Bjørn Fongaard & Anders Førisdal
Science Fiction, Galaxe

Saturday 24 May 8 pm
Kunstnernes Hus
250/200 kr

Buy tickets
Buy festival pass


With his customised guitar and unconventional playing techniques, composer/guitarist Bjørn Fongaard (1919–80) was one of the unrecognised innovators of prepared guitar, composing a series of works for his micro-intervallic instrument Reflecting a keen interest in contemporary science as well as spiritual development, Fongaard’s music explores sonic properties and the limits of perception. Composer Anders Førisdal will present Fongaard’s Science Fiction and Galaxe.

Bjørn Fongaard (1919 - 1980) studied at the Oslo Conservatory of Music where his teachers included Per Steenberg, Sigurd Islandsmoen, Bjarne Brustad and Karl Andersen. Fongaard remains famous for his specially designed 'micro-intervallic' guitar. Fitted with twice the normal number of frets, it enabled him to subdivide every note in the normal scale again, accessing all the harmonic colours of the quarter tone. But Fongaard was also a devotee of extended technique, using bows, felt and straws to prepare the strings, attaching tuning forks to the neck to ring in sympathy with certain notes, and playing it on a tabletop. The titles reveal the composer's interest in philosophy and astronomy: Galaxy, Homo Sapiens, Genesis. His Sinfonia Microtonalis represented Norway at the 1970 International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. He also attempted to transfer his microtonal principles to works for orchestra including Orchestra Antiphonalis, Symphony of Space, Universum and Mare Tranquilitatis. 

Anders Førisdal studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music where he finished with a Masters Degree on Aldo Clementi´s music. Besides working on solo projects, he has performed in a wide variety of ensembles such as Elision, Plus Minus, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic in addition to asamisimasa. He plays rare multi-string guitars and microtonal guitars and composers such as Brian Ferneyhough, Roger Redgate, Michael Finnissy, Chris Dench, Bryn Harrison, Klaus Lang and Ole Henrik Moe jr. have written works for him. From 2010 to 2013 he has undertaken research in contemporary performance practice within the Ph.D. program at the Norwegian Academy of Music.

Only Connect:
J.G. Ballard

22 - 24 May 2014

About the festival and Ballard theme

Anders Førisdal. Foto: asamisimasa/presse.