Chases, Cattle Calls and Charts
Lasse Thoresen’s work Løp, lokk og linjar (Chases, Cattle Calls and Charts) is a suite for folk singer and sinfonietta. It’s a journey into an exciting and unique timbre world where art music, folk music and the sounds of nature meet wood nymph tones, cattle calls and rudl folk dance. The work is performed with singer Berit Opheim from the critically acclaimed Trio Mediaeval.
This work was commissioned by the ensemble BIT20. The premiere performance for three of the movements took place at the Ultima Festival in 2001, while the work premiered in its entirety at the Autunnale Festival in 2002. As was the case in the premiere, the soloist for this concert is Berit Opheim, who Lasse has known and worked with for more than 10 years. She has a completely unique way of uniting the subtle tonal nuances and ornamentation of Norwegian folk music with the precision, musical literacy and voice volume of classical music.
Lasse is one of Norway’s foremost composers, and he has for many years worked with Norwegian folk music where he has found microtonal scales and rhythm patterns that he has developed and continued in a modern tonal language.
Lasse Thoresen discusses the work’s movements:
- “Ovringar” is based on a few wood nymph tones, which are played with a fiddle style where the bottom three strings form a major chord. The singing voice is sensed in the background, like a backlit face that you may catch a glimpse of from behind the foliage. The music also comes slowly from distant and vague sounds of nature and then finally melts away again.
- “Heimreisa. Mellombels” is a cheerful piece. It is an interlude in the suite, which moves the singer forward from the music’s background into the foreground of the concert.
- "Fuglar, fe og folk" is the most comprehensive movement. It is a large tone poem about people who call animals and animals that call on each other. The movement opens with nightingale song, which I have transferred to the orchestra as precisely as I can. The fact that the scale I have used to reproduce nightingale song is derived from cattle calls which follow is not obvious, but suggests that cattle calls and bird calls have something in common. I have used three large cattle calls, two from Malung in Sweden (from Busk Marit and dancer Edward) and one from Tuddalen in Norway (Marit Lillebuen Jensen). These calls have completely "wild" intervals - stretched fifths in the high register, squeezed intervals in the lower. They are used in the orchestra and become some very unusual chords. Between the three main calls, I have inserted some calls for pigs, sheep and goats, written and recorded by the recording of Guri Hegge, which I came across in the Norwegian folk music collection. And then I have added flycatchers and great tit, and a horn melody of Olaf Flætne.
A philosopher has said that beauty is the experience of logic in the perceptible. It fascinates me that nightingales and milkmaids make music with perceptible logic without having studied either logic or music. This is a wonder of nature that I’m pleased to focus on.
- “Hugsviv” is the suite’s unassuming, perhaps melancholy work. It is based on an improvisation that I asked Berit do for me. I recorded the improvisation, wrote it down in full, chose a few motifs and then developed these to larger scales and chords. The first part of the movement consists of several “verses”, separated by harp sounds. The middle part brings us into a micro world of abundant particles.
- ”Rudlatradl” is a tradlarudl from Anders Kjerland. It is a “rudl” containing both tramp and “tudl”. I say no more.
This concert is part of the subscription series Piccolo and Total at KulturHuset, Tromsø
|Adult: NOK 250 / Child: NOK 100 / Senior: NOK 225 / Student: NOK 100|