Composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen reviews our new company identity

A unique personality in Danish musical life, an important player on the Danish art music scene and valued composer at Edition·S, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, wondered about our new company identity and has written his own review. This resulted in some very interesting thoughts that we would like to share with you:

”The Society for the Publication of Danish Music” it was once called. Now the name has changed and it looks different too. Is that an advantage? There are undoubtedly many opinions about that. I myself am in doubt. The original name was grotesquely long, boring and bone dry. Quite impossible. And precisely because of that, with a certain charm. Just like old English pubs and Welsh village names. Or my own name, for that matter! (Difficult to sell).

“Edition Samfundet” (Samfundet=Society) it was called, in a mishmash of languages, for a short period of time.

Now the society has been reduced to an S.

The S is a beautiful letter, which like the O associates togetherness and movement.

The S is also the first letter of sound (society / soundfund!).

We had a heated debate at the Danish Composers’ Society about music and sound.

Was it a good idea to include the word sound-art in the Society’s name and logo? In my opinion, no.

Composers are by definition sound artists. An extra emphasis on sound seems too much – even a bit strained. It gives it too much the character of being “on the beat” in a hip way. The fast and continuously changing trends, or more nicely put, ideas, quickly take hold in certain communities, in certain worlds – especially in the WESTERN WORLD. With stress, hustle and bustle, hypertension, early calcification and early death as a result. Oops, sorry. I took a wrong turn. Lost control for a brief moment.

My fascination with old landscapes (!), old things, old art, old music and patina in general should not take focus away from the joy of our publisher’s competence, perseverance and sympathy. That counts for both the management and the almost frighteningly bright and friendly staff. Composers are deeply in debt to the “Society” as it last was named. What was one to do without them? It simply had to be invented (as Holmboe once said about the orchestra as a phenomenon).

And even if I’m in agony – just like I’m in agony about words like ‘innovative’ and ‘groundbreaking’ (openers and automatisms) – I nevertheless think that they are doing the right thing. They are open to the young, the fresh-minded, to electrons and the internet. That is the way it should be. And that surely does not mean that they have forgotten about Axel Borup-Jørgensen?...etc…?

Me – I’m an old cowhand (perhaps even grumpy old man) but I’ve also been a part of the “Society” for a long time and bravely participated, for example, as chairman in a time back when cassette tapes with recordings from concerts of “The Young Musicians’ Association” were launched together with an extremely interesting and rewarding series of LPs at PAULA. Not exactly an expression of conservatism DESPITE THE NAME, at the time in its full length (after having been there for more than 100 years).

I’m going to let the above stand, even though I should start again from the beginning.

Because we find ourselves in the middle of work in progress. Whilst I have been pacing around on the floor and listening to the publisher’s portrait CD (very, very rewarding, all the way through) I’ve every now and taken a peek at the new design.

In the meantime I’ve grown to really like the S! The fact that it is larger than the other letters in the logo, the fact that there is a small dot in front of it, the fact that it is rich in associations while at the same time being mysterious enough to attract attention and become memorable.


- Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen (soundfund)