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Magnus Lindberg

Publisher: Chester Music

Related Rocks (1997)
commissioned by IRCAM
Chester Music Ltd
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
18 Minutes

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Programme Note
Magnus Lindberg Related Rocks (1997)
Related Rocks for two pianos, two percussionists and electronics was commissioned by IRCAM and the Musica Festival, Strasbourg. It was realised at IRCAM with Serge Lemouton, musical assistant, and at the experimental studio of the Finnish Radio with Juhani Liimatainen, the composer's long-standing assistant. The world première took place at IRCAM on 24th June 1997. The work has also been included in the choreography for the Rosas company, Just Before, by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.
Magnus Lindberg freely admits that the gestation of Related Rocks was not easy. In recent years, he has written several pieces for large orchestras or ensembles, but no chamber music to speak of.
It is not only the line-up which has made necessary a certain re-orientation, but also the way the electronic component is included. Although Lindberg tends to compose on a computer and uses computer-assisted composition (CAC) software - particularly Patchwork and its derivatives - he has not used electronic sounds since Joy for large ensemble and electronics in 1989-90.
"When I write for a large orchestra, my starting point consists of very precise structures. But paradoxically, with electronics I work far more intuitively," says Lindberg. The final decisions are arrived at through trial and error. The piece was thought-out partly in Helsinki and partly at IRCAM. These twin geographical poles enabled him to enjoy the isolation and calm of his studio while remaining in contact with the latest developments in musical computing.
The task of designing the computer framework and tools was carried out at IRCAM, as were the procedures which called for specific computer tools. Along with Lemouton, Lindberg was notably initiated into the diphône technique, which had only recently been introduced by IRCAM's Analysis I Synthesis team. After design periods in Paris, Lindberg went on working with his material in Helsinki, either at home or at Finnish Radio's experimental studio (YLE).
"The diphône environment enables us to analyse sounds in a way that facilitates interesting, gradual transitions between sounds. We may start with a sample of a Chinese cymbal sound, for example, which imperceptibly transforms itself into an orchestral chord," Lindberg explains.
Despite the relatively complex procedures used to produce the piece, Lindberg was keen for the technical apparatus to remain simple during performance. He uses two samplers to trigger the sounds he has worked on in the studio, which are stored on the computer. In addition, the two pianists both have synthesizers. The instrumentalists set up continua, a concept which Lindberg studies in depth in this piece: what internal life can be distinguished in a sound or texture? How do we move from one situation to another in time?
Magnus Lindberg wrote this work with the Ictus piano-percussion quartet in mind, a group he met in Brussels at a concert devoted to his music in 1996.

© Risto Nieminen 1997 and 2000, translated by Nick Le Quesne

CD instruction booklet

  • 21 MAY 2018
    Symphony Center, Chicago, IL
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
  • 29 MAR 2017
    Auditorio del Conservatorio Superior de Música de Castilla y León [Salamanca]
    Orquesta del Conservatorio Superior de Música de Castilla y León
    Guy Feder, conductor
  • 29 MAR 2017
    Salamanca Conservatoire, Spain
    Salamanca Conservatoire Alumni Orchestra
    Guy Feder, conductor
  • 13 MAY 2016
    Berlin, Germany
    Berlin PianoPercussion
    Xie Ya-ou, conductor

    Other Dates:
    28 September 2017 - Berlin, Germany
  • 21 APR 2016
    Flushing, NY
    Queens College
    Eunice So;Markus Kaitila;Juan Herrera;Ching-Yu Huang; Michael Lipsey, conductor
  • 13 JUN 2015
    Amsterdam, Holland
    Conservatorium van Amsterdam
  • 01 MAY 2015
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Jan Risberg, conductor
  • 29 JAN 2015
    Genf, Switzerland
    Etudiants du Conservatoire de Musique de Geneve
  • 12 OCT 2013
    La Biennale de Venezia
    Sala dei Concerti del Conservatorio B.Marcello, Venice, Italy
  • 29 JUN 2013
    Centquatre, Paris
    Ensemble InterContemporain
    Jean Deroyer, conductor
  • 23 OCT 2012
    Auditorium Padova Padova, ITALY
    Solisti del Concservatorio
  • 01 AUG 2010
    Putney, VT
    Yellow Barn Music Festival
  • 24 MAY 2010
    Gand, Belgium
    Ictus Ensemble
  • 21 MAY 2010
    Gand, France
    Ictus Ensemble
  • 16 OCT 2007
    United Instruments of Lucilin
  • 15 JUN 2007
    Den Haag, Holland
    Royal Conservatory Den Haag
  • 03 JUN 2006
    Bergen International Festival
    Logen, Bergen
    Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
    Kari Kriikku, conductor
  • 29 JAN 2006
    Hertz Hall, Berkeley, CA
    International Contemporary Ensemble
    Timothy Weiss, conductor

    Other Dates:
    24 March - Miller Theater, NY
  • 09 JAN 2006
    KlangArt Berlin
    Philharmonie, Berlin
    Heike Gneiting and Majella Stockhausen-Riegelbauer, piano ; Jan Schlichte and Adam Weisman, percussion
  • 03 JUL 2005
    Tongyeong, Korea
    Ensemble Modern

    Other Dates:
    15 July - Tokyo, Japan
  • 03 JUL 2005
    Tongyeong, Japan
    Ensemble Modern

    Other Dates:
    15 July - Tokyo, Japan
  • 14 JAN 2005
    Ensemble Utopak
  • 14 SEP 2004
    Ensemble Modern
  • 11 SEP 2004
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Ensemble Modern

    Other Dates:
    12 September - Frankfurt, Germany
  • 11 SEP 2004
    Ensemble Modern

    Other Dates:
    12 September - Germany
  • 03 JUN 2004
    Festival Agora
    Ircam, Paris
    Ictus Piano-Percussion Quartet
  • 11 NOV 2003
    San Francisco, US
    San Francisco Contemporary Music Players
  • 11 NOV 2003
    San Franciso, USA
    San Francisco Contemporary Music Players
  • 10 NOV 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    San Francisco Contemporary Music Players
  • 03 NOV 2003
    Caen, France

    Other Dates:
    7,8 November - Staadsschouwburg, Belgium

"This rollercoaster of a piece…soon develops an unstoppable force"
John Allison, The Times,24/05/1999
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