Sometimes you come across music that you think you have never heard before. As a performer you open the score, and you realize that this time you are dealing with a composer that has a vision of a sound that you have no clue of how you are going to find. It is one small step for a composer, one giant leap for a performer.
The release is also a celebration of Lasse Thoresen, who turns 70 October 18th. Thoresen has been one of the composers Nordic Voices has cooperated with for the longest time. ‘Land of Your Love’, premiered in 2018, examines, among other topics, women’s lack of freedom, expression and religion in the world in general – and specifically in Iran. Thoresen makes use of old modes from Iranian music, developing traditional melodies in a polyphonic style.
Nordic Voices describes Georg Friedrich Haas Hertervig-Studien as ‘a tour de force of vocal music, challenging the outer limits of what our voices are capable of producing.’ The piece is a pre-study of the music used in his opera Melancholia from 2008. The basis for the text consists of titles of the Norwegian painter Lars Hertevig’s (1830-1902) own works, titles which are sung/spoken/whispered in Norwegian. These titles are ranged one after the other as isolated speech events, in such a way that no connections emerge, no story is narrated.
Maja S. K. Ratkje’s piece A Dismantled Ode To The Moral Value Of Art is a firework of sounds, developed together with Nordic Voices and they have sung the piece in almost all the different corners of the world. ‘The reaction to the piece is the same wherever we go – amazement over the different sounds we produce and the sound spectrum the piece presents, fascination over the harmonic worlds the piece moves through, and the depths the music takes you to, although perhaps looking quite simple on the surface. The last section of the piece, citing Neil Young’s words “Everything is gonna be all right” (from his song Angry World) sung by only one singer, sums up the music in an extremely fascinating way.’