INSTRUMENTATION: 2 percussions, string orchestra



PREMIERE: Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie on November 21:st 2015, at Parktheater am Kurhaus Göggingen, Augsburg, Germany

COMMISSION: Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie

ABOUT: the Japanese ritual martial arts have been existing for around 1300 years, and it is fascinating to observe how these practices still keep growing stronger today and how they are spreading all over the world. In today’s society we are suffering from a reality that is chopped up, with an overflow of fast information and fragmented impressions distracting our focus. These sports have proven to be the solid contrast we need to train our ability to stay attentive and focused.

The two martial arts that I have chosen to study closely to create the musical material are kendo and aikido. Kendo derived from the samurais’ way of fighting with swords, and is nowadays practised with long bamboo swords (shinais). Aikido is a much younger martial arts, which can be perceived almost as choreography. The aim of aikido is to protect yourself without hurting your opponent, using only your hands and body to redirect the energy and the direction of each attack.

The aspects of complete presence, the swift responsiveness, the intensity of the stillness before a game, and the sudden outbursts of energy and motion during the duels have been the starting points for the piece. To perform music as a member of a chamber orchestra is closely related to the same experience of focus and concentration. The sense of presence in the moment, the resilient reactions on the phrasing of other musicians, and the identical body movements performed simultaneously create a strong sense of unity and purpose.

In the piece this experience is represented by fragments from the Sarabande from the Holberg Suite by Grieg, which is a piece that the Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie has been performing together regularly during all their 25 years together.

PUBLISHER: Swedish Music Information Centre