Alexandra Nilsson: Öländsk Svit
(Submitted by ISCM – SWEDISH SECTION)
Alexandra Nilsson (b. 1979) is a composer, musician and performer based in Stockholm, Sweden. Her work stretches across acoustic and electroacoustic music, sound art, noise and performative practices. Lyrical as well as brutal, minimalist and maximalist, her art extends the very delicate and subtle expressions to the harsh and fierce. She researches materials aurally, visually and contextually, and she is interested in organic and non-organic processes and transformations and transcendence of the material. With a background as a trumpeter in jazz and folklore, energy movement, rhythm and improvisation are also important aspects of her practice. She has composed for chamber ensemble, big band and orchestra, as well as for theatre, dance and film, and she collaborates on a regular basis with visual artists and musicians/performers internationally with performances in Sweden, Germany, Norway, Japan, Russia and Brazil.
Öländsk Svit (2018) is a 30-minute suite of four movements composed for limestone and sandstone from Öland. The movements are named after places from where the composer collected stones.
Nilsson writes, “Since a kid I have collected stones from wherever I travelled, but mostly limestone fossils from my childhood shores at the island Öland in the south of Sweden. The fossils fascinated me so much in an intuitively captivating way, both for their visual beauty and also for the overwhelming millions of years they embodied, giving perspective on a short human existence. When I started researching stones as sound objects, I felt I rediscovered them. Their hard brutalism but also their soft grace inspired me, and the dense energy they inhibit makes me venerate them.”
Öländsk Svit was commissioned 2018 by Samtida Musik (organisation for Contemporary Music in Sweden) the ensemble Hidden Mother, a duo for scenic music consisting of the percussionists Magdalena Meitzner and Ulrik Nilsson. The piece premiered in 2019 in the church of Bredäng in southern Stockholm, in a production by Samtida Musik.