The Otheroom – Rolf Wallin at Ultima festival

The Otheroom – Rolf Wallin at Ultima festival
Oslo’s City Hall will play host to “a pageant of fluid, non-stop movement” as it is transformed to become The Otheroom, open this year’s Ultima festival on September 8. The new collaborative work, which has been created by composer Rolf Wallin with scenographers/choreographers Heine Avdal and Yukiki Shinozaki (fieldworks).
The piece features four ‘mobile’ musicians (Marco Blaauw, Christine Chapman, Bruce Collings and Melvyn Poore) playing double-bell brass instruments. Each performer’s movement is directed by a dancer who guides them around the space. Meanwhile, helium balloons containing loudspeakers float overhead. Nothing – not even the audience – stands still in this disorientating fusion of sound and movement.
Described by the composer as “a kind of ritual”, The Otheroom develops musical ideas heard in Wallin’s futuristic opera Elysium which premiered earlier this year and was praised by the Financial Times (London) praised for the “emotional and engaging” way it fused orchestral and electronic soundworlds.
Following its world premiere in Oslo, The Otheroom will be presented at Transit 20/21 new music festival at STUK in Leuven, Belgium on October 30 and at PACT Zollverein, Essen, Germany on November 5.
Under City Skin
The Otheroom is the first of two premieres of Wallin’s music taking place at Ultima festival this year. On September 17, violinist Peter Herresthal will give the first performance of a new version of Under City Skin with Oslo Camerata conducted by Øyvind Bjorå in the Marble Hall of Sentralen, Oslo. In the piece (which was originally composed for viola in 2009) the soloist becomes an explorer who looks beneath the surface of the urban jungle. The piece will be recorded for release on BIS Records next year.

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