Apokidis and Kubica-Cypek at PULSAR festival

The annual PULSAR festival once again presents world premieres of orchestral works performed by composition students from the Royal Danish Academy of Music.

On occasion of PULSAR festival 2022, the composition students Evagoras Solias Apokidis and Adrianna Kubica-Cypek wrote orchestral works for the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. The works will be performed by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra on 11 March 19:30 in DR Koncerthuset.
The works are published by Edition·S.

We asked the young composers a few questions about their works.

Adrianna Kubica-Cypek: Reflection Nebula

What has it been like for you to work with the orchestral format?

The fact that I use a large instrumental ensemble, did not significantly affect my language and ideas — many of them, along with my composing tools stayed with me. What has changed is the means of expression and the way I think about colors and texture. First, most importantly — I am amazed by the huge color palette one can get in an orchestra. In addition to its full sound, it hides the enormous potential of the sounds of various ensembles — string quartet, sinfonietta, soloists, string orchestra... all this is within the composer's reach and all this can emerge from a huge ensemble offering a different quality of sound. I was interested in exploring those different instrumental cells and possibilities of combining them. Working with a greater "mass" of sound and working on resonance is something that fascinates me absolutely. Thus, the composition is a re-reaching for the means with which I worked and continue to work - geometrical structures, parallels, serialism and repetitiveness, only this time adapted to the mass of sound.

What lies behind the title of your work?

The skeleton of the compositions are quotes from the music of my masters and my own works. This can be explained as something that continues like an echo in my memory upon contact with these compositions. The technical meaning is as follows — a reflection nebula is created when light from a star is scattered or reflected off a neighbouring dust cloud. The scattered light is slightly polarised and has a spectrum similar to that of the illuminating star, only bluer. The shift in colour arises because the typical size of dust grains in the cloud are comparable to the wavelength of blue light. The result is that blue light is scattered more efficiently than longer, red wavelengths giving the characteristic blue colour for these nebulae.

How would you describe your work?

To answer this question I would like to use another quotations — a brilliant writer Witold Gombrowicz wrote once: "The rule (...) is to be as follows: I do not know where the work will lead me, but wherever it takes me, I must express and satisfy me.” I have heard a theory that, our personality is a combination of a few of other personalities with whom we come into contact the most — I tried to transpose this idea into thinking about the music and what could make my own personalty. He also wrote: „(…) from the struggle between the inner logic of the work and myself (because it is not known whether the work is only a pretext for me to express my opinion, or if I am a pretext for the work), from this struggle something third appears, something intermediate, something as if not written by me and yet mine — not being either a pure form or directly my statement, but a deformation born in the sphere "between": between me and the form, between me and the recipient, between me and the world."

Evagoras Solias Apokidis: Morphes

What has it been like for you to work with the orchestral format?

Writing music for an orchestra is challenging for me as I have to focus on certain sound colors that are being produced not by one but by a group of instruments. In a sense, while having the ability to produce the same sonorities by using a solo instrument, it also opens up the possibility of new sonorities that comes out of the combination of many instruments of the same kind. Although this was my first time writing orchestral music I do enjoy the process and the almost limitless possibilities that an orchestra has to offer. Although I had to take a slightly different approach than my usual instrumentation and compositional process I quite enjoy writing in this format.

How would you describe your work, and what lies behind the title?

The title of my piece “morphes” translates to figures. The idea is that there are fragments of a piece that appear and disappear throughout; the order is not linear as these fragments appear in different time points and can be in their initial, latter, or developing form. If I were to reconstruct the piece in its “original” form then it would start from nothing (air sounds) and end at a cluster in the highest dynamic possible, that being said, and although that is exactly how the piece starts and ends the progress in between is broken; fragments are placed in different points in the piece while there is always some kind of ambient “music” that stays unaffected and connects these parts. Thus the idea of having figures; silhouettes that appear and disappear at different points in the piece while the audience can hear only fragments; the echo of their existence from different points of their timespan; fragments of their manifestation, development, and decomposition in an arbitrary order; all included liquified in this kind of void of undefined sounds that the background ambient music offers.

The concert programme also includes the world premiere of Marcela Lucatelli's work RGBW and the Danish premiere of Simon Steen-Andersen's TRIO. Find more information about the concert and tickets here >>