Analogue

Analogue

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  • Scenatet presents
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  • by Jeppe Ernst
  • Passage Festival
  • August 6, 2023

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Analogue is piece for camera obscura, amplified string trio and tape written by the British composer Joanna Bailie for the music- and performance ensemble SCENATET, who premiered the piece at SPOR Festival 2011.

Analogue is a music theatre work of sorts and as such it concentrates on the parallels, be they either real, possible, or imaginary, between sound and vision. The basic material for the piece comes from two field recordings that Bailie made and then manipulated electronically. All the music for the trio is derived from the electronic sound. In that sense, Analogue deals with the relationship or parallel between the “real” field recordings and the transcribed music — and the gap that exists between them.

Reviews

Seismograf

“Eating a Man” [..] was crazy. Spor Festival 2021 did not offer tasty tapas, but went for the main course: The urge to perform spills out of the works being written today, the musicians refuse to be reduced to mediators, and the composers want to be there where it happens”

“Christensen’s music teases the attention rather than demanding it in a big forte fortissimo. Similarly, it was also clear that something important is at stake in Eating a Man. But it was liberatingly unclear whether the gaze is directed at Christensen himself as a form of cathartic self-insight or at a prejudiced and xenophobic outside world.”

Magasinet Opulens

“Tonen slogs direkt an i Christian Winther Christensens kammaropera Eating a Man. Denna hade premiär i en första version på Spor 2009 och kretsade då kring en ritual att äta en människa för att på så vis låta denna leva vidare efter sin död. Sedan dess har tonsättaren bildat familj och denna levnadssituation utgjorde i den nya versionen en utvidgad fond där en snabbuppspelning av familjens filmade vardag kring mat- och arbetsbordet ställs mot det sceniska i form av sångerskan Clara Stensgaard, mamman i familjen. Genom denna dubbelexponering skapas en sällsam reflektion kring tid, förgänglighet och kanske uppoffring för den andra eller sin nästa. Allt är tonsatt med Winther Christensens typiska subtila klanger och musikaliska motiv.”

Credits

Performers: My Hellgren (vlc), Vicky Wright (cl), Rowland Sutherland (fl), Matias Seibæk (perc), Fei Nie (pno), Kasia Ziminska (vio), Clara Stensgaard (voc)
Composer: Christian Winther Christensen
Staging and direction: Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Video: Christian Winther Christensen and Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Light design: Maria Pi Houmann
Technical Manager: Mette Hornbek Hansen
Performance images: Marc Fluri

Supported by

The Creative Europe programme of the European Union, Sounds Now, The Danish Arts Foundation, Augustinus Fonden, KODA Cultur and William Demant Fonden.


CHORALE

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  • Passage Festival
  • August 6, 2023

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Chorale was written particularly for SCENATET by one of the ensemble’s recurring collaborators, the Danish composer Christian Winther Christensen – a boundary pushing composer for whom the history of Western classical music is not simply an artifact of the past to be admired from a distance, but rather an ever-evolving tradition that needs to be constantly reckoned with. Chorale, which was premiered at SPOR Festival in 2017, is an example this: In a surreal piece that blurs the lines between real sound and synthetic reproduction and forces the old into conversation with the new, ghostly quotes from Bach are placed in the midst of jagged soundscapes created by percussively played acoustic- and electric guitars.

Reviews

Seismograf

“There is an element of theatre in the piece, but the experience is a deeply musical one. Amid all the quiet, there is a sudden ecstasy of fumbling, pedaling, and tapping just before the work’s conclusion after which Ensemble Scenatet’s pianist was allowed to suggest the embedded chorale more keenly than before, which he did with a flourish.”

I Care if You Listen

“SCENATET’s dedication to every aspect of performance is what makes them a superlative new music ensemble. Both the interpretation of the music and the overall visual aesthetic of the performance made for an engaging evening that challenged expectations of the everyday and allowed the audience to extrapolate the extraordinary from the ordinary.”

Credits

Performers: My Hellgren (vlc), Vicky Wright (cl), Rowland Sutherland (fl), Matias Seibæk (perc), Fei Nie (pno), Kasia Ziminska (vio), Clara Stensgaard (voc)
Composer: Christian Winther Christensen
Staging and direction: Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Video: Christian Winther Christensen and Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Light design: Maria Pi Houmann
Technical Manager: Mette Hornbek Hansen
Performance images: Marc Fluri

Supported by

The Creative Europe programme of the European Union, Sounds Now, The Danish Arts Foundation, Augustinus Fonden, KODA Cultur and William Demant Fonden.


Concert Walks

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  • Passage Festival
  • August 6, 2023

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The Concert Walks are an interactive series of concerts combining music, movement, and stories tailored to the unique atmosphere of the specific sites of the walks. Premiered at GEIST Glorup in May 2013, the Concert Walks have taken place in several different locations: the grimy industrial architecture surrounding Astrid Noacks Atelier on the outskirts of Nørrebro, Copenhagen; among the streams, bridges, fishponds, and surprisingly vibrant greenery of the park on the roof of the Warsaw University Library; through the beautiful landscape surrounding Konstepidemin in Gothenburg.

The Concert Walk-concept is developed by Scenatet’s founder and curator Anna Berit Asp Christensen and arranged as walks in which small musical surprises pop up on carefully selected spots in an area. The unique combination of a musical program and a walk creates a new kind of encounter between music and audience. The Concert Walk mix music with its surroundings, creating a completely new and interesting situation in the intersection of art, music, nature and urban environments and cultural heritage.

The Concert Walks are supported by New:Aud and the Culture Programme of the European Union.

Reviews

Seismograf

“Eating a Man” [..] was crazy. Spor Festival 2021 did not offer tasty tapas, but went for the main course: The urge to perform spills out of the works being written today, the musicians refuse to be reduced to mediators, and the composers want to be there where it happens”

“Christensen’s music teases the attention rather than demanding it in a big forte fortissimo. Similarly, it was also clear that something important is at stake in Eating a Man. But it was liberatingly unclear whether the gaze is directed at Christensen himself as a form of cathartic self-insight or at a prejudiced and xenophobic outside world.”

Magasinet Opulens

“Tonen slogs direkt an i Christian Winther Christensens kammaropera Eating a Man. Denna hade premiär i en första version på Spor 2009 och kretsade då kring en ritual att äta en människa för att på så vis låta denna leva vidare efter sin död. Sedan dess har tonsättaren bildat familj och denna levnadssituation utgjorde i den nya versionen en utvidgad fond där en snabbuppspelning av familjens filmade vardag kring mat- och arbetsbordet ställs mot det sceniska i form av sångerskan Clara Stensgaard, mamman i familjen. Genom denna dubbelexponering skapas en sällsam reflektion kring tid, förgänglighet och kanske uppoffring för den andra eller sin nästa. Allt är tonsatt med Winther Christensens typiska subtila klanger och musikaliska motiv.”

Credits

Performers: My Hellgren (vlc), Vicky Wright (cl), Rowland Sutherland (fl), Matias Seibæk (perc), Fei Nie (pno), Kasia Ziminska (vio), Clara Stensgaard (voc)
Composer: Christian Winther Christensen
Staging and direction: Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Video: Christian Winther Christensen and Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Light design: Maria Pi Houmann
Technical Manager: Mette Hornbek Hansen
Performance images: Marc Fluri

Supported by

The Creative Europe programme of the European Union, Sounds Now, The Danish Arts Foundation, Augustinus Fonden, KODA Cultur and William Demant Fonden.


Ephémère enchainé

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  • August 6, 2023

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Ephémère enchainé was developed by French composer François Sarhan specifically for the Danish ensemble SCENATET. Described as a theater concert, an installation, an opera, a night, a performance, an experience, a story, an Opera Mundi, a story of a life, a life of thousands of people, a combination of music, voice, video, performances, sound design, an overlay, and a mix of everything together, a Teatro del Mondo, an attempt to find a unity through the chaos, the massive, highly ambitious twelve-hour piece demands of its performer’s a nearly superhuman level of endurance. After its world premiere at SPOR Festival 2015, the piece was praised by music magazine Seismograf, who described it as a revelation.

Throughout the lengthy performance, the audience are free to move sit, stand, lie down, leave, come back, and move around and explore not only the diverse soundscapes ranging from romantic opera to intense funk excursions, aggressive growling, and minimalist impressionism, but also the overwhelmingly elaborate, visually impressive staging consisting of giant, seemingly floating, effigies of fantastic and mythical creatures hanging from the ceiling.

Reviews

Seismograf

“Wow, a scoop it is for Spor to premiere Ephémère Enchaîné. Wagner must have had a party in the beyond. […] Here was the genius, the one. The uncompromising visionary who spent three weeks to be able to realize what must have been an insane project description. With a musical and scenic excess that could make most others look like … well, whatever you look like when you set the bar lower than extremely high. Je suis un believer, and kudos to the organizers for taking a chance on a French diva.”

Credits

Performers: My Hellgren (vlc), Vicky Wright (cl), Rowland Sutherland (fl), Matias Seibæk (perc), Fei Nie (pno), Kasia Ziminska (vio), Clara Stensgaard (voc)
Composer: Christian Winther Christensen
Staging and direction: Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Video: Christian Winther Christensen and Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Light design: Maria Pi Houmann
Technical Manager: Mette Hornbek Hansen
Performance images: Marc Fluri

Supported by

The Creative Europe programme of the European Union, Sounds Now, The Danish Arts Foundation, Augustinus Fonden, KODA Cultur and William Demant Fonden.


Eating a Man

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Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
Lawrence Batley Theatre
November 19, 2024

A performance opera for one singer and five musicians

With Eating a Man, Composer Christian Winther Christensen and stage director Anna Berit Asp Christensen have embarked on a musical and personal voyage exploring the concept of the unknown and the alien. The investigation has its starting point in Winther Christensen’s ten-year-old mocumentary-work Documentation about Apu Sakar, wherein Winther Christensen agrees to eat an Indian man after his death. The purpose of the ritual is to honour the deceased by letting his spirit live on through the consumption. 

Now, ten years later, the work has been reimagined by Scenatet and new questions have emerged: questions concerning the symbolic meaning of cannibalism, the possibility of honorable cultural exchange, and the nature of the experience of alienation. Eating a Man does not give any definitive answers but allows the audience not only to answer these uncomfortable questions for themselves, but also to interrogate the root of this uncomfortability. 

Eating a Man is a performance opera commissioned and produced by Scenatet with support from November Music, SPOR festival, and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. The work was premiered at SPOR festival September 2021 and will tour to November Music November 2023, and HCMF, November 2024.

Reviews

Seismograf

“Christensen’s music teases the attention rather than demanding it in a big forte fortissimo. Similarly, it was also clear that something important is at stake in Eating a Man. But it was liberatingly unclear whether the gaze is directed at Christensen himself as a form of cathartic self-insight or at a prejudiced and xenophobic outside world”.

Credits

Performers: My Hellgren (vlc), Vicky Wright (cl), Rowland Sutherland (fl), Matias Seibæk (perc), Fei Nie (pno), Kasia Ziminska (vio), Clara Stensgaard (voc)
Composer: Christian Winther Christensen
Staging and direction: Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Video: Christian Winther Christensen and Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Light design: Maria Pi Houmann
Technical Manager: Mette Hornbek Hansen
Performance images: Marc Fluri

Supported by

The Creative Europe programme of the European Union, Sounds Now, The Danish Arts Foundation, Augustinus Fonden, KODA Cultur and William Demant Fonden.


Cantus

Cantus

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Copenhagen
September, 2024
World premiere of a new work by Jeppe Ernst

Cantus (Bind III) is a non-verbal choir-piece commissioned by the Scenatet and composed by the ensemble’s recurring collaborator, Jeppe Ernst. The piece is a testament to the fruitfulness of the collaboration between Scenatet and Ernst, as well as an example of their joint effort to challenge preconceived notions of what classical music and drama is and can be.

In a study of social dynamics and intersubjective relationships, ten musicians staged as a choir perform a non-verbal script consisting of an explosion of gestures, touches and strokes. An opera of sorts, Cantus is an inquiry into the ineffability of the loneliness inherent to human existence. How intimate, how close can we be to someone, the piece seems to ask, while still feeling radically disparate and alienated from them??

Cantus proposes radical stylistic devices that suggest a brand-new approach to opera and performance. Essential for both Scenatet and Ernst is the attempt to preserve the existential and emotional depth that has always been at the core of an art form such as opera while simultaneously daring to challenge its deep-seated stylistic conventions. Cantus is yet another example of this endeavor.

Supported by

The Danish Arts Foundation, Augustinus Fonden, KODA Cultur and Knud Højgaards Fonden.


Some Songs

Only Birds Know How to Call the Sun and They Do It Every Morning

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  • Scenatet presents
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  • Passage Festival
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Works

SPOR Festival
Turkis
21:00 Saturday May 25, 2024

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Frequenz_. Festival
KulturForum
20:00 Tuesday May 28, 2024

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KM28
Karl-Marx-Straße 28, Berlin
20:00 Thurday May 30, 2024

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If a voice assistant were to learn to speak as a human infant does, through vocal experimentation and play, what might that sound like? And if this learning process were to unfold in the context of an experimental avant-fusion band, what kind of unexpected and unconventional music might be the result?

Questions such as these are interrogated and – perhaps – even answered throughout composer Kaj Duncan David’s new work bearing the playfully unassuming title, Some Songs, which was commissioned and produced by Scenatet in collaboration with Frequenz Festival. The music takes the listener on a trip through places that are at once both humorous and delicately moving. Starting where David’s solo album All Culture Is Dissolving (2021) left off, this new concert-length work takes his exploration of the link between artificiality and reality to its next logical step. Inspired by emergent AI-technology and cyber-cultural references ranging from vaporwave aesthetics and techno-shamanistic visions to the sound design of computer games, Some Songs deconstructs the dichotomy between human and non-human.

Performing vocals and keys himself, Kaj Duncan David will be leading a small electro-quartet completed by EWI (electronic wind instrument), MIDI percussion, and electric guitar. The work is commissioned by SPOR festival and Frequenz Festival and will be premiered at SPOR festival May 2024 and will tour to Frequenz Festival, Kiel and KM28, Berlin May 2024 and HCMF November 2024.

Credits

Performers: Vicky Wright (EWI), Mikkel Schou (gui), Matias Seibæk (perc), Kaj Duncan David (pno & voc)
Composer: 
Kaj Duncan David
Text: Maikon Kempinski

Supported by

Creative Europe programme of the European Union, Sounds Now, Danish Arts Foundation and KODA Culture.


Almost in G

Almost in G

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On the album Almost in G, Scenatet are playing a diverse selection of pieces by the Danish experimental composer Christian Winther Christensen. Christensen is one of the ensemble’s recurring collaborators and for good reason: “Scenatet are an ensemble particularly well suited to my music: a close-knit group with enough time to go into detail, and musicians who thrive on a challenge”, he has said.

The pieces on Almost in G were carefully selected for Scenatet. The compositions manage to put the full range of the ensemble’s expertise to use: their technical mastery of the instruments, of course, but also their fearlessness in regard to leaving the safe hiding places behind their instruments in order to explore radically unorthodox techniques. Take for instance the album’s titular piece: a small, detailed work, constantly circling about the tonality of G, where, in the beginning, the strings of the piano are completely covered in tape, which is then gradually removed as the piece continues.

The result is a piece that, as the daily newspaper Politiken wrote in a highly positive review, “sounds like a craftsman making sequences of sounds at his planing bench”. In that sense, the piece is an example of Christensen and Scenatet’s penchant for challenging the divide between the familiar and the unfamiliar: a wildly unfamiliar technique can suddenly produce sounds that resemble the sounds of our everyday life, while a familiar instrumental palette can lead to sounds that appear strange and even alienating.

In 2019, the album was nominated for the German Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik in the category Contemporary Classical Music.

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Reviews

The album was very well received by listeners:

“There is an urgent originality at work here that absolutely sparkles next to less daring new classical recordings. Comparisons aside, it is a thrilling hour of compositions expertly performed by the SCENATET Ensemble for Art & Music,”
badpress-blog

Toneshift.net calls Christian Winther Christensen a thoughtful and enigmatic composer “showing us the entire construction process in a manneristic fashion, and giving himself the time to invent and alchemically morph materials into other states of being to juxtapose them in a schematic and very interesting way.”

Toneshift.net

“…vivid, emotional, modern, luminous and filled with colourful contrasts and stunning surprises.”
avantscena.wordpress.com

Credits

Composed by Christian Winther Christensen
All tracks is performed by Scenatet 
Recorded at The Royal Danish Academy of Music, August 2017
Recording producer and sound engineer: Peter Barnow
Editing and mixing: Peter Barnow and Christian Winther Christensen
Mastering: Peter Barnow

Supported by

Danish Composer’s Society, Solistforeningen, the Danish Conductors Association and DJBFA – Composer and Songwriters’ Production Pool and Koda’s Cultural Funds.


Angel View

Angel View

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Throughout the last decade, Angel View has gone through several iterations. Beginning in 2014 as a performance piece created by British composer Juliana Hodkinson in collaboration with the music- and performance ensemble Scenatet, who commissioned the work along with SPOR Festival and MaerzMusik/Berliner Festspiele, the piece was performed at several festivals before being turned into a cinematic work directed by filmmaker Michael Madsen in 2018. Then three years later, in 2021, Angel View was finally recorded and released as a studio album by the Vienna and Innsbruck-based label col legno.

Even stripped of its visual components, Angel View is permeated by a striking sense of place: every sound seems to suggest incredibly specific tactile experiences inherent to our modern industrial environment – chiseling cement, scraping cutlery, breaking glass, criss-crossing cables, squealing tram-wheels. Described by The Journal of Music as “boundless”, Angel View is an assemblage of urban and musical debris made up of over twenty parts, each designed to overlap. The work’s architecture is full of non-sequiturs and arbitrary cross-relations between imagined streets intersecting and running parallel, reflecting the surrealism at the core of everyday life.

Released December 2021 at col legno.

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Angel View

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  • August 6, 2023

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Angel View is a performance piece created by British composer Juliana Hodkinson in collaboration with the music- and performance ensemble Scenatet, who commissioned the work along with SPOR Festival and MaerzMusik/Berliner Festspiele, where the work was premiered in 2014. Described by The Journal of Music as “boundless”, Angel View is an assemblage of urban and musical debris, somewhere between a wordless live radio play, enacted film soundtrack, and instrumental theatre. Made up of over twenty parts, each designed to overlap, the work’s architecture is full of non-sequiturs and arbitrary cross-relations between imagined streets intersecting and running parallel, reflecting the surrealism at the core of everyday life.

In 2018, after having performed the work several times, Scenatet and Hodkinson decided to transform the underlying score and live concert of Angel View into a cinematic work. The resulting film, directed by danish filmmaker Michael Madsen, explores and expands the cinematic and theatrical components that were already at work in the original performance to create a boundary pushing work that manages to be at once humorous and strikingly poetic. The film was premiered in installation format at SPOR Festival 2018.

Reviews

Seismograf

“Eating a Man” [..] was crazy. Spor Festival 2021 did not offer tasty tapas, but went for the main course: The urge to perform spills out of the works being written today, the musicians refuse to be reduced to mediators, and the composers want to be there where it happens”

“Christensen’s music teases the attention rather than demanding it in a big forte fortissimo. Similarly, it was also clear that something important is at stake in Eating a Man. But it was liberatingly unclear whether the gaze is directed at Christensen himself as a form of cathartic self-insight or at a prejudiced and xenophobic outside world.”

Magasinet Opulens

“Tonen slogs direkt an i Christian Winther Christensens kammaropera Eating a Man. Denna hade premiär i en första version på Spor 2009 och kretsade då kring en ritual att äta en människa för att på så vis låta denna leva vidare efter sin död. Sedan dess har tonsättaren bildat familj och denna levnadssituation utgjorde i den nya versionen en utvidgad fond där en snabbuppspelning av familjens filmade vardag kring mat- och arbetsbordet ställs mot det sceniska i form av sångerskan Clara Stensgaard, mamman i familjen. Genom denna dubbelexponering skapas en sällsam reflektion kring tid, förgänglighet och kanske uppoffring för den andra eller sin nästa. Allt är tonsatt med Winther Christensens typiska subtila klanger och musikaliska motiv.”

Credits

Performers: My Hellgren (vlc), Vicky Wright (cl), Rowland Sutherland (fl), Matias Seibæk (perc), Fei Nie (pno), Kasia Ziminska (vio), Clara Stensgaard (voc)
Composer: Christian Winther Christensen
Staging and direction: Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Video: Christian Winther Christensen and Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Light design: Maria Pi Houmann
Technical Manager: Mette Hornbek Hansen
Performance images: Marc Fluri

Supported by

The Creative Europe programme of the European Union, Sounds Now, The Danish Arts Foundation, Augustinus Fonden, KODA Cultur and William Demant Fonden.