The 17th Other Minds Festival of New Music (OM 17) began with a panel discussion with some of the composers and performers featured in the first night’s concert, held on March 1, 2012. Joining moderator Charles Amirkhanian on stage were composers Øyvind Torvund and Simon Steen-Andersen, along with Anders Førisdal, guitarist with the night’s featured ensemble, asamisimasa. The Danish composer Steen-Andersen tells the audience about his childhood fascination with all types of sounds before pursuing a classical musical education, and his subsequent compositional career that mixes both traditional musical structures and techniques with unusual instrumentation, multimedia, and even popular music studio devices. Norwegian composer Øyvind Torvund discusses his utilization of a wide variety of sound-making equipment including radios tuned to white noise and crumpled paper combined with jazz like improvisation and textured electronics. Guitarist Anders Førisdal discusses the history of his ensemble, which grew out of an earlier progressive rock band, and the challenges of combining classical repertoire with more radical avant-garde compositions, including the need to keep a straight face during some of the more adventurous experimental pieces. He also clues the audience in to the fact that the name of asamisimasa comes from the Federico Fellini film “8½,” as well as being a palindrome.
Neon Forest Space:
Scored for clarinet, electric guitar, percussion, cello and pre-recorded media. This work, which combines elements of improvisation with exact notation, and everyday sounds with traditional instrumentation, was written in 2009 for the ensemble asamisimasa. It consists of seven parts:
1: 21 waves trio, for cello, percussion, and a radio issuing white noise.
2: Beamed through tradition, for clarinet over an electric-guitar drone
3: (-and further), in cello, aerosol can, and electric guitar
4: On my way, on your way, for clarinet and household implements.
5: Multiple Slått, for clarinet, and various accompaniments.
6: Space Corner, for electric guitar and percussion imitating tape sounds
7: forest space/neon bright, for all four musicians in dialogue with recorded material
Willibald Motor Landscape:
This piece is a musical collage and is written for the ensemble asamisimasa. It presents small collections of musical material next to each other: transcribed talking, ornaments, pulsating chords, animal roars and Morse code rhythms. One idea has been to work with layers of a sound, like peeling off layer by layer in a single tone or in a texture. The mechanical sounds are indicating changes, like sliding doors. The piece is based on associations between different sonic worlds: clarinet and tuning forks, fiddle ornaments and car alarms, distorted metal chords and electric motors. “Willibald Motor Landscape” is inspired by the music of Peter Ablinger, Iannis Xenakis, Christophe Willibald Gluck, Bernt Alois Zimmermann, Alwynne Pritchard and Tyler Futrell. - Øyvind Torvund
Note: “Willibald Motor Landscape” is composed with support from Komponistenes Vederlagsfond.
Study for String Instrument No. 2:
This work is for cello and whammy pedal
Half a Bit of Nothing Integrated:
For amplified objects and live video featuring flashing lights silhouetting the hanging microphones and other stage equipment, video projection of a musical score, as well as some extreme close ups of one or more of the performers eyes.
On And Off And To And Fro:
A fairly lengthy work for clarinet, vibraphone, and cello with 3 players with megaphones
Study for String Instrument No. 3:
For solo cellist performing in front of a video screen showing additional overlapping images of her performing.
Note: Works by Steen-Andersen will be performed without breaks.
Simon Steen-Andersen, Øyvind Torvund, and asamisimasa are presented with support from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation and the Norway House.