• Eivind Buene
  • Sea Change (2016)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • 0+afl.0.0+bcl.1/1110/3perc/pf/str
  • vn,va,vc
  • 12 min

Programme Note

Sea Change is a work of free associations and delirious connections, centered on water, bells, and the after-image of a funeral. It started in Venice, where I heard London Sinfonietta premiere a new piece by Sciarrino at the Music Biennale. I didn’t know they were playing – I was in town to start writing the new piece, in a room at a pensione in Zattere, overlooking the Guidecca canal. To get away from the work I would reward myself with small boat trips over to the Nono archive at Guidecca, where I shuffled through Luigi Nono’s sketches for Fragmente-Stille, an Diotima. In the afternoons the church bells sounded with the same sounds I can hear echoing through …sofferte onde serene… - not that either of these pieces are dealt with in Sea Change, but when you can practically see Nono’s house from your window, well, it instils a certain mood. So the sound of bells over the waters would multiply and merge with the funeral bells still ringing in my years after my father’s funeral a few weeks before I left Oslo. And I realized I was writing this piece for him. The feel of Venice, where light is the only solid thing and marble float like floes on the canals, can be deceptive. When I got back to the gloom of Scandinavian November, I realized I couldn’t use much of the work I’d done. But a certain trinity stayed with me, and with the piece: Water, bells, death. And it is all there in the famous paragraph from Shakespeare’s Tempest, from which I have lifted the title. Not very original, but very true.

Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made,
Those are pearls that were his eyes,
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
into something rich and strange,
sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: Ding-dong.
Hark! now I hear them, ding-dong, bell.

Text: Eivind Buene.

View Score

Score preview