Kaija Saariaho.jpg

Terra Memoria

Kaija Saariaho i nærkontakt med studenter fra Norges musikkhøgskole.

  • Torsdag 31. mai kl. 16.00 – 17.00
  • 16.00
  • Sentralen, forstanderskapssalen
  • Gratis

Medvirkende

Ellen Ugelvik (piano)
Aliisa Neige Barriere (fiolin)
Nordlydkvartetten: Aliisa Neige Barrière og Alexandra Peral (fiolin), Bénédicte Royer (bratsj) og Andreas Kaleb Øhrn (cello)

Program

Maja Linderoth: Solus     
Aliisa Neige Barrière (fiolin)

Martin Tidemann Kvalø: quantifications of a soft time
Harald Jordal Johannessen: Electro Atelier (B)
Elvin Matz Bergmann: Bricks  
Ellen Ugelvik (piano)

Kaija Saariaho: Terra Memoria
Nordlydkvartetten

Omtale

Som en av vår tids mest etterspurte komponister, var det et lykketreff at Kaija Saariaho takket ja til å være gjesteprofessor ved NMH i 2016/17. I tillegg til mesterklasser, fikk alle komposisjonsstudentene møte henne i individuelle timer. På denne konserten får vi høre noe av det de arbeidet med. Vi kan også glede oss til å høre hva Saariaho selv har på hjertet i en samtale med studentene. I et intervju for NMH sier hun  - Jeg har et ensomt arbeid, og det er sjelden jeg deler tanker om det med andre. Derfor liker jeg å møte unge kolleger, høre deres tanker og idéer og kanskje hjelpe og guide dem, hvis jeg kan.

Musikken

SOLUS

Solus för soloviolin kom till i ett nära samarbete med violinisten Aliisa Neige Barrière. Vid ett av våra första möten så bad jag henne spela något för mig och jag satt och betraktade henne och lade märke till hennes olika rörelser och energier som hon har i relation till sitt instrument. I verket ville jag ta vara på dessa och också zooma in på olika parametrar i violinspelandet, bl.a. stråkens olika sätt att röra sig över strängarna; dess varierande positioner, hastigheter och tryck.

Jag mötte Kaija flera gånger under hennes besök på NMH. Vi hade fruktbara samtal och jag minns särskilt att de mötena gav mig en slags punkt att vila i; vi förstod varandra väl och det betydde mycket. Jag upplever att Kaija har ett väldigt personligt och nära sätt att förhålla sig till det musikaliska uttrycket. Hon uppmuntrade oss att låta våra olika sidor som människor få komma till utlopp i musiken; att skapa våra alldeles egna förhållningssätt och göra något nytt utifrån det. Något som inspirerar mig med Kaijas musik är hennes förmåga att hålla ett material levande och i rörelse. Efter Kaijas tid på NMH så har jag haft med mig våra samtal i minnet i mitt eget arbete fortsättningsvis, bl.a. angående utarbetandet av material. Våra samtal har med tiden väckt nya tankar och idéer i mig, som jag nu arbetar vidare med.
- Maja Linderoth

QUANTIFICATIONS OF A SOFT TIME

I think the most important thing I took from my lesson with Kaija was to get more in touch with my musical taste.
We were looking at passages from a piece I made two years ago, and when asked whether I liked certain passages or not, I was a bit surprised how often the answer was no.
And when the answer was yes, she would make me specify why, which was a bit difficult.

"quantifications of a soft time" could be seen as an attempt to get further in touch with my musical taste; this time through the physicality of playing the piano, which I've played for many years. A lot of my musical ideas come from something bodily, and this piece is an attempt to get some of this bodily musicality available in the hands and fingers into a written score. The piece is based on transcribed piano improvisations, which are then played around with in a DAW mixed with samples of computer-generated pitch-clouds.
- Martin T. Kvalø

ELECTRO ATELIER (B)

I Electro Atelier (B) forsøker jeg å la lydprosessering i sanntid blande seg inn i pianomusikken. Pianoet brukes som kilde for en bearbeiding som ved hver opptreden skaper et nytt og uventet resultat. Stykket er bygget på et materiale som får utvikle seg hele tiden, men ikke nødvendigvis i takt med den elektroniske lyden. Under min veiledning med Kaija for en tid tilbake var utstrakt bruk av liknende materialer temaet, dog ved et annet verk.
Pianisten tar også tilbake styringen over elektronikken, og trakterer både tangentene og tastene som instrument samtidig. Dette er mitt første verk for en utøver som både aktivt og passivt må spille på interaksjonen mellom seg selv, instrumentet og datamaskin.
- Harald Jordal Johannessen

BRICKS

Bricks er et stykke for piano og midikeyboard. Keyboardset er koblet til en datamaskin der man bruker sinustoner stemt etter Bbs overtonerekke. Stykket går ut på å utforske mulighetene som dette oppsettet gir, f.eks gjennom å skape differenstoner mellom instrumentene og vekke helt nye klanger i hodet på lytteren.
- Elvin Matz

TERRA MEMORIA

Terra Memoria is Kaija Saariaho’s second string quartet, written twenty years after Nymphea, a much different piece, and premiered by the Emerson Quartet in 2006 at Carnegie Hall.

The quartet is dedicated ‘for those departed’ which along with the title -Terra: earth and Memoria: memory, remembering, -is an important key to the understanding and structure of the piece. The musical material comes from the idea that when we loose someone, their life, their story is complete. Nonetheless, the way we perceive them, and our memories of them might react in different ways. Some of them might evolve through time, as we ourselves evolve and life gives us a different perspective on past events and other peoples’ behavior. Some might remain intact, like sudden flashes that will come to us from time to time.

In this light, the piece could be a reflexion over life and the experience of loosing someone. I personally find it a very emotionally heavy piece to interpret; I feel much passion playing it, but also much raw pain, both in a melancholic way and a very violent way. The piece almost constantly has a heartbeat carried by one of the members of the quartet; that heartbeat is the frame of the piece and gives birth to a faraway melody that blossoms, and when the emotion grows to a point where it cannot be contained, it bursts out. One cannot think clearly because the emotions take over. Sadness and rage fight, and new life springs but is met with violence. Finally, resilience and calm win and the heartbeat progressively disappears into a breath.

One of the beauties in the use of ‘extended techniques’ (non-traditionnal effects with the instrument) in this music, which is also a generality in Saariaho’s music, is the beauty found in sounds that are regularly considered ‘ugly’. This piece doesn’t use them as extensively as some others perhaps, but there are still several occurrences of the use of crushed sounds (obtained by overpressuring the bow on the string) or playing behind the bridge which in this context have found a deeply human meaning. They are raw expressions of pain and humanity and are transcended to something extremely powerful and beautiful.

Nordlyd has performed Terra Memoria extensively on tour throughout the Nordic countries as a part of our contribution to the Finland 100 celebration in collaboration with the Voksenåsen Kultursenter and NMH. Our preparation included masterclasses with Saariaho, and we received the opportunity to play the piece for her at different stages of our preparation, which was a luxury.

From my experience, working with composers, as fascinating as it is, can also be somewhat tricky sometimes. You are face to face with a living soul and flesh (this perhaps sounds stupid to point out, but it very unusual in the daily routine of a classically trained musician) and are thus confronted to their reactions; and sometimes egos of both the performer and the composer are difficult to put aside to enjoy the collaboration fully and get everything you can out of it.
In this sense, I thought it was quite extraordinary, how much space and liberty Kaija gave us in this situation.

One particular example of this I remember, was a passage in Terra Memoria where a rhythmical motive struggling to become a melody is constantly interrupted by extremely quiet, hardly audible tremolos. We were very cautious in this passage and were carefully counting those bars, in other words, trying to respect the music to the letter. But when we played for Kaija she told us « This passage sounds too predictable, I can see you are counting, be more free ! ». And this is perhaps an important key to interpreting her music -or perhaps all music! You have to go beyond the text, trying to respect it too religiously might make you miss its spirit and deeper meaning. The music is extremely well written, both technically for our instruments and formally; the arch of the piece is just fantastically timed and thought. I think it was a big lesson for us and that can be applied to most of our work; that after the precision work, the state of minutious analysis, we could finally embrace the freedom and set the music free.
- Aliisa Neige Barrière

Musikerne

ALIISA NEIGE BARRIÈRE

Aliisa Neige Barrière (f. 1995) vokste opp i en fransk-finsk familie i Paris, hvor hennes musikkstudier omfattet fiolin, piano, kammermusikk, samt kor- og orkesterdirigering. I 2011–2012 studerte hun fiolin med Renee Jolles, samt orkesterdirigering og kammermusikk på Preparatory Division ved Mannes College of Music i New York. Som vinner av Concerto-konkurransen spilte hun første sats fra Khachaturians fiolinkonsert i Symphony Space, New York. I 2012 fortsatte hun sine studier i Paris ved Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional med fiolinisten Suzanne Gessner og pianisten Judy Chin, hvor hun fikk sitt diplom. Etter å ha vunnet New School-konkurransen i New York, ble Barrière tildelt et fullt stipend til fire års studier ved Mannes College of Music, hvor hun fra 2013 studerte med Lewis Kaplan og Laurie Smukler (fiolin), Michael Adelson og David Hayes (dirigering) og var en del av Mannes Baroque Players. Hun studerer for tiden hos Peter Herresthal ved Norges musikkhøgskole, hvor hun i 2017 fullfører sin bachelorgrad. I 2016 var hun solist i Vivaldis Vår og Vinter med Musikkhøgskolens kammerorkester under ledelse av Øyvind Bjorå. Siden hun flyttet til Norge i 2016 har Barrière vært svært aktiv, blant annet ved opprettelsen av to ensembler; Ensemble Temporum og Ensemble +47, for det meste dedikert til ny musikk.

ELLEN UGELVIK

Ellen Ugelvik har fordypet seg i fremføring av samtidsmusikk og gir konserter som solist og kammermusiker over hele verden. Hun har vært solist med Oslo-filharmonien, KORK, Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester, Oslo Sinfonietta, Ensemble Allegria og Risør Kammerorkester. I kategorien samtidsmusikk har hun vunnet Spellemannsprisen tre ganger, både som solist og kammermusiker. Ugelvik ble kåret til Årets Utøver 2016 av Norsk Komponistforening. Hun er medlem av ensemblene asamisimasa og Jagerflygel. I 2017 fullførte hun et forskningsprosjekt hvor hun utforsket solistens rolle i samtidens klaverkonserter og urfremførte fem nye klaverkonserter på norske og utenlandske scener. Hun er fra i år ansatt som forsker på NordART/NMH ved siden av sin utøvende karriere.

NORDLYDKVARTETTEN

Nordlyd String Quartet was founded in 2016 by four students of the Norwegian Academy of Music at the Voksenåsen Summer Academy. They have studied with Are Sandbakken and Tim Frederiksen, and received masterclasses from the members of the Meta4 string quartet. In the Spring of 2017, thanks to the generosity of the Voksenåsen Culture and Conference Hotel in Oslo, as well as its generous sponsors, Nordlyd toured throughout the Nordic countries, celebrating the 100 years of Independence of Finland and joining the official Finland 100 celebrations in a special program built for the occasion with two of Finland's most influential figures: the national hero Jean Sibelius with his enigmatic Voces Intimae, as well as one of our time’s leading composers, Kaija Saariaho with her second string quartet Terra Memoria. The tour took them to Denmark, Finland, Farroe Islands, Iceland, Sweden but also prestigious festivals such as Festspillene i Bergen and Oslo Grieg Festival. The name of the quartet is a wordplay inspired by their Nordic origins (Finland, Norway and Sweden): Northern lights are symbolic of all Northern countries and represent our quartet’s wish to tie together traditional repertoire and newly written music, especially from Nordic countries.