release date: 14.10.2022 on SOFA music
Kraftbalanse is a a composition for self-resonating piano, alternating current and strings, written by Smørdal in collaboration with artist Øystein Wyller Odden. The piece is based on Wyller Oddens prior investigations on the sound of the electrical grid and was part of Oslobiennalen First Edition.
The liner-note explains:
“Kraftbalanse” (Power Balance) is a musical translation of the hum from the mains, i.e., the frequency of the alternating current. The piece is based on the instability of the frequency, it fluctuates subtly around 50 Hz because of supply and demand in the power market. The composition consists of a self-resonating piano that is tuned to resonate at 50 Hz. The piano is fitted with vibration-elements; transducers, plugged directly into the electrical grid, causing the resonance and timbre of the piano to change with the fluctuations on the power market.
The piano is accompanied by a string octet. The musicians are equipped with voltmeters that measure the frequency of the current in real time, as well as a score of instructions on how to respond to changes in this frequency.
SOFA MUSIC is proud to be able to present this intriguing work by Smørdal and Wyller Odden which has a particular relevance today as the crisis in the energy market in the world is increasing. The instability in today’s power market would maybe have influenced the fluctuation of the frequencies drastically, and thus changing the musical result of this composition. However, the version recorded on Kraftbalanse is beautiful documentation of the fluctuation of the current in Oslo on the 1st of June 2019.
*** BIOs ***
Jan Martin Smørdal (b. 1978) is a Norwegian composer, with a broad musical background. After touring in the mid 00’s with artists like Jenny Hval, Hanne Hukkelberg, Jessica Sligter – and his own projects – composing became his main activity. In 2008/09 he was a co-founder of Ensemble neoN, a collective of performers and composers.
As a composer – and as a father of twins – he’s occupied with thoughts about chaos, layers of rhythms, and the inevitability of humans as social beings. His works span from solo works to pieces for orchestra, choir, and installations. In recent years his music has been inspired by topics or phenomena like emergence, swarm behavior, and patterns found in flocks in nature.
Øystein Wyller Odden (1983, Norway) was educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo and works with installations and objects often involving sound and music. His work addresses the relationship between technology, architecture and people, and attempts to investigate and expose their underlying structures. Wyller Odden has previously held solo exhibitions at Fotogalleriet (2011), Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter (2016), Telemark Art Center (2018) and the Kunstnerforbundet 2018), and has participated in group exhibitions at Oslobiennalen, Henie Onstad Art Center, Tegnerforbundet and Akershus Art Center.
JAN MARTIN SMØRDAL / ØYSTEIN WYLLER ODDEN – Kraftbalanse
CD // LP // DL – 14th October 2022
1. 17:40:15 – 18:02:15 GMT + 02:00 DST, 2019.06.01 22:00
2. 18:29:05 – 18:51:22 GMT + 02:00 DST, 2019.06.01 22:00
Composed by Jan Martin Smørdal & Øystein Wyller Odden.
-self resonating piano
strings: Vilde Sandve Alnæs – violin, Miriam Bergset – violin, Ragnhild Lien – violin, Julija Morgan – violin, Torunn Blåsmo-Falnes – viola, Tove Bagge – viola, Sverre Kevin Bauge – cello, Inga Margrete Aas – double bass
Kraftbalanse was recorded in Oslo City Hall and with the kind support from Oslobiennalen First Edition, Arts Council Norway and Statnett.
The album is available on CD and LP, designed by Stephen O’Malley.