A Flowing World of Sounds

We asked Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir a few questions, as we would like to know her a bit more before playing her brand new piece aequilibria at the season opening, Logen Teater, September 14th (Looking forward to it!). Here she gives us some words on inspiration, landscapes and strawberries. 

“What would you say is characterising your music?”

“It is always hard to identify one’s own characteristics in music, but I frequently work with large sonic structures, using a large variety of sustained sound materials. This is perhaps a reflection of my inspiration from landscapes and nature. My music in general tends to portray a flowing world of sounds with a subtle lyrical atmosphere.”

“What inspires you?”

“I tend to be inspired by nature when writing music. I search for natural proportions and natural movement and flow and allow this inspiration to resonate through me in a musical sense and teach me how to balance materials in the most organic way each time. I do not find it desirable to recreate the actual sounds heard in nature, but rather to allow various elements in nature to be a visual and sensorial inspiration.”

"Do the audience need any knowledge on your music, to enjoy it?”

“Personally I hope that they don’t, and that the audience is able to take in the music on their own terms. But here are a few words about how I approach music material and structure: I often enjoy placing focus on subtle nuances and poetic textures that form lyrical gestures throughout the music.

And to me melodies are generated just as much by sounds, gestures and nuances as by pitched lyrical material. Internally I hear sounds and nuances as musical melodies and enjoy weaving various sounds together with harmonies and lyrical material. As far as structure goes, I often like to work with the perspectives of details and the unity of the whole and the relationship between the two.”

“What kind of music do you like to listen to?”

 “It varies, and it crosses between various music genres. But in general I mostly listen to contemporary classical music, electronic music and some alternative music.”

 “When you are not composing, what other things do you enjoy doing?”

 “When I am not directly working on music I like spending time with my husband, friends, family and pets, and I am really interested in healthy living and healthy foods, doing yoga and walking in nature and so on, so I try to find time to do that. I also really like to grow things and just planted some greens and strawberries last spring that I am really excited about.”

Thank you Anna, and welcome to Bergen!

More info on Anna Thorvaldsdottir: www.annathorvalds.com