Posted April 3, 2017
‘Reflections over Verisimilitude’ coming to the UK at Hull Capital of Culture!
Sunday April 30th – City Hall, 2.30pm
‘Reflections over Verisimiltude’ is for choir and electronics, with mesmerising visuals by Jacob Tekiela, staged in the City Hall which is a magnificent venue. This is going to be good! The concert is part of John Grant’s ‘North Atlantic Flux: Sounds from the Smoky Bay’ music festival programme.
About ‘Reflections over Verisimiltude’: last year I spent much time in Iceland collaborating with the South Iceland Chamber Choir and film maker Jacob Tekiela for my Moving Classics commission, produced by Curated Place. It premiered at the Cycle Festival in Kopavógur in October last year and received great appraisal. Supported by the PRS Foundation for Music we are adding a Hull edition to this concert for the cultural celebrations which are taking place during Hull’17.
Iceland and Hull have a long seafaring history together and this edition of ‘Reflections over Verisimilitude’ connects the people on both bays, as their echoes reflect over the ocean surface to each other. Voices of origin, wonder, despair, hope and love. Voices of Life.
Reflections over Verisimilitude (2016)
Première at the Cycle Music and Arts Festival in Kopavógur, Iceland, on October 29 2016
“Reflections over Verisimilitude” is a work combining a live concert by Kammerkor Sudurlands with transparently composed echoes set in a visual landscape of choir members filmed on location, singing in the mesmerising coastal scenery of Snaefellsness. The sounds navigate over the ocean surface in wild wildlife textures and composed serenity. Echoing back a reflection to us of who we are, where we come from and where we are going.
“Jobina Tinnemans has been chosen to work as a Resident Composer with The South Iceland Chamber Choir. Tinnemans contemporary classical works are unusual and exciting. They are usually site-specific, outside of concert halls, and are inspired by natural textures.”
In the six weeks running up to the Cycle Festival performance I’ll be blogging about each of the six songs each week. #ReflectionsoverVerisimilitude.
Posted November 3, 2016
Rehearsing Reflections over Verisimilitude
Dress rehearsal. Photo by Curated Place.
Posted November 2, 2016
National Icelandic Radio broadcast
Posted October 31, 2016
Rehearsing with the live choral sound processing
Kristín has been filming little bits of what we’ve been doing,
like this very Á-tonal rehearsal….
‘Á’ [au] meaning ‘stream’ in Icelandic, ‘Au’ is Aurum or Gold, symbolising the forceful energy of Elements before the dawn of human kind. It’s an exclamated ‘á!’ in Dutch. First letter of the alphabet. Bringing it all down to the bare minimum of just being. A waterfall of sfz frequencies.
First tests of singing with throat microphones and effects processing – the very long delays and echoes in ‘Eru Ur’ — at Gerðarsafn Kópavogur Art Museum.
Posted October 23, 2016
Posted October 20, 2016
Á – SKETCHING OUT ‘REFLECTIONS OVER VERISIMILITUDE’ #5
Next week Saturday, Cycle Festival, Iceland will feature a performance of a collection of six new works of mine titled ‘Reflections over Verisimilitude’. The South Iceland Chamber Choir will be singing alongside their own echoes diffused over multiple speakers and their filmed counterparts in various fictional landscapes. These echoes navigate through space, history and fiction.
It begins at the beginning.
‘Á’ is the name of the opening piece, which translates as ‘river’ from Icelandic and pronounced as ‘Au’ in Latin, which is the abbreviation for ‘Aurum’ or Gold in the periodic table. ‘Á’ reflects the Elements before the dawn of language. The force of Nature. A free-fall to erodation.
Posted October 14, 2016
GLORIA OMNIA – SKETCHING OUT ‘REFLECTIONS OVER VERISIMILITUDE’ #4
Friday Night Disco!
Cycle Festival, Iceland will feature a performance of a collection of six new works of mine titled ‘Reflections over Verisimilitude’. The South Iceland Chamber Choir will be singing alongside their own echoes diffused over multiple speakers and their filmed counterparts in various fictional landscapes. These echoes navigate through space, history and fiction.
‘Gloria Omnia’ is the final song of the six and after spending time navigating on the peninsula of Verisimilitude, we’re going to Space! Where choral meets Space Age Disco triggered by the live processing of the voices. No spoilers! I’m only giving you a Hint in the audio sketch below, because it’s just Too Much Fun. Gotta hear it live in surround sound!
Posted October 4, 2016
Djúpalónsdóttir & Hellnarsson – SKETCHING OUT ‘REFLECTIONS OVER VERISIMILITUDE’ #3
On October 29 Arts & Culture Cycle Festival, Iceland will feature a concert of six new works of mine bundled in the title ‘Reflections over Verisimilitude’. The South Iceland Chamber Choir will be singing alongside their own echoes diffused over multiple speakers as if you’re standing in various fictional landscapes. These echoes navigate through space, history and fiction.
The initial concept for this Moving Classics commission was that a choir would be singing live on a breakwater in the sea. Their sounds would reflect back from cliffs and mountains in the far distance over the ocean surface. This idea was inspired by ferry hooting I could hear from my cliff top house every afternoon at half two, the ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare, with echoes reflecting back from cliffs from over 20 miles away.
Given the chance, seals are very good at finding the sonic sweet spot where their calls resonate loudest on the steep cliff walls and seagulls know how to make use of natural reverberations with their loud vocalisations, as well.
We adapted the concept to be able to tour it around in venues, moving slightly away from the mad and quite risky initial outdoors idea. Together with film maker Jakob Tekiela we filmed the choir singing on location instead, in two frantic filming days end of June. Twelve members of the South Iceland Chamber Choir drove for three hours to the Snaefellsness peninsula to sing wildlife calls next to a very loud flock of kittiwake gulls at Hellnar and on Djúpalóns Beach …at midnight.
The stunning surrealistic landscapes Jakob has created from the video footage and the soundscapes I’ve edited from the field recordings will accompany the live concert. At times the choir will sing alongside themselves on screen.
‘Djúpalónsdóttir & Hellnarsson’ are the sons and daughters of Verisimilitude, perched on the lush green of rocks and cliffs, calling to each other in our intrinsic mother tongue.
This is one of the first amazing sketches Jakob Tekiela made for the Djúpalónsdóttir & Hellnarsson scenery.
It sounds a bit like this short mock-up example
Posted on October 1, 2016
Eru Ur – sketching out ‘Reflections over Verisimilitude’ #2
One of the six songs is ‘Eru Ur’ which translates into ‘Are Ur’ in English. I was kindly invited to stay over in Sígrun’s Summerhouse on Snaefellsnes when we were filming and recording the choir on location. Snaefellsjökull is the volcanic glacier and the beating heart of the peninsula and there is no better way to describe the energy and feeling coming from this Magnificence than that you want to embrace it’s presence. Whenever Sígrun gets the chance she does. Feeling ur.
It’s a wordless feeling I wanted to set to music. I tried to describe it in lyrics, but this would only making it less powerful. It’s a zingy beautiful feeling, serene, and it is as if it fills you with oxygen, in the lungs and in the heart and mind. As if it echoes in yourself and through time, yet simultaneously also over the mountains into the far distance.
How can I constraint the singers with a score to express this ‘ur’ feeling? I can’t. How can I notate this freedom in a constraint way? I don’t want to.
I’ve used ink and brush to indicate the strokes of sound individual singers sing. It only takes one look on the paper and then focus on the singing. A visual representation of how it should sound together as a choir. Which makes for an homogeneous flow of frequencies over time. More like water. But this song is mountainous. In the mountains some frequencies are caught on cragged surfaces, resonate in cavities and echo widely through gorges and passes.
These ‘mountainous’ echo parts are digitally generated by running the sounds picked up by microphones each singer is wearing through Live and Reaktor music software diffused over multiple speakers through the performance space.
It’s only suitable to notate these echo parts on the score in digitally generated ‘pencil’ lines in contrast to the singer’s brush strokes. Visualising how the choir’s sounds are filtered and manipulated over time in a freely way.
This is a recording of the idea at a workshop with choir in June. It’s a sketch, we are trying things out, you can hear a cough and a chair squeak. It will be different at the concert.
Posted on September 23, 2016
My new production is coming together…
…another step closer as the throat mics for the chamber choir have arrived from China. #ReflectionsoverVerisimilitude
It sounds a bit like this:
posted on September 20, 2016
Sjórinn Shanty – sketching out ‘Reflections over Verisimilitude’ #1
Posted on Aug 12, 2016
“Reflections over Verisimilitude”
for choir, natural landscapes and processed multi-channel echoes.
“The Cycle Music and Art Festival, now in its second year and held in Kopavogur, Iceland, serves as an international and local platform for contemporary music and visual art and the intersection between both disciplines.”
This is an early bird announcement about my latest commission for the Cycle Festival in collaboration with Kámmerkór Su∂urlands: international people who would like to attend this festival – get your booking hats on!
Cycle Festival amazed audiences last year and I’m extremely honoured to be a part of it. My contribution to this year’s festival is a composition for choir and transparently notated echoes set in projected sceneries. Together with Kámmerkór Su∂urlands and film maker Jakob Tekiela we’ve spent an exhausting but very happy time recording and filming the choir singing on location in the stunning landscape of Snaefellsness. More details in following newsletter.
Posted on February 23, 2016
Moving Classics Commission
‘Moving Classics’ Creative Europe commission for a new choral piece for the Icelandic Kammerkor Sudurlands produced by Curated Place, Manchester.
A work for voice, echo and ocean surface, situated on a breakwater in a harbour.