In the Light of Air is a tetralogy of works that together form a unified structure, written for viola, cello, harp, piano, percussion & electronics. The four main movements are titled Luminance, Serenity, Existence and Remembrance, and are connected by Transitions to form a seamless flow throughout the work. The work also has a Prologue and an Epilogue.
The work streams from one movement to the next through a flowing texture of sound materials and harmonies. The music material is constructed with a focus on subtle nuances and poetic textures that form lyrical gestures throughout the work. Melodies are generated just as much by sounds, gestures and nuances as by pitched lyrical material.
For the work I designed an installation of metallic ornaments that are used in a solo in the percussion part in Remembrance. The ornaments, called Klakabönd in Icelandic (which translates as “a bind of ice”), are created by Svana Jósepsdóttir.
Parts of Remembrance insisted on echoing the melody of a song that my husband – Hrafn – wrote and dedicated to me in 2000. I am deeply thankful for this presence in the work.
“In the Light of Air” was written for the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in 2013/2014 as part of their ICElab. Live performances of the work include a light constellation that was designed in collaboration with ICE. The work was premiered by ICE at the Reykjavik Arts Festival on May 25th 2014, followed by performances at various venues, such as at the Park Avenue Armory in NYC in August 2014, as part of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in April 2015.