Classical Music Buzz > Interchanging Idioms
Interchanging Idioms
Chip Michael
Discussions about Classical Music, Concerts, Festivals, Operas, Recordings, Films and the people who work in the industry.
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Sony Classical proudly announces the release of BOSTON: THE DOCUMENTARY (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), featuring music by EMMY® Award Winning composer Jeff Beal (HOUSE OF CARDS, AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER) performed by musicians of The Boston Symphony Orchestra. The soundtrack was made available digitally on April 7, 2017. Through Fathom Events, BOSTON will screen on more than 500 screens nationwide beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, April 19, 2017 (

BOSTON is presented by John Hancock in association with the Kennedy/Marshall Company. Narrated by Academy-Award winner Matt Damon, it is the first ever feature-length documentary film about the world's most legendary running race - the Boston Marathon. The film chronicles the story of the iconic race from its humble origins starting with only 15 runners to the present day. In addition to highlighting the event as the oldest annually contested marathon in the world, the film showcases many of the most important moments in more than a century of the race's history. Evolving from a working man's challenge to welcoming foreign athletes and eventually women, Boston becomes the stage for many firsts and, in no small part, the event that paved the way for the modern marathon and mass participatory sports. Following the tragic events of 2013, BOSTON records the preparations and eventual running of the 118th Boston Marathon one year later when runners and community gather once again in support of one another for what will be the most meaningful race of all. The production was granted exclusive documentary rights from the Boston Athletic Association to produce the film and to use the Association's extensive archive of video, photos, and memorabilia.

"Because the Boston Marathon itself is so legendary, it was only natural to want to record the music in the point of origin," said Jeff Beal. "I was incredibly moved to be able to conduct the world renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra in Symphony Hall. BOSTON is a film about history, courage, and excellence; for any composer the amount of iconic American music that has been played by this wonderful orchestra in this hall resonates perfectly with our story. To hear these players participate in the celebration of their home town was simply electric."

A four-time EMMY® winner, Jeff Beal's approach is a favorite for more sophisticated works. His TV credits include HBO's ROME, CARNIVÀLE and the Netflix series HOUSE OF CARDS. His documentary work includes BLACKFISH, WEINER, THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES, AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER, which premiered at Sundance and will be in theaters in July, and BOSTON an upcoming documentary about the history of the Boston Marathon. Beal's upcoming film projects include SHOCK AND AWE (directed by Rob Reiner).

Recently, Jeff Beal's performing, conducting, and composing worlds have begun converging. In 2016, he conducted The National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in the premiere of HOUSE OF CARDS in CONCERT (represented by Columbia Artists Management), with further performances in Miami, The Netherlands, and Denmark. He also led the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra for the premiere of BLACKFISH live-to-picture. In May several of his pieces will be performed including "The Salvage Men" by The Apollo Chorus (Chicago), the Brooklyn Youth Chorus will premiere his piece "The Firebrand" at BAM, and Oregon Ballet Theatre will premiere the ballet Terra, choreographed by Helen Pickett.
9 months ago |
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Many of the podcast apps out there don't include the early episodes for Sage & Savant. So, I am posting them here in case you are having problems finding them.

Episode 3: Juice Joint Sheba

Episode 2: Time is Fleeting

Episode 1: It’s Electrifying

10 months ago |
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Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde was posthumously premiered in Munich in 1911 and described by Mahler as a “symphony for tenor, alto (or baritone) and orchestra.” It follows that two soloists have been featured in every recording to date: either tenor and baritone or tenor and alto/mezzo soprano.

Jonas Kaufmann is the first soloist to be heard singing both parts. His recording of Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde will be available from Sony Classical on April 7, 2017.

The three tenor songs alone pose quite a challenge, particularly the opening “Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde” (Drinking Song of Earth’s Misery). What inspired Jonas Kaufmann to take on the three lower-pitched songs too?

“During performances I’ve often wondered why one needs two singers for these six songs. Of course, there are powerful contrasts between the songs and also clear differences in terms of their vocal tessitura. In spite of this, I was attracted by the idea of framing these six songs – despite all their differences – within a single overarching structure extending from the first song to the last. Also, I’m so fond of the songs for lower voice that during performances I get very jealous when listening to my baritone or mezzo colleagues, especially with regard to the final song, ‘Der Abschied’. So I’ve always toyed with the idea of one day singing all six songs.”

This idea took shape in June last year: in the tradition-steeped Great Hall of the Vienna Musikverein, where a number of outstanding Mahler performances have taken place, Jonas Kaufmann joined the Vienna Philharmonic under Jonathan Nott in a performance of Song of the Earth that was subsequently broadcast live.

“We can report that this experiment went far beyond the risky test phase and, in the end, became a complete work of art in itself,” according to an article in the Kurier newspaper after the performance. “Such an experiment would normally be considered pretentious but is absolutely logical in the case of Kaufmann, who is thus able to showcase the splendour of his baritone as well as the radiant upper reaches of his range. Besides the enormous amount of energy that went into the performance, which is commendable in itself, the concert with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Jonathan Nott proved to be a memorable experience of music and lyricism. Even the second song ‘Der Einsame im Herbst’ (The Solitary One in Autumn), which is written for baritone, was sung so touchingly by Jonas Kaufmann that the audience gave gentle applause between the verses. Drawing on brilliant cantilenas, excellent diction and intonation and exemplary phrasing, Kaufmann gave his own original account of the entire work.”

What Jonas Kaufmann found most intriguing in the project was the final song, which is the most poignant of them all. This composition by Mahler was influenced by the loss of his daughter Maria Anna, who died of diphtheria at four years of age. This tragedy was compounded when Mahler was forced to resign as director of the Vienna Opera and, not long afterwards, was diagnosed with a severe heart condition. Against this backdrop it is clear why this final song bears the title “Abschied” (Farewell) and contains a funeral march. But Kaufmann sees it as more than just an expression of sorrow and pain:

“The final passage, with its harps and celesta and its repetition of the word ‘ewig’ (forever), has something redemptive about it: angels are bearing the soul to Paradise. To that extent I hear consolation and hope here. True, I also sense a certain melancholy but basically I feel relaxed, reassured and liberated after the final notes of ‘Der Abschied’.”
10 months ago |
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The Adventures of Sage and Savant are a conglomeration of science, history and adventure. The heroes, Dr Petronella Sage and Professor Erasmus Savant, travel through time, and there is some serious research behind these adventures. The whole series is built on trying to blend what is known in physics today, set the adventures in the Victorian era--with a gloss of Steampunk--then thrusting them into historical settings. The podcasts are adventures, rather than history or science lectures, so the website includes the research behind the episodes.

In the latest episode, EP 10: The Accidental Tourist, Dr Sage, played by Eddie Louise, travels back in time to Pompeii on the day Vesuvius decides to explode. Knowing her history, the doctor is faced with her impending doom and the knowledge that the people she meets will inevitably die. There is nothing she can do to save them, which provides her assistant, Abigale Entwhistle played by Emily Riley Piatt, no end of consternation. Dr Sage includes an interesting tidbit of science as she explains to Abigale why they cannot use their future knowledge to save anyone in Pompeii. Rather than death by suffocation under the mountain of volcanic ash that would bury the town for hundreds of years, we now know most died instantly of extreme heat, with many casualties shocked into a sort of instant rigor mortis. Even if they could provide someway to prevent against the extreme heat, anyone who survives would suffocate under the ash. It is this inclusion of contemporary scientific thought that makes the episodes so fascinating.

Leveraging modern knowledge of history, podcast author Eddie Louise, drops in tidbits to color the time period to which Sage and Savant travel. Sappho was a Greek poet, but had quite a following in early Roman times. A brief mention by Hilaria (another nod to history as Hilaria was a common Roman name, equating to the modern name Joy), played by AnneMarie Gomez, regarding Sappho provides not only a moment of comedy&mdashpondering if Abigale might be a follower of the poet&mdashbut gives us a glimpse into the life and times of everyday Pompeiians. Eddie Louise also gives a nod to the uncle of noted Roman Historian Pliny, who escaped the falling debris by tying a pillow to his head. Abigale tells her friend Hilaria to grab a pillow which prompts the comment about Sappho. The Narrator, played by Justin Bremer, doesn't let us know if Hilaria made it out alive, but Dr Sage needs herself and Abigale to not, so they can return to their own bodies in their own time.

The way Sage and Savant travel through time is a method they call transmigration&mdashtheir conscious minds are pulled from their own bodies and shifted into the bodies of dead people. This reanimates the dead until such time as that body dies, which forces the conscious mind to revert back to its original host. The website has references supporting these concepts. Current theories of quantum physics suggest quantum objects can travel back in time. There are even theories that our thoughts are not physical, but quantum objects. Our brains are simply the environment that allows those quantum objects to function. Put these theories together and our thoughts, or the quantum objects containing our thoughts, can travel through time.

Although we cannot yet travel through time in this manner, science fiction speculates about what ifs, and this podcast does just that. The Adventures of Sage and Savant pose a variety interesting concepts intermingled with facts. By including a solid background of science and historical fact in their episodes, the places we need to suspend our disbelief are much easier to accept.

The cast and crew for Sage and Savant have produced ten episodes this first season (although episode 7 is a special double episode for Christmas) and hope to have 2 more, with their final episode a double episode as well&mdashfor a total of 14 podcasts. Their fan base is rapidly growing, and I suspect it has a lot to do with the intricate way fact and fiction play so well together.

10 months ago |
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The danger in getting news from Fox News is the perception that what you hear is the truth. In April 2015, the CEO of Fox News admits they are not in the news business, but in the entertainment business.  Fox News is registered with the FCC, not as news, but as entertainment. 
There are a number of reasons for this, one being entertainment programming outperforms news programming. So, in terms of advertising dollars, Fox News does better as entertainment. But, another aspect of being entertainment rather than being news is the requirements set by the FCC. The FCC requires news outlets to be able to substantiate 45% of their news content. This means they have to employ staff to find the sources to corroborate what they report as fact on their broadcast. By not registering as news, Fox can do away with the staffing needs to substantiate what they say. This doesn't mean what they say isn't true, they just haven't done the due diligence to back it up.
According to the 2006 report by The Project on Excellence in Journalism sixty-eight percent of Fox News stories contained personal opinions. MSNBC came in at twenty-seven percent and CNN at four percent.  Even the self-described conservative, Bruce Bartlett argues that Fox News is bad for politics. In his paper titled “How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics,” he says:

" can almost be called self-brainwashing – many conservatives now refuse to even listen to any news or opinion not vetted through Fox, and to believe whatever appears on it as the gospel truth."
Even emails released from with the organization point to daily influence of senior executives as to the slant of stories. There is clearly an agenda by the Fox News organization and it isn't reporting the news.
With the recent scandal of blatantly fake news reports proving to be very lucrative, it appears that Fox News is already ahead of the curve, realizing it can make more money by reporting slanted stories with no concern as to the factual validity. They have gained a huge viewership by peppering just enough actual news into their broadcast, mixed with the sensationalist stories that people find entertaining, to be a very profitable business. But, it is not news. By their own definition, they are not news.
I am in favor of entertainment, but it should be labeled honestly. Calling itself "News" is deceptive.
1 year ago |
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Pacific Symphony, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, has been invited to perform for the very first time at one of the world’s most prestigious venues, Carnegie Hall in New York City, in honor of one of today’s leading composers, Philip Glass. Joining them will be Pacific Chorale, also appearing at Carnegie Hall for the first time. One of America’s most revered composers, Glass is Carnegie Hall’s 2017-18 composer-in-residence, where he holds the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair. With this season-long residency by Glass, Carnegie joined a yearlong celebration of the composer’s 80th birthday, presenting performances that feature his classics and premieres. As part of the residency, orchestras from across the United States were invited to submit programs featuring important works by Glass in illuminating contexts. Pacific Symphony and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra were the two orchestras chosen, in part by Glass himself, to perform during Carnegie’s upcoming season. Both orchestras emerged among competitors with what Carnegie called “very compelling programs.”

Pacific Symphony makes this significant debut on Saturday, April 21, 2018, when Glass’ famous collaborations with the Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar will be honored during a program that spotlights “Meetings Along the Edge” from “Passages,” a piece Glass recorded with Shankar, whom Glass first met in India in 1965. The eight-minute movement was composed by Glass on a theme of Shankar in 1990. Also on the program is the 40-minute “Concerto No. 3 for Sitar and Orchestra” by Shankar, which was written on commission from the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and premiered in 2009 by his daughter, Anoushka Shankar, who will perform with Pacific Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

The final work on the program will be the New York premiere of “The Passion of Ramakrishna”—a work of quiet intensity and unforgettable power—scored for vocal soloists, chorus and large orchestra to celebrate the life of this incredible Hindu holy man. Mixing Eastern and Western traditions, Glass’ heroic musical homage paints an exquisite symphonic and choral picture of India emerging from centuries of foreign domination. The epic, 45-minute piece was commissioned by Pacific Symphony and given its world-premiere on Sept. 16, 2006, as part of the grand opening of the orchestra’s then-new home, the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, Calif. Gramophone magazine reviewed the Symphony’s 2012 recording of the work, praising it as Glass’ “most thoughtful and inventive recent piece.”

Local Pacific Symphony enthusiasts will have the opportunity to hear the orchestra perform this concert in Orange County on April 12-14, 2018. Single tickets to the Carnegie Hall performance go on sale August 28 at In addition, Pacific Symphony will announce a patron trip to cheer on the orchestra in New York later this spring.
1 year ago |
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Dear Mr Graham,

You say, “Our prayers are with the families of the victims and the people of Charleston. We are all heartbroken by this tragedy,” but I don’t believe you.

You made a joke about shooting Bernie Saunders with an interview on MSNBC. You thought imagining the skeet was Bernie Saunders was a good idea, a funny joke - but in truth your joke just allows people like Dylann Storm Roof to justify their actions.

You say the Confederate Flag is part of who we are - and it is part of what made Dylann feel his actions were acceptable.

YOU need to start forcing a change in South Carolina--and yourself. You need to ask yourself just how much your own actions contributed. You're a public figure and so people like Dylann listen to you, respect you and take what you say to heart. YOU may have been joking about shooting Bernie, but what if one (just ONE) of your listeners felt you meant it? YOU feel proud to wave the Confederate Flag, but what if just ONE of those sensing your pride feels that is justification to hate blacks?


You have the power to change people's attitudes, but you must change your own first.


Chip M Clark
2 years ago |
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TwtrSymphony has been on a hiatus, but the silence is over. New music is in process... 
2 years ago |
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Greg Carpenter’s contract renewed as General Director

DENVER, CO (May 20, 2015) Opera Colorado today announced the appointment of Ari Pelto as the first Music Director in its history and the extension of Greg Carpenter’s role as General Director through 2018. Pelto fills an important new role at the Company—partnering with Carpenter to further Opera Colorado’s mission, increase and diversify its programming and repertory, build the national scope of its Young Artists program, and further extend the Company’s reach through engagements in venues outside of the traditional opera house. Pelto will serve as Music Director designee beginning July 1, 2015 and take the helm as Music Director beginning July 1, 2016.

“This is an exciting moment in the history of Opera Colorado,” said Greg Carpenter. “Our hard work over the past few years has provided us with the platform we need to take risks and find ways to reach a variety of audiences. As we look to the future, we need an artistic leader who can continue to push the genre forward. Working with Ari Pelto over the past two years has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my tenure at Opera Colorado. He is a talented conductor who is admired by both the singers and the Opera Colorado Orchestra, and his musical network is vast. Ari has embraced our community of supporters and they too have welcomed him as part of our family. He is the exact partner I need in creating an exhilarating future for Opera Colorado.”

Carpenter and Pelto will be responsible for selecting repertoire for mainstage productions and new works for development, determining the talent for each production, and establishing a creative vision for the Company’s future that both sustains the quality of work presented and broadens its presence in the community. He will continue to conduct several of the Company’s productions each year, including the upcoming world premiere of the new American opera The Scarlet Letter in 2016. Pelto has a long relationship with Opera Colorado, where he has served as Artistic Advisor since his acclaimed debut conducting Don Giovanni in 2013. In addition, he has conducted at opera companies across the country including New York City Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Boston Lyric Opera, Minnesota Opera, Portland Opera, and Utah Opera.

“From the first moments rehearsing Don Giovanni with the singers, orchestra and chorus of Opera Colorado in the spring of 2013, I knew this was a company to love,” said Ari Pelto. “I'm deeply honored to take the musical reins of Opera Colorado and I look forward to a long and productive partnership with Greg Carpenter, bringing high-level and inspired work to Denver.”

“Greg Carpenter and Ari Pelto have been a vital part of Opera Colorado’s success, presenting excellent programming that has been positively received by our community, actively engaging our youth in educational programming, and simultaneously building a solid financial foundation for our growth moving forward,” said Michael Bock, Chairman of Opera Colorado’s Board of Directors. “We are thrilled to now extend Greg’s role as General Director and bring Ari Pelto on board as our first Music Director as we look towards the future and continued evolution of Opera Colorado.”

Pelto takes on his official new role at Opera Colorado as the Company develops a five-year strategic plan focused on expanding artistic and educational offerings throughout Denver and Colorado. The plan marks another step forward for the Company, which has continued to see significant growth and success from the completion of a restructuring campaign in 2013, which has resulted in higher-than-anticipated ticket sales, sold-out performances, and surpluses in the 2013 and 2014 fiscal years.

About Ari Pelto
Ari Pelto was appointed Opera Colorado’s Artistic Advisor in 2013, following an acclaimed debut conducting Don Giovanni for the company. He recently conducted the Company’s 2014 production of Madama Butterfly, and is also set to conduct Aida in the fall of 2015 and the world premiere of the new American opera The Scarlet Letter in 2016. Pelto is in demand at elite opera houses, ballets, symphonies, and conservatories throughout the United States. After his highly praised 2004 début at New York City Opera with Verdi’s La Traviata, Pelto was engaged as a regular guest there, returning for Madama Butterfly, Jennifer Griffith’s The Dream President, La bohème, and Carmen. Recent highlights include La bohème with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the St. Louis Symphony; The Cunning Little Vixen at Chautauqua; Rusalka and La bohème at Boston Lyric Opera; Romeo et Juliet at Minnesota Opera; The Magic Flute, Figaro, and Hansel and Gretel at Portland Opera; as well as Carmen and Hansel and Gretel at Utah Opera. He has also been a regular guest conductor of the Atlanta Ballet. In 2012, he collaborated with Twyla Tharp on the premiere of her new ballet, The Princess and the Goblin. Pelto has conducted operas of Mozart and Stravinsky at the Curtis Institute of Music, Gluck and Mozart at the Juilliard School, Puccini and Massenet at San Francisco Conservatory, and Stephen Paulus and Raffaello de Banfield at the Manhattan School of Music. At the Oberlin Conservatory, he has led works of Mahler, Mozart, and Poulenc, and at New York University, works of Sibelius, Brahms, Dvorák, and Martinu. He has also conducted in Italy, Germany, and Bulgaria. Pelto studied violin performance at Oberlin and conducting at Indiana University.

About Greg Carpenter
The fourth General Director in Opera Colorado’s 31-year history, Greg Carpenter guides both the artistic and administrative operations of the company. His role as General Director began in 2007, prior to which he served as Opera Colorado’s Director of Development from 2004 – 2007, overseeing all fundraising and Board of Directors activities. Prior to joining Opera Colorado, he worked for four years for the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. His work there included Special Projects Manager for the President of the National Symphony Orchestra from 2000 – 2001 and Manager of Development from 2001 – 2004. Carpenter’s extensive experience working in the arts also includes two years as the Artist and Event Services Manager for the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland and Special Projects Coordinator for the University of Maryland School of Music. From 1986 – 1998, Greg Carpenter performed as a professional opera singer. His work as an opera singer included both lead and supporting roles at Glimmerglass Opera, Central City Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, Cleveland Opera and Lyric Opera Cleveland. Carpenter currently serves on the Board of Directors for OPERA America, the national service organization for the opera industry. For the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention held in Denver, he served as Chairman of the Fundraising Committee. In 2009 Carpenter received a Livingston Fellowship Award in Leadership from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. He also regularly serves as a judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has served as a judge for the Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation Competition. Greg Carpenter received a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Wittenberg University, a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from Michigan State University and he completed post-graduate studies at the University of Maryland School of Music.

About Opera Colorado
A cornerstone of Denver’s cultural community, Opera Colorado presents an annual season of three operas at its downtown Denver home, the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The Company presents new works alongside standard repertoire, and reaches more than 35,000 students and community members throughout the Rocky Mountain region through a variety of education and outreach programming. Opera Colorado Young Artists, a seven-month residency for singers at the beginning stages of their careers, provides training for the next generation of American opera performers. Founded in 1983, the Company celebrated its 30th anniversary season in 2013 and celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in September 2015.
2 years ago |
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Featuring Music by Icelandic Composers Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Hildur Gudnadóttir, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, Hafdís Bjarnadóttir, and Thurídur Jónsdóttir

New York, NY – Sono Luminus announces the July 31, 2015 worldwide release of Icelandic ensemble Nordic Affect’s debut album on the label, Clockworking, featuring the music of five Icelandic women composers – Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Hildur Gudnadóttir, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, Hafdís Bjarnadóttir, and Thurídur Jónsdóttir. The album was recorded by Georg Magnússon at The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, with mastering and post-production by Valgeir Sigurdsson.

This week, Headphone Commute is featuring the exclusive premiere of the video for the title track, Clockworking by María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, well known for her work with Icelandic band amiina. Watch now at

Clockworking represents collaboration, connection, and passionately fierce creativity. As put by Nordic Affect’s artistic director and violinist Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir: “Clockworking, inhaling, exhaling; through music we immerse ourselves in creativity. We find moments of community and of individuality as we shape sounds from gut and wood. We encounter new spaces and interact with technology, which in turn affects how we play. We meet listeners with whom we connect and at times it feels as though we’re breathing as one.” At the core of each of Nordic Affect’s commissions on this album was the desire to explore the possibilities of their instruments (violin, viola, cello, and harpsichord) within a 21st century aesthetic while at the same time creating their own.

Hailed for its “affectionate explorations” (BBC Music Magazine) and “commitment to their repertoire” (Classical Music), Nordic Affect is Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, violin and artistic director; Gudrún Hrund Hardardóttir, viola; Hanna Loftsdóttir, cello; and Guðrún Óskarsdóttir, harpsichord. The ensemble was formed by a group of period-instrument musicians who are united in their passion for viewing familiar musical forms from a different perspective, and for daring to venture into new musical terrain. Since the group’s inception in 2005, Nordic Affect has played repertoire ranging from the dance music of the 17th century to electronic compositions of today.

The album’s title track, Clockworking for violin, viola, cello and electronics, is by María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir. The piece was written for Nordic Affect and premiered at Iceland Airwaves in 2013.

2 circles for solo violin was written for for Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir by Hildur Gudnadóttir in 2013. The piece is a part of an ongoing observation of the relationship between a musician and her instrument, in which one person becomes two sound sources.

From beacon to beacon for violin, viola, cello and electronics by Hafdís Bjarnadóttir is a “conversation” between two lighthouses. The trio plays notation based on a weather forecast for the Gardskagaviti lighthouse. Electronic sounds were recorded outside the Gardskagaviti lighthouse in wintertime and inside the Galtarviti lighthouse in mid-summer. The piece reflects the vagaries of the Icelandic weather – storms have a beauty of their own that can bring calmness despite howling winds and unruly seas.

INNI - musica da camera for violin and electronics was written for Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir by Thurídur Jónsdóttir in 2013. The subtle and fragile harmonics of the baroque violin interact with a soundscape made of an infant's murmur, with an old lullaby woven into the texture.

Shades of Silence for violin, viola, cello and harpsichord was written for Nordic Affect by Anna Thorvaldsdottir in 2012. The work explores the subtle nuances of silence.

Sleeping Pendulum for violin and electronics was written for Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir by María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir in the winter months of 2010. The electronic part is based on a recording of Halla’s baroque violin playing combined with bell chimes. The solo part fluctuates between free writing and a stricter style. The work was shortlisted in 2012 at the International Rostrum of Composers.

About Nordic Affect: Nordic Affect can be heard on the Deutsche Grammophon (Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Aerial), Bad Taste Records, Musmap, and Brilliant Classics labels and has received glowing reviews in the international press alongside the Kraumur Award and Iceland Music Awards. Since its debut in 2005, Nordic Affect has performed to critical acclaim at festivals such as TRANSIT festival (BE), Dark Music Days (IS), November Music (NL), BRQ Vantaa Festival (FI), Skálholt Summer Concerts (IS), Copenhagen Renaissance Festival (DK) and Iceland Airwaves (IS). Its members have individually performed and recorded with Jóhann Jóhannsson, The English Concert, Concerto Copenhagen, Anima Eterna Brugge, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, and Björk. In 2013, Nordic Affect was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize and in 2014 was named Performer of the Year at the Iceland Music Awards.

2 years ago |
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