Mot blått (Toward Blue)

for flute quartet (2 alto flutes, 2 bass flutes)

Listen: Mot blått (Toward Blue)
Recorded at Studio Epidemin, Gothenburg, May 2017
(40f: Ann Elkjär, Jill Widén, Bjørnar Habbestad, Anna Svensdotter)

Mot blått

I am fascinated by the use of color in weaver Hannah Ryggen’s works: both the colors themselves, and what Ryggen so eloquently expresses through her use of them. The colors have a life of their own: the intensity, richness, and subtle variation within each, the fact that Hannah dyed her wool and linen using only dyes made from natural materials (many of which she harvested and prepared herself), the extensive experimentation that went into developing her colors (especially her famous blues). However, I am perhaps most fascinated by that which she chooses to express, and how she expresses it using those colors. Ryggen uses her carefully crafted colors to express her responses to events in the world around her. She weaves about her immediate surroundings, yes: the Ørland lanscape, her family, the animals on their farm. Many of her strongest works, though, are pieces in which she weaves her responses to and opinions about critical issues in a world far from Ørland.

Deeply inspired by Hannah Ryggen’s work, my new quartet for 40f has emerged from my reflections on Ryggen’s oeuvre as a whole. I have crafted my ‘sound-colors’ with care, and woven them to express my reaction to three deeply entangled and troubling current issues in the United States: systemic racial inequality, gun violence, and police brutality based on racial profiling. I can site far too many specific examples of each. However, in Mot blått (Toward Blue), I choose to call attention to the depth and complexity of these problems, and to express my belief that a new way of interacting can evolve — is evolving — based on respect, love and non-violence.

Mot blått (Toward Blue) was premiered by flute quartet 40f on 18 November 2016 at Dokkhuset in Trondheim, as part of both the Trondheim Documentary Festival and The Hannah Ryggen Triennalen (Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum).

Mot blått was funded by the Swedish Arts Council (Kulturrådet).

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