Œuvres Proximities Ella Hillbäck, Åke Parmerud, Göran Sonnevi


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Närheter (Proximities) is my first ever commission as a composer. The Swedish Radio asked me to make a text-sound composition so I decided to quit my job at the university and become a full time composer. You have to be young a or crazy or very brave to do that kind of thing but it worked for me… The piece is a sequence of musical images portraying a trip through a landscape of voices an sounds. My idea was to try to create a feeling of the listener seated in an imaginary train looking out at a passing dreamy landscape having these voices creeping into his/her mind. I used some poetic material from two fantastic Swedish poets, Ella Hillborg (Tolv blickar på verkligheten (12 Looks at Reality)) and Göran Sonnevi (Det omöjliga (The Impossible)). Not having a big budget at hand I asked my friends to do the reading for me although no professional actors. But they did a good work at it and I also had the Göteborgs Kammarkör (Gothenburg Chamber Choir) to sing a bit for which I am grateful for. I also managed to get in touch with the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm where they had a vocoder (for scientific purposes) that they kindly let me use. In fact the piece starts off with a rather long introduction using just the vocoder and some post-processing. It took me a full nine months to make the piece and I probably made at least one thousand tape splices to put it all together on a number of tape reels. This was later transferred to a 16-channel multitrack tape recorder that the radio had in one of their new (at the time) studios.

Närheter was awarded the 1st Prize in the Programme Music Category of the 1978 Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Awards (France).


  • 3 mai 1978, Concert, Sveriges Radio, Stockholm (Suède)



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