With the publication of 'Songbook' by Jeppe Ernst, Edition·S for the first time publish a work which is explicitly not meant to be performed for an audience. With his radically reduced works Jeppe Ernst (b. 1985) fundamentally questions our traditional ways of thinking about music, both in terms of the musical expression itself and the way it is presented to us.
By removing all unnecessary layers of a work Jeppe Ernst seeks to illuminate its most essential idea, often eliminating one or more of the most basic musical parameters in the process – such as, for example, the audible sound. Instead, he transfers the auditive parameters and writes music aimed at other senses.
Jeppe Ernst describes the 24 songs in 'Songbook' as 'private music'. These are works written directly for a reader or a single musician without any intention of being performed for an audience. The first half of the songs are written for the reader’s imagination, with up to six simultaneous ‘voices’ following simple rhythmic instructions – from the imagined sound of explosions and thunder to birds crossing the sky or a child’s kiss on the cheek.
The poetic character of the songs becomes more tangible in the second half of the songs, in which you are encouraged to use your body in the same kind of rhythmic patterns: by smiling, kissing into the air, bending in the knees or squeezing your buttocks, for example.
Live performance tonight
Tonight, Tuesday 11 December at 19:30, there is a chance to experience one of Jeppe Ernst's works which IS intended for an ensemble and an audience. The Copenhagen-based ensemble NEKO3 will premiere the piece 'apoteose (song I-III)’ at a concert in Koncertkirken Copenhagen.
Read more about the concert here.
Jeppe Ernst graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Music in 2017 where he studied composition with among others Bent Sørensen, Niels Rosing-Schow, Hans Abrahamsen and Hans Peter Stubbe Teglbjærg. Seismograf interviewed the composer on occasion of the debut concert. Read the interview here.