Fröst, Salonen and Nordin
During the performance of Emerging from Currents and Waves, the roles of Martin Fröst and Esa-Pekka Salonen will be expanded through the use of Jesper Nordin’s invention, the Gestrument (Gesture Instrument), a digital composition tool and motion-based instrument. In addition to being the soloist and conductor respectively, they will control the virtual orchestra and the interactive lighting installation that is suspended above the stage. Using advanced technology and stage design, everything that happens electronically is visualized in real time.
When you stand very close to something that is transforming, or when you are in the middle of a process, you are rarely able to predict where it will lead. You might be able to imagine some of the implications, but you will not know for sure until afterwards. The emergence of social media, virtual reality and artificial intelligence is changing not only our culture, but our entire society, and those of us who exist in the midst of that process have limited possibilities to predict the outcome.
The amazing thing about art is that you can ask questions and conjure up visions at the same time. Where is art heading? Can the seemingly endless possibilities of technology also be a bridge to the depth of tradition? In what ways will art, artistic expression and the opportunities for practising it, be affected by new technology? Will the potential birth of artificial intelligence be as large an evolutionary leap as life emerging from the oceans?
This is what Jesper Nordin himself writes about Emerging from Currents and Waves, which is part of a larger collaboration between Nordin, Fröst and Salonen where they explore the interaction between man, music and technology in a variety of contexts.
The innovative composition and improvisation tool, Gestrument, was originally invented by Jesper Nordin for his own composing. When universities and conservatories around the world became interested in it, he developed an app that anyone can download and use. What is particular about the software is that it exists in the boundary between an instrument and a composition, and likewise between what and how much we can control in a digital environment, and what we relinquish once we have established the rules.
The software is pre-set using what Nordin himself calls the “musical DNA”: rhythms, scales, melodies and sounds. Based on those parameters, the Gestrument can then be played, like an instrument. In parts of the piece, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra will be recorded in real time, sampled, and then played back using motion sensors – also controlled from the podium by Esa-Pekka Salonen. In addition to the coupling of acoustic and digital instruments, there is also a profound encounter between different art forms. Martin Fröst’s movements, when he plays the Gestrument, have been developed by a choreographer and with the help of a stage designer and a visual programmer, everything that happens electronically is portrayed in real time in the interactive installation.
Emerging from Currents and Waves is a work commissioned by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, IRCAM and the French Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and was written specially by Jesper Nordin for Martin Fröst and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra serves as a symphony orchestra for the whole of Sweden. Regardless of where you live you can listen to the orchestra’s concerts through the Swedish Radio’s broadcasts or on their website, and several concerts are also shown on Swedish Television. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is one of the best and most versatile orchestras in Europe – perhaps even in the world. Every year they perform well-loved works from the classical repertoire as well as new music by exciting contemporary composers such as Victoria Borisova-Ollas, Magnus Lindberg and Unsuk Chin. In addition they perform music from popular films and computer and video games and collaborate with leading jazz, pop and rock artists in a constant endeavour to develop and to break new ground.
Esa-Pekka Salonen is constantly challenging and renewing art music’s role and place in society. He is the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, Conductor Laureate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Composer in Residence at the New York Philharmonic. In addition, he is an artistic partner to the Finnish National Opera and Ballet, where he will conduct Wagner’s entire suite, Der ring des Nibelungen as well as contributing his own works to the repertoire. Salonen is also behind a groundbreaking app that lets the user explore orchestral music in depth, as well as an advisor to a research project aiming to develop music as medicine. Esa-Pekka Salonen is one of the co-founders of the Baltic Sea Festival and has been on the festival’s artistic committee since its inception.
Martin Fröst is one the most eminent virtuosos of his instrument. He performs all over the globe, not only with the traditional repertoire but also with works written specially for him. He is currently continuing his artistic collaboration with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota and will be launching the Retropia project, a sequel to the critically acclaimed Genesis. Fröst is also Artist-in-Residence at L’Auditori in Barcelona, a position he previously held at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and at London’s Wigmore Hall. Beginning in the autumn of 2019, Martin Fröst will be the chief conductor of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.
When he was awarded the Grand Christ Johnson Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, Jesper Nordin was described as “a sound magician, who explores and expands the acoustic space with originality and an uncompromising curiosity”. His works are performed by the world’s foremost ensembles, such as the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Dutch Asko|Schönberg, Ensemble l’Itinéraire in Paris and many others. Elektro-acoustic elements frequently play a prominent role in his music and he is also the creator of the “Gestrument”, an app-based composing and improvisation tool. Nordin has been presented with many awards for his music, which has been recorded on Swedish Radio’s own record label, as well as on Phono Suecia.
Concert length: 1 h 20 min
FESTIVAL OFFER (Östersjöklippet)
With the Baltic Sea Festival Offer (Östersjöklippet), you get three different levels at a discount – 10, 15 and 20% off the regular fare depending on whether you buy three, four or five different concerts at the same time.