for mezzo soprano, percussion and electronics.
Gesång was written for Swedish Duo Ego and is part of a project performing works by Cage and Stockhausen alongside new music reflecting the old. Gesång is a comment and an hommage to Karlheinz Stockhausens iconic electronic work Gesang der Jünglinge, composed 1955-56.
In my piece, the electronics is placed in the background and works as an extension of the voice and the percussion instruments. I have used the Swedish translation of ”Gesang der Jünglinge” from the Bible (an addition to The Book of Daniel). In Stockhausen, the German translation is heard very fragmentary, in my music, the text is more articulate. I’ve also explored certain semantic meanings of the text, like the role of the fire in the story. Listeners might recognize some intervals and gestures from Gesang der Jünglinge, but it is music freely inspired by the electronic word of Stockhausen.
Gesång is a piece for mezzo soprano, percussion and electronics. The piece is part of a project performing works by Cage and Stockhausen alongside new music reflecting the old. Gesång is a comment and an hommage to Karlheinz Stockhausens iconic electronic work Gesang der Jünglinge, composed 1955-56.
Score available at Svensk Musik.
Other performances include:
“In Jenny Hettnes Gesång, all the percussion instruments on the stage came to use. The stillness and emphasis on the text, in particular the word ‘Lord’, was greater. Sounds of glas and metal picked up where the electronics left off, and the effervescence was picked up by the voice in repeated, ultrarapid ‘Praise the lord’. The attention was heightened by subtle playing on flower pots and gongs, as in an alchemist’s laboratorium, where it burned, crackled and chimed softly, a homely and pleasant mirror image of existences grave mysteries.”
— Camilla Dal on Gesång (free translation)
“Jenny Hettne elaborates on the theme in her Gesång. Here the mezzo soprano Monica Danielson and percussionist Per Sjögren, together Duo ego, tread fortThe music is perhaps more contemplative and the text now in Swedish, the same biblical source, and somewhat clearer now. All manner of percussion comes to use. It is somewhat like seeing into a musical wizards workshop when flower pots, glasses and almost anything is used. Exciting musically, but also functioning musically. Monica Danelson’s voice goes från almost imperceptible to high and clear. The voice sometimes an instrument among others.
Hettnes Gesång really does work as a continuation of Stockhausens work, as an addition even if it has its individual character. The evenings perhaps strongest impression.”
— Lars Westin on Gesång (free translation)