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AfterImage   (1997-98)

An afterimage is a phenomenon created when the eye is exposed to a sudden and strong burst of light. The image of the shapes of light lingers on the retina, slowly dissolving into an increasingly diffuse weave of drifting light spots. Analogous to this phenomenon, the concept of the composition "Efterbild" (Afterimage) is a kind of lingering, decomposed image of hundred years of music history exposed in a sudden "flash" of sound. You might think that the form of such a composition would be similar to the evolvement of this process through an explosive and chaotic opening followed by a slow development towards stillness and silence. Instead I have chosen to distribute the initial energy as a number of dense spots in the piece, each reflecting relatively clear "snapshots" of the concept. A typical romantic cliché, a likewise typical scattering of opposed blocks of sounds in a modernistic spirit, extended impressionistic weaves of chords etc... Between these points of relative clarity, the fracture dissolves into sliding transitions where different musical styles takes a music-linguistic double position, creating a kind of stylistic polyphony. This should however not be understood as an attempt to achieve the kind of polystilism represented by composers like for instance Alfred Schnittke, but rather as another link in a series of works where I am trying to deal with a music historical communication process not necessarily leading to any kind of neotradition. The electro-acoustic elements in the piece thus serves the double intention of both expanding the timbre palette and at the same time creating a "verfremdungs"-effect that effectively decomposes the historical hegemony of meaning in the image of orchestral sounds.

The piece was commissioned by The Gothenburg Symphonic Orchestra

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Simulated version