Work Residency: Rebecka Ahvenniemi

BEK 21.10.2019 27.10.2019


“A Musical Love Letter” is a combined music and video work where a letter is being created; both musically performed by oboe, clarinet, saxophone and percussion, and as a video where the letter slowly emerges as a picture. The music closely follows the gestures of the fountain pen as it moves on the paper. At BEK, Rebecka Ahvenniemi will pre-film video, mix on a big screen and add ‘click track’ to the video.

‘Click track’ will later be coordinated according to the note image, that the musicians hear internally through headphones while playing, and indicates the beginning of each movement.

In order to ‘time’ the musical gestures accurately with the movement of the writing – the pen’s written gesticulation – audio is also recorded during the video recording. The sound of the writing as the pen moves on the paper will assist in shaping the musical gestures of the score.

The music is composed afterwards and delivered to the musicians in the form of an accomplished score.

The project is currently titled “A Musical Love Letter“, but has also for a while carried the title “An Anarchist’s Love Letter to a Conservative“. The work is not overly political, but opens up a space that reflects a meeting. The letter, which appears as a handwriting, is an anarchic act through a conservative medium. The core of the work is formed by the gesticulate and slow development of music and writing in dialogue. The two different media should not appear as separate, but are equal in performance.

The project will be premiered by ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) in New York, mid-February 2020. The premiere will be recorded, and presented at BEK later in the spring of 2020.

About Rebecka Ahvenniemi

Rebecka Sofia Ahvenniemi (b. 1982) is a philosopher and composer based in Bergen. Originally from Finland, she moved to Norway in 2004. She graduated from the University of Bergen, the University of Helsinki, the Free University of Berlin and Columbia University. Rebecka has taught various music and social sciences at the University of Bergen for several years. In addition, she started the project “New Voices: The Composer Workshop for Music, Philosophy and Social Criticism” in 2017, where she teaches and directs seminars, primarily aimed at women who want to compose music professionally. Today, she is in the final phase of a doctoral dissertation in music philosophy, which is delivered to the University of Helsinki.

In recent years, Rebecka has become increasingly involved in exploring contextual, societal, and cultural policy thinking around musical composition. Most of Rebecca’s works are written as scores in various forms. Often, electronics are used as well. Rebecka released her first record, “Tacit-Citat-ion”, which consists of 11 chamber music works, on June 16, 2019.

Rebecka Ahvenniemi