In this year’s commissioned work, composer Ståle Kleiberg and poet Helge Torvund contemplate the world, science, the environment and sensuality in a way which challenges the listener to sharpen all bodily senses in order to discover surprising connections.
These two old friends bring with them to St. Olav Festival an exclusive and specially commissioned concert performance Trur du på lyng? (Do you believe in heather?) – a four-part work for mezzo-soprano, nine musicians and a reciter. Two of the four parts have text which is sung, and the soloist is none other than our own international star Marianne Beate Kielland. The two remaining parts vary between Kleigberg’s instrumental music and Torvunds poems read by actress Andrea Bræin Hovig.
The concert performance Trur du på lyng? invites us to enter a space which is full of sensuality and intimacy as well as contemplation, meditation and something as paradoxical and resounding silence.
In Kleiberg’s tones and Torvund’s texts there is both a level which directly addresses the senses and a reflective level which is gradually revealed. We meet a world which is specific and corporal – a world where intense sensory experiences are presented in precise and unusual ways.
At the same time, the world is made mystical – full of hidden and unexpected connections. These connections are sometimes brought to the surface. «There’s a kind of silence, like the absence of bees in January», says one of the texts which is set to music – a new way to experience silence, insects and winter.
– At other times, the connections are hinted at or are only partially uncovered. In this way, the world seems both recognisable and puzzling, says Kleiberg to St. Olav Festival.
Overconfident dogmas have no place in Kleiberg and Torsund’s universe. Wonder and enigma, on the other hand, are central and mystery can be experienced in our everyday lives.
– The key lies in sharpening our senses – to listen, to observe, to sense more and in other ways than in the acquired, cliché-like manner in which we usually experience the world. With a lyrical attitude to life such as this, mystery will reveal itself in familiar things. You and your daily life will quite simply become the most important source of insight into the puzzles of life.
NB: Kleiberg’s Mass for Modern Man was commissioned for St. Olav Festival 2015. This work was later recorded and nominated for Grammies in no less than three categories in 2017.