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Bennardo, Maya / Erik Blennow Calaly / Kristofer Svensson: Two Skies (thanatosis produktion)

The first recording of an ongoing collaboration between violinist Maya Bennardo, bass clarinetist Erik Blennow Calälv, and kacapi (similar to a Japanese koto) musician Kristofer Svensson, presenting two restrained and lovely compositions bringing together contemporary classical, free improvisation and Sundanese music in a unique chamber format.

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product information:

UPC: 73204070260418

Label: thanatosis produktion
Catalog ID: THT17
Squidco Product Code: 32077

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: Sweden
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Atlantis Grammofon, in Stockholm, Sweden, in Janurary, 2022, by Niclas Lindstrom.


Maya Bennardo-violin

Erik Blennow Calaly-bass clarinet

Kristofer Svensson-Kacapi

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Two Skies is the first recording of an ongoing collaboration between violinist Maya Bennardo, bass clarinetist Erik Blennow Calälv, and kacapi musician Kristofer Svensson. Bringing together different musical praxis-contemporary classical, free improvisation, and Sundanese music-the result is a hybrid form of chamber music between composition and improvisation. The sounds are deeply anchored in justly tuned modalities, while freely engaged in their momentary complexities."-Thanatosis

"The kacapi (Sundanese: ᮊᮎᮕᮤ) is a traditional zither of Sundanese people in Indonesia. This musical instrument is derived from Chinese guzheng, same as the Japanese koto, the Mongolian yatga, the Korean gayageum, the Vietnamese đàn tranh and the Kazakh jetigen. The kacapi played as the main accompanying instrument in the Tembang Sunda or Mamaos Cianjuran, kacapi suling (tembang Sunda without vocal accompaniment) genre (called kecapi seruling in Indonesian), pantun stories recitation or an additional instrument in Gamelan Degung performance.

The word kacapi in Sundanese also refers to santol tree, from which initially the wood is believed to be used for building the zither instrument."-Wikipedia

Artist Biographies

"Maya Bennardo (she/her) is an active performer, improviser, and composer living between Brooklyn, NY and Stockholm, Sweden. Maya is interested in opening the dialogue and blurring the boundaries between composers and performers, and is devoted to performing music of the present. She is a founding member of the violin/viola duo andPlay, described by I Care If You Listen as "enthusiastic champions for new music and collaboration." She is a core member of Mivos Quartet and also performs new and traditional repertoire for violin and piano with pianist Karl Larson.

Maya also performs regularly with Nouveau Classical Project and Hotel Elefant, and has worked with ensemble mise-en, Contemporaneous, Mimesis Ensemble, Ensemble Signal, [Switch~ Ensemble], and Talea Ensemble.

Recent highlights include recording residencies at Electronic Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Troy, NY and at the Elektronmusikstudion (EMS) in Stockholm, Sweden with andPlay, performances at the Library of Congress on the "Betts" Stradivarius violin (Washington D.C.), Walt Disney Hall on Noon to Midnight (Los Angeles, CA), Lucerne Festival Academy with Saul Williams (Lucerne, CH), North Sea Jazz Festival with Ambrose Akinmusire (Rotterdam, NE), June in Buffalo (Buffalo, NY), Lincoln Center Festival (NYC), and Strings of Autumn (Prague, CZ). Maya was a fellow at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival at Mass MoCa 2014/15, a member of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra in 2014, and a participant in the Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik 2016.

Maya recently recorded her first solo record, 'four strings' with music by Eva-Maria Houben and Kristofer Svensson which will be released on the kuyin label, September 17th 2022. The album is a continuation of Bennardo's work exploring sonic fragility and temporal stasis on the violin.

Maya enjoys a rich teaching life, and teaches students in her private studio. She graduated from NYU with a Master of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music studying with Gregory Fulkerson at both institutions."

-Maya Bennardo Website (

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"Erik Blennow Calälv is a Swedish bass clarinetist, composer and improvisor, currently working in a duo with Finn Loxbo (git), and in a trio with Maya Bennardo (vi) and Kristofer Svensson (kacapi)."

-Discogs (

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"Kristofer Svensson (they/them) is a Swedish kacapi musician, music theorist, and composer whose music is characterized by simple moments of harmonic sounds appearing and disappearing in a dynamic correspondence with emptiness. Tuning harmony in Just Intonation, a characteristic feature of all their music, and often letting tones emerge from silence through noise, draws attention to music's simple raw materials-the aperture of sound and transparency of tone.

Svensson's music have been performed by soloists and groups such as Contemporaneous, ensemble mise-en, Quatuor Bozzini, andPlay, Mats Persson & Kristine Scholz, Musica Vitae, Miyama McQueen-Tokita, the Swedish Wind Ensemble, N/A ensemble, Arcus Collective, Bennardo/Larson duo, Norbotten NEO, and the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble at festivals such as Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival (US, 2015), Kalv (SE, 2015), Nordic Music Days (FO, 2021), KROCH fest (SE, 2018), Svensk Musikvår (SE, 2019), Sound of Stockholm (SE, 2016), Ung Nordisk Musik (IS, 2017 and SE, 2019), University of Toledo's Festival of New Music (US, 2018), and o/modernt (SE, 2013). In October 2017, a portrait concert with Svensson's music titled "pale air (oscillating)" was given at Scandinavia House in New York City.

Svensson studied the shakuhachi with Gunnar Jinmei Linder in Stockholm, the qín with Yung-Hak Chi in Hong Kong, and Sundanese karawitan (with a special emphasis on the kacapi) with, amongst others, Ade Suparman and Dody Satya Ekagustdiman, in West Java. These studies were supported by grants from the Indonesian Ministry for Arts and Culture (2013) and the Swedish foundations Gålös (2015), Anna Withlock Memorial Foundation (2014), AAA (2013 and 2015), and Erik och Göran Ennerfelts stiftelse (2015). Svensson studied composition with Fujieda Mamoru in Fukuoka, Japan supported by a JASSO Scholarship from the Japanese government (2015). Taken together, these musical traditions and lineages form the societal as well as spiritual context for Svensson's work-a context in which artistic, contemplative, and meditative practices merge. At the heart of Svensson's work lies a search for a resolution to the inescapable tension that lies between a commitment to the Buddhist path and a commitment to art. Svensson shares reflections from this search in the form of texts on soteriological aesthetics online at Intimating Emptiness.

As a kacapi musician, Svensson has been developing a practice of justly tuned, modal, improvisation as both a solo performer as well as in collaboration with Maya Bennardo, Vilhelm Bromander, Ryan Packard, and Erik Blennow Calälv. In 2020, Svensson's debut solo kacapi album 'Andra Segel' was released on the kuyin label, and in 2022, a trio album with Bennardo and Blennow Calälv was released on the thanatosis label.

Svensson's activities as a composer-performer have been supported by numerous grants from Swedish foundations and institutions such as Helge Ax:son Johnson Foundation (2014 and 2015), Anders Sandrews Foundation (2013), five awards from the Swedish Performing Rights Society (STIM, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020), two awards from the Society of Swedish Composers (FST, 2016 and 2018) and a commission through the Swedish Arts Council to write the program stilla sväva, consisting of two pieces for early keyboard instruments, for Mats Persson and Kristine Scholz. Stilla sväva was premiered in 2019 and released on the kuyin label in 2022.

Svensson obtained their Bachelor's degree in Music Composition from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, where they studied composition primarily with Pär Lindgren but also with Magnus Granberg, and a Master's degree in Music Composition from the University of Hong Kong with the thesis "The Use of Just Intonation in my Recent Compositions". Expanding upon Lou Harrison's simple idea of a 'strict' and 'free' style of Just Intonation and correlating this idea with findings from recent research in music cognition and learning theory, Svensson formulated an expanded taxonomy of Just Intonation in which the novel 'loose style' of Just Intonation is articulated for the first time. This research can be found in the continuously updated online text Varieties of Just Intonation."

-Kristofer Svensson Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Av Hav 34:05

2. In Yo 21:55

Related Categories of Interest:

Compositional Forms
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Stringed Instruments
Trio Recordings
New in Compositional Music
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