Anna Þorvaldsdóttir: Dreaming

Anna Þorvaldsdóttir (b. 1977) is one of Iceland’s most celebrated composers. Her works have been released on CD by Deutsche Grammophon and Sono Luminus, and she has composed for groups such as Ensemble Intercontemporain, The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and The Crossing Choir. Anna received the Kravis Emerging Composer Prize awarded by the New York Philharmonic, which will premiere a new work of hers in 2018.

Anna’s soundscape is expansive and her works are frequently inspired by Icelandic landscape. Of Dreaming, she gives the following comment:

flow free

A quiet soundworld is born from silence, the piece is born from the quiet. The music is in a single movement which from beginning to end embodies a flowing world of sound. The conductor becomes a part of the orchestra as his role and “performance” is at certain moments written in a different way than regular beating of time. After the development of a flowing interplay between the instruments, each performer gradually begins to perform individually so that the orchestra becomes an ensemble of soloistic events. The motionless presence of the conductor directs the piece in the end – his presence alone is enough to lead the orchestra and the piece into the infinite. Time is redundant. The cycle continues.

In each chord there is a world of collective sounds where the small sound particles dissolve and create their own world. By attending to the various qualities of the sound the perception can be changed from one moment to the next.