• Poul Ruders
  • Sound and Simplicity (2018)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)

Accordionist Bjarke Mogensen has exclusivity. Exceptions to the exclusivity are possible. For this contact your local Promotion office.

  • 2(pic).2.2.2/4221/timp.perc/hp.syn/str (min.
  • acn
  • 25 min

Programme Note

Sound and Simplicity - Seven Pillars of Music for Accordion and Symphony Orchestra

All music is sound, but not all music is simple. Simplicity is a virtue, especially in the arts, a fact which becomes increasingly and inescapably obvious to me the older I get. In Sound and Simplicity four out of the seven movements are very simple (as in the absence of any structural and metric complexity) indeed, in fact the second movement Trance, a sustained chord, employs only four notes, but gradually presented over three octaves.

Only two of the seven titles are related to a given literary text. Rain is a musical reflection on a couple of lines from Danish writer Arthur Krasilnikoff, the novel The Eye of the Whale (from the chapter entitled Rain) – here in my translation from the Danish: “But best of all were the sounds from the drops. All the myriad sounds with which a drop could touch a leaf, a twig, a stone, gravel, the cement on the stairs, the clothesline, the roof, as if the rain was playing a single, incredible instrument…”

I composed the fourth Pillar of Music upon having read these mesmerizing lines by Doris Lessing: “The air was full of dust and of smoke. The sky was a yellowish swirl with dark smoke full of black bits pouring across it, and the sun was only a lighter place in the smoke.” (from Mara and Dann, 1999).

Otherwise the listener is completely free to contemplate what could possibly be hiding behind the titles Trance, Haiku, Song-link, Twilight and Wolf Moon

Needless to say, the full title of my composition is lifted and slightly twisted from two literary classics. Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility and T.E.Lawrence (of Arabia): Seven Pillars of Wisdom. But only that – a nod and a bow from me…

Sound and Simplicity marks the final panel in what could be called 'The Accordion Trilogy': Serenade on the Shores of the Cosmic Ocean (accordion and string quartet) then Songs and Rhapsodies (accordion and wind quintet) and finally Sound and Simplicity.

Poul Ruders, July 2018



Accordionist Bjarke Mogensen has exclusivity for playing solo part, expires on April 5 2023