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EDVARD (2018) - for extended big band, field recordings, and video

Awards: ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, 2019


Premiere: Serendip Music Festival @ Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo, Norway, February 15th, 2018


Duration:  ca. 10 min., 30 sec.


Program Note:


Edvard is inspired by the story of my Norwegian great-grandfather, Edvard Johanssen, who immigrated alone on a boat to Brooklyn from his native Bergen, Norway when he was just twelve years old. The composition is broken up into three sections: the first paints a abstract picture of Bergen, Norway with fragments of Norwegian folk tunes and rhythms, taken from traditional pols and springleik rhythms, the second is inspired by Edvard’s overseas journey, featuring coloristic, dark gestures that recall ocean storms, dangers at sea, and an unknown horizon; the third captures the energy, noise, and buzz of New York with a minimalistic groove. Throughout the composition, a composite folk theme of my own invention ties together the different sections, suggesting a continuity and preservation of culture, personal history, and heritage. Edvard’s journey in many ways reflects the opposite of my own journey—I personally traveled from the New York area to Norway on a Fulbright Grant, learning about the folk culture of Norway and my personal heritage. I collected the video and field recordings in Edvard during a trip to Bergen, where I felt as if I was retreading my great-grandfather’s path in the opposite direction. 

Conducting "Edvard" at HISTORIEFORTELLING: New Music by Ben Morris.
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