Slender Trees (2023) is written for string quartet & live electronics, and The piece is inspired by a drawing by Vilhelm Hammershøi: Slender Trees on a Hill (1896). "I find the drawing quiet, a calm silence and the absence of humans and animals creates an ambience of fragility," Ejnar Kanding explains. "The strong vertical lines, the horizontal hatching, and an almost sensuous geometry. The idea of the work revolves around the harsh reality of the 19th century is confronted with today’s leaping sense of time. The nature-related titles of the movements, Scent of Trees, Horizontal Hatching, Fragile Ambiance, Strong Verticality, Sensuous Geometry and Absence are metaphors of lost memories, love, and childhood; a dialogue between past and present."
The work is commissioned by and dedicated to the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME, NYC) on the initiative by AFSMK (American Friends of SMK/The National Gallery of Denmark) on the occasion of the exhibition: Beyond the Light: Identity and Place in Nineteenth-Century Danish Art, that is currently on show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The world premiere is accompanied by the digital single release of Ejnar Kanding's Fragile Ambiance, the piano part from Slender Trees performed by the composer himself.
"The fragile yet beautiful theme of Fragile Ambiance serves as a unifying thread throughout the entire string quartet: Slender Trees," Ejnar Kanding says. "During the creative process, I embarked on a meditative journey that allowed me to find inner peace, despite the unsettling state of the outside world. My intention was to create a musical sanctuary, a place of calmness and tranquility."
Listen to Ejnar Kanding: Fragile Ambiance here.