Vals från Rundvik

This year I have really taken to the viola. I started playing about four years ago, but have been practising with much more determination this year, and this summer I joined with a local folk music ensemble. I have been playing a lot of Swedish folk music, particularly for dancing.

Well, now I have my first waltz. I will record it and post it here in the next few days.

Recordings from SLC performance of two songs

Margot Glassett Murdoch and I performed these songs in Salt Lake City on September 20th, and then we took the same songs to Christian Asplund’s Avant GaRawge on September 29th. These are the recordings from the first performance. Enjoy!

Good, Right and Welcome:

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Frid: [translation of the Swedish: You and I, Peace, I feel peace, for you and I belong together. How could anybody get in between us? How can anybody believe that will be possible? I used to believe that my space became smaller when you came into my life. You and I, Peace, I feel peace, for you and I belong together. I used to believe that you had taken over and I did not fit into my own life. But you have expanded my soul. You have made life larger. You and I, we pull the tapestry of life itself.]

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A new song at the Avant GaRawge Post Confrince Fireside

The last few days I have been writing a new song. It is called “Inner Singing” and I am excited to announce that Michelle Flowers, the trombonist, will be playing the other part. I started writing songs for soprano and trombone in 2005; it has become one of the orchestrations I enjoy coming back to.

Christian Asplund is the host at this event as well. I quote the text of the event invitation from Facebook:

Post Confrince Music/Poetic Fireside at
The Avant GaRawge
1182 Locust Circle (please enter thru back door of garage), Provo
Sunday 6 October 2013
8:30 pm

Music/Words:
Gavin Ryan
FunCoffin
Logan Hone
Aaron and Jesse’s Magical Sound Circus
and more!

The Avant GaRawge’s sophomore outing is at hand. The first edition was wonderful and included profound and engaging performances from Luke Swensen, Margot Murdoch, Ellinor Petersen, and others and a really fun vibe and post performance conversation. Please join us again.

Performing in Provo at Avant Garawge

Margot Glassett Murdoch and I will be performing a couple of my songs again on Sunday the 29th of September, at 8:30 pm at Avant Garawge, 1182 Locust Circle, Provo. Contributions welcome.

Christian Asplund is the host of this event.

Participating in Free Composers Showcase in Salt Lake City

I will be singing the songs “Good, right and welcome” and “Frid”, now arranged as two duets for sopranos a cappella, together with Margot Glassett Murdoch tonight at the Free Composers Showcase in Salt Lake City. It takes place at the Ladies Literary Club on 850 East South Temple, at 7:30 pm, and tickets are free.

Margot has written a trio for three sopranos and toy glockenspiel, toy piano and toy xylophone. Crystal Young-Otterstrom, Margot, and I will be performing Margot’s piece.

Magnificat for Trombone Choir to be premiered

On April 16th, on Brass Night at the University of Maine, my piece “Magnificat” for Trombone Choir will be premiered, under the direction of Dr. Dan Barrett. It takes place in the Minsky Recital Hall at 7:30.

This piece was originally written for voices, but will first be heard in this setting – played by trombones, euphonium and tuba.

It is based on the text in Luke where Mary praises the Lord for His mercies, however, in this format, it is completely instrumental.

I find that often music is all that is needed when expressing deep emotions.

The performance of Probably Alright Now – recorded

The premiere of the brass piece “Probably Alright Now” took place last week in Maine and here is a recording of that piece.

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The sheet music is available from Svensk Musik.

The performance of a composer’s music is the meaning of our writing, what gives us energy to continue with our creating.

Disentangling the vision

One reason that I haven’t been posting here very frequently the last several months is that I have been struggling to write a song. I wanted to get it just right. There are several versions of it, in particular text versions, before they got to the “song versions”.

Then one night, when I lay sleepless in bed, I resolved that now was the time to get it all straightened out.

I wrote much about a concept in my Honors thesis at Brigham Young University, which entailed writing and developing a music drama, producing and directing it, and afterwards theorizing about the process. The music drama was called “The Exchange.” What I learned from that process is that it required many tries before it came out right. I had a vision of what I wanted to communicate, but the first attempts just didn’t match with what I had in mind, often termed “a director’s vision” (but perhaps I could call it “creator’s vision” since it is applicable to composing or writing or directing anything and probably much more). However, this vision is for me usually at first clouded, mixed up and not at all clear.

Well, with these songs, I initially wrote one text, but I knew that it was “wrong” or “not ringing true to my vision”. It was like this with “The Exchange” also, I had to throw out the first material – before I had uncovered or disentangled the underlying vision of the communication I wished to make.

In this case, what I thought would be one song actually spawned three works – one song in Swedish called “Frid” (“Peace”), one song in English called “Good, right and welcome” (which title and message I found in my notes was inspired by Jean Liedloff in “The Continuum Concept“), and a duet for trumpet and trombone with the same title and same melodic material with some variation to it. The songs are written for soprano and trombone.

It seems that it often takes several attempts to uncover the true identity of this initial idea, before it rings true to the feeling I want to communicate. I am planning on singing these songs for a Swedish audience in Hörnefors on November 15th with Anna Sjödin, trombone.

Premiere of “Probably Alright Now” at UMaine

I got word last week that Svensk Musik will sponsor me to come out to the premiere of “Probably Alright Now”, a piece of roughly seven minutes for three trumpets and four trombones. It will be performed at the University of Maine on the Women Composer’s Concert, by the Maine Trombone Collective and trumpet players from the University of Maine.

It takes place in the Minsky Recital Hall on October 24th at 7:30 pm and is announced on the UMaine Low Brass Studio website.

It is also announced where the sheet music will be published by Svensk Musik.

This picture I took close to our home this summer, looking towards the sea from the top of a hill.

A Cold Wind

Recently I have been working on a string quintet, and the first movement was completed today.

I call it “A Cold Wind”, it runs approximately 4½ minutes, and it is looking for some string players to realise it. Two violins, one viola, and two cellos.

Contact me if you would like to take a look at it.

The picture is from a recent trip I took to the Netherlands. This is Kinderdijk, close to Rotterdam.