• Britta Byström
  • Many, Yet One (2016)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • 2+pic.3.2+ebcl.343303percstr
  • 18 min

Programme Note

Many, yet one is a piece consisting of seven different 'musical pictures' with small bridges between them. In these bridges, the orchestra strives against an unisono (everybody plays the same thing), and the last picture consists of all the small bridges put together. The title comes from the Indonesian national motto: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), which seemed suitable both because of the unisono parts - many voices sounding like one! - and because there are traces of Indonesian Gamelan music in the piece. This could be heard both in some of the musical intervals, but also in the instrumentation: I have used a lot of bells – glockenspiel, mostly – and gongs, and the bright colours of the orchestra might sometimes remind of the sound of a Gamelan ensemble. This piece – suitable for this occasion*, I think! – is a kind of tribute to the orchestra, which consists of so many different voices, but yet, for me as a composer, is one big instrument.

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra commissioned the piece in connection to the announcement of Britta Byström as the 8th winner of Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award for Female Composers back in 2015.

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