Øyvind Torvund: Neon Forest Space (2009) Assembly Hour – 23 October – Malak Gabr Theater

Øyvind Torvund: Neon Forest Space (2009)
An open approach to the constitutive parts of a work of music is of fundamental importance for the Norwegian composer Øyvind Torvund (b. 1976).

Listen to this extraordinary music on April 30th in Cairo
for clarinet, guitar, percussion, cello and tape
performed by asamisimasa

Øyvind Torvund is acting coherently, when he uses an Iggy Pop quote for the title his piece Neon Forest Space for clarinet, percussion, guitar, violoncello and tape: “The neon forest is my home.”
Moreover the composer makes sound very easy, what needs very exact preparation regarding the instrumental setting for the performance. Every sound in the seven sections of Neon Forest Space is described accurately in the score. The title of the first movement “21 waves trio” is telling: the cello plays 21 wave-like motifs, accompanied by a transistor radio that produces – tuned inbetween stations – white noise through a mixer and a whammy pedal. The percussion gives the cello-waves an extra splash, when they break. In “Beamed through tradition” the clarinet-etudes stand their ground against a noisy tape-glissando and are enriched by the sound of the electric guitar. The cello’s almost shyly acting long notes in “(-and further)” are interrupted by a spray can. The clarinet on the other hand goes with the spray of the can in “On my way, on your way.”. In broken arpeggi both instruments are joined by a growling sound of the percussion on every first beat. “Multiple Slått” sounds like a folk tune in clarinet and cello, the percussion section counterpoints the traditional sounding melodies with noises resembling a cartoon. The “Space Corner” is full of noise: the main instrument here is a plastic water bottle with a contact microphone, which is hit with a mallet. At the same time the beat is distorted creating a deep bass sound. The accompanying e-guitar and tape are prepared in different ways as well. After the ruthless noise of movement no. 6 the last movement “forest space/neon bright” reclaims the light and natural sounds of the forest. The clarinet leads all the phrases like in a call-response with the tape.

Listen to more music by Øyvind Torvund