Composer Highlight: Kristofer Svensson

The day has finally arrived! We will be performing an exciting program on the first night of the String Theories festival presented by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn (SOB)! It is TONIGHT at Roulette @ 8 PM. We will be playing with the SOB on Cage's '23' and then doing our own set with music by Robert Honstein, Nicholas DeMaison, Peter Kramer, Fjóla Evans, and today's highlighted composer, Kristofer Svensson! Kristofer wrote us a beautiful piece that we will be premiering tonight called Den intimitet sons finns i smultron. He told us not to explain the title, so if you are interested in the Swedish translation pop on over to the handy-dandy Google translate. Now get to know Kristofer a bit, and then come hear his piece (and many others) tonight!

What is something you would like the audience to know about your piece?

Den intimitet som finns i smultron is part of a series of pieces that all somehow have summer as their subjects, at least as far as the titles go (other pieces have names such as Im Sommerluft and I denna ljuva sommartid). "Smultron" in the title is Swedish for Fragaria vesca, which of course is a typical summer seasonal marker. For me, these pieces have a kind of subdued monochrome quality that I associate with summer. 

 

What was your inspiration/mind set when writing your piece?

I started the piece very influenced by the experiences of working on the piece Ett hav av rör which had just been performed at the time. It introduced me to some new, purely musical concerns that I wanted to continue to think about with Den intimitet som finns i smultron

 

Do you have any non-music related traditions that you do to get your creativity flowing?

Sweden has a strong tradition of "fika" that I appreciate in this regard. I have been described as a "fika-first" composer. 

 

What is your favorite car/travel snack?

Anything that does not leave any residue or waste (such as plastic wrappers or peels) is good for making me feel free, especially here in Japan where rubbish bins are so notable scarce. A surprising, new, exotic fruit would be ideal, otherwise an apple will do. 

 

If you had to live the rest of your life without cheese or chocolate which would you choose?

I already lead a happy cheese-free existence, so I don't see why that would be such a conundrum.

 

///////

 

Check out more of Kristofer's music on his soundcloud!

 

Also, read more about the joyous tradition of fika.

Composer Highlight: Fjóla Evans

Hello friends, meet the fantastic Fjóla Evans! She has been a friend of andPlay for a while and we are really looking forward to performing her piece, DOGGED, again! The first time we played it was on her master's graduation recital back in 2014. Now it has been revised a bit and it will be our program opener on Tuesday. So, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and get to know Fjóla a bit...


What is something you would like the audience to know about your piece?

DOGGED is an attempt to continuously reframe limited musical material, forcing constant reinvention of the same motive. It was written specifically for andPlay, and I am so honoured that they are playing my music!

 

What was your inspiration/mind set when writing your piece?

I tend to be a bit obsessive about my music. I find that re-listening to a piece of music always brings new epiphanies and a deeper (or just totally different!) understanding of the work. When I find a song or a piece that I like, I listen to it obsessively, chasing these feelings. I wanted to experiment with this idea in the piece for Hannah and Maya.

Do you have any non-music related traditions that you do to get your creativity flowing?

I am so easily distracted that sometimes when I really want to get into it I turn off my phone and my internet. That said, I also like to coast through youtube and wikipedia to find ideas or new tangents when I'm feeling stuck. Oooo and I very occasionally like to do a tarot or rune reading on myself before getting to work, just to get a different context for my ideas, or maybe just to procrastinate.

 

What is your favorite car/travel snack?

Love a chip! Peanut-butter stuffed pretzels are insane. I am also guiltily into Swedish berries (a Canadian thing?!). They are basically corn starch, sugar, carnauba wax, and food colouring ...

 

If you had to live the rest of your life without cheese or chocolate which would you choose?

Ohhhhh gawd I dunno if I could choose! I recently discovered these blue-cheese chocolates that sound like they would be disgusting but are actually really good. That's my final answer!

 

Check out more wonderful things by Fjóla on her website and soundcloud!

 

 

 

Composer Highlight: Peter Kramer

 

We are beyond thrilled to present a new batch of composers to you for our upcoming String Theories concert on March 22nd @ 8 PM at Roulette presented by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn (SOB)! First up is Peter Kramer, an Oberlin grad just like ourselves and a current doctoral candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center. Carrie Frey, violist, friend, and member of Chartreuse introduced us to Peter's piece, Cantus Fractabilis, and we knew that if would be a great piece for this program. We hope to see you at the show so that you can hear this great piece and the amazing scordatura that goes along with it!


What is something you would like the audience to know about your piece?

The piece is partly improvised, inspired by the chaconne and passacaglia forms of the renaissance, the players are tasked to repeat a sequence of chords (a sort of phasing canon) with different techniques and variation at each repetition, an ever-changing scordatura also becomes a feature as the piece progresses, altering the original pitch material. 

 

What was your inspiration/mind set when writing your piece?

Having studied harpsichord as an undergraduate at Oberlin, I wanted to utilize a sound world and gestural idioms in this piece that reflected the repertoire I was immersed in as a keyboardist.

 

Do you have any non-music related traditions that you do to get your creativity flowing?

Shower, shave, and a good breakfast!

 

What is your favorite car/travel snack?

Wasabi almonds!

 

If you had to live the rest of your life without cheese or chocolate which would you choose?

Cheese and champagne is my #1 favorite food, hotdogs come in second, chocolate is not included on this list... but I eat it with pleasure.

 

Check out more from Peter at his website and come to the show on Tuesday to hear Cantus Fractabilis!