ONLY CONNECT FESTIVAL OF SOUND 2016:
The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra performs Esoteric Mass by the young Icelandic composer Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir.
Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir (b. 1987) is an Icelandic composer studying under Fred Frith and John Bischoff at Mills College in Oakland, California. She has worked with the likes of Björk and Sigur Rós and is a member of the S.L.Á.T.U.R. collective (Association of Artistically Obtrusive Composers around Reykjavik).
In Esoteric Mass a group of woodwind players interpret a score that consists of a series of moving dots and circles projected on the floor of a blacked-out space, like atoms swirling around a particle accelerator.
Snæbjörnsdóttir on the piece:
«An agenda is projected through a gathering of sounding instrument bodies; they create tentative structures, the outer form fated to succumb to the impetus of the inner.
Esoteric Mass was written for the winds of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and premiered at Tectonics Reykjavik Music Festival 2014. The audience is invited to walk around the blacked-out space as they listen/watch.»
“Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir’s “Esoteric Mass For Winds” in Norðurljós was far and away the best thing I’ve heard yet from the S.L.A.T.U.R music collective. A group of woodwind instruments stood around a projection of moving dots around circles (similar to the models of electrons in an atom), playing notes determined by the speed the dot passed each musician. It was a concept so simple a child could grasp it, but the end result was playful, melodic and imaginative.”