Niels Rønsholdt on 'Country' · SPOR Festival 2020

In an in-depth article on SPOR festival's website, Niels Rønsholdt elaborates on his thoughts on the cello concerto 'Country' (2019).

Niels Rønsholdt in 'Gaze for Gaze' / Photo by Marc Fluri

Country (2019) is to be performed at SPOR Festival, May 2020. The cello concerto premiered 26 May 2019 in Poland by soloist Jakob Kullberg and the Polish New Music Orchestra. 

“It is about country as a genre but indeed about nationality and origin, too,” Rønsholdt says. 

We interviewed the composer before the world premiere, where the composer told us, that Country is a highly personal interpretation of the concerto format as it is shaped as a 12-song cycle for singing cellist and chamber orchestra. Some of the songs have already premiered, whereas the rest will be premiered on SPOR by cellist Jakob Kullberg and a chamber orchestra. 

In SPOR Festival's article, the composer elaborates. 

“In Country, the audience will experience a duet between Jakob's live singing and a voice from a sampler. It is a weird, enigmatic voice, sung by a female singer, singing in another pitch and tempo. I lower the tempo in order for it to match tune and tempo. Meaning, it will sound a little weird. One cannot really hear if it is a man or a woman. It is androgynous. It is almost like Jakob is duetting with someone who is not there. Again, this is about this connection with authenticity. When we say, we love our country, where does that love point to exactly?”.

Which brings us back to the main idea about Country. Niels Rønsholdt explains.

“The primary idea is all about authenticity. What does it mean to originate from somewhere? That debate is manifested in an unpleasant way in politics. I am using country music from the States as a kind of prism to look at it”. 

Read the full article at SPOR festival's webpage here