Ensemble Lipparella
counter-tenor (or contralto), recorder, baroque violin, viola da gamba, theorbo

Hemligheten (swedish: The Secret)

commission by the ensemble Lipparella, supported by the Swedish Arts Council
first performance: 21/22.2.2014 at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
publisher: Svensk Musik

on poems by Tomas Tranströmer from The Great Enigma (Den stora gåtan © Bonniers 2004)

Comments - Hemligheten (The Secret)

Tomas Tranströmer's collection of poems, The Great Enigma (2004) had been within me for a long time. I had read from it for my old father, (who would soon die of Alzheimer's disease).
The choice of Tranströmer's haiku poems for a composition for ensemble Lipparella felt as if prepared: these haiku poems open up to musical spaces and moods, shifts between darkness and light of life, which the barock ensemble’s special articulation and timbre possibilities gave promising opportunities. I also carried a strong desire to compose with my native language Swedish.

In the work, entitled Hemligheten (The Secret), ten from the forty-five haiku have been chronologically selected and composed into five main parts, with two short, almost instrumental passage between the first and last parts. There can thus be two haiku in one and the same part. Instrumental and vocal parts constantly go in and out of each other throughout the piece. The instrumental beginning and the end of the composition - yes, perhaps the work in its entirety even - has been inspired by two other Tranströmer verses from Short Poems (2002),

in the beginning of the work, from Örnklippan (Eagle Rock):

In the depths of the ground
my soul glides
silent as a comet

and its end, from Snö faller (Snow is falling):

A bridge builds itself
straight out in space

(© New Collected Poems, 2006, translated by Robin Fulton)