• Maja S. K. Ratkje
  • Hvil (2008)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • voice.pf
  • 20 min

Programme Note

HVIL (Eng.: REST) is an imperative, and a plea: the earth’s plea to humankind. This plea consists of words and music which have taken shape at the same time in a close collaboration between composer and author.

The range of expression is considerable – reeling off, exclamations, whispering and intense displays of what is – and of what is in danger of disappearing; the earth is given a voice of many inflections. The tonality of the work is built on gigantic, symmetric chords which are at their densest outside of the singable register. A C sharp minor chord from Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata draws the music into the middle range, intended as a tribute to all things fragile and beautiful.
The message is simple: Humankind must slow down. Ice, glaciers, oceans, wind, forests, fields, birds, children and colours are vulnerable, structural elements in the earth’s dark song. The climate issue is the explicit, political message of this work which was conceived in an age when the most fundamental conditions for life are at stake, more exposed and vulnerable than ever.

HVIL was commissioned by the Nordland Musikkfestuke festival, Bodø, in 2008 and received its premier performance there by Marianne Beate Kielland and Nils Anders Mortensen. The piece is released on the album Come Away Death by Kielland and Sergej Osadchuk (piano) on the Norwegian label 2L, in 2010.

-Aasne Linnestå and Maja Ratkje

View Score

Excerpt