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Program Item

The Swedish Scene – 50 Years EMS Stockholm - Concert II

Sun, June 15, 2014 8:00 pm CEST


The final concert of the festival is dedicated to electroacoustic works by artists such by Jens Hedman, Mats Lindström, Ake Parmerud:

  • Hanna Hartman: Mezcal No. 5
  • Jens Hedman: The Beast with Two Heads
  • Erik Mikael Karlsson: Nacht
  • Åke Parmerud: Raw
  • Roberta Settels: Landscape With 3 Tape-recorders And...

Programme Notes




Roberta Settels (1929–2014) was an American composer. Born in New York, she studied at the Juilliard School of Music and later moved to Europe. She worked during the 1970s and 1980s at EMS in Stockholm, and was also active at Fylkingen during this period. Roberta Settels has also resided partly in France and was during the 1980s active at IRCAM in Paris. In the 1990s she got a scholarship to work with Iannis Xenakis and also built her own studio./// She released the LP Isolation! Meinhof In Memoriam in 1985. The record remains even today as one of the most personal records with electroacoustic music ever produced in Sweden. The work is dedicated to Ulrike Meinhof, and should be seen both politically and as a study in the isolation and silence which Meinhof experienced during her imprisonment./// The LP was initially planned to be released on Rikskonserter‘s label Caprice Records but they stopped the production at the last minute because of the controversial political topic it could be regarded to have. Instead Settels started her own record label, Music in Crisis, on which this LP became the only release. The LP cover is made so that the convolute is folded in a plastic sleeve, screenprinted by hand, with a blood-like red stain partly covering the picture of Settels‘ face./// Landscape with 3 Tape-recorders and... is the first track on this LP.



„You go step by step into the darkness. Movement itself is the only truth.“ says the actor Johan Spegel in Bergman‘s expressionistic film The Face and this quote functions as some kind of motto for the piece Nacht. The music deals with figures in motion, shadows, structures in transformation and dark and dramatized actions./// Nacht was commissioned by Concerts Sweden and composed in Karlsson‘s studio with a Synclavier Digital Audio System in 2004–05.
Erik Mikael Karlsson is a composer of electronic music and radio art. He works at Swedish Radio as project manager responsible for commissions and special events at the music department as well as heading the weekly program Elektroniskt for electronic music and sound art on Swedish Radio‘s classical channel P2. As a composer he has been working on commissions from WDR, INA-GRM, Sonic Arts Network, Danish Cultural Council, Danish Broadcasting Corporation, Concerts Sweden, Swedish Radio, The Cullberg Ballet etc.

ÅKE PARMERUD RAW (2012 | 17‘35‘‘)

Raw was made for an event created by GEIGER, a Swedish organization for new music situated in my home town Gothenburg. I wanted to make a ‚noisy‘ piece
since somehow noise music tends to be a preference in the choise of music presented during the GEIGER events./// The piece was made from one sound source only. The most uncontrollable software synth I ever encountered: Skrewell, a part of Native Instruments‘ collection of instruments. I decided to use the output totally ‚raw‘ as not to try to perfect the sound in any way, not adding any processing, effects or other post treatment of the sound. It finally came out as a kind of composed improvisation where I combined prerecorded material with live performance. Of course it was a complete failure taken as a noise piece. I guess I reached my limits as a musical cameleon in this case, but I am still quite happy with the outcome of a piece created in less than a week...
Åke Parmerud has successfully pursued a professional career in contemporary music and multi-media art since the late 1970s. Although he originally trained as a photographer (1972–74 ) he went on to study music at university and subsequently the Gothenburg Conservatory of Music./// In addition to his electroacoustic and instrumental music, his prolific list of works includes compositions covering a broad cross-section of modern experimental music in the fields of dance, film, interactive art, multi-media, theatre and video./// Åke Parmerud is not just a composer he is also a stage performer, playing electroacoustic concerts using many different types of interactive instruments – often solo. In the late 1980s he teamed-up with composer Anders Blomqvist, and their live performances – which included fireworks – were successful all round Europe well into the 1990s./// The last ten years have seen Åke working as an innovative sound and software designer for interactive audio/visual installations./// Åke’s artistic reputation has led to several creative international collaborations. Between 1999 and 2006 he worked closely with the Danish ‚art team‘ Boxiganga, developing revolutionary interactive video installations plus exploring telematic concepts and interactive solutions for live performances. In 2000, 2001 and 2002 he also worked with Canadian choreographer Pierre-Paul Savoi as composer, sound and software designer./// His most recent stage work Metamorphos was developed together with Canadian dance choreographer Mireille Leblanc who also choreographed the interactive sound/video-installation Lost Angel and the prize-winning dance performance The Seventh Sense./// He recently formed AudioTechture with Olle Niklasson. This is a company specialising in acoustic interior design for diverse environments from private houses to public spaces. He is also a member of an international multi-media/multi-disciplinary arts organisation: Celestial Mekaniks


Solo with tubes, starch, washers, bottles and bolls.


The Beast with Two Heads is a tribute to electroacoustic music and its origin in musique concrète (started by Pierre Schaeffer in France in the 1940s) and Elektronische Musik (composed by Karlheinz Stockhausen and others in the early 1950s). The Beast with Two Heads can be performed as a concert piece or as a sound installation./// The music consists of two separate pieces – one made of concrete material (recorded everyday sounds) and one composed with synthetic sounds from more than 30, old and new, synthesizers. The two pieces can be played separately and also, like here, together. The concrete piece is divided into twelve parts, each one is the interplay of two sound sources. For instance: water–wind, piano–cymbals, voice–drums, rain–helicopters. Hedman used sound sources that have been very popular in electroacoustic music trough the history. The material for the electronic piece comes from his collection of synthesizer sounds and he is very grateful to all the studios and friends letting him use their instruments. The piece is also a deep investigation in surround sound. Some material is recorded in 3D with a technique called Ambisonic. He also used many other multi-channel recording techniques to reproduce the sounds movements and the room acoustics as realistic as possible.


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