INVISIBLE COLOURS

-
00:00 / 00:00

COMPOSER: Jens Hedman

YEAR: 2014

FIRST PERFORMANCE: Sines & Squares festival, Manchester, UK

DURATION: 11:52

FORMAT: 5.0

 

 

PROGRAM NOTES

 

The sound material for INVISIBLE COLOURS derives exclusively from more than 30 old and new synthesizers. Synthetic instruments from more than 5 decades interact to create power and a dynamic expression. To me all sounds has an almost visual aspect of structure, colour, movement and position in space. In this piece I have tried to explore these properties, painting with sounds in a three dimensional space around the listener. I used synthetic sound material to get away from the recognition associated with recorded everyday sounds. This way I get a more abstract music were I can focus on the sounds "visual" properties.

 

 

FIVE TALES

-
00:00 / 00:00

COMPOSER: Jens Hedman & Paulina Sundin

YEAR: 2012

FIRST PERFORMANCE: Audiorama, Stockholm, Sweden

DURATION: 34:00

FORMAT: 17.4 / 8.0 / 5.0

 

 

PROGRAM NOTES

 

We follow five people moving from their home countries to Sweden. What brought them here? How do they see Sweden? What is it like to leave your homeland and come to a new culture?

 

In their own language, they talk about their home country, their sense of loss and longing. Slowly the five personalities are woven together by their experiences of Swedish culture. The piece contains a level of storytelling based on interviews, albeit in fragmentary form. The languages spoken are Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Kurdish and Russian. You do not need to understand the language in order to appreciate the music.

 

"We have selected languages that are not too common in Sweden. We did not use English, a language known to most Swedes, because we sought to use voices more like instruments and encourage listening to the melodies and universal human emotions in language. The voices interact with a web of environmental sounds and instrument sounds from around the world. Many of the instruments were recorded from the Swedish Music Museum's vast collection of ethnic instruments. The music moves in all three dimensions around the audience and encloses them in an ever-changing world of sound.”

 

 

THE BEAST WITH TWO HEADS

-
00:00 / 00:00

COMPOSER: Jens Hedman

YEAR: 2012

FIRST PERFORMANCE: Nov 2012, Audiorama, Stockholm

DURATION: 72:00 or 24:00

FORMAT: 12.0 / 8.0 / 5.0

 

 

PROGRAM NOTES

 

This piece is a tribute to electro-acoustic music and it’s origin in Musique Concrète (started by Pierre Schaeffer in France in the 1940s) and Elektronische Musik (composed by Karlheinz Stockhausen and others in the early 1950s). The Beast with Two Heads can be performed as a concert piece or as a sound installation. The music consist of two separate pieces - one made of concrete material (recorded everyday sounds) and one composed with synthetic sounds from more than 30, old and new, synthesizers. The pieces has been a work in progress for 12 years of my life and has been growing in complexity trough the years. The music concrète piece is divided into 12 parts, each one is the interplay of two sound sources. For instance: water-wind, piano-cymbals, voice-drums, rain-helicopters. I have used sound-sources that have been very popular in Electro-acoustic music trough the history. The synthesizer sounds are recorded by me during this 12 years and I am very grateful to all the studios and friends letting me use their instruments. The piece is also a deep investigation in surround sound. Some material is recorded in three dimensions with a technique called Ambisonic. I have also used many other multi channel recording techniques to reproduce the sounds movements and the room acoustics as realistic as possible. The piece is constructed from the number 12. There are 12 parts, 12 speakers, the duration is 2 x 12 = 24 minutes and I have been working on the piece for 12 years. 

 

 

WATERFIELDS

-
00:00 / 00:00

COMPOSER: Jens Hedman

YEAR: 2007

FIRST PERFORMANCE: 

DURATION: 10:10

FORMAT: 7.1 / 5.0 / 4.0

 

 

PROGRAM NOTES

 

During the winter of 2006-07 I was travelling about for some months in

southeast Asia. And living close to the sea inspired me to explore its inner sonic potentialities. For six weeks I stayed on the island Kho Lanta in southern Thailand, on a coast afflicted by the tsunami in 2004, and where the impact of its devastation could still be seen here and there. Sound material has also been recorded and processed in Cambodia and Vietnam. The magnificent roaring of the sea and its inner gestures formed a base for the working process with the sound material. From the various sounds created during my trip I then

completed the piece in studio Circé at IMEB in Bourges, France.

Work comisioned by and realized in the Studios of the Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges / IMEB.

 

 

RECOIL

-
00:00 / 00:00

COMPOSER: Jens Hedman

YEAR: 2003

FIRST PERFORMANCE: Bourges

DURATION: 8:26

FORMAT: 5.0 / 4.0

 

 

PROGRAM NOTES

 

Recoil is the third piece in a series of pieces called RE-cycle, the two previous are Respirit (1993), for percussion and tape and Relief (1996), for tape. All the pieces in RE-cycle are composed from the same basic sound material. My idea has been to return to this sound material after a few years in order to compose new pieces. The possibilities of adapting the sounds to form new and different sounds are endless, as are the paths that the music can take during the composition process itself. In Recoil two forces work against each other - one powerful and growing, the other one decreasing down to soft nuances. The piece is composed in 5.0 surround. REcoil was commissioned by and realized in the Studios of the Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges / IMEB, France. 

 

 

MIX-UP

-
00:00 / 00:00

COMPOSER: Jens Hedman

YEAR: 2000

FIRST PERFORMANCE: 

DURATION: 8:20

FORMAT: Stereo

 

 

PROGRAM NOTES

 

500 sounds in 500 seconds. All audio material is small extract from the music I grew up with and loved. Music that shaped my own musical language. A mix of pop, jazz, classical, contemporary, folk and world music. The result is a piece that throws itself between order and chaos.

 

 

REFLECTIONS

-
00:00 / 00:00

COMPOSER: Jens Hedman & Paulina Sundin

YEAR: 1999

FIRST PERFORMANCE: Nicolai kyrka, Örebro

DURATION: 9:00

FORMAT: Stereo / 8.0 / 12.0

RELEASED: on CD Currents (Elektron Records)

 

 

PROGRAM NOTES

 

Reflections is based on our earlier piece, Inside Round, which was made for computer animated video and EAM. Like the earlier piece, Reflections is a symbolic journey, a reflection of life, travelling from birth towards death and purity. Reflections was composed for a concert tour with the theme Life and Death, visiting churches around Sweden in 1999. The piece is also available in 8 and 12-channel versions and these have been performed at, among other places, the Rien à Voir Festival in Canada in 1999.

 

 

REVIEWS

 

Review 1 

Written by Ingvar Loco Nordin

” The last piece on this – I dare say – revolutionary new EAM CD from Elektron, is again a collaboration between young composers Paulina Sundin and Jens Hedman; “Reflections” (1999). Now, could it be that these guys are aware of the Bardo Thödol – The Tibetan Book of the Dead –, which has lately evolved dramatically through Western minds like Karlheinz Stockhausen and others, dispersing spiritual awareness far and wide? Could it be? The description of the work in the CD leaflet reads: “Reflections is a symbolic journey through life, traveling from birth to death and disappearing into a tranquil pureness…” Now, nothing is mentioned of a rebirth, but it sort of lingers at the end of the sentence…

Anyhow, the music is really wasting me, with drone-like horizons of deep sounds and fast, curly and sharp movements right in front of my eyes, like occasional wind shield wipers in a heavy rain on the road from Särkisalmi to Parikkala and a love so strong by Lake Saimaa in medio of June that even Väinömöinen’s passion for the elusive Aino grows pale in comparison… He who has ears, let him hear… I have been through – on this CD – a wondrous fairytale adventure of enchanted events and violet dreams, in a luminous preview of the Bardo state of the hereafter, and it all ends with that straight line on the electrocardiogram, when the spirit has left through the Brahma opening on top of the skull, and is floating out like the spirit of the old man in John Holm’s legendary song “Ett enskilt rum på Sabbatsberg” (“A Private Room at Sabbatsberg”) (A Stockholm hospital). I am grateful for this sound art of Paulina Sundin and Jens Hedman. It has been much more than could ever have been expected. This is the electroacoustic CD of the year for an EAM aficionado like myself!”

 

Review 2 - Tritonus Nr 1/2001

Written by Daniel Hjort

“Betydligt starkare intryck får jag av den avslutande REFLECTIONS (1999). Här skapar de båda upphovsmännen en suggestiv resa genom aldrig hörda landskap. Bilder blir till rörelser blir till former blir till uttryck blir till… Valet att lägga detta stycke sist är dessutom mycket passande eftersom Hedman och Sundin här bygger upp en ljudvärld som mot slutet kommer till sin nollpunkt då klangväven slutligen samlar sig runt ett ljuds minsta beståndsdel – dess DNA – sinustonen.”

 

Review 3 - Nerikes Allehanda, 20 September 1999.

Written by Anna Lundström

“Paulina Sundin och Jens Hedmans “Reflections” är ett oerhört suggestivt stycke musik för band. Stycket utgår från ett tidigare av dessa två tonsättare, “Inside Round”, som framförts vid en rad festivaler världen över. “Reflections” är ett klangligt fyrverkeri som uppfyller varje skrymsle av kyrkorummet. En rent fysisk upplevelse där de låga frekvenserna känns i bröstkorgen. Stycket presenteras som en “symbolisk resa genom livet till ett uppgående i en stilla renhet”. Den stilla renheten gestaltas av en sinuston. “Reflections” är det enda av styckena som i mitt tycke verkligen utnyttjade rummets möjligheter. Titeln skulle kunna vara en slags beteckning för mötet mellan musik och ljuskonst överhuvudtaget. Ljud och ljus uppför sig likartat i det avseendet, de behöver ytor för att reflekteras.”

 

 

 

CURRENTS

-
00:00 / 00:00

COMPOSER: Jens Hedman & Paulina Sundin

YEAR: 1998

FIRST PERFORMANCE: ACMC, Wellington, New Zealand

DURATION: 12:30

FORMAT: Stereo / 8.0 / 12.0

RELEASED: on CD Currents (Elektron Records)

 

 

PROGRAM NOTES

 

CURRENTS (by Jens Hedman and Paulina Sundin) is a musical tribute to our hometown, Stockholm, portraying the flows and streams in the city from four different sound perspectives. The work also deals with the changing seasons and different times of day. It was composed at EMS in Stockholm and all the sound material was recorded in the city and its districts using a Neumann kunstkopf microphone. The first two parts were composed in 1996 and the remaining two in 1998. Each of the four sections can also be played separately as short electroclips.

The first performance of Currents was at “Hey Listen”, the international sound conference for acoustic ecology arranged by the Swedish Royal Academy of Music together with World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE) and Stockholm European Capital of Culture 1998. Since then the piece has been performed frequently at concerts and has also been used by other artists, such as the Basle Dance Company, which added choreography to the piece during ISCM World Music Days 2000 in Luxembourg. The architect Martin Edvardsson created a visual interpretation of Currents for Galleri Maneten during the UNM Festival in Gothenburg in 1999. Currents is available in three different versions: 2-channel, 8-channel and 12-channel. The 12-channel version was specially made for the open-air pavilion, Elektrofonen, created by Jens Hedman and Christian Hörgren.

Elektrofonen, which is mobile, has toured Sweden and could be seen, among other places, at Stockholm Water Festival in 1999. The 8-channel version has been performed at ACMC in Wellington, New Zealand and at the Rien à Voir Festival in Canada in 1999.

 

 

REVIEWS

 

Written by Ingvar Loco Nordin

“You may already have guessed that Paulina Sundin’s and Jens Hedman’s electroacoustics fit me perfectly, really reassuring me in my notion of something good going on in Stockholm!

Tracks 3 through 6 make up the title work; “Currents” (1998) – a joint effort by the gifted composers Sundin and Hedman. There is a sub-title to this piece; “Traffic – Water – Nature – City”, which sounds a lot like programmatic music. Is it? Well, yes, in a way – but only slightly, giving a hint, an idea, a direction. There is some traffic, highly spatial, wonderfully spatial – and maybe – maybe – bicycle spokes being plucked… It sure moves, anyway, in delicate, very clean sounds, delicacies. These sounds are like chocolate candies in colored wrappings; wrappings in clear colors: stark blue, overwhelmingly green, Buddha-golden, Antarctica-silver. This package is full of goodies for the ear and for the imagination, and I just keep on getting more and more impressed! I probably have the darnest collection of electroacoustics in Northern Europe, and this CD comes out on top together with a few select others. Not bad! The sheer intensity of the event between 1:45 and 1.56 on track 4 calls for extra honors, no doubt! This couple really does work well together! A little later it gets enchanted, silvery, forest hazy, with elves and fairies fluttering about in the meadows. This is John Bauer music for a while. Magic! Man, it doesn’t get better than this – this is as good as it comes! I’m going to play this DC a lot! When I get enthusiastic I get – enthusiastic! The nature part of “Currents” is no simple forest sampler! It gets darn sophisticated!

Paulina and Jens do not have anything more to learn from the wizards at Groupe de Recherches Musicales. They got so much poetry and so much technical skill to get it across that it bends me over and turns me around… Wow! This is outrageous! The sheer composition of it all is magnificent. It doesn’t matter if you have all the machinery and all the sounds, if you don’t have a compositional idea. These guys do! They mix these wondrous sounds into an overwhelmingly beautiful and interesting – imaginative – web!”

 

Written by: Jiituomas, Kuolleen Musiikin Yhdistys

About the CD Currents:

“Currents is a collection of important pieces from the careers of two internationally acclaimed Swedish electro-acoustic composers, Paulina Sundin and Jens Hedman. The majority of them are classical music -based avant-garde compositions in which minute changes create larger elements. A deviation from that template is Hedman’s clever Mix-up (written in 2000), in which he has according to his own words played “500 sounds in 500 seconds”. It is essentially a mixture of short clips from the artist’s favourites (designed to be played from different speakers in a hall), and manages an amazing change from a complete mess to effective minimalist noise. The album has two other gems as well, namely Hedman’s drone-based Relief and Sundin’s Clandestine Parts, in which a group of tiny dissonant noises join into a beautiful, ethereal ambience. All in all, Currents well showcases how brilliant results can be acquired when artists fuse the best parts from several different genres of experimentation. Every track on it is excellent, and works as an example of music where free-spirited experimentation and classical attention to details flawlessly fuse together. The package is perfected by the album’s gorgeous liner, extremely informative in its minimalism – just like the music itself. Very highly recommended.“

 

 

RELIEF

-
00:00 / 00:00

COMPOSER: Jens Hedman

YEAR: 1996

FIRST PERFORMANCE: 

DURATION: 11:25

FORMAT: Stereo

 

 

PROGRAM NOTES

 

Relief is the second piece in the series RE-cykle where I, with a few years in between, has created pieces based on the same audio material. The original material for all the works in the cycle is percussion sounds, ambient sounds and synthetic sounds from Synclavier and Buchla synthesizers.

I usually create new unique material for all new pieces, but I thought it would be interesting to see how I take on the same material at different times in my development as a composer.

Relief is a stereo piece and I have been exploring the deep in the stereo image.

I want to create a relief effect where some sound moves out, into the concert hall towards the audience, moving against a background of sound worlds far away.

I see sounds as physical objects, with color, shape, surface and volume in space. The sound objects move as on a deep stage and interact like a choreographed dance.

 

Relief has been played in concerts, festivals and on radio worldwide and won numerous international awards, including Euphonies d'Or at the Concours Internationaux the Musique et d'Art Sonore Electroacoustiques the Bourges 2004.

 

 

ANCHORINGS / ARROWS

-
00:00 / 00:00

COMPOSER: Jens Hedman & E M Karlsson

YEAR: 1992

FIRST PERFORMANCE: 

DURATION: 12:40

FORMAT: Stereo

 

 

PROGRAM NOTES

 

Anchorings/Arrows is built up of sounds from a number of different acoustic instruments, computer processed and then digitally mixed at DIEM (Danish Institute for Electroacoustic Music) in Aarhus, Denmark and at EMS (Elektronmusikstudion) in Stockholm. In this piece we tried out a particular acoustic idea, that of a continually varying acoustic space, where no sounds stays at any fixed point. Anchorings/Arrows may be seen as a tribute to music, anchored in music's history but, we hope, also pointing forward to the wonderfully mysterious and mythical future.

 

Anchorings/Arrows has been played at concerts, festvals and on radio all around the world. The piece has received prizes and mentions, among others at 21e Concours International in Bourges, France and at Ars-Electronica in Lintz, Austria.

 

 
-
00:00 / 00:00

COMPOSER: Jens Hedman & Erik Mikael Karlsson

TEXT: Erik Mikael Karlsson

YEAR: 1990

DURATION: 21:00

FORMAT: Stereo

 

Produced at the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation and EMS, Stockholm.

Executive producer: Bernt Berntsson

Recording engineers: Jens Hedman and Erik Mikael Karlsson

Additional recording engineers: Erland von Heijne, Ann-Christin Mattsson, Maria Repitsch and Anna Turewicz.

Mixed by Maurice Mogard at the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation, Stockholm

Translations: Karin Heinz, Malou Höjer and Paul Pignon

Performers: Sigrid Holmquist - mezzosoprano, Francoise Niéto - French voice, Timo Nissinen - baritone, Paul Pignon - English voice, Peter Reichel - German voice, Anna Maria Thunman - Swedish voice

 

 

PROGRAM NOTES

 

Threads and Cords was commissioned by the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation's group for radiophonic art (Örspel/Earplay) in 1990.

Hedman and Karlsson elected to create a work entirely out of sounds made by the human voice or generated by the Chant synthetic voice program developed at IRCAM in Paris on the basis of research done at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. They then put much of this material through several stages of processing at EMS, Stockholm using for example Paul Pignon's Giant Fourier Transform and related software. Some of the live recordings were made with a Neumann dummy head to create a 3-D effect (if the listener uses headphones).

Karlsson's surrealist, apocalyptically tinged poetry is read by four interleaving voices in English, French, German and Swedish. But the words have as much a musical function, as acoustic gestures, as bearers of semantic content. This gives Threads and Cords features of a text-sound composition which eminently upholds Herbert Eimert's assertion that among natural sounds the spoken word is that which shows most timbral affinity to electronic sounds.

 

Text fragments such as

The cords are at last installed

in the Pillar's control room

the interrogation can begin...

I was clearly wandering in an engine

since I was carrying fuel within me...

The angels had forgotten us

in the still horror of eternity

illustrate the existential ground underlying the work.

 

Time. and our desperate effords to encompass and placate it, is a central theme of Threads and Cords.

The work begins with delicate astral bell sounds, leading to a wordless choir section, a recurring element, reminding us that our counting of time has its origins in the ritual punctuality of calls to worship. But the central and unifying motoricity is generated by other sounds, meshing into one another like cogs and cams in some fantastic mechanism; an aging, jerky clockwork ticking and rattling in its battle with the stream of time.

The voices float through the continuum of sounds in different but evidently parallel time strata, overlaying one another, statements existing together without meeting, locked in Time whose one-dimensionality has collapsed.

We are all locked in Time, but in music all the dimensions of time are present now: the past, present and future, and this is the special magic of music, the art which more than any other deals with time and which can sometimes succeed in illuminating and transforming our experience of it, even though we can but fleetingly grasp it... as through a glass darkly.

Threads and Cords marked the beginning of an unusually fruitful collaboration between composers Hedman and Karlsson, and it is hardly surprising that within one year of the broadcast first performance this work has been played at numerous festivals both in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe. It was also chosen by the Swedish Radio to represent Sweden at the 1992 International Rostrum of ElectroAcoustic Music, and was awarded the first prize.

 

Teddy Hultberg

Editor of Earplay

Swedish Broadcasting Corporation