• Anders Nordentoft
  • On This Planet (2002)
    (as ants cross over your eyelids)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • Voice
  • 1 hr 10 min

Programme Note

An ancient mythology arises in all its power and glory, and some of its many characters are united in and speak through its principal figure. He is both an independent, present-day individual and a representative of something eternally human.

He is a kind of shaman who, in a pact with the music, conjures up and lives through episodes from a life. The eternal fear of the unknown, the difficult art of love, sympathy, joy, hatred and reconciliation are themes in his narrative, which is put into perspective and commented on by the elevated poetic dimension of the texts "Earth, Love after Love" and "Missing the sea". Our protagonist was sent off by St. Peter after taking a good "piece of the cake"; he becomes part of the mighty earth again. But fortunately life goes on. The tale continues. The ants crawl busy and unperturbed over him.

The form of the opera is defined as a labyrinth where the director can freely compose the order of the various numbers (the interior of the labyrinth) until the final scene "Lucid King" (the exit from the maze), which has been fixed by the composer. In this way the most important aspect of the overall form of the music and drama is ensured - a movement from one experience of time to another, from a relatively fast "present" to a kind of "time of eternity".

The music is characterized by various kinds of circular movements: millstones, grindstones, wheels, turntables (the firmament, the planet, the cycle of life). The ecstatic, which was once part of the process of the creation of the world, is of course only the top of the iceberg. After this comes the cooler working phase, which is all about the greatest possible precision in the communication of the musical expression. The simple, the so-called banal, is for me a kind of shuddering leaning-out over a deep, beautiful abyss. But as with the scream, the sound of the electric violin and other powerful musical resources, one can home in on a calmer way of listening where other layers of the music also catch the ear.

Anders Nordentoft.


Nordentoft: On This Planet