Birgitte Alsted: Agnetes Vandgang - World premiere

The ensemble Lydenskab presents the concert The One Behind the Score featuring the world premiere of a new work by Birgitte Alsted: Agnetes Vandgang.

The concert and Birgitte Alsted's work revolve around current themes such as water, climate, humanity and the forces of nature.

With inspiration from the folk song Agnete og Havmanden / Agnete and the Merman Birgitte Alsted investigates the alluring aspects as well as the inherent deadly powers of the water element. Her work reflects human indomitability in a time of a growing threat of irreversible climatic disasters.

Birgitte Alsted first worked with the inspiration from Agnete and the Merman in the electroacoustic work Agnete's Laughter (2007-2011), which was written for the sculpture Merman and Sons, which is located underwater in Frederiksholms Canal in Copenhagen. Agnete's Laughter is an electroacoustic work in six movements, consisting of sound collages with processed recordings from water, vocal bursts of laughter, sighs, cries etc., calls and songs, and chords from a harp.

Five of the six electro-acoustic movements from Agnete's Laughter form separate columns in the new piece, Agnetes Vandgang, expanded with acoustic music for Lydenskab and supplemented by the composer's own recitation

Birgitte Alsted tells: "This time the inspiration from the water element has been more present with its alluring life condition and inherent deadly powers. The Merman of the folk song has turned into a Big Wave - and the 7 sons have turned into the 7 deadly sins they commit."

Lydenskab (Photo: Ard Jongsma)
Lydenskab (Photo: Ard Jongsma)

Alsted's work takes as its starting point partly the image of man's fantastic ingenuity and urge for technological development, and partly the influence of human greed and the clear signs that the climatically essential Greenland Pump is weakened with a chance of stalling, resulting in an increasing threat of irreversible climatic disasters.

The composer explains: "Humanity's ingenuity is, however, intact, and although denial still weakens the power of action, there is also a lot going on to possibly deal with the threatening changes. So there is a downside (the sinful, with destructive backsliding) but also an upside (the constructive, creatively developing). Change, yes. To what? – Ask the water."

The concert takes place Wednesday 8 February 19:30 at DOKK1 in Aarhus, Denmark. The concert programme also presents a world premiere by Sandra Boss, and an artist talk with the two composers. Find more information here.