French flute ensemble l’Orchestre de Flūtes Franēais - l’OFF - has decided to devote time and effort to focus on the Nordic timbre. Norwegian composer Ida Helene Heidel and l’OFF founder and artistic director Pierre Yves Artaud have collaborated with the intent of featuring four original compositions by four individual Norwegian composers at a premiere at Paris’ Salle Cortot on Thu 21st of January 2010.
The Salle Cortot concert is a French-Norwegian collaboration project with an emphasis on Norway and Norwegian contemporary music in particular. A musical encounter with a trio of common denominators; the flute, the French timbre - which has been an source of fascination for Norwegian composers for centuries and, finally, the Nordic timbre which has had the reciprocal effect on many French composers and performers. One might speak of a Franco/Norwegian timbre union?
The four featured Norwegian composers have been selected based on their Franco ties and their relationship to this universe of timbre - all with highly individual approaches to sound.
Olav Anton Thommessen represents a well-established and respected generation while the younger generations are represented by Ųyvind Torvund and Emil Bernhardt – both featured through the (MIC-coordinated launch/promotion project) Intro Composer programme.
In terms of compositional generations, Ida Helene Heidel is located halfway between Thommessen and Torvund/Bernhardt. Heidel is currently in the process of establishing herself as a composer. She is also a flutist and lived for 7 years in Paris in the 1980s, where she studied and played jazz. During this period, she became acquainted with Pierre Yves Artaud, during a study stay at IRCAM. She performed at the l’OFF debut concert broadcast by Radio France in 1986.
Olav Anton Thommessen work is titled "Felix relics re-mix" and reveals the composer's admiration for Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy elegant works: "I think that a flute orchestra is a perfect vehicle for realization of Mendelssohn’s rich world of timbre."
Ida Helene Heidel "Volatil" for flute and orchestra tape is based on ideas about capturing the ephemeral and events in parallel atmospheres. Where Marcel Proust speaks of the distinctive and volatile in the memory of bygone happiness, Heidel bases her work on the distinctive and volatile memory as such, the traces of impressions and feelings and how this relates to the time.
Ųyvind Torvund piece "Winter Collage" consists of archetypal melodies, a small collection of "musical jungle", radio waves and hidden folk tunes.
Emil Bernard's contribution, "Trois tableaux", consists of three different fields, material types or textures, without internal dramaturgical development. Themes or subjects do not develop. Rhythmic and harmonious coordination is replaced by the more or less random procedures for placement of events.
The featured works have been commissioned by the Norwegian Society of Composers with support awarded by the Arts Council Norway, NOTAM and MIC. Taped material is made in cooperation with the NOTAM. The premiere of the works is supported by The Norwegian Embassy in Paris
The Norwegian Embassy in Paris’ presentation of the event can be read here.