I´ve always been in love with the grand piano. With the texture and sent of it, its heavyness and mix of violent metalic tension and soft felt but most of all the wealth of sound worlds residing within it. The american composer George Crumb was my door-opener into the world of extended piano techniques and once wrote that the piano, as an instrument is precicely that: an "instrument" to convey the composer´s wishes, whatever they may be. Since then explorations into this multi-faceted world of sound has been at the core of all my explorations, both as a writer, teacher, musician and lecturer.
Some time ago I listened to and fell in love with the album "Book of Velocities" by the Norwegian jazz pianist and Composer Jon Balke. This small sketch is inspired by some of the sounds found there.
This work was inspired by a glasspainting by the Norwegian glassartist Tone Kjønniksen in which several fragments of luminous colour crisscrossed each other in a pattern of diagonals like a woven fabric. Technically it is based on a so-called "crystal chord" where the main harmonic material is taken from the Norwegian psalm "Ingen slipper frem til den evige ro" with melody by Lars Lindrot. Hidden within the work is also a mathematical code of personal significance pointing to the man I love.
This is one of the first works I composed using extended piano techniques. A smal sound-tableau where the two sound-worlds of the piano converse and interrupt one another.
This is a rather rough improvisation from a work session where I experiment with damping some of the strings and having rythm as a central idea through it all.
Pressure was written as an exploration into the nature of both physical and psychological pressure. Physical pointing to the soundeffects produced by adding pressure to the strings of the piano. Psychological pointing to the nature of the kind of stress and pressure which are the constant companion to any performing artist or musician, or any human being, for that matter.
When under pressure we tend to close up, become ridgid and stacatto and our thoughts and movements speed up and makes us loose control. Self-anger and impatiance are the results and with that also the chance to experience how vulnerable we become when confronted with our own self-critique.