23.June.2013 / Øyvind Torvund / The forest as a space for imaginary music / Chaya Czernowin / Recent Music

Two generations speak about recent compositions: in a rare informal presentation, Harvard Professor Chaya Czernowin will share new chamber and orchestral music, and DAAD fellow Øyvind Torvund will discuss his ensemble music’s integration of field recordings of musicians playing in a forest environment, and his inspiration from archaic rhythms and phrases, animal sounds, and folk and improvised music.

Alongside regular musical studies in Oslo and Berlin, the Norwegian composer Øyvind Torvund played guitar in rock and improvising groups, and his music assembles disparate materials, inconsistent attitude: sounds from rock or from everyday life (or nature) occurring in chamber music, simplicity in a complex context, improvisation coexisting with exact notation, music combined with film or projections, seriousness in counterpoint with humor. Raw melodic schemes may come from Purcell, the infill from the detritus of electronic distortion or street noise. Categories are split open or blurred, habits unbent. © Paul Griffiths


Chaya Czernowin was born in 1957 in Israel and studied composition with Abel Ehrlich, Izhak Sadai, Dieter Schnebel, Eli Yarden, Joan Tower, Brian Ferneyhough, and Roger Reynolds. Her music has been played throughout the world by major ensembles, orchestras, and festivals. Characteristic of her work are attempts to find alternative temporalities, changing perspectives and scale, fragmentation, examination, and stretching of identity; all coupled with a strong physical imprint and high emotional intensity.

Czernowin is also a dedicated and influential teacher; she sees composition teaching as directly connected to her compositional work. She has taught composition at the Yoshiro Irino Institute, JML, Tokyo, Japan, the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music, the University of California, San Diego, the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, and presently teaches at Harvard University. Since 2003 Czernowin has also directed the Summer Academy for Composers at the Akedemie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart.

Her work is published by Schott.