Photo: Fredrik Arff
VOCAL CONCERT // LAND OF YOUR LOVE
Folk music's modes and tones are the focal point, as Iranian poems mix with Norwegian folklore during the NJORD Biennale's vocal concert LAND OF YOUR LOVE on Friday 31st January.
This evening's programme is based on the festival composer Lasse Thoresen's love of folk harmonies and his years of collaboration with vocal sextet Nordic Voices and folk singer Berit Opheim Versto.
LAND OF YOUR LOVE
Around 170 years ago, Iranian poet, theologian and women's rights advocate Fatimah Baraghani (1814-1852) lifted the veil from everyone's eyes. It was an act for which she suffered a brutal death. Given the nickname Táhirih - the pure one - she became a symbol of women's struggle in the Middle East to this day. With hindsight, her final words ought to have read "You can kill me, but you can't stop women's liberation."
We begin the evening with Thoresen's latest vocal work LAND OF YOUR LOVE, which is based on two poems by Táhirih and one poem by the Norwegian national poet Henrik Wergeland (1805-1848). Based on the three poems, LAND OF YOUR LOVE examines women's lack of religious and expressive freedom in the world in general - but especially Iran.
Thus, in a distinctive combination of Middle Eastern scales, Norwegian folk tones and poetic modes, LAND OF YOUR LOVE offers a political outcry in modernist tonal language and avant-garde song technique.
VOCAL SEXTET OP. 42
This evening presents, besides LAND OF YOUR LOVE, the movements Solbøn and Himmelske Fader from Thoresen's VOCAL SEXTET OP. 42, which was awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize in 2010. VOCAL SEXTET OP. 42 still continues to represent a vital renewal of vocal-based scored music.
In an unconventional way, VOCAL SEXTET OP.42 both challenges and mirrors the traditions of Nordic vocal music. In its complex sound structures, the work reveals the common denominators of old and ultramodern sounds and draws attention to the similarities between Scandinavian folk and folk music in e.g. the Middle East and India.
VOCAL SEXTET OP. 42 is the epitome of Thoresen's interest for the folk song tradition and simultaneously proves that courage, a fabulous imagination and six excellent singers together form an exceptionally strong trinity.
In the evening, the well-known Norwegian folk singer Berit Opheim will sing excerpts from the soprano solo HELLIGKVAD OP. 19.
LIE DOWN & LISTEN
We end the evening with our new Late Night concert concept LIE DOWN & LISTEN, in which the eminent pianist Tanja Zapolski plays a programme inspired by the great French impressionists.
Read more about LIE DOWN & LISTEN with Tanja Zapolski here.