Composer: Eivind Buene. Albedo(NO) – ALBCD020. With Oslo Sinfonietta, soloists: Christian Wallumrød, Torben Snekkestad.
One of the most pressing problems facing the composers of our time has to do with the overwhelming abundance of differing styles existing side by side. It must be difficult for the composer to decide just what comprises a relevant musical statement when a universal agreement concerning the musical elements and movements that present themselves as meaningful no longer exists. Both to find a formula that works well and to repeat this, and to begin from the ground up every time one wishes to compose a new piece, are in the long run of little satisfaction and productivity.
In such a situation it is not surprising that a whole gaggle of composers has appeared, whose musical works appear to be continuous and whole, yet somehow simultaneously incomplete. Rather than the individual pieces being understandable as clearly separate and defined units, they appear as temporary players of an eternal workin-progress, in which the composer constantly digs himself more deeply into a set of musical problems that develop over time.
Eivind Buene is one composer who thinks in this way. If one looks through his list of works in chronological order, it is like listening to the development of a clearly-defined though simultaneously ever-expanding artistic project, in which ideas that turn up in one piece are developed in another and completed in a third, although not before new, apparently organic ideas have grown out of the Buene substance.
Eivind Buene (b. 1973 in Oslo) studied music education and composition at the Norwegian State Academy of Music with Asbjørn Schaathun. At the academy he became part of a dynamic milieu and among other things helped found the periodical Parergon, in which he sat on the editorial staff and contributed a series of articles. As was the case with many of the composers in the circle around Parergon, it was the resonant world of modernism (mind you, removed from its dogmatic program) that formed the starting point for Buenes compositive activities, and by writing himself through and out of his tradition, he has during recent years written himself into a radical postmodern tradition, in which complex timbral surfaces are combined with sophisticated, vacant and in part playful experiments of form. For Buene the birth of art lies in the friction between contrasting elements. The most central dichotomy for him is without doubt the contrast between the abstracted compository work and the highly concrete resultant music, or to use the composer’s own words, the musical text and the physically resonating body. This is of course a field of excitation that is not in any concrete way set into his compositions, it exists rather alongside the work, but in every way it is this approach to the matter that creates the driving forces propelling his work onward.
Oslo Sinfonietta was established in 1986 by the norwegian composer Asbjørn Schaathun, and is the oldest contemporary music ensemble in Norway. The Oslo Sinfonietta consists of a pool of musicians, including some of the finest Norwegian musicians from the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Norwegian Opera, Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestra and freelancers. Christian Eggen is the artistic leader of the ensemble.
Christian Eggen “probably the best conductor of contemporary music in the whole of Scandinavia” according to the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.
Following studies in Oslo, Salzburg, Vienna, Paris and New York, he began to conduct in the early eighties, leading the Norwegian New Music Ensemble on tours in Scandinavia and Europe, and at the same time continued his career as a pianist, notably renowned for his performances of Mozart and Bach. His wide range of repertoire also includes jazz. Christian Eggen has written music for theatre, film and radio, as well as chamber music, orchestral music and electroacoustic installations.
His skills in and deep knowledge of contemporary music have made him a frequent guest conductor for ensembles and orchestras all over the world, beside his regular post as artistic director and conductor of Oslo Sinfonietta and Cikada.