“For Organ And Brass” is a slow renaissance blues harmony composed by Stockholm based Ellen Arkbro. This composition is a result of Ellen Arkbro’s work with meantone temperament and its inherent capabilities for simple yet well-defined patterns of blues harmony. The way in which Arkbro works with tones and their relations is influenced by her studies with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in New York and Marc Sabat in Berlin.
In this year’s festival, Ellen Arkbro will present two of her works from the “For Organ and Brass” series on the very same organ for which this music was originally composed, the Düben organ in the German Church of Gamla Stan, Stockholm. Focusing on tuning, intonation and harmonic modulation, this work explores ways of using the historical renaissance tuning of the organ to find intervals and chords with strong resemblance to the harmonies of traditional blues music. Gradually, this music moves through long tones played by organ, horn, trombone and tuba, where the brass instruments and the organ fall into new patterns of interaction in which new sounds may arise.
Ellen Arkbro is a composer and sound artist primarily working with intervallic harmony in just intonation. Her work includes long duration compositions for ensembles as well as electronic sound environments in the form of installations and live-performances, employing both traditional acoustic instruments as well as digital algorithmic sound synthesis. Most recently, Arkbro released “For Organ and Brass” on Subtext Recordings, a set of recordings of her compositions in just intonation for renaissance organ, horn, trombone and microtonal tuba. In all of her work, Arkbro focuses on the qualities of harmonic sound that reveal listening to be an active process of participatory construction rather than mere observation, inviting the listener to gradually transform into the sound itself.
For Sound of Stockholm’s residency at Tyska Kyrkan, Ellen Arkbro will perform her work together with the Berlin based brass trio Zinc & Copper, who specialise on microtonality and who has collaborated with C.C. Hennix and Christian Wolff, amongst others. As part of the evening, Robin Hayward will present the new solo Alpha Centauri. Programme: – three, Arkbro – Alpha Centauri (25’), Hayward – for organ and brass (20’), Arkbro. Musicians: Ellen Arkbro (organ) Elena Kakaliagou (horn) Hilary Jeffery (trombone) Robin Hayward (microtonal tuba)
As part of the evening, Robin Hayward will present the new work Alpha Centauri for brass trio.
– three, Arkbro
– Alpha Centauri (25’), Hayward
– for organ and brass (20’), Arkbro
Ellen Arkbro (organ)
Elena Kakaliagou (horn)
Hilary Jeffery (trombon)
Robin Hayward (microtonal tuba)