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Edition Wilhelm Hansen
Photo © Eli Berge
Henrik Hellstenius loves sound. At the risk of stating the obvious, the composer’s love of sound defines his work. Hellstenius is a composer who writes music for his own times, with all the hunger for knowledge of a researcher, the playfulness of a child, and a performer’s instinct for the sensuous in every strike, stroke and breath.
In an age when several composers make connections with, quote from or otherwise emphasize their break with European musical tradition, Hellstenius allows himself to draw inspiration from the expressions of his own time. His poetics arise only to a limited degree through a dialogue with musical history. The composer neither actively pursues atonality and serialism as a system, nor does he set himself up in opposition to modern aesthetics, as he considers the post-modern use of material from the music of previous centuries to be of limited interest. Hellstenius’s language takes shape during his investigation of sound, movement, rhythm and silence, and in his meetings with instruments and his working partners. Hellstenius has been active as a composer in Norwegian dance and theatre.