2019

Time Combinations

for Harp, Flute & Four Voices

performed by

Stacey Pelinka - Flute

Jennifer Ellis - Harp

Christina Stanley - Soprano

Leandra Ramm - Alto

Kevin Baum - Tenor

Richard Mix - Bass

Time Combinations is inspired by and derived from a lecture by Gertrude Stein titled “Composition as Explanation”, delivered first at Cambridge and Oxford and published in 1926. I selected an excerpt from the text which I found captivating and because of the multifaceted and untranslatable nature of the text, I decided to feed it several times through Google translate. I translated the text to Icelandic and then back to English, which gave the text a minute difference from the original, but also, a subtly different meaning. I kept translating back and forth between the two languages until the translation became stable. Each version of the text appears in the piece, spoken or whispered by the vocalists and overlapping as to create a confusing but compelling, transparent, sonic landscape, enhanced and augmented by the harp and flute, who interweave and micmic, translate - or explain the sounds of each other.

2019

12 Circles

for String Instrument, Piano & Voice

performed by

Rodolfo Cordova-Lebron - Voice

Lee Hodel - Double Bass

Nayoung Young - Piano

2019

My Laces Are Constantly Coming Undone

for String Quartet

performed by Eclipse Quartet

Written during the Eclipse Quartet's residency at Mills College in May 2019, "Laces" explores the similarities between sounds from the string family and the friction of rubber soles on a wooden floor. Written as a mixture of traditional notation and graphic score, including seperate clefs for each part of the instrument and foot action, the piece aims to sound the composer's feelings toward the violin, which he has played since he can remember as well as to involve the often ignored foot movements of classical performers. 

SANS

2018

Electronic Music for People & Other Objects II: Circulation

for 4 or more performers with various mediums

A voice is heard by the computer who translates the letters into synthesised tones. The
tones are then heard by another performer who creates something other than
an audible signal, for example a video. The video then becomes another score for
another performer, and keeps going until it becomes text again which will be
spoken by the "narrator". For this performance in December 2018 the loop was as
follows: I was the narrator, my computer translated language to sound, Sally
Decker translated sound to video, Mitch Stahlmann translated video to Flute
sounds, Jake Parker Scott translated Flute sounds to drawings and Timothy
Russel translated the drawings to text. As soon as one person stops their
performance, the piece cannot continue, just as a feedback loop stops as soon
as you turn down the gain of one signal. 

Video taken at Jeannik Méquet Littlefield Concert Hall, Mills College in December 2018.

Performers: Pétur Eggerts - Microphone

Pétur's Laptop - Speech to Sound Synthesis

Sally Decker - Video Synth

Mitch Stahlmann - Flute

Jake Parker Scott - Whiteboard and Marker

Timothy Russell - Pen and Notepad

2018

Echotopoeia

for Chamber Ensemble and fixed video

Video of Caput Ensemble at the premiere performance in Harpa, Reykjavík in October 2018.

The word Echotopoeia is made up of two ancient greek etymological roots. “Echo” means sound while “-topoeia” is borrowed from the word “Onomatopoeia” which literally translates as “making words” but is used to describe words that resemble the sound of the object described, for instance: bang, meow and hiccup. In this light, “Echotopoe- ia” can mean “making sounds” and describe sounds that resemble other sounds. This is an accurate job description of the “Foley” artist. They recreate and record sounds for film and television, whether they are sounds which were not recorded succesfully while filming (shoes on surfaces, a rustle in clothing) or if they are new sounds which are diffi- cult to record such as bones breaking, animal noises or explosions. Among objects used include: celery, coconut halves, rubber gloves, frozen cabbage and soap. These objects make up the material of Echotopoeia. Foley actions are shown on a screen while the ensemble recreates their sounds, which were previously recorded, analyzed and arranged by the composer. But all is not as it seems. The visual material begins to take on characteristics of electronic music, the realms intertwine and instruments morph. The sounds’ origins become unclear and the performers become closer to the visual material than they expect.

2018

SANS

for String Quartet

SANS is a piece for String Quartet but also an installation. While performing, the quartet creates several products which are a manifestation of the score intended for all senses. The video was recorded at the Icelandic University of the Arts in April 2018. The photograph of the installation is taken at an exhibition in The Reykjavík Art Museum in May 2018. 

2017

Advanced Motor Skills

for 2-4 performers

Performers compete against each other while imitating one another, dispersed around a rotating score which controls their pitches and dynamics. Photo taken by Magnús Andersen at a performance in Mengi in 2017.

2016

Allir voru bara frekar hressir og héldu svo bara áfram / Everybody was feeling alright and just kept on going

for 5 or more performers

Performers take on various roles while dispersing their score around the stage. The composer must make sure that they keep on playing whatever happens. 

2015

Hnignun / Decay

for Chamber Ensemble

10 performers sit in a circle playing the same bittersweet chorale over and over, exchanging their instruments each repetition until they are as far away from their original instrument as possible.