For this year’s Response concert, Trondheim Sinfonietta has invited composer Rolf Wallin. Together with conductor Leif Karlsson and actor Arthur Kisenyi, we will perform Wallin’s strong work Strange News. In addition, the audience will have the chance to hear two other pieces by Wallin, Boyl and Twine.
The concert is in the auditorium at the ISAK Center on Friday, November 20 at 19:00.
“Strange News” is a large orchestra production which addresses an issue from the world around us: the use of child soldiers in Africa. Grusome acts are set in an artistic format, in which insanity and a storm of images are set to music. Using helicopter gunships in surround sound, video and modern orchestral musical language, we are plunged into a brutal reality.
Many child soldiers who have escaped have been taken into aid programs during recent years, through which they have received help to live normally in society again. One of the main challenges is the broken social ties these children have to their own families, tribes and communities. In therapy, local traditional rituals are used, with focus on the individual as part of the group, with song and dance as key ingredients. The wonderful thing is that this treatment is working, and gives a glimmer of hope in one of the darkest chapters of contemporary African history.
Strange News is not ‘political art’ in the sense that it advocates against a clearly defined ‘enemy’ or suggests solutions to a problem, but is rather a musical parallel to a television or radio documentary; a small but informative window on one particular issue, in which empathy with those involved is more important than dry facts, and no conclusions are drawn.
Arthur Kisenyi stands in the center of the stage and represents the individual – the child soldier.
Strange News tells of human despair, but also shows that there is hope.
Rolf Wallin (Oslo, 1957) is one of the leading contemporary Nordic composers, widely performed and commissioned internationally. His musical background spans from jazz, avantgarde rock and early music to traditional classical training, and this versatility is reflected in an exceptionally many-faceted list of compositions. Wallin’s compositional output covers a wide range of techniques and expressions: from strictly absolute music to music theatre and installations, from elaborate computer-aided composition in his instrumental music to strongly intuitive music for the stage. Wallin’s music is regularly performed around the world. He has written for some of the world’s leading artists, ensembles, institutions and orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, IRCAM, Arditti String Quartet and Wiener Mozartjahr. Rolf Wallin has received several prizes for his music, including Den internasjonale EBU Rostrum 1999 and Nordisk Råds Musikkpris 1997.
Read more about Rolf Wallin here: http://www.rolfwallin.org/
Arthur Kisenyi was born in Uganda (1990). He was already very involved with theater during his school years, and eventually became a member of Bakayimbira Drama Actors, one of Uganda‘s best known ensembles for drama, dance and music. This ensemble has been working for over 20 years, and in 2009 received its own permanent venue in Kampala. It was also there that Kisenyi learned about the audition for Strange News, which he won. This role was an international breakthrough for him, with the premiere with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007 and later performances in Porto, Birmingham, Toronto, Brussels and Amsterdam.
In 2010 he founded the Dynamo Theatre Company together with his colleague Idris Segawa. This ensemble performs throughout Uganda, and uses dance and drama to raise social awareness. Among other projects, Dynamo conducted a large school program in Uganda as part of the fight against HIV and AIDS. In addition, Arthur continues to explore his skills as director, actor and performer as a freelance artist.
After 4 years of music academy education, Leif Karlsson was hired in 1979 as solo percussionist in the Västerås Symphony Orchestra. In the same period, the percussion ensemble Kroumata was set up, with Leif Karlsson as a founding member. Since then, he has traveled the world with Kroumata to spread Swedish culture and Swedish music. Since 1997 the members of Kroumata have been ‘Culture Ambassadors’, and were granted ‘Positiva’, Sweden’s Honorary Award. Over the years, together with the musicians in Kroumata Leif Karlsson has premiered over 200 works. Kroumata has also recorded nineteen CDs, including Sweden’s first digital CD, recorded in Gothenburg in 1983. Leif Karlsson is currently the percussionist who has had the greatest historical impact in Sweden.
Leif Karlsson has been the director of Nordiska kammarorkestern, general manager of KammarensembleN, and has taught at Framnäs Folkehøgskole as well as at the Music Academy in Piteå.
As a conductor, he works with: NorrlandsOperan, Jonkoping sinfonietta Wermland opera, Västerås Sinfonietta, Bodö Sinfonietta, Eskilstuna Symphony Orchestra, Bergslagens kammarsymfoniker, Norrbotten ungdomssymfoniker and Gislaveds Symphony Orchestra. Since 2014 he has been artistic director for Uppsala blåsersinfonietta.
Leif is now working as a consultant at Kultur i Väst.
We will also perform a school concert earlier the same day at 13:00 for high school students in the music, dance, drama and media departments.
The performances are funded by Arts Council Norway, the city of Trondheim, Torstein Erboes Fund and stikk.no.