Peter V. Swendsen



Northern Circles (2011)

for bassoon, alto sax, live electronics, and video
(for the EAR Duo)

Northern Circles
completes a set of four pieces based on my experience of seasonal transitions in Norway, where I lived from 2006-2007 while in residence at the NoTAM Computer Music Studios in Oslo. The first three pieces suggest autumn (Before Frozen Fog), winter (Bright Days of Little Sunlight), and spring (Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is). In Northern Circles, I strive to create for the audience an experience of both time (the summer solstice) and place (the Lofoten Islands, just north of the arctic circle, where I spent a week making field recordings just after the summer solstice of 2007). I am particularly interested in exploring the sensation of the “midnight sun,” the early morning hours when the sun hovers near, but never drops below, the horizon. The piece is scored for bassoon and alto saxophone, an interactive sonic environment provided by live electronics processing, field recordings made in various locations in the Lofoten Islands, and video based on footage shot in these same locations.

Special thanks to Dana Jessen and Michael Straus, for their enthusiastic involvement in the creation of the piece.

[performance materials available upon request]


© 2011 pvs