Gérard Grisey

19:00 Vinterhagen, Sentralen

Free entrance
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Gérard Grisey. Foto: Gérard Grisey Estate.

An almost 50 year old work by renowned contemporary composer Gérard Grisey (1946-1998) is getting its long-awaited Norwegian premiere at the Only Connect festival. Mégalithes (1969), for fifteen brass instruments, was written by a 23-year-old Grisey and commemorates the many victims of the Nigerian Civil War in the late 1960's.

nyMusikk is proud to present this premiere with two of Norway’s most exciting brass ensembles, NyNorsk Messingkvintett and Brasskompaniet, led by one of our foremost conductors, Halldis Rønning.

The piece is followed by a contemporary electroacoustic commentary by Norwegian composer and performer Anders Tveit.

Gérard Grisey Mégalithes (1969)
Anders Tveit Untitled echoes for adjacent rooms. Listening to Gérard Grisey (2018)

Gérard Grisey Mégalithes (1969)

Mégalithes (1969) was composed before Grisey began exploring the spectral techniques, when he was only 23 years old. The work is written in memory of the innocent victims in Biafra who died in the Nigerian Civil War in the late 1960’s.

It’s not difficult to find parallels to the human disaster in the monumental composition. The music grows and explodes with massive power, then retreats and coalesces into new, huge clusters of dissonance.

Anders Tveit Untitled echoes for adjacent rooms. Listening to Gerard Grisey (2018)

Presented with the possibility to make an electroacoustic work in dialogue with Grisey´s Mégalithes, it was very easy to say yes. Not only is Grisey a long standing favorite of mine, but the spatial distribution, expressive quality, rawness and not least the evocative title of the pieces made it highly inspiring and enthralling material to work with.

Untitled echoes... is composed specifically for the performance spaces at Sentralen, and is spatialised in real-time. Small segments of recorded sounds from past and present performances  as well as isolated instrumental textures are transformed, stretched and contracted into adjacent rooms.

Anders Tveit. Foto: Niklas Zimmer.

Gérard Grisey (1946 – 1998) was a student of composer Olivier Messiaen, but broke with the techniques of serialism at an early stage to pursue a more instinctive approach. The result of his new path was a kind of music-making that eventually became widely known as "musique spectrale," an exploration into the fundamentals of pitch, harmony, and musical time that exerted a heavy influence on the next generation of composers (French ones in particular).

Born in Belfort, in 1946, Grisey studied at several eminent French and German institutions: Trossingen Conservatory, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, l'École Normale Supérieure de Musique, the Paris Conservatoire, IRCAM, and the Darmstadt Summer Courses, all at various times between 1963 and 1974. While working as a freelance composer, Grisey co-founded the ensemble L'Itinéraire for the purpose of promoting and playing new music. From the mid-1970s on, he was active as a teacher as well, first at the Darmstadt Summer Courses (1976 - 1982), then on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley (1982 - 1985), and finally at the Paris Conservatoire (from 1987 until his death).

Anders Tveit (f.1977) is a composer and musician working with different projects related to both electroacoustic composition and improvisation. Where the use of self-developed software for real-time processing and spatial audio has a central role in the personal musical expression. He has composed multichannel electro-acoustic music works and sound installations featured and performed at Ultima Contemporary Music Festival, GRM-Paris, NoTaM, ZKM-Karlsruhe, NIME-London, Henie Onstad Art Center and more.

Halldis Rønning. Foto: Arild Schei.

Halldis Rønning (b. 1978) is a Norwegian conductor and violinist. Rønning studied violin at the Grieg Academy in Bergen, the Conservatory of Amsterdam and at The Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo, where she also joined the conducting class. At the same institute she took her master degree in orchestral conducting from 2002-2004 with the highest mark possible.​

She has conducted all the symphony orchestras, as well as the wind bands and the contemporary music ensembles in Norway, but also several theatre productions and music tv-productions. She has also worked with orchestras and ensembles in Sweden, the Netherlands and Vietnam.

Rønning has a great interest in contemporary music and she recently got a scholarship from the Norwegian government to perform and make new projects with contemporary music. Some of the orchestras she currently works with are the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and Norwegian Radio Orchestra.

NyNorsk Messingkvintett. Foto: Daniel W. Kjellesvik.

NyNorsk Messingkvintett (est. 2015) consists of solo trumpetist in the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Brynjar Kolbergsrud, and freelancers Jørgen Arnesen, Daniel W. Kjellesvik, Ingebjørg Bruket and Berger Iver Færder. They focus on performing new music and doing genre-bending projects, and during the past year they have performed a number of works by composers Erlend Skomsvoll, Nils Henrik Asheim and Ørjan Matre. Through collaboration with countertenor Sean Bell, organist Anders Eidsten Dahl and actor and vocalist Ivar Nergaard, they have created a unique repertoire with a distinctive soundscape.

Brasskompaniet. Foto: Charlotte Hansen Egge.

Brasskompaniet consists of ten brass instrumentalists with background from the Norwegian Academy of Music and experience from all the country's professional marching bands and orchestras. A mix of regular and freelance musicians with an interest in different genres makes this an ensemble with a broad repertoire and high musical flexibility. Brasskompaniet had its first concert in 2012 at the Academy, and has since completed a handful of projects each year. In 2017 they were the festival ensemble at Nesset Musikkfest.

Only Connect
25 - 26 May 2018, Oslo

25 May: Sentralen
26 May: Skippergata 22

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