Jexper Holmen portrait concerts and festival composer

Jexper Holmen has a remarkably busy spring and summer ahead of him with two portrait concerts and an assignment as festival composer.

On 9 April Ny Musik i Birkerød hosts a portrait concert with a full programme of Jexper Holmen's works. The works will be performed by The Messer Quartet, the first ever and only electric string quartet in Denmark. Their declared goal is to reach a wide audience with the ambition to hear the future sound of music, and this is where Jexper Holmen comes in to the picture.

Jexper Holmen's approach to composing for classical instruments seems to be infused with the energy of punk and postpunk rock music – an energy based on brutal, ecstatic, noisy and abrasive impulses.

One of the works on the programme for the portrait concert is 'Intend'  (2000) Here the dynamics are dominated by extreme fortissimo and extreme pianissimo, brutally played on the strings without any vibrato, but with a strong, almost painful sense of the physical friction, beginning with the same chord repeated over and over. But beneath the surface of hammering monotony lies constant rhythmic displacements, disappointing the tempting urge to head bang, creating a more organic gesture.

The Messer Quartet

The world premiere of the evening is 'Varuna I'  written in 2015 for string quartet and electronics. The work will be performed in two different versions with different electronics. Besides from 'Intend' all other works on the programme are alterations of pieces performed in this version for the first time.

One of them is 'Darkbloom' - originally a solo clarinet piece rewritten for violin. Jexper Holmen describes the piece: "Darkbloom is named after Vivian Dark Bloom, an enigmatic figure who appears in several of the Russian-American author Vladimir Nabokov's works. The music circulates from start to finish around the same small handful of melodic phrases and lives by the tiny changes and deviations, weathered air holes through which the thoughts can breathe."

Read more about the concert here.

In June another Jexper Holmen portrait concert takes place. This time the SV Festival  in Copenhagen sets the scene, and the Alpha Trio performs. 

In August Jexper Holmen is festival composer at Rudersdal Sommerkoncerter.  The programme is still to be finalised, but we can expect a number of premieres - among them a piano quartet written for the newly established ensemble, Rudersdal Kammersolister.


9 APRIL 19:30 
Ny Musik i Birkerød
Mantziussalen, Birkerød (DK)
Varuna I
Varuna Ia