Arne Nordheim composed Vevnad (Weaving) in conjunction with Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum's 100th year anniversary in 1993 as a tribute to Hannah Ryggen, an artist who for nearly four decades created tapestries based on a committed social and political engagement. The piece is a homage to the artist, her approach to her medium, and reflects the concept of weaving on several levels: the score consists of three sections, all named after technical terms of weaving: Woven piece, Weft and Warp. The piano part is composed and drawn in a manner that visually makes the notes in the original score resemble woven material.
The piece was recreated by Asbjørn Flø for the exhibition 'Forms of Modern Life' at Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) in 2011. This was the first time this experimental composition has been revisited and performed publicly since the introduction to audiences in 1993. It has since been performed at this year´s dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, as part of an exhibition of Hannah Ryggen´s politically engaged tapestries.
During the actual performance in 1993, Nordheim steered a Disklavier from a computer with the front of the instrument removed facing towards the audience. The strings and the mechanical movements inside the Disklavier thus resembled a shuttle moving through the warp of a loom. At Ultima Academy, the piece will be performed by Sverre Riise (trombone), Emery Cardas (cello) and Asbjørn Flø (disklavier and electronics), who will also hold a presentation of the work.
Watch an excerpt from the dOCUMENTA (13) performance:
About the artists
Arne Nordheim (1931-2010) made his international breakthrough in the beginning of the 1960s with the song cycle Aftonland (Evening Land, 1957), followed by Canzona (1960) and Epitaffio (1963). His work has since then been played by leading orchestras and musicians around the world, and he is considered the Norwegian contemporary composer who has achieved the greatest recognition beyond the boarders of his own country. Nordheim received a large number of prices and honors including the Arts Council Norway Honorary Award (1990). From 1981 he was the tenant of Grotten, the honorary residence offered by the State to the nation's most outstanding creative artist. In 1997 he was elected honorary member of the International Society for Contemporary Music.
Emery Cardas was born in Genoa, Italy in 1961. After receiving his diploma at the Conservatory in Naples, Italy, he studied at the Music Academy in Vienna with Tobias Kühne, and at Indiana University in Bloomington with Janos Starker. For many years he played in the Christopher Quartet with his three brothers, coached among others by Hatto Beyerle, Rostislav Dubinsky and Leonard Bernstein. He has held the principal cello position in Naples (Italy), Barcelona (Spain), Bergen (Norway), and is currently Principal cellist in The Norwegian Radio Orchestra in Oslo. His instrument is a Nicola Gagliano, Naples 1769.
Sverre Riise studied trombone with professor Ingemar Roos at the Norwegian State academy of Music, and has held the position as principal trombone in the Norwegian Opera Orchestra and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, where he still is today. In 2000-2001 and 2006 he was playing with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and he has occasionally been playing with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Oslo Sinfonietta. Sverre Riise is currently a teacher at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo.
Asbjørn Blokkum Flø holds a diploma in composition from the Norwegian Academy of Music. Since 1999 he has worked as a freelance composer and sound artist with focus on instrumental music, electronic music and sound art for radio and installations. Flø's works have been performed in a number of festivals, including DEAF (Dutch Electronic Arts festival, Rotterdam, the Netherlands), Synthése (International Festival of electronic music and sonic art - Bourges, France), Ultima, Oslo and the Ibsen Festival, Oslo. He has represented Norway in Ars Acustica twice.
Adapted from http://www.oca.no/press/releases/5570/arne-nordheim-vevnad