composer

Torstensson, Klas

Klas Torstensson was born on January 16, 1951, in Nässjö, Sweden. Education Klas Torstensson studied composition at the Ingesunds Musikhögskola (Sweden), musicology at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), and electronic music at ...

related works

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composition

Urban solo : soprano solo (1991), two songs for a soprano playing one bowed crotale (cymbale antique) and two maracas, and who stamps her feet, snaps her fingers and turns around her own axis / Klas Torstensson

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, cop. 1991
Publisher's number: 06368
Genre: Vocal music
Subgenre: Voice solo
Instruments: sopr(perc)
Remarks: Tekst van componist. - Met discografie, lijst van werken en voorw. - Opgedragen aan Charlotte Riedijk. - Tijdsduur: ca. 18'
Duration: 22'00"
Number of players: 1
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Other authors:
Torstensson, Klas (librettist)
Description:
Program note (English): The first song is based on the traditional Lebanese song Abu Zeluf, from which the composer selected the speech-sounds that he found most interesting. The resultant text becomes the subject of a musical investigation of sound possibilities in which the melodic aspect of the typical Arabian vocal ornament (with frenetic trills and descending glissandos) are to a certain extent maintained in a stylized form. Aside from alternating between singing, speaking, whispering, and other techniques, the vocalist also plays the maracas and at ten points in the work bows a cymbale antique, producing a shimmering c-sharp - enchanting moments. Set next to the 'rural poetry' of the first song is the big-city impact of the second. The text is for a part taken from a manual for a computer programme used by Torstensson in Paris (hence, phrases such as drag them, cut them, paste them, click here) and partially taken from female hip-hop groups such as Wee Papa Girl Rappers, who, as many will know,
sample the material of other groups from LPs and CDs (a scream of James Brown, a thundering drum solo of Led Zeppelin's John Bonham, a guitar riff of Nile Rogers). The emphatic, stuttering repetitions of particular words and portions of them also look back upon this same world. The original meaning of the words is in the second movement as well of subsidiary importance, the texts being here fragmented. There are also purely musical references to hip hop. The vocalist speaks her text in a quick tempo and stamps drum-rhythms with her heels and toes that relate to the rap grooves, an aspect of the performance that is as intriguing in the concert hall as it is unusual: the redefinition of the art-song. - Erik Voermans

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