Air – Spiral – Light

 

instruments  guitar solo, small ensemble and electronics

commissioned by Christian Karlsen, Jacob Kellermann and Föreningen Kammarmusik NU


dedicated to Christian Karlsen and Jacob Kellermann


year of production 2014-16


movements:  1. Air; 2. Spiral I; 3. Light; 4. Spiral II; 5. Epilogue

duration 25‘   


first performance
July 1st 2016,

Apelrydsladan, Båstad
Jacob Kellermann; guitar.

Christian Karlsen, conductor

Camilla Hoitenga, flute
Karin Dornbusch, clarinet
Trio Lendvai:
Nadia Wijzenbeek, violin
Ylvali Zillicaus, viola

Marie Macleod, cello

Magdalena Meitzner, percussion

David Huang, piano and sampler
Arne Bock, klangregie


publisher  






Bows and applauses after a hugely successful premiere performance of Air-Spiral-Light at Apelrydsladan, Båstad.


work comments


Over a period of years 2013-14, I wrote music for the Gesamtkunstwerk Saiyah erected at the Norrland Opera during the MADE Festival. The work focused on the neurological condition synesthesia in which an interconnection in the brain between the two senses. Concretely, it may mean that a person hears music also see it, for example in the form of different colors.


In there was a section for guitar and ensemble I decided to do a concert piece in five movements as a "wordless song cycle without words" and described as follows:


1. Air - peace and quiet with small pedal tones from the glasses and guitar shapes an aria-like line while the ensemble comments.


2. Spiral I - this is music in motion a perpetual motion where it leads to a break with a djembe in a "virtual jam session" which literally breaks down. It ends with a cadence of the guitar solo with glass.


3. Light - which takes up the first movement material but the character here is more meditative and minimalist with oozing bright sounds in and out like the colors and shadows of an abstract painting.


4. Spiral II - a continuation of the second movement soon purring material, but this is the term the more aggressive moving toward a more improvisational cadenza where everyone in the ensemble are involved in events like a traffic accident and disappears into thin air.


 5. Epilogue - from this comes a wide "free pulsative" epilogue where the guitarist puts down the guitar on his knees and trembling with a glass on the strings and gradually hanging ensemble that particular sound. Everything fades gradually down dynamically to finally disappear completely.




reviews:


[…] ” I "Air - Spiral - Light" finns det en klar tonal känsla och Stearn bjuder hela tiden in sin publik i skeendet. Ibland kan han förefalla väl förtjust i detaljer, men räddas av sin upptäckarglädje i musikens oändliga möjligheter.

Lite av samma glädje parad med den yttersta koncentration kunde spåras hos musikerna som stod för uruppförandet. Detta att skifta från sina vanliga instrument till att frambringa den skira klangen av glas med ett fuktat finger tillhör ju inte vanligheterna, inte ens i den nutida musiken.

Ensemblen, med Jacob Kellermann som gitarrsolist och under ledning av dirigenten Christan Karlsen, gjorde en storartad insats i "Air - Spiral - Light". Det var ett framförande som jag tänker komma tillbaka till via P2 Live som spelade in det. ” […]

[...] ”In "Air-Spiral-Light", there is a clear tonal feeling and Staern offers all the time in his audience in the events. Sometimes he can seem well fond of details, but rescued by his joy in music's endless possibilities.

A bit of the same joy parade with the utmost concentration could be traced in the musicians who stood for the first performance. This will shift from their usual instruments to bring forth the sheer sound of glass with a moistened finger belongs that are not common, not even in the contemporary music.

The ensemble, with Jacob Kellermann as guitar soloist and under the direction of conductor Christian Karlsen, did magnificent performance in "Air-Spiral-Light. It was a performance which I intend to get back to via [Swedish Radio] P2 Live.” [...]

Helsingborgs Dagblad, Henrik Halvarson, July 2nd 2016


”…”Air – Spiral – Light”, i fem satser för gitarr och ensemble som är en vidarekomposition av musiken till ett multimediaverk som Staern skrev för kulturhuvudstadsåret i Umeå 2013 och som klangligt sett är något av det mest sofistikerade han gjort.


Som titeln antyder handlar det om luft, rörelser och ljus men också om en särskild rösts (gitarrens) förvandlingar och förmågan att uttrycka sig. Ser man verket som en berättelse eller ett drama kan man säga att den börjar med en röst i ett landskap där Jacob Kellermann försöker ansluta sin gitarrstämma, bland annat med känsligt prövande flageoletter, till en främmande klangvärld frambringad av glas. Och slutar med en mysteriöst samklingande enhet mellan röst och värld då Kellermann lägger gitarren på knät för att spela med ett glas på strängarna, besvarad av en sällsamt sordinerad stråktrio. En kommunikation bortom tid och rum, kanske i det som är det allra innersta i oss.


Men innan dess har Kellermann och den i övrigt lysande ensemblen, ledd av Christian Karlsen, bjudit på en vådlig tur i de tre mellansatserna. Passager där rivigt rytmisk musik (där Stravinsky fladdrar förbi i något som liknar frenetisk jazz) löper amok, spårar ur och kraschlandar på de mest underbara vis. Att Benjamin Staern gjorde hoppsasteg av glädje vid applådtacket uttryckte nog allas vår känsla av att ha kommit levande fram efter den här turen.



… "Air-Spiral-Light", in five movements for guitar and ensemble which is a composition of music for a multimedia work which Staern wrote for the capital of Culture year in 2013, and that in sound is one of the most sophisticated ones he has made.


As the title suggests, it is a question of air, movement, and light but also a special voice (guitar) transformations and the ability to express themselves; you can see the work as a story or a drama, one can say that it starts with a voice in a landscape where Jacob Kellermann tries to connect his guitar tuner, including sensitive testing flageoletter, to a strange sound world produced by glass. And ends with a mysterious unit between the voice and the world then Kellermann adds guitar on his knee to play with a glass on the strings, answered by a strangely sordinerad string trio. A communication beyond time and space, perhaps it is the very innermost in the US.


But before then, Kellermann and the otherwise brilliant ensemble, led by Christian Karlsen, bid on a similar tour of the three mellansatserna. Passages where rough rhythmic music (where Stravinsky flutter past into something like frenetic jazz) run amok, derailed and crash-lands in the most wonderful way to Benjamin Staern did hoppsasteg of joy during the curtain call put enough feeling that all of us have come alive after this tour.”


Dagens Nyheter, Martin Nyström, July 2nd 2016


[…] ”…Än mer mångskiftande är likaledes nya ”Air–Spiral–Light” för gitarr och ensemble, som blandar skira och fartfyllda avsnitt. Staern må förankra sin musik i genrer, men han experimenterar också gärna med ljudbilder, speltekniker, improvisation. Skicklige Jacob Kellermann får utforska sin gitarr med ”bottle neck”-teknik, här finns finstämda vattenglas och en fantasifull uppsättning slagverk. Staern visar sig fullkomligt hämningslös samtidigt som han faktiskt lyckas göra musikalisk humor verkligen kul. ”  […]


[…] ”…furthermore shifting is the new Air-Spiral-Light for guitar solo and ensemble, that mixes delicate and pacy sections. Staern may be deeply rooted into different genres, but he experiments also with sound images, playing techniques, improvisation. Skilful Jacob Kellermann explores skilfully his guitar with bottle neck techniques, there are fine tuned musical glasses and an imaginative setup of percussion. Staern is completely merciless at the same time he manages to actually making musical humour really funny.” […]

Svenska Dagbladet, Erik Wallrup, July 5th 2016




other performances

Jacob Kellermann, guitar

Norrbotten NEO

Christian Karlsen


January 26th DANISH PREMIERE!

Koncertkirken. Copenhagen, Denmark


January 28th

Studio Acusticum, Piteå


February 1st

Kulturens hus
Konsthallen, Luleå


February 4th STOCKHOLM PREMIERE!

Grünewaldsalen, Konserthuset, Stockholm