Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Yfirráðandi kyrrð (Supremacy of Peace) to the International Rostrum of Composers in Prague on the 28th – 31st of May

On the 7th of April, my piece, Yfirráðandi kyrrð (Supremacy of Peace) was premiered at Estonian Music Days by Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. Conducted by Risto Joost. The orchestra's performance with, Risto Joost's sharp and focused conducting, was fantastic and a got a strong response from the audience. Right after the concert I was approached by The Estonian Public Broadcasting Service where they offered me to send the recording to the International Rostrum of Composers in Prague on the 28th – 31st of May. This is of course a great honour for me and I'm very exited to be a part of this legendary event.

Here is the annotation to the piece, where I share some of the inspiration behind the music:

Supremacy of Peace

Northeastern Estonia is an area of sharp contrasts. Man-made ash-mountains of oil shale, glowing inside, are in a strange opposition with the peaceful surrounding of farms and cows. Villages that are half-empty because the factory they were built around has long ago been closed down seem like an unpleasant dream in the wild forest. In Sillamäe, a pond of nuclear waste lies next to the seaside where children are playing.

In Kuremäe, there is a convent. There, Mother Alipia told us “Here we have a sermon seven times a day. Psalms are sung every hour, day and night. We pray every waking hour. This we have done for one hundred and twenty years. That is why everything grows so well here”.

The piece starts in a loud, almost violent way. Tensions resolve and then build up again, transforming from masses of distorted sound to microscopic, ice-like textures. After a while this ice starts to crack and fragments start moving like molecules in a substance. When the tension rises up to the level of burning over, the textures start to unravel, like petals of a blossom. This is a long and purifying process where all energies come to rest. At the end of this journey we are greeted with a psalm.