The Squid's Ear Magazine


Soderberg, Peter: String Dialogues (thanatosis produktion)

A collection of six duo recordings from musician, composer, and improviser Peter Soderberg, investigating different tuning systems and the idea of hybrid instruments, recording with Katt Hernandez (violin), Stina Hellberg Agback (harp), Mats Persson (clavichord), Sten Sandell (piano), My Hellgren (cello) and Vilhelm Bromander (contrabass).
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Peter Soderberg-guitar, theorbo, oud

Katt Hernandez-violin

Stina Hellberg Agback-harp

Mats Persson-clavichord

My Hellgren-cello

Sten Sandell-piano

Vilhelm Bromander-contrabass


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Label: thanatosis produktion
Catalog ID: THT25CD
Squidco Product Code: 33310

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Sweden
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold w/ booklet
Recorded in Mortviken/Ingaro, Sweden, on August 25th, and October 9th, 2022, by Niklas Billstrom.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"String Dialogues is a collection of six duo recordings initiated by the renowned musician, composer, and improviser Peter Soderberg. Here, he investigates different tuning systems and the idea of hybrid instruments. Within various instrumental settings and informed by his musical co-partners and fellow improvisors Katt Hernandez, Stina Hellberg Agback, Mats Persson, Sten Sandell, My Hellgren and Vilhelm Bromander, he has sculpted an album highlighting complex timbres and intimate interplay. The album is released on CD and digitally and features an extensive booklet with Soderberg's reflections on the music."-thanatosis produktion

Comments on the works by Peter Söderberg:

[1] Close - for Violin & Guitar
In this duo, the guitar employs a tuning that uses the same interval between all the strings; a fourth lowered by a sixth of a tone. Also the violin uses an unconventional tuning, with all the strings sounding a minor third lower than normal, thus being midway down to the tuning of a viola. The guitar part is based on what appears to be familiar pentatonic patterns, except for the slightly modified pitches. The violin part is basically left without any restrictions, and the flexible intonation of the instrument allows for adjusting to the microintervals produced on the guitar, but also for choosing a more independent approach to the framework. In this way, the instruments have a complementary function to each other, in the attempt to create a fusion of the two. But even if these instruments have fundamentally different characteristics, in the second part they blend in with each other with the aid of an e-bow on the guitar strings.

[2] Symbiosis - for Harp & Theorbo
Although the harp and theorbo have a common history as continuo instruments in the baroque period, they are rarely confronted with each other in new music. Here, the instruments approach each other through the diatonic tuning of the strings, a basic feature of the harp (as a whole) and the theorbo (on the low strings). Furthermore, both instruments employ the same playing technique, producing natural harmonics of fifths and octaves, in addition to open strings. This results in the desired fusion of the instruments, to the extent that it can make the listener uncertain about the source of the sound. However, the shared diatonic material - all naturals except for one sharp and one flat note - is slightly distorted by individual concert pitches, with the theorbo sounding a sixth of a tone below the harp. The resulting small deviations in pitch will repeatedly produce slow beating between neighboring tones, which becomes an essential component of this music.

[3] Distant - for Clavichord & Renaissance Lute
Here, two instruments with a similar background in the renaissance period are brought together. The historical connection is reinforced by use of the meantone temperament, which was dominant in the 16th century. This tuning system is based on pure major thirds, being considerably narrower than the same interval in the equal-tempered system mainly used today. The music explores the polyphonic possibilities of both instruments, where the number of voices is constantly varied, and short melodic fragments are repeated. Without using any direct reference to renaissance music in this performance, the meantone temperament inevitably reflects the tonality of the distant historical period when these instruments flourished. This duo is also notable for its restrained dynamics. Whereas the lute will often have a hard time making itself heard in the company of other instruments, here it needs to adjust to the even softer sound of the clavichord.

[4] Apart - for Piano & Guitar
As a rule, the piano and the guitar share the same notes of the chromatic scale. Here, they are separated by tuning to different concert pitches, a quarter tone apart. In this way two individual tonal systems are combined, where nothing is shared. At the same time, the instruments make use of similar phrasing and playing techniques - playing with one hand alone, for example - which brings them together. The split harmonic materials are initially treated as incompatible and, during the first part of the music, the piano and guitar are completely separated and only heard in extended solo passages. In this way, the quarter tone difference in pitch is largely obscured. Gradually, the instruments begin to overlap and eventually to perform as a proper duo. Only then, perhaps, does it become apparent that the instruments have different tone systems. The initial twelve tones per octave - in one instrument at a time - are expanded to a potential of twenty-four.

[5] Continuum - for Cello & Oud
The combination of cello and oud can be seen as a meeting between different traditions, both historically and geographically. The tonality, or rather the lack of one, is based on the flexible intonation enabled on both instruments, manifested above all by an extended use of glissandi. Whereas the other duos use a limited source of harmonic material, here the instruments reside within a continuum of boundless frequencies. A certain tonal centre is nonetheless suggested by the consistent tuning of the instruments; the rising fifths on the open cello strings are paralleled by descending fourths on the oud with the same tones (C-G-D-A). The pizzicato playing on the cello creates a close relation with the Arabic lute, while the sections played with the bow expose a widened sound spectrum. A keyword here is instability and not until the last minute, does the music finally seem to reach an equilibrium.

[6] Sustain - for Contrabass & Theorbo
Both components of this duo are normally identified as typically low instruments. In this case, however, they stay in their upper regions, using the overtone series of the open strings. The low strings of the theorbo are activated by a hand-held fan, continuously scanning different touch points along the strings. In this way, the instrument is given a new identity with virtually no connection to traditional playing. The contrabass too is played in an unorthodox way, dominated by very high bowed harmonics that tend to be unstable in pitch. In contrast to the other duos, the natural decay of the vibrating string is here effectively avoided. Instead, a continuous modulation of the sound is produced, including a high degree of noise that is not present in the other duos. In this music, the listener will once again have a hard time knowing which instrument the sound is being produced on.


Artist Biographies

Peter Söderberg, born in Stockholm, 1957, is a classical lute player. He studied at the Royal College of Music from 1979 to 1985, and then at the Schola Cantorurn Basiliensis from 1986 to 1988 for Hopkinson Smith, amongst others. He is known for the groups Christer Bothén Trio, Frim Storband, Low Dynamic Orchestra, and Så Vidare.

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/411412-Peter-S%C3%B6derberg)
2/28/2024

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

"Katt Hernandez is a composer, improvisor, violinist, producer and artistic researcher. She moved to Stockholm in 2010, and rapidly began working with many artists and new music organizations. In addition to solo violin work, she co-founded The Schematics and Deuterium Quartet, and has worked with a host of musicians and others in Europes's improvised, electronic and experimental music and sound art scenes. After earning a Masters degree in composition from Sweden's Royal College of Music, she began a PhD in Music at Lund university in 2015, and was also employed at the Royal College of Music as part of Klas Nevrin's 3-year research project Music in Disorder. She is currently in the Fire! Orchestra, led by Mats Gustafsson, as well as Lotte Anker's research project Sub-Habitat at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. Her work has been featured on festivals, series, museums, conferences and radio stations throughout the world. Before leaving the U.S., Katt was a 13 year veteran of experimental music scenes on the east coast, where she worked with a vast array of musicians, dancers, visual artists, puppeteers, film makers and performance artists, in venues ranging from underground urban art spaces to ivy league concert halls."

-Katt Hernandez Website (https://sites.google.com/site/katthernandez/home/biographic)
2/28/2024

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

Stina Hellberg Agback: Improvising Harpist

"Stina Hellberg Agback has been performing as an improvising harpist since 2006, she has been heard on festivals and venues with her groups Namna, SHA3K, Trilobit, Stina Hellberg Agback/Jonas Isaksson Quartet and duo Eva Lindal/Stina Hellberg Agback. She performs with bands such as Mattias Risberg Mining Extended, Mariam the Believer, 3 Glas and Skogen. She also performs classical music with Uppsala Chamber Orchestra and Stockholm Wind Orchestra.She has released records with Namna, SHA3K, Trilobit and together with Jonas Isaksson. Enthusiastic reviews have been received in magazines such as Downbeat, Orkesterjournalen and Lira.

Hellberg Agback has also extensively collaborated with the pop world. Recording for artists such as Mattias Olsson and I.B. Sundström, as well as film music scores by Matti Bye and Hans Appelqvist.

Hellberg Agback holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in jazz performance, from the Royal College of Music, Stockholm. She has also attended Berklee College of Music and Trinity College of Music and is currently studying composition."

-Stina Hellberg Agback Website (https://www.stinahellbergagback.com/bio)
2/28/2024

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

"Swedish pianist and composer, born on September 1, 1943 in Gävle Heliga Trefaldighet, Gästrikland but grew up in Järbo, near Sandviken.

Persson studied piano for Greta Erikson and new ensemble music for Siegfried Naumann at Kungliga Musikhögskolan I Stockholm. Later he studied piano for Aloys Kontarsky and chamber music for Alfons Kontarsky at Musikhochschule Köln. He participated in several of the Darmstadt International Summer Courses in Germany.

Persson has, since 1972, been very active as a solo pianist, in a duo with Kristine Scholz and as a member of the ensemble for new music, Harpans Kraft.

Through his active career he has made more than 200 first performances of works by Swedish composers and around thirty Swedish composers have written directly for him. He's one of few interpreters who has played and understood the importance of the Swedish composer Claude Loyola Allgén.

Some of the composers outside Sweden that have written directly for him are Aldo Clementi, Chris Newman, Christian Wolff and Zoltán Jeney.

As a composer Person has focused on the piano, chamber music and music for children to play.

Mats Persson (4) has also been married to Kristine Scholz, 1979-1982, for two and a half years."

-Mats Persson Website (https://mats-persson.se/)
2/28/2024

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

"My Hellgren lives in Göteborg, Sweden, and works as a cellist in many different contexts. She is mostly active in the scene of contemporary music and is a member of Curious chamber players, ensemble Mimitabu and the text/sound trio MonoMono.

She is occasionally working with other ensembles like Gageego! and Scenatet and as a substitute in several symphony orchestras such as GSO and the Gothenburg opera.

My likes to work close with composers and has premiered solo and chamber music pieces. She has participated in different temporary innovative projects and recieved grant and support from Konstnärsnämnden, Statens musikverk and others.

My is educated at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen and at the Academy of music and drama at the university of Gothenburg."

-My Hellgren Website (https://myhellgren.com/)
2/28/2024

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

"Composer / musician / producer - piano, organ, voice, electronics,Sound/Text/Image Real-Time Composer, Doctor of Philosophy In Fine Arts in Musical Performance and Interpretation, University of Gothenburg, 2013

Cooperation with musicians/composers including Emil Strandberg, Paal Nilssen-Love, Sverrir Gudjonsson, Johan Berthling, Evan Parker, Sven-Åke Johansson, Chris Cutler, Mats Persson, Sofia Jernberg, Carl-Axel Dominique, Mats Gustafsson, Nina de Heney and Raymond Strid. Music Inside the Language was winner of Contemporary Sound in 2011 of the Journal Contemporary Music. Music and visual arts, including Bo Samuelsson, Katarina Eismann, Inger Arvidsson. Music and dance, including Jukka Korpi, Ingrid Olterman, Bo Arenander, Anne Külper. Music and Drama including Fredrik Nyberg, Magnus Florin, Magnus Jacobsson, Willy Kyrklund, Karl Dunér, Rolf Skoglund, Peter Oskarson, Stina Ekblad and Jörgen Gassilewski.

Sten Sandell was awarded the Royal Academy of Music's Jazz Award in 2012 with the motivation: "The pianist Sten Sandell is one of Swedish improvised music's most brilliant, captivating and independent voices. His musical activities are characterized by a strong artistic integrity, and he has with great consistency developed a characteristic aesthetic attitude that inspires countless musicians. " "

-Sten Sandell Website (http://stensandell.com/cv.php?l=e)
2/28/2024

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

"Vilhelm BroMander (1988) is a Swedish bass player, improviser and composer based in Stockholm. He embraces his bass from many different angles, with a great curiosity in sound, texture, intonation and timbre. Often he directs his focus to acoustic details such as beating, common partials and difference tones - to hear what happens with our perception when we allow ourselves to be immersed in sound for a longer stretch of time. He draws inspiration from a wide variety of genres such as improvised music, free jazz and electronic music as well as his studies of just intonation and dhrupad.

As an improviser he has played with musicians like Axel DöRner, Tisha Mukarji, Michael Thieke, Sten Sandell, Christer BothéN, Katt Hernandez, Lisa UlléN, Henrik Olsson to name a few.

Also being a popular session musician he has played with among others Daniel Johnston, Saigon, Musette, Joe Davolaz, Josefin öHrn + The Liberation, The Tiny & Music Is The Weapon."

-Vilhelm Bromander Website (http://www.vilhelmbromander.com/about.html)
2/28/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Close - For Violin & Guitar 11:53

2. Symbiosis - For Harp & Theorbo 9:21

3. Distant - For Clavichord & Renaissance Lute 10:02

4. Continuum - For Cello & Oud 11:03

5. Apart - For Piano & Guitar 11:22

6. Sustain - For Contrabass & Theorbo 10:43

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Compositional Forms
Stringed Instruments
Piano & Keyboards
Chamber Jazz
Duo Recordings
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
New in Improvised Music
New in Compositional Music

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thanatosis produktion.


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