Composer: Daniel Berg
Instrument: Percussion Ensemble
To me, the northern part of Sweden breathes something enigmatic. It is above all nature, but also architecture, that has something magnificent about it - as it is created by mother earth. Point North is written to Johan Bodin Eriksson and the Härnösand Percussion Ensemble for their 30th anniversary in 2021. The three movements are inspired by three of the four seasons, but also from architecture and nature in the north part of Sweden.
1st movement - Autumn (the Library)
The Sambiblioteket was inaugurated in February 2000 and was a joint collaboration between several libraries and the vision was to create a link between the university and the city center, a meeting place and an active knowledge center for all people in Härnösand. The architect Hans Tirsén and his staff focused in their competition proposal "the beech forest" on the character of Härnösand by solitaires surrounded by vegetation. The interior is played out against the greenery of the ground through the thin membrane of the window wall. During dark autumn evenings, the library shines like a lantern of knowledge in high-tech.
2nd movement - Winter (the Mountain)
- Get a culinary experience with a breathtaking view of Härnösand. Eating should be an experience!
The restaurant at the top of Vårdkasen has taken this quote to heart and offers the art of Swedish home cooking together with a magnificent view through the dining room window. At the top of the mountain is also a lookout tower that was completed in 2007. The architect Björn Westin has been inspired by both space rockets and a vårdkase (Phryctoriae) that previously existed on the mountain, a fire that warned for war and other danger. The lookout tower with its three levels is reached by a large open staircase that can also serve as a stage, but also as a starting point for slalom competitions during the winter.
3rd movement - Spring (the Waterfall)
With a drop of a total 90 meters, the Västanåfallet is one of the highest waterfall in Sweden. It’s water from the 4 km upstream lake Eksjön, which via a river forms a waterfall when the water flows down the steep mountainside. Västanåfallet is particularly powerful when snow and ice are melting and the high tide of spring forms a white, rushing wall down the cliffs. The fall height has previously been used for hydropower and contributed to several mills being built in region during the 17th, 18h and 19th centuries. Today the area is a nature reserve and a place for recreation and reflection, especially when the spring flood comes - nature´s musical primordial power!
Pl. 1: Vibraphone, Wind Chimes, Rainstick, Thunder Sheet, Crotales
Pl. 2: Vibraphone, Small Cymbal (+ vibr. player 1 in 2nd movt)
Pl. 3: Marimba 4 1/3, Medium Cymbal (+ vibr. player 1 in 2nd movt)
Pl. 4: Marimba 4 1/3, Large Cymbal (+ vibr. player 1 in 2nd movt)
Pl. 5: Marimba 5 octaves and Tam-Tam (+ vibr. player 1 in 2nd movt)
Performed by the Percussion Ensemble from Gothenburg
About the composer +
Daniel Berg is a Swedish composer, musician and professor in classical percussion. He combines the role of writing music with being a versatile musician and teaches solo percussion and chamber music at the University College of Music in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Örebro in Sweden.
In his passion to promote the marimba as a solo- and chamber music instrument, Daniel has worked intimately with a number of composers who have written original music for the instrument. This includes more than 250 world premieres for solo and chamber works. Daniel Berg is an artist of Bergerault Marimbas and Elite Mallets.
As a composer Daniel has written a lot for percussion published by Edition Svitzer like his Kroumata for percussion sextet, Images for Percussion Duo and Yán Jiāng (Magma) for solo marimba - a commission from the Taiwan World Percussion Competition 2020.
Review (Percussive Notes, February 2022)
“Point North” is a programmatic piece that is representative of Daniel Berg’s view of the northern Swedish landscape and architecture. Berg states: “To me, the northern part of Sweden breathes something enigmatic. It is above all nature, but also architecture, that has something magnificent about it — as it is created by mother earth. ‘Point North’ is written for Johan Bodin Eriksson and the Härnösand Percussion Ensemble for their 30th anniversary in 2021.
The three movements are inspired by three of the four seasons, but also from architecture and nature in the north part of Sweden.” The three movements are titled “Autumn (the Library),” “Winter (the Mountain),” and “Spring (the Waterfall).” While using a modest instrumentation, Berg has created a remarkable depiction of his intended vistas. While it is written for intermediate to advanced percussionists, a great deal of more-advanced connection in performance must happen within the players. The included depictions are interwoven into all five parts, such that they are interdependent, to produce the overall atmosphere that is intended.
This would make a great piece for a university percussion ensemble or graduate-student quintet, as well as a professional group.
Photo (Daniel Berg): Jon Liinason
Cover Photo: Liam Johansson
Front Cover Design: Nicola Lee
Engraving: CPH Engraving
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
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