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In the summer of 2016, I wrote a piece for two violins and flute. A warm day in August, some friends and I went out in a garden in Darmstadt, Germany and performed the piece. It was not a concert; there was no stage and no introductory announcement was given. After having played the piece three times at three different locations in the park, we packed our things together and went for lunch. The piece consists of short musical events separated by long gaps of inactivity (silence).

I wanted the music to mingle unobtrusively with the sounds of the garden. By not creating a continuous web of sound with the instruments, as one normally would expect from music, and by always letting the music disappear into silence at unexpected places, my listening experience became that of a calm awareness of the entire field of sound around me. The sounds from the everyday become part of the music; an old man drove by on his bicycle and by the fountain were people playing games. In one of the silences, a church bell sounds in the same key as the music (it is F major). When a musical fragment arose from this field of ordinary summer noises, an acute sense of its ephemeral and dreamlike quality emerged with it, and I was reminded of Gyalse Togme’s instruction: “When encountering a beautiful object, One should consider it to be like a rainbow in summertime”.

About the Author
Kristofer Svensson

Kristofer Svensson

Kristofer Svensson is a Swedish composer and kecapi-musician who writes for classical Asian and European instruments. His music is characterized by quietness, silence, stillness and frugality. He had the honor of studying with many great masters in many traditions; Sundanese music with Dody Satya Ekagustiman, Chinese gǔqín with Yung Hak-Chi, Japanese shakuhachi with Gunnar Jinmei Linder and composition with Mamoru Fujieda. His music has been performed by luminaries such as Quator Bozzini (CA), Mats Persson (SE), Hong Kong New Music Ensemble (HK) and Contemporaneous (US).

Photo by Anja, Germany.

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