BLEST! – ARKTISK SINFONIETTA
The title «Blest» is an invitation to contemplation on mans relationship with the elements. The word «blest» represents strong wind or storm, which makes us assosiate to arctic nature and culture, but also contains a universal importance. The context breath and wind is explored in «Blest». That does also imply a transferred meaning to the context man and nature.
«Blest» is comissioned by Arctic sinfonietta, and is written to be a unique common ground for profiled musicians in the Tromsø-region. In a genre-crossing cooperation, artistic director and trumpet player Sten Ivar Frydenlund and percussionist Odd Kyrre Alsvik invitee guitar player Hallgeir Pedersen and saxophone player Ola Rokkones to explore new soundscapes. The young Tromsø DJ Torje Fagertun Spilde will, in colloboration with the composer, work with the sounds of nature to develop rythmical soundscapes. Cathedral organ player Hijoo Moon is given freedom to improvise. The composer, Knut Vaage, will be leading the performance and contribute with colorful pianoplaying. Children from the local arts school contribute with instruments and organ pipes, and read texts on wind and nature by recently deceased Tromsø-writer Eva Jensen.
The Cathedral organ is recently restored en expanded to become a unique instrument wit exceptional technical possibilities. The organist has kept hundreds of old organ pipes, and a selection will be used to create a distinctive sound pallet. In addition to theyre instrumental contributions, the players will also perform soloes on the pipes. The children will instruct the audience to join in on playing the pipes at a certain spot in the performance. The effect of every individual present creating sound will be a powerfull reminder of the forces of nature, and places us all in the center of the sound.
Arctic sinfonietta has performed Knut Vaages music on several occations, both locally and abroad.
In «Blest», composer and musician explores new terrain in the borderline between improvisation and composition, with material especially developed for the Tromsø Cathedral. The acoustics of the church is highly suitable for subtile sounds as well as dramatic highlights.
The premier performance is at Tromsø international church festival in octobre 2018, and is supported by the Arts council Norway