Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Swedish Wind Ensemble and Stockholm

This week (26-30th of May) I have spent in Stockholm rehearsing with Swedish Wind Ensemble, who premiered my piece ”Paradiso” on Friday 29th of May! It has been an absolutely fantastic week!

I stayed the week in the house of my friend, and it was really nice! Here is a pic of me from outside here house.

At my friends place in Stockholm. Photo © Damström

I flew in on Tuesday 26th of May, rehearsals were on Wednesday and Thursday 10-14:50 o’clock, on Friday we had a dress rehearsal 15-17 o’clock and on Friday evening we had the concert at 19 o’clock at Musikaliska on Nybrokajen 11 in Stockholm.

Having lunch with our orchestration teacher Bjön-Tryggve Johansson
and my class mate Alfred Jimenez from Malmö Academy of Music.
Photo © Cecilia Damström

Having lunch day 2 with composers Olle Sundström
from Gothenburg Academy of Music and Alfred Jimenez
from Malmö Academy of music. Photo © Cecilia Damström

Swedish Wind Ensemble is a wind orchestra with both woodwinds and brass instruments as well as three percussionists. All of us students that were elected for this project were asked to write a 4 minute piece using the whole orchestra (and no particular solo instrument). It was very interesting how different all the pieces were in the concert! It was there fore also interesting to listen to the rehearsals of the pieces by the other composers.

My piece “Paradiso” is a palindrome, so from the middle everything comes again back to front (and kind of “up side down”, so that what was played in the beginning by the highest instrument the piccolo, is played at the end by the lowest instrument the tuba). But after the middle (when the pieces gets mirrored) I had at the beginning some problems with the volume balance, so I had to make some small change in dynamics for the woodwinds and generally ask the brass to play quieter. With this small adjustment the piece worked really well!

Swedish Wind Ensemble rehearsing under the lead of Michael Bartosch.
Photo © Cecilia Damström
The programme of the concert on the 29th of May was:

Jacob Mühlrad | Tekiah

Cecilia Damström | Paradiso op.36
Alfred Jimenez | Two Small but Serious Satires (2015)
Olle Sundström | Punk Duet (2015)
Joseph Howard | Movement (2015)
Felix Axemo | Kårchefen Åstrand
Rosanna Gunnarsson | Dogtown part II
Frej Wedlund | andas, upphör
Mika Pohjola | Wedding March
Jakob Svartengren | 150123

There were so many nice pieces, but among my favourites I must mention Mühlrad’s Tekiah, Wedlund’s andas, upphör and Howard’s Movement.

Presenting my piece Paradiso for the audience at Musikaliska,
Stockholm, 29th of May 2015.
Photo by Joseph Howard
Unfortunately there wasn’t very much audience in the concert, about 50 people, which sadly is quite usual at contemporary music concerts. But my former colleague from work (at sea) and his girlfriend came to the concert, which made me very happy!

After the concert we all went to the spring party of the Stockholm Royal Academy of Music. They had a live band called Funk Attack playing funk and soul, and they were absolutely extraordinary! The lead singer Christopher Lennerbrant had a great voice, sang in perfect pitch and had a great stage charisma and the backup singer/second lead singer Maja Keuc , who sung one solo song, sounded like Beyoncé and was also wonderful on stage! It was incredible! And the band played really well together, so it was wonderful to listen to!

The band Funk Attack with Christopher Lennerbrant and Maja Keuc
playing a gig 29th of May 2015 at the Stockholm Royal Academy of Music.
Photo © Cecilia Damström
The band Funck Attack playing a gig 29th of May 2015
at the Stockholm Royal Academy of Music.
Photo © Cecilia Damström

On Saturday 30th of May I had lunch buffet with my new English friend and composer Joseph Howard and then took a afternoon train back to Malmö. The train ride was once again a perfect place to finish of some adjustments to ready pieces before sending them off to some application deadlines.

Stockholm was wonderful, but now I have to re-focus on composition, because only one week of this term left and there's still lot’s of work to get done!

Me on a sunny day in Stockholm after rehearsals with Swedish Wind Ensemble.
Photo © Damström