• Britta Byström
  • A Room Of One's Own (2020)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • str
  • 9 min

Programme Note

to Malin Broman x 8

When Malin Broman during autumn 2020 came up with the idea that I should write a piece which she could ”play with herself”, my thoughts immediately went to Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. Woolf’s titel refers to the privacy that women need to write literature (”A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”). I thought rather of the great joy that comes from the lonely process of creating a work of art, and of the magical moments that may arise in that process. This magic remains also during a pandemic. During the last 18 months, we have seen the music life sadly affected by restrictions and lock-downs, but the joy of making music has still lived on, untouchable in its own private rooms.

In this piece, Malin plays eight different parts on three different string instruments – violin, viola and cello. Furthermore, she whistles and speaks – in eight voices – a text fragment that is written into the score. This fragment comes from A Room of One’s Own and is, I think, partly given a new meaning during this period of closed concert halls: ”there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”

My piece is connected to another work which I composed a few years ago for Malin Broman and Rick Stotijn, the double concerto Infinite Rooms. At that time, I tried to create large-scaled orchestral rooms, inspired by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Now, however, we will move from the large orchestral hall into the small, private chamber, but the principle is the same: also the private room proves to be an infinity chamber, where a small number of musical details multiply themselves infinitely through mirrors. And did anyone think that Malin is an extrovert person? Appearances can be deceiving. She is in fact, she tells us, an introvert. Therefore, she really needs a room of her own.

Britta Byström