Opening concert for STRØM 2011
Lyd og lys (meaning "Sound and Light") was performed as the opening event for the annual festival for electronic and experimental music STRØM in Copenhagen August 15 2011.
I came up with the idea back in 2009 as I was practicing for my piano exam in a non-air-conditioned room in the musicology building at University of Copenhagen. The weather was really hot that day, and to avoid disturbing the surrounding neighbors we were not allowed to play the piano with open windows. So in my annoyance of the heat I thought, why not make a concert for eight pianos (the number of pianos in that side of the building) for open windows? I talked to my fellow students about the idea, and it slowly grew bigger. I then allied with Svend Hvidtfeldt Nielsen, a composer and teacher in composition at the university, and told him about my ideas for the work. I wanted it to be a contemporary sounding composition with inspiration from the pulsating sounds of Steve Reich‘s Music for Eighteen Musicians, a combination of classical instruments and electronics, and how it would sound if you could hear all the students practicing at once in a kind of accidental symbiosis. The sound should be harsh and felling like falling apart and coming together all the time. So he did the major score for all the voices and I did the electronic parts. The result of my heat annoyance became a concert for eight pianos, full choir, trumpet, clarinet, trombone, violin, double-bass, two cellos, and me on electronics. All in all fourteen open windows. On top of that we had back lights in every room and lights projected on the building.
STRØM heard about the project and wanted it to open their 2011 festival. Around one thousand people showed up in the street that night. The Berlin based Danish experimental techno musician Bjørn Svin played live on his drum machines before the show act and the major of culture in Copenhagen did a speech. All in all two years, 4,4 kilometer of cables, a lot of composition and rehearsals, and approximately 20.000 Euros later LYD//LYS was done, and as it is meant specifically for this old building, it will not be performed again.
STRØM, Copenhagen, August 15 2011.