• Maja S. K. Ratkje
  • Concerto for Voice (moods IIIc) (2015)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • 3(2pic).2+ca.2(Ebcl.cbcl)+bcl.2+cbn/4331/timp.3perc/hp.pf.cel/str
  • voice
  • 25 min

Programme Note

Concerto for Voice (moods IIIc) is written as to explore what happens when you place a close-up, amplified, super individualistic, self trained voice in front of a dynamic orchestra. As both a composer and performer, I was thrilled to get a chance to do this first in 2005, writing a commission for Radio France for the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. A sinfonietta version of the piece was formed in 2007. At last I got the chance to write this version for full orchestra, to be premiered with Trondheim Symphony Orchestra under Trondheim Chamber Music Festival in 2015.

The piece is best experienced live, because the distance and volume of sound sources is unpredictable, it plays with the way we expect orchestral music to sound. There is no text nor narratives behind the choice of voice and mouth sounds, there’s no reference to literature in this piece even though the piece has a metaphorical element traditionally connected to speech and semantics: the type writer, symbolically (and audibly!) connected to the singer as if trying to form words and sentences out of the single sounds.

In Concerto for Voice the orchestral part is thoroughly composed, whereas the voice solo part follows, with few exceptions of some sustained pitched notes, guidance and frames for improvisation. Concerto for Voice also deals with spectral harmonies (hence the subtitle moods, following a series of pieces dealing with spectral composing) and heritage from ‘concréte sound’ thinking, but is over all a concerto form where the voice and the orchestra are in constant contrast to or in coherent relation to each other.