Simon  Christensen
Photo: Jens Svankjær

Simon Christensen

(1971-)

Simon Christensen · Portrait 

Like many 21st century composers who came of age in the closing years of the previous millennium, Simon Christensen has had an extensive background in a variety of musical genres, and as a result creates music that is deeply informed by all of them. But what sets him apart from most composers of his generation is that while all of his influences make sense once you know what they are, the resultant music he has been creating over the course of the past decade somehow transcends genre considerations entirely and is something completely fresh and new.



While one might trace Christensen’s meticulously notated scores to his rigorous composition training (at the Royal Academy of Music in his native Copenhagen and the Conservatoire Nationale Superieur de Paris), attribute his careful attention to sonorities and a systemic approach to their manipulation to background in live electronic performance (as a laptop artist in the duo Mobile Soundscapes or his use of a variety of analog modules in the group Kundi Bombo), and assume his obsession with pulse is related to his activities earlier on as a rock drummer (in the band New Paragraphs), Christensen’s very complex looking scores tend to sound much simpler, many of his most remarkable timbral details are achieved with purely acoustic instrumental combinations, and his skewed rhythmic sensibility ultimately has little to do with most rock music.


A big part of the impact of Christensen’s music comes from his ability to harness the off-kilter. His rhythmic palate includes cascades of mismatched tuplet sequences (e.g. quintuplets followed by sextuplets then septuplets) as well as polyrhythms exploring the incompatible overlapping of such sequences (e.g. seven against three then six against five, etc.). He also frequently utilizes a much broader range of possible pitches (in addition to the standard chromatic scale in 12-tone equal temperament, Christensen not only adds quarter-tones but also eighth tones, a variety of harmonics and sub-harmonics, and sounds with imprecise pitches. Whether it is a small intimate chamber piece or a large scale ensemble work, Christensen’s recent music has an unmistakably identifiable sound.


Excerpts from article by Frank J. Oteri (March 2012)

Selected works:

TRIBUTES - Pulse (2010-2011)

Toward Nothingness (2009)

Circuiting The Stroke (2008-2009)

The 1971 Connection (2008)

The Elastic Track (2006)
 

Available Works

All categories Solo 2-6 Instruments 7+ Instruments Choir Orchestra Educational Music Other

  1. KNOH!

    2021 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    14 minutes

    Clarinet and piano

  2. EKSTASIS

    2020 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    45 minutes

    String quartet

  3. PNEUMA

    2020 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    10:45 minutes

    Piano quartet

  4. CARVED IN STONE

    2020 • Simon Christensen

    7+ Instruments

    9:30 minutes

    1.1.1.1/1.1.1.0/2perc/1.1.1.1.1

  5. ENSEMBLE

    2018 • Simon Christensen

    7+ Instruments

    41 minutes

    1.1.1.1/1.1.1.0/pno/clst/2perc/1.1.1.1.0

  6. Three Years On

    2016 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    12 minutes

    Cello, percussion, zither, and electronics

  7. The Whistle Quartet

    2018 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    10 minutes

    String quartet and four referee whistles

  8. Deadlock, Drifting . . . .

    2017 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    16 minutes

    Soprano saxophone and piano

  9. Fluctuate only

    2017 • Simon Christensen

    Solo

    4:33 minutes

    English horn solo

  10. Slack Water

    2016 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    12 minutes

    Two violins

  11. Rockin' Sine Slow

    2016 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    30 minutes

    Amplified flute, accordion, toy piano, viola & live electronics

  12. Zing Spiral for violin

    2016 • Simon Christensen

    Educational Music

    Violin solo

  13. Zing Spiral for piano

    2015 • Simon Christensen

    Educational Music

    Piano solo

  14. Piano Piece Anno 2015

    2015 • Simon Christensen

    Solo

    9 minutes

    Piano solo

  15. Untitled

    2015 • Simon Christensen

    Solo

    8 minutes

    Percussion solo

  16. Afore

    2015 • Simon Christensen

    Choir

    15 minutes

    for sixteen solo voices divided into four groups

  17. Chamber Cinema Set

    2014 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    40 minutes

    Zth, vcl, perc, live-elec/video

  18. Manifest

    2013 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    75 minutes

    String quartet

  19. Caccini Monodies

    2013 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    45 minutes

    vlc, perc and electronics

  20. Feed Lifting Sound

    2013 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    50 minutes

    2 female voices, perc (zither + electronics)

  21. Octet

    2012 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    7:30 minutes

    Fl, cl in Eb, perc, pno, 2 vl, vla, vlc

  22. Monody

    2012 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    37 minutes

    for cello, zither and electronics

  23. Arccos Fallen Tune

    2012 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    31 minutes

    Sopranino sax, vl, zither, perc and electronics

  24. TRIBUTES - Pulse

    2011 • Simon Christensen

    Other

    60 minutes

    Saxophone, percussion, laptop and violin

  25. Circular Music

    2009 • Simon Christensen

    7+ Instruments

    15 minutes

    S-sax, cl, trb, perc, pno, live-electronics, vl I, vlc, cb

  26. The 1971 Connection

    2008 • Simon Christensen

    7+ Instruments

    6:30 minutes

    Big Band (Acl (Eb), A-sax, 2 T-sax, Bar-sax, 4 trp, 3 trb, B-trb, drums, el-guit, pno/Rhodes, cb)

  27. Sized the Uneven

    2009 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    10 minutes

    fl, perc, live-electronics

  28. Towards Nothingness

    2009 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    9:15 minutes

    String quartet, laptop and 4 guitar combos

  29. Circuiting the Stroke

    2009 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    13:51 minutes

    4 perc

  30. The Elastic Track

    2006 • Simon Christensen

    Orchestra

    12 minutes

    3.3.3.3/4.3.3.1/3 perc/arpa/pno/archi

  31. Music à 3

    2006 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    12:30 minutes

    sax, perc, acc

  32. Parade Cracks

    2005 • Simon Christensen

    7+ Instruments

    23 minutes

    1.1.1.1/1.1.1.0/perc/pno/1.1.1.1.1

  33. The Sax's Track 1 & 2

    2005 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    6 minutes

    S-sax, A-sax, T-sax, B-sax

  34. Music à 2 Anno 2012

    2012 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    8 minutes

    Alto Saxophone in Eb and Piano

  35. Extraction

    2002 • Simon Christensen

    7+ Instruments

    18 minutes

    Alto trombone solo + vla, vlc, cb

  36. Saxofilia

    2003 • Simon Christensen

    7+ Instruments

    7 minutes

    Tenor saxophone solo + 0.0.0.0/0.1.2.0/perc/pno/1.1.1.1.1

  37. Happiness in Slavery

    2001 • Simon Christensen

    7+ Instruments

    7 minutes

    Mezzo-soprano solo + cl, perc, pno, vla, cb

  38. Studies

    2002 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    10 minutes

    trb, perc

  39. Rapprochement

    2001 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    12 minutes

    cl, pno, vlc

  40. Concerto for Harp, Sinfonietta and two Conductors

    2000 • Simon Christensen

    7+ Instruments

    16 minutes

    Harp solo + 1.0.1.1/1.1.1.0/arpa/pno/1.1.1.1.0

  41. Grace

    2001 • Simon Christensen

    2-6 Instruments

    25 minutes

    Clarinet and Piano

  42. Piano Concerto

    1999 • Simon Christensen

    Orchestra

    19:30 minutes

    Piano solo + 3.3.3.3/4.4.3.1/2 perc/5.0.0.6.4

  43. Variationer

    1999 • Simon Christensen

    Orchestra

    12 minutes

    2.2.2.2/2.2.2.1/2 perc/four-hand piano/1.1.0.3.3




Advanced works search

News

  1. Edition·S at KLANG Festival

    general

    Edition·S at KLANG Festival

  2. Work Grants from the Danish Arts Foundation

    general

    Work Grants from the Danish Arts Foundation

  3. Simon Christensen 50 years today

    general

    Simon Christensen 50 years today

  1. Significant work grants for Edition·S composers

    nominations / awards

    Significant work grants for Edition·S composers

  2. DVD release · Simon Christensen

    general

    DVD release · Simon Christensen

  3. Premieres and performances · KLANG festival

    general

    Premieres and performances · KLANG festival

  4. Edition·S works on The Danish Arts Foundation's playlist of recommended works

    general

    Edition·S works on The Danish Arts Foundation's playlist of recommended works

  5. Significant grants for Edition·S composers 2020

    general

    Significant grants for Edition·S composers 2020

  6. RELEASE · Educate·S · Pieces for Violin

    general

    RELEASE · Educate·S · Pieces for Violin

  7. Educate·S · Pieces for Piano recorded

    general

    Educate·S · Pieces for Piano recorded

  8. Save 25% on all solo pieces

    general

    Save 25% on all solo pieces

  9. Simon Christensen world premiere and more

    general

    Simon Christensen world premiere and more

  10. Win the music Christmas present of the year

    general

    Win the music Christmas present of the year

  11. Simon Christensen's string quartet on tour

    general

    Simon Christensen's string quartet on tour

  12. Edition·S composers at KLANG

    general

    Edition·S composers at KLANG

  13. Simon Christensen's 'Octet' at ISCM 2018

    general

    Simon Christensen's 'Octet' at ISCM 2018

  14. World premiere of Simon Christensen’s solo piece

    general

    World premiere of Simon Christensen’s solo piece

  15. Deadlock, Drifting – new duo piece by Simon Christensen

    general

    Deadlock, Drifting – new duo piece by Simon Christensen

  16. Martin Stauning piece kicks off new 4’33 Phil season

    general

    Martin Stauning piece kicks off new 4’33 Phil season

  17. Morten Olsen headlines Athelas Sinfonietta season opener

    general

    Morten Olsen headlines Athelas Sinfonietta season opener

  18. Suså Festival’s 25th anniversary packed with Edition·S works

    general

    Suså Festival’s 25th anniversary packed with Edition·S works

  19. Educate·S - New Music for Music Schools

    general

    Educate·S - New Music for Music Schools

  20. Sneak peek of new Edition·S project

    general

    Sneak peek of new Edition·S project

  21. Four New Composer Portraits

    general

    Four New Composer Portraits

  22. Simon Christensen's MANIFEST

    general

    Simon Christensen's MANIFEST

  23. Danish Music in St Petersburg

    general

    Danish Music in St Petersburg

  24. Simon Christensen in musical dialogue with the Italian Baroque

    general

    Simon Christensen in musical dialogue with the Italian Baroque

  25. The Programme for Suså Festival 2015 Has Been Released

    general

    The Programme for Suså Festival 2015 Has Been Released

  26. Simon Christensen's new movie project: Mail

    general

    Simon Christensen's new movie project: Mail

  27. Wien Modern Festival 2013

    general

    Wien Modern Festival 2013

  28. Edition·S composers home and abroad

    general

    Edition·S composers home and abroad

  29. Nordic Music Days 2013

    general

    Nordic Music Days 2013

  30. Simon Christensen Premiere Tonight

    general

    Simon Christensen Premiere Tonight

  31. Edition·S Concert at Copenhagen Jazz Festival

    general

    Edition·S Concert at Copenhagen Jazz Festival

  32. ILK’s 10th Anniversary at Copenhagen Jazz Festival

    general

    ILK’s 10th Anniversary at Copenhagen Jazz Festival

  33. Spanish Premiere of TRIBUTES - Pulse

    general

    Spanish Premiere of TRIBUTES - Pulse

  34. Edition·S at VinterJazz

    general

    Edition·S at VinterJazz

  35. Contemporary Music Mirrors

    general

    Contemporary Music Mirrors

  36. Simon Christensen premiere at Villingerød Church

    general

    Simon Christensen premiere at Villingerød Church

  37. TRIBUTES – Pulse performed live in Washington

    general

    TRIBUTES – Pulse performed live in Washington

  38. Two premieres at SPOR Festival 2012

    general

    Two premieres at SPOR Festival 2012

  39. A Busy Spring for Edition·S Composers

    general

    A Busy Spring for Edition·S Composers

  40. Edition·S and SPOR festival join forces

    general

    Edition·S and SPOR festival join forces

  41. TRIBUTES - Pulse screening at BAFICI in Buenos Aires

    general

    TRIBUTES - Pulse screening at BAFICI in Buenos Aires

  42. TRIBUTES – Pulse screening in Washington DC

    general

    TRIBUTES – Pulse screening in Washington DC

  43. TRIBUTES – Pulse at International Film Festival Rotterdam

    general

    TRIBUTES – Pulse at International Film Festival Rotterdam

  44. TRIBUTES - Pulse selected for IFF Rotterdam

    general

    TRIBUTES - Pulse selected for IFF Rotterdam

  45. TRIBUTES – Pulse at Festival Du Nouveau Cinema

    general

    TRIBUTES – Pulse at Festival Du Nouveau Cinema

  46. Edition·S at Music China in October

    general

    Edition·S at Music China in October

  47. Creative travelling on first class

    general

    Creative travelling on first class

  48. Politiken gives five hearts to TRIBUTES – Pulse

    general

    Politiken gives five hearts to TRIBUTES – Pulse

  49. A Requiem for the 20th Century

    general

    A Requiem for the 20th Century

  50. TRIBUTES – Pulse. Official trailer out now!

    general

    TRIBUTES – Pulse. Official trailer out now!

  51. TRIBUTES – Pulse. Look inside the drama of the creative process!

    general

    TRIBUTES – Pulse. Look inside the drama of the creative process!

  52. New string quartets released on Dacapo Records

    general

    New string quartets released on Dacapo Records

Show More News

Calendar

  1. November 2021
  2. 21

    November

    Simon Christensen: KNOH!

    time14:00

    location Utzon Center, Aalborg, Denmark

    performed by Duo KlettWood

  1. June 2022
  2. 16

    June

    Simon Christensen: Passacaglia Nor Allemande

    time16:30

    location Helligåndskirken, Copenhagen, Denmark

    performed by Peter Navarro-Alonso

  3. 30

    June

    Simon Christensen: PNEUMA

    time20:00

    location Rundetårn, Copenhagen, Denmark

    performed by Rudersdal Chamber Players