Jesper Nordin (1971)

Calm like a bomb (2000)

for violin and electronics

electronic work

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2000
    • Duration: 10 mn
    • Publisher: Edition Suecia
    • Commission: Les Concerts Suédois
  • Type
    • Solo (excluding voice) [Violin]

Premiere information

  • Date: 2000

    Suède, Stockholm, Nalen


    Daniel Frankel.

Information on the electronics
Electronic device: dispositif électronique non spécifié

Program note

We often hear that in the aftermath of an explosion or a similar extreme shock, there reigns a strange silence: a sort of inner, timeless silence that drowns out the outer tumult. The title "calm like a bomb" calls to mind that type of contradictory phenomenon. And in the sensual central part of this work time does indeed seem to stand still.

Jesper Nordin borrowed the title from a track by the group “Rage against the machine”. It was written for violin and tape, the tape part consisting of arrangements of improvisations and variations on a lullaby. Here, Nordin has edited material from the folk/rock musician Fredrik Lindqvist, violinist Daniel Frankel and the folk singer Sofia Karlsson, whose voice and vocal technique play an important role in defining the character of the music.

As the music passes into the final section, it does so through the emergence of a kind of tick-tock, mechanical music, and with this slightly limping march of alternating meters and accents, calm like a bomb ends in something reminiscent of a more “urban” sound milieu. For Nordin himself, "calm like a bomb" was a seminal work on the route towards an individual idiom. The piece has been played at a number of international festivals and has been awarded several prizes.

Tony Lundman.