Photo: Nicki Twang

Band of the Week: asamisimasa

On October 20 the Norwegian contemporary music ensemble asamisimasa visits Europe’s oldest contemporary music festival, Donaueschinger Musiktage, with four world premieres by the composers Klaus Lang, Georg Katzer, Eliav Brand and Norwegian Trond Reinholdtsen.

asamisimasa has seen an impressive growth in their career during the recent years, with invitations to some of the most prominent contemporary music festivals and concert series throughout the World, such as Musique en Scene (Lyon), Other Minds (San Francisco), Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), Rainy Days (Luxembourg), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Wundergrund (Copenhagen), Ultima (Oslo), and Oslo Chamber Music Festival.

The ensemble was formed in Oslo in 2001. Today it consists of Janne Berglund (soprano), Rolf Borch (clarinet), Håkon Mørch Stene (percussion), Anders Førisdal (guitar), Ellen Ugelvik (piano) and Tanja Orning (cello).

Ever since the beginning the ensemble has co-operated with composers from the radical side of the contemporary music scene, such as Helmut Lachenmann, Nicolaus A. Huber, Mathias Spahlinger, Aldo Clementi, Alvin Lucier, Michael Finnissy, Brian Ferneyhough, Helmut Oehring, Chris Dench and Scandinavian composers such as Dror Feiler, Sven Lyder Kahrs, Ole Henrik Moe jr., Trond Reinholdtsen, Øyvind Torvund and Simon Steen-Andersen.

Trond Reinholdtsen's new piece for Donaueschingen is entitled MUSIK, and is Reinholdtsen's sixth piece written for asamisimasa. A short excerpt from their first collaboration, In Context from 2004, gives an impression of the nature of their work:

On November 11 they visit November Music in s'Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, with music by the Danish composer Simon Steen-Andersen, with whom they have had a particularly close relationship during the last years, a.o. with the CD Pretty Sound:

Of future plans could be mentioned an opera by Simon Steen-Andersen in co-operation with Neue Vocalsolisten (Stuttgart), and a large scale work cycle by Mathias Spahlinger. In the next couple of years asamisimasa shall also visit Ensemble Europa (Cologne), Transit (Leuven, Belgium), Eclat (Stuttgart), Huddersfield, Ultraschall (Berlin) a.o.

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