Monthly Focus

February 2021: Textures & Mosaics, volume 2

Now is the score of Textures & Mosaics, volume 2 available at Edition•S. Many thanks to David Rosing-Schow for his enormous work doing the layout so nicely. It has been a fantastic journey through these years composing the 34 minutes of music and developing the MaxMSP programming, descriptions and documentation.

Please listen to the amazing ACME string quartet on this recording we did in Bunker Studio, Brooklyn,

and have a look at the score:

Textures & Mosaics is music for string quartet and live electronics (MaxMSP) composed by Ejnar Kanding. The pieces express a nordic atmosphere which is underlined in the subtitles Obscure Transparence and Sensitive Shades.

Textures & Mosaics is recorded by ACME String Quartet (NYC) in Bunker Studio, Brooklyn, May 2019. Production, mix, and master by Ejnar Kanding. The music is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation.

Obscure Transparence refers to the morning fog covering a marsh during sunrise as the sun slowly penetrates and the light is separated into a plentitude of dancing drops. Sensitive Shades can picture the richness of the colours in the sky of a melancholic sunset. The music is progressive uniting electronic and acoustic sound in complex textures, bodily energy, and delicate simplicity. It pushes the boundaries of the beautiful and insists on being static in a way in which it leans toward the dark ambient music genre.

The ambient and the static are explored through complex or multifaceted textures. Every movement focuses on either texture or mosaic in its essence. The texture-pieces are characterized by a conjunctive line in a multi-layered structure while the mosaic movements (Mosaico) focus on isolated fragments, appearing in diverse surroundings or merely existing as a purpose on its own.

Textures & Mosaics is a work series of independent pieces of varying formation which when performed together constitute a coherent entity. The first, third, and fifth movements are composed for four strings titled Obscure Transparence 1-3, while the second movement is a trio for violin, viola, and cello, and the fourth movement is a duo for viola (or violin) and cello titled Sensitive Shades 1-2.

  • Mosaico 2 – Obscure Transparence 1 (2013) – string quartet & Max
  • Commissioned by and dedicated to JACK quartet. Supported by the Danish Arts Foundation. World premiere at The Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen, November 7, 2013, by JACK quartet. Dur. 11′
  • Texture 2 – Sensitive Shades 1 (2016) – string trio & Max
  • Commissioned by SIGGI quartet (ISL) and dedicated to ACME quartet. Supported by the Danish Arts Foundation. World premiere at Le Poisson Rouge, NYC, October 6, 2016, by ACME quartet. Dur. 7′
  • Texture 3 – Obscure Transparence 2 (2017) – string quartet & Max
  • Commissioned by SONAR Quartett (DE) and dedicated to ACME quartet. Supported by the Danish Arts Foundation. World premiere at Le Poisson Rouge, NYC, May 7, 2019, by ACME quartet. Dur. 8′
  • Mosaico 3 – Sensitive Shades 2 (2018) – string duo & Max
  • for viola, cello and live electronics (Max) or for violin, cello, and live electronics (Max). World premiere at Admiral Gjeddes Gaard, Holbergsalen, November 17, 2018 by Helianne Blais, violin and Ida Nørholm, cello. Dur. 5′
  • Texture 5 – Obscure Transparence 3 (2016) – string quartet & Max
  • Commissioned by SIGGI quartet (ISL) and dedicated to ACME quartet. Supported by the Danish Arts Foundation. World premiere at Le Poisson Rouge, NYC, October 6, 2016, by ACME quartet. Dur. 3′

The structure and idea of Textures and Mosaics, volume 1 and 2 are similar apart from the instrumentation. As a whole, they constitute a work cycle on ten movements: Texture 1-5 and Mosaico 1-5. The instrumentation has the same structure in both volumes: Volume 1 is for chamber ensemble: clarinet (Bb, bass), percussion, piano, violin, cello, and live electronics. The first, third, and fifth movement is for a full ensemble, while the second is a duo, and the fourth a trio. This also applies to the durations, which are 11, 7, 8, 5, and 3 minutes, counting 34 minutes in total for each volume. Any combination of the movements works well for a performance.

Furthermore Obscure Transparence 1-3 constitute Kanding’s String Quartet No. 5.

January 2021: Schichtstruktur (2016), premiered by Richard Krug, cello, in January 2017

Schicht is German and means layer, deposit, field. The title refers to several layers or depositions in a structure, that in this piece creates a field of three developments with a common harmonic structure. My approach to live electronics in this piece is, that no other sound occurs than, what is derived directly from the played cello. What is heard comes from the cello, nothing else sounds. It shows, how amazing the computer in real-time can contribute to musical expression.

My piece is dedicated to the cellist Richard Krug, who premiered it in the Copenhagen Phil concert Friday, January 27, 2017, at the concert hall of the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Written with support from the Danish Arts Foundation and Copenhagen Phil. Cover photo by Anne Sandner.

December 2020: My latest album at Soundcloud uploaded March 2020

December 2020: The single Nine Waves – Deep

Available at Spotify and Apple Music from December 4, 2020

Nine Waves – Deep is the third movement of the work Nine Waves featuring Nordic String Quartet.

The title Nine Waves refers to the nine types of waves, who are the maidens of Ægir and Rán. In Norse mythology, Ægir is a sea giant, the god of the ocean and king of the sea. Ægir’s wife is Rán the sea goddess. She is by Ægir mother of nine billow maidens. One of these waves, that I am composing in Nine Waves – Deep is called Himinglæva; it means ‘the heaven-shining one, the transparent one’. Focus is the static sound, constantly mirrored in the reverberation. Behind the transparency, one can sense the eternal.

Nine Waves is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation.