Five Vignettes from Norwegian Nature

Last year I was asked to write a piece for a Norwegian saxophonist studying in Copenhagen. He was looking for new music from each of the Scandinavian countries, and I decided to make my contribution a homage to the beautiful nature that Norway has to offer. Thus I drew inspiration from traditional folk music, as well as the majestic images of mountains, fjords and valleys across the Norwegian landscape.

This piece has five movements and each has an illustrating title, creating a narrative sequence of movements. A vignette is a brief evocative description, account or episode. This produced a challenge in the sense that I had to be musically brief and technically concrete withing the span of a short movement. This in addition to the challenge of creating appropriate soundscapes and colors.

The five movements are:
I. Views over the Fjord
II. Winter scenery
III. Nora at the farm
IV. The Midnight Sun over the Finnmark Highlands
V. Autumn rain at the southern coast

An other interesting fact to note is the fact that the last four movements has rather specific seasons attached to themselves. Second movement is a winter movement with the original title “Snow covered mountains and icy waters”, and then follows a spring movement, a clear summer movement and autumn at last.

In the description of each video you will find a small account on the program of each movement and also which folk tunes that where incorporated to the compositions. The recording is either MIDI or performed (rather badly) by myself and a brilliant pianist called Marit Bjerkreim.

Enjoy!

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