Nine Waves

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Release: February 9, 2021, featuring Nordic String Quartet
Commissioned by Messer Quartet
The music is composed with support from the Danish Arts Foundation
World premiere: November 12, 2014, by Messer Quartet, at VinterMusikFestival, Birkerød, Denmark

The work Nine Waves consists of nine movements, which refer to the nine types of waves, which are personified in Rán and Ægir’s virgin billow daughters.

Quiet – Himinglæva
Intersection A
Flow – Hrönn
Intersection B
Deep – Dúfa
Intersection C
Crashing – Uðr
Intersection D
Dark – Kólga

In Norse mythology, Ægir is a sea giant, 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, whose names are:

Bára (or Dröfn, wave)
Blóðughadda (the one with blood-red hair – the color of the waves after a naval battle)
Bylgja (to billow, or big wave)
Dúfa (the pitching wave)
Hefring (the surging wave)
Himinglæva (the wave that reflects the light of the sky, the heaven-shining one, the transparent one)
Hrönn (the grasping wave)
Kólga (the chilling wave)
Unnr (or Uðr, wave, the frothing wave)

According to Fundinn Noregr (the foundation of Norway, Norse mythology), Ægir is a son of the giant Fornjótr and brother of Logi (“fire”) and Kari (“wind”).