Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Rolf Wallin: Unheard places

The group of senior composers in the 2019 edition of June in Buffalo has a decidedly international character. In addition to the already profiled Lei Liang, Anna Clyne and Brian Ferneyhough, Rolf Wallin will be the fourth composer born outside the US out of a total of six.

One of today's leading Nordic composers, Wallin was born in Oslo in 1957. With a musical background spanning from jazz, avant-rock and early music, he is as comfortable working with generative systems for producing musical material as he is using using more intuitive methods, and the textures in his works have been compared to those of Ligeti and Xenakis.

(Rolf Wallin)

The lack of dogmatism in his work is also manifest in its generic diversity: Wallin’s works list includes both instrumental and electro-acoustic works, absolute music and stage music; his continuous crossing of borders between genres and styles has resulted in a number of fruitful cross-fertilizations.

Wallin was the first ever composer in residence with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra during their 2006-07 season, which included the release of a portrait CD on the Ondine label and performances of his work accross Europe. In addition to his many orchestral and chamber works, Wallin has composed a large number of mixed media works (e.g. the popular performance works Scratch for balloon and Yo for computer and controller suit), installations (such as Feelings, where participants get to hear the sound of their own brainwaves), and created electroacoustic music for several of Norway’s foremost contemporary dance groups, choreographers and visual artists. His dance work Urban Bestiary (2008) was the first work performed in the new Opera House in Oslo when it opened in April 2008.

June in Buffalo will provide many opportunities to hear Wallin's music. On Monday 3rd, the duo formed by soprano Elisabeth Holmertz and pianist Kenneth Karlsson will perform two of his works. The first will be ...though what made it has gone, an important piece for the composer, since by receiving the Norwegian Society of Composers' 1987 "Composition of the year" award, it signaled Wallin's arrival on the Nordic New Music scene. Holmertz and Karlsson will also play Three Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke, from 1994.

The next day, the Slee Sinfonietta will play Under City Skin, with Irvine Arditti as soloist on the violin. And in his June 5th solo recital, Arditti will feature Wallin's music yet again, this time offering the world premiere of the recently completed Whirld Alone. Finally, on Saturday June 8th, Signal will perform The Age of Wire and String, one of Wallin's most successful compositions, written in 2005 for the French ensemble Court-circuit, and performed since then by many other groups. The piece is titled after a book by American author Ben Marcus, and consists of eight movements, also taking their titles from Marcus' strange, fascinating, unclassifiable work: Snoring, Accidental Speech; Dog, Mode of Heat Transfer in Barking; Half-life of Walter in the American Areas; Food Storms of the Original Brother; The Golden Monica; Leg of Brother Who Died Early; Food Costumes of Montana; and Swimming, Strictly an Inscription. Wallin saw a strong connection between Marcus' "consistent, yet ungraspable" laws and logic and the often deliberately enigmatic nature of modern art music.

(Wallin's The Age of Wire and String performed by Crash Ensemble)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.