FMT Contemporary Music Festival “Festival Nuovi Affreschi Sonori 2018” 17-18 August in Bomba, Chieti, Italy in association with Pro loco Bomba.
The festival will include new works by composers long associated with the FMT group and the emphasis as always will be to discover the new, and to challenge and widen the boundaries and definitions of contemporary, new and experimental music.
Participating composers and musicians: Soňa Vetchá (CZ), Simon Berggården (SE), Bence Pinter (HU), Per Svansbo (SE), Fabrizio Rossi (IT), Emelie Sjöström (SE), Daniel Chudovský (SK), Åsa Jäger (SE), Barry Wan (HK), Anders Flodin (SE), Seth-Reino Ekström (SE), Vytautas Barkauskas jr. (LT), Josefin Fransson (SE), Anders Ekman (SE) among others.
H+ is the largest city renewal project in Helsingborg in modern times. By 2035 the old harbour- and industrial areas, around one million square meters in size, will evolve into a mixed city. The H+ area will make room for the new and existing city districts Oceanhamnen, Universitetsområdet, Husarområdet and Gåsebäck, which will also be linked together with the city centre and the surrounding districts. In this way Helsingborg will be brought together into a tightly-knitted and even more attractive city. The first district up for development is Oceanhamnen.
As part of this new urban renewal project, the city has lent a large area on the Oslopiren, beside Oceanhamnen, to give residents a chance to test both small and big ideas. Here, Helsingborg's new meeting place starts with new activities and experiences - #pixlapiren.
The idea of the concert UN AGE at #pixlapiren, started after a meeting with Timo Pyhälä and the ensemble FISQ - Free Improvisation String Quartet at the music festival Musica Nova in Helsingfors in February 2017.
After the meeting we made an invitation to emerging or affirmed composers to submit original works, i.e. ideas, graphic scores. texts etc. for any kind of instruments or ensembles for the event. All the works had to be bound to the concept of one A4-page and any kind of instruments or ensembles.
Musica Nova 2017
Musica Nova 2017 present Open Spaces as a main theme for the two week festival in Helsinki. Open Spaces is not only a piece by the composer Georg Friedrich Haas performed at the festival but the intention, from the artistic director, is also to show the different music scenes of today and how they are developing.
On the opening night, at the local bar G Livelab, Aart Strootman played Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint and Fausto Romitelli's Trash TV Trance for electric guitar. The bar was crowded with people of all ages and even though I lack an extra emotional loading in the performance of the Romitelli piece, the audience was
enthusiastic.The next day, in the oval, conical and up-side-down shaped building Kamppi Chapel in the Kampen distritrict, the Finnish accordionist Velju Kujala gave a recital with two compositions with quarter tone accordion.
The first piece in the programme, Passacaille for accordion by the French composer Gérard Grisey (1946-1998), was composed in 1966 as a part of the entrance examination to Messiaen's composition class at the Paris Conservatory. It applies the form of centuries-old form of composition called a 'passacaille' or 'passacaglia' constructed on a recurring figure or 'ostinato' in the bass.The second piece, Hyperchromatic Counterpoint (2006/2009), was composed and performed by Velju Kujala himself. The composition, in five movements, melted different ideas into something new and unexpected; Bulgarian infinity series, microtonal counterpoint, 'hyperchromatic' harmony, Arabian maqam scales and 'eternal harmony' - the lowest oscillating frequency in the universe and equal to a B flat 57 octaves below middle C. It was a an excellent performance and an accordion piece to be known. Kujala is an intelligent musician who lets the music talks for itself when it needs to. On February 3rd Gerard Griséy's Magnus opus Les espaces acoustiques was performed for the first time in Finland. Griséy was an important figure for some of Finland's leading composers, such as Kaija Saariaho and Magnus Lindberg. The performance, with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the conductor Pierre-André Valade, was the thing to take away from the concert. The festival continues until February 12, and there are still a lot of events coming up.
Sound-Bridge in Auroville January 2016
The Svaram Music Instruments and Research in Auroville, India, has been developing since 2003 as a cultural development project and community enterprise. It offers a fine quality production of instruments of various kinds, suitable for education, sound healing purposes and sound installations – and gardens. Svaram is recognized for its strong beneficial social impact, helping ’youth at risk’ with training and work, bringing together cultures from around the world, and has consequently been adopted by the UN initative ”Music as a Natural Resource” Preparing a next crucial step in its social outreach it has a cooperation with FMT, for stimulating ensemble music making through Marimba band approaches and teaching. A first step is held in December 2015 and January 2016 in Auroville in a project called ”Sound-Bridge”. The project ”Sound-Bridge” would encompass 4 areas:
1.Instrument Building preparations for Marimba
2.Visit of musicians and teachers from Sweden
3.Interaction with Youth at Risk on Social Justice issues and Community Music
4.Creating an ensemble on the model of a Marimba youth band as creative alternative to alcohol, violence and social isolation to caste issues.
Travel report from the 3rd International Symposium 2015
Composition Paradigms Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
Bratislava 27-30 October
During 27-30 October I had the opportunity to travel to a symposium with questions about composition and courses in composition at the academies in Europe today. This brought me to Bratislava and the 3rd International Symposium, Composition Paradigms Yersterday, Today, Tomorrow 2015.
The conversion and cultural tradition which have shaped many of the academies in Central Europe since 1989, and previously, has not been an easy journey. In hard economic times there are other areas of interests and other problems to contend with. During the week we had several interesting presentations. I would especially highlight the presentations by Professor Ivan Kurz from Akademie múzických umění, Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, which was a thoughtful presentation of talent in composition. Also Professor Reinhard Karger, who presented the Media Composition in Vienna. A great tribute also to Professor Evegeny Irshai at Vysoká škola muzických umení, Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, who organized the week's program.
In connection with the Symposium, the students from the different academies organized a four-day music festival; Orpheus 2015. The festival showed what today's students in composition are focusing on and what aestethic direction they are dealing with. Several soloists and ensembles were involved in the festival and played music music by, among others: Soňa Vetchá, Marcell Vlasák, Marcell Ivony, Wan Yuk Bun, Hannah Eisendle, Paweł Siek, Delibor Hevesi, Daniel Chudovský.
Between February 16–22nd, 2015, I had the opportunity to visit Svaram Musical Instrumental Production and to investigate the possibilities to make a project 2016 with FMT and the percussion duo Dunja in Auroville, India.
The Svaram music instrument production in Auroville has been developing over the years. It has both a fine quality production of instruments of various kinds, suitable for education, healing sound purposes and for sound environmenal beautification. Also, and not the least, it has a strong benificial social impact, helping people with work and also bridging cultures from the whole world.
Upcoming concert Saturday January 10, 2015
Newly composed piano music by: Simon Berggården: Time cut in lime sky, Nadia Moberg: Avgöra, Jan Kenneth Rönning: Choral Fantasia, Seth-Reino Ekström: PiTagore, Vytautas Barkauskas Jr.: Interludium, Richard Johansson: Three Nocturnes, Anders Flodin: Three Etudes and Ján Zach: Interludio.
This year, the contemporary music festival Druskomanija is celebrating the 30th anniversary with a series of concerts in Vilnius and Druskininkai between 8-18 May The festival started in 1985 as a youth branch of the Lithuanian Composers Society. The musicologist Donatas Katkus is quoted on the website and tells the following about the origin: "Students of Vilnius conservatory fled from the official milieu to Druskininkai, to the periphery, being urged by the sweetness of unconventional conducting manners and of contralateral position to the prevalent order back then" (my note: Druskininkai was the home town for the famous Lithuanian painter and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis).
The programme at the festival includes academical concerts of acoustic and electronic music and is dovetailed with performances of popular rock, jazz or club music artists. The first concert with compositions by Linas Paulauskis, Tadas Dailyda, Mikolas NatleviČ, Lukrecija Petkutė-Dailydienė and Raimonda Žiūkaitė was held in the cultural club Kablys. Despite the uneven quality of the compositions, it is welcome to place the contemporary Lithuanian music in other environments than the more traditional.
Dunja Percussion Duo
During 2014 the Musicspectra T Society will collaborate with Dunja Percussion Duo, Emelie Sjöström and Robert Drewstad.
Ideas and performing solutions were discussed during the initial meeting on January 25. An example was the impact of digital versions and fictional recordings as part of the score. On Saturday 8 March, the duo made a first rehearsal with all percussion compositions that will be featured on this summer's tour to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
Participating composers in the project are:
Jan Kenneth Rönning Middle of Darkness, Seth-Reino Ekström The Zen Camel, Bence Pintér Thursday duo, Anders Flodin Pre-Senza, Simon Berggården Still life shine on cobblestones and Ján Zach (no title).
The compositions will be performed during the spring and summer of 2014.