Kuuki no Sukima (2017) 21′ 30”

Conductor Halldis Rønning wearing the Conducting Glove of the ConDiS conducting digital system

Kuuki no Sukima – Between the air
The title can be transcribed literally as “the gap of the air” or even ”in between the air” both very suitable for the composer’s vision of creating a sonic landscape of sounds that are somewhere there, in-between or in the gap of being a sound or a pitched note. If sonority is a vibration of traveling air pressure, could there be a gap?
Could there be a sonic world somewhere there in-between the air?

1st. movement

Niður – Murmur – せせらぎ   Duration c.a. 9 ́00 ́ ́
A soft, indistinct sound made by a person or group of people speaking quietly or at a distance. It could also be linked to nature sounds such as a low continuous sound of the wind murmuring through the trees or an atmospheric sound of a river.

Kuuki no Sukima 1st. movement

2nd. movement

Hviss – Hiss – ビュービュー  Duration c.a. 5 ́30 ́ ́
A soft but still loud gust of wind hissing over the rooftops. It could also be a sound of an object passing by with a sharp short hissing sound. According to the English dictionary, it means as a noun: “a sharp sibilant sound” or as a verb: “make a sharp sibilant sound as of the letter S”

Kuuki no Sukima 2nd. movement

3rd. movement 

Suð – Buzz – ビュービュー  Duration c.a. 8 ́45 ́ ́

A very soft sound like a buzzing sound from electronic hardware like a refrigerator or from an electric light-bulb. English dictionary mentions “the buzz of the bees” which is not quite the right explanation since the bee-buzz is in this case too loud and variant. 

Here the buzzing sound has more a humming sonority.

Kuuki no Sukima 3rd. movement

Hljóðs bið ek (Silence I Ask) – for five instruments (2014) 42′ 20”

AJO Ensemble performing at Kulturhuset, Bodø

For 5 instruments, interactive electronic sounds, and video. Performed by AJO Ensemble at the Raflost Festival in Reykjavik Iceland, Bodø Culture house, and Capitol in Stockholm, May 2014.

Hljóðs bið ek (Silence I ask) for five instruments. Performed by AJO ensemble (Bodø 2014)

Silence I Ask for Voices – For Interactive Conductor and Live Electronics (2013/rev. 2018)

Composer Hilmar Thórdarson conducting the Choir of Kjartan wearing the Conducting Glove.

Written in 2013 for the voices of Choir of Kjartan and premiered the same year at the Rockheim museum in Trondheim.

The text is taken from the first words of the Poetic Edda, Vøluspa that tells the story of the creation and doom of the world.

The mysterious atmosphere of Vøluspa crystallizes in this work by the use of live electronics that respond to the words and volume of the voices. As the singers sing, talk, whispers, etc.… the computer responds with digitally generated effects.

Using a custom-made amplitude envelope follower for analyzing the vocal loudness and controlling the electronics their voices are then transformed via computer to a surround loudspeaker arrangement. 

The singers form a circle around the audience in a group of two with a conductor located mid in the audience. 

As I Stood there conducting on a podium in the middle of the audience the necessity to conduct and control the electronic sound became evident.  What if I could with my conducting gesture mix the sonic balance, bring the electronic volume up and down, change its sonority, and move it around the hall all with my conducting gestures? Creating a conducting tool such as ConDiS became urgent.

Silence I Ask for Voices, interactive conductor, and electronics. Choir of Kjartan,
conductor Hilmar Thórdarson (Rockheim 2018)

Lupus Chorea – for Symphony Orchestra (2006 – 2012) 18′ 30”

Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Conductor Petri Sakari and Composer Hilmar Thórdarson

Lupus Chorea is a massive, aggressive piece with big contrasts of loud and soft sonorities. It is like a long-lasting dance with strong rhythmical patterns and short translucent melodic phrases fading in and out of the ever-changing sonic wall.

Percussion, Trombone, and Tuba are the backbones of the rhythmical structure that runs like a red thread throughout the work. They are evenly spread out across the stage, creating a rhythmical panning effect that is so important for this work.

Woodwinds appear with fast musical gestures, like a bulletproof sound pannel, creating a glittering effect of motion going nowhere. Meanwhile, the strings are like backdrop curtains, fluctuating in the evening breeze, calm and mysterious.

Like the Völva in Völuspá in the poems of Edda, the Celesta repeats continuously its theme;

“Well, would you know more?”.

(“Vitið þér enn eða hvað?”).

Somewhere out there the Wolfes are dancing.

Lupus Chorea – Wolf dance. Performed by the Iceland Symphony orchestra (Harpa 2015)

Arctic Circles (2013)     12´50”

Bodø Sinfonietta, Conductor Peter Szilvay performing Arctic Circles at Illios Festival in Harstad

Concert for Percussion and Orchestra. Premier performance by Bodø Sinfonietta and percussionist Jennifer Torrance at the Illios Festival, Harstad, January 2014.

Arctic Circles – Bodø Sinfonietta. Performed at Ilios Festival, Harstad 2014

Cycles I – for Flute, Clarinet and Cello (2010)    8´10”

Defun Ensemble performing Cycles I at the Nordic Music Days, Helsinki 2013

Trio for interactive flute, clarinet, cello, and real-time sound processing computer sounds.
Performed by the Finnish Ensemble Defun at the Sláturtíð Festival in Reykjavik, October 2010 and Nordic Music Festival, Helsinki, October 2013.

Cycles I – Defun Ensemble. Performed at Sláturtíd Festival, Reykjavík 2010

The Migrant Bird (Children Opera)
(2009-10) 41´00”

Chamber Opera with live computer processing sounds.
Performed by Strengjaleikhúsið at the Dark Music Days Festival in Reykjavik, January 2010.

The Migrant Bird – Children Opera. Performed at Dark Music Days, Salurinn 2010

The Migrant Bird, Children Opera. Performed at Salurinn Music Hall, Kópavogur 2010

Goblins from the Land of Ice (1993-95) 90´00”

Interactive multimedia work for the Japan/American Harupin Ha Butoh Dance Theatre. Live interactive sound and video.  Performed in various theatres among them Theatre Artaud in San Francisco, Theatre Merlan in Marseille, and Theatre Chateaubrion in Toulon, France.

Goblins from the Land of Ice, poster (1994)