Simon Steen-Andersen (1976)

In Spite Of, And Maybe Even Therefore (2007)

for three amplified instruments and four non-amplified instruments

electronic work

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2007
    • Duration: 9 mn
    • Publisher: Edition·S
    • Commission: NJÚTON
Detailed formation
  • flute [amplifiée] , horn [amplifié] , clarinet [amplifiée] , contrabassoon [non-amplifié] , piano [non-amplifié] , percussionist [non-amplifié] , double bass [non-amplifiée]

Premiere information

  • Date: 5 February 2008

    Islande, Reykjavik, "Dark Music Days"



Information on the electronics
Electronic device: amplification


Titre original : In Her Frown.

Program note

The piece mainly consists of two musics that are both being build and destroyed at the same time. The first process is a quasi unison music played fortissimo by the unamplified instruments in the back; closed piano, double bassoon, double bass/cello and percussion. The very beginning of this sequence is repeated over and over in a small loop, slowly getting longer and longer, revealing more and more of the sequence. At the same time this music is interrupted by breaks or inserts of the other music (played by the amplified flute, clarinet and horn). In the beginning it is only seldom interrupted and only for very short durations. Slowly the interruptions come more and more often and they get longer and longer. Just before the sequence is finally revealed in its whole, the intervals between the interruptions get shorter than the length of the sequence, and thus we never get to hear the complete sequence uninterrupted. Soon the interruptions take over and the sequence gets more and more fragmented and ends up being only short echoes of the beginning. The second process is one of Beethoven’s Piano Bagatels opus 126 played ultra pianissimo by the amplified flute, clarinet and horn sitting at tables in the front. To begin with they only play one chord at the time every now and then, but slowly the chords come closer. In the beginning one only realizes, that it is tonal music, and that the chords are getting closer and closer. At one point we realize that the chords will eventually get so close, that they will form a tonal music or chord progression. But each time a chord is played, a piece of one of the instruments is being dismantled, eventually making the chords harder and harder to play in tune. Exactly at the point where the chords finally come together, the instruments are completely taken apart, leaving only bits and pieces on the tables in front of the musicians. The musicians try very hard to play the Beethoven on the bits, but the original music almost disappears in the sound of picking up and putting down the pieces, and the noisy and out of tune alternative ways of playing the notes. After a while the tones disappear leaving only the sounds of the “choreography” needed to perform these notes. Out of this “musical ruin” the music attempts to build up new relations and new ways of creating continuity, but this attempted continuity is slowly being destroyed by freezes getting longer and longer.