Children co-composing and a circling Ondes Martenot - Mette Nielsen at Klang Festival

2019-05-21
Mette Nielsen is represented at Klang Festival with the premiere of a new trio piece, and the performance of an extremely flexible patchwork piece written for music school students.

Mette Nielsen (Photo: Soffi Chanchira Larsen)
Mette Nielsen's new piece 'Circles' is written for cello, percussion and Ondes Martenot, the early electronic instrument dating all the way back to the 1920s. The piece will be premiered by the trio Krumbuktus Wednesday 5 June at Klang Festival. Mette Nielsen describes the piece: 

"Circles is the recurrent element in the staging and the structure of the piece. The percussion is placed in five stations around the audience, and when the percussionist plays, she moves slowly in a circle around the audience. The Martenot plays through four speakers also placed around the audience and the sound of it moves slightly slower in circles in the opposite direction of the percussion. The circle of the cello is a movement around on the strings, and this is the fastest circle. When the percussion and the Martenot meet in their circular movements, a 'window' opens where a phrase or a movement in the piece unfolds."

Read more about the premiere of 'Circles' here.

Children co-composing
Mette Nielsen contributes in various ways to the important task of introducing children to the world of new music. She teaches composition to kids and writes music for young music school students. At Klang Festival students from the Danish Suzuki Institute will perform her piece: 'Patchwork Music - Isfjeldet'.

 Mette Nielsen tells about the ideas behind the patchwork piece:
"The piece is written for music school students, and the idea is to involve the students in the composition process. The original idea derives from the music school teacher Anne Fontenay, whom I have worked closely with while writing this piece. Anne was missing a flexible piece which could be used regardless of the instrumentation being four saxophones and a violin or three cellos and a flute. Furthermore, I wanted to write a piece that wasn't finished, but where the students themselves could co-compose. 

The piece is written in a way where each page of the sheet music is divided into four parts that the students can freely flip back and forth. In total there are 14 different parts that can all be played together. While working with the piece, the students themselves decide, which parts they want to play as well as the duration and format of the piece. The different parts are written in varying levels of difficulty so the beginner can play together with the more trained student without it being too difficult or boring for either of them."

Patchwork Music - Isfjeldet

"The best experiences I have had with children playing my music are those where they were involved in the creation of it. It gives them a different understanding of the music. I believe that an important part of learning to play music is that you are also encouraged to create music and to listen curiously to the sounds that exist in your instrument as well as around you. This is why I teach composition to children and young kids - besides the music political reasons of course...

Compared to the pieces I have previously written for children, this piece points in the direction of involving the children as active co-creators. I believe that I will work more with that in the future."

'Patchwork Music - Isfjeldet' will be performed on 2 June in KUBE, Frederiksberg.
Read more here.

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