Veronique Vaka: Rift

Veronique Vaka, born in 1986, is an Icelandic-based Canadian cellist and composer. She studied classical cello performance at Vincent-d’Indy and continued her studies in electroacoustic composition at the University of Montreal. Veronique is currently in the master’s degree program of composition at The Iceland Academy of the Arts under the guidance of Páll Ragnar Pálsson and Þuríður Jónsdóttir. Veronique took a step towards a more abstract approach to her music when she started her research: From Landscape to Music Notation. The intention of her work is to create a poetic context between what she sees, hears and feels in the unspoiled nature, and combine it into a musical composition. Her composition style can be described as organic, with an emphasis on small details such as rhythmic, textural, and timbral elements.

About Rift
“Rift is the mapping of Búrfellsgjá’s landscape, and I imagined the eruption of Búrfell, which occurred around 8000 years ago. The work starts from the caldera making its way to the descending lava channels, which fuse together into a large river of lava, then filters into streams which run all the way into the sea. 

Through a combination of imagination and fieldwork, I collected data which evolved into compositional ideas. Landforms became the main structure of the piece, remanence of the flowing lava visible today, sculpted with the passing of time, affected the amplitude as well as the spectra. The numerous fissures created new events, the ever-changing colours of the land had an impact on the timbre, and smaller details were expressed with different extended techniques.”