvised that is focused – one does not rule out the other. The two contrasting elements solve each other through the the piece but gradually takes form of something more obvious. The second more widely sounding element is derived from (French) baroque lute music, both in terms of technique and expression. And concerning the first element, it is very open to interpretation, but myself I hear folk music perhaps from Eastern Europe, I also think of some kind of Baroque dance, maybe an Allemand, which has gone out of phase? Composed in 2016. Alvi Joensen, guitar.
Inner wills sometimes toil in very different directions, thus preventing a decision and a choice. In the piece, we follow three main wills in a struggle and eventually they cancel each other out. What remains is only an anguish (the desire not to choose), and then – nothing.
The Scandinavian Soul Award-winning band The Magnolia asked me for string arrangements for a couple of songs and now, with way over 200 000 plays on Spotify, White as snow is definitely one of their hits. In this arrangements I try to let the strings stay somewhat in the backgrund, enhancing feelings and attributes that is already their, although having them pop out in instrumental parts where it doesn't interfere with the lead vocals.
String and brass arrangement
An arrangement I made of Mariah Careys 'All I Want For Christmas Is You', the song was released on Christmas Rules (Vol. 2) an album also featuring Paul McCartney, Norah Jones and The Roots, among others. The arrangement was later performed by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra at their annual Christmas show, also being broadcasted on Swedish, Danish and Norwegian television.