Elevations (2017)
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in Bb, Marimba, Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass (5 strings)
Duration: 8′
Written for the last Schloss Solitude Summer Akademy
Fp. Ensemble SurPlus, cond. Erich Wagner, Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (Germany), 20 August 2017

The live recording below is from Ensemble SurPlus’ world premiere performance of the work, conducted by Erich Wagner. The recording is from the concert on August 20th 2017 at Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart under the auspices of Schloss Solitude Summer Academy, tutored by Chaya Czernowin, Samir Odeh-Tamimi and Johannes Schollhorn.

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Elevations (2017) for ensemble
flute, oboe, clarinet, marimba, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass

Elevations (2017), scored for nine instruments, develops the musical material into multiple, yet transparent interpretations of the concepts of rising, transcending, elevating, or increasing (true to title). The music aims to get higher, to cross thresholds – to increase sonic awareness. The material is based on acoustic phenomena on instruments, such as flageolets, beatings, multiphonics and registral characteristics of intervals, all adhering to a similar directional, elaborative, ascending tendency. The empirical, sound-based composition process, I hope, is not merely replicating the ancient human occupancy of brick-making (‘filling form x with material y’) as the above language might suggest. (For me it’s a false dichotomy, anyway.) Yet, the piece is also decisively non-conceptual, containing no ‘extra-musical’ stimuli. It also does its best (if at all possible) to avoid the position of an academic outside artist-commentator who elevates themselves above their appropriated or down-right stolen source material. This conceptual simplicity should render all prerequisites to listening (outside of silence and alertness), even this text, basically obsolete.

(c) 2017 Jarkko Hartikainen