• Kammerkoret GNEIS : Bergens
    : World Premieres

  • Saturday, 11.03
  • 11.00 - 12.30
  • Bergen Storsenter & Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek
  • Kammerkoret GNEIS

To animate a city through words, music and voices – Bergens Besyngelse takes on this challenge. Taking inspiration and texts from Bergen native Erlend O. Nødtvedt’s poetry collection Bergens Beskrivelse, Kammerkoret GNEIS has invited six composers with connections to Bergen to respond to these texts musically. Occupying the busiest spaces of the city on a Saturday morning, you can join the choir as they move between Bergen Storsenter and the Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek to fill the spaces with sound.

Motivated by the desire to use the broad palette of the city and its citizens as a stage and audience, the choir continues their exploration of challenging the preconceptions of choral music and how it is staged. Basing their works on Nødtvedt’s texts, the six composers have composed differing yet rigorous responses to the poetry and the city, each giving equal importance to the roles of the choir and of the writing.

Join the choir as they travel in a group, and become part of the symbiosis between a city and its citizens.


Tore Kloster – musical leader
Runar Bruteig Olsen – concept and idea
Erlend O. Nødtvedt – writer

Work by:
Glenn Erik Haugland – paa Rov i Demonasmau
Tord Kalvenes – La alt Bergen fare
Dang Pham – Smaubrann ~ regn
Alwynne Pritchard – regnsvart
Eilert Tøsse – BYEN
Knut Vaage – Ke-de-gaar-i


Kammerkoret GNEIS was established in 2005 by conductor Tore Kloster, and has twenty experienced singers as members. The choirs’ main focus is on newly written, contemporary music from the Western parts of Norway, but they also perform music from other geographical areas and musical eras. The choir has since the very beginning pressed the importance of performing and safeguarding new music. They have also been eager to push the boundaries of the traditional format of a choir and the conventional concert experience. With this focus they have managed to create new forms of artistic expressions and experiences for the audience.

Glenn Erik Haugland is a musical playwrighter born in New York in 1961, in a linguistically and emotionally confused family. Glenn Erik moved to Os, Hordaland when he was eleven years old, where he used music actively as a channel to express himself and difficult emotions. He quickly got hooked on performing art in music, and always thought of music as pictures. He is constantly rethinking himself and what he is doing and has as a consequence of this become a politician. Glenn Erik is also questioning how he can create music that captures and perceives the big changes we are now witnessing in society.

Dang Pham is an impulsive, restless and systematic person who writes music that is constantly in movement. He has a background from jazz and improvisation and likes to move between the rigid and flexible, yet always finding a structure and a theme. Working on his piece for Kammerkoret GNEIS’ Bergens Besyngelse Dang has tried to approach the material from as many angles as possible, hoping to be bombarded by different impulses. Through this chaos of impulses he is looking for the essence of the music. Dang wants to paint a picture of his experience with the text by Erlend Nødtvedt, through the music.

Alwynne Pritchard is a British vocalist, performer, artist and composer based in Bergen. Her compositions and performances have been heard across Europe, America and Indonesia, and she has worked with leading musicians and ensembles across the globe. In 2015 she formed the music-theatre company Neither Nor with her partner Thorolf Thuestad. She is also Artistic Director of the BIT20 ensemble in Bergen. Her music is published by Verlag Neue Musik and she has been described as “(…) a delivery between that of a rock-music diva and a verbal and physical contortionist (…)”.

Eilert Tøsse is a composer educated at Bergen Musikkonservatorium who incorporates a big variety of elements in his pieces from percussion to strings, choir, symphony orchestras and electroacoustic music. He also makes pedagogic compositional projects for children. The basis for Eilert’s ideas varies from one piece to another. In his vocal pieces the lyrics are often defining for the idiom, while in his church music the preaching aspect is central and the experience of the church room. His sound installations are often site-specific using sonic material from the site in combination with acoustic pieces.

Knut Vaage lives in Bergen as a composer. He has an early memory of himself climbing onto the piano stool and listening to the sounds that his fingers made hitting the keys, and wonders if the piano in the living room might be the reason for him ending up as a composer. Or was it because all his older brothers played on it growing up; or because the boy next door invited him to join a band? He first studied to be a carpenter, but ended up studying music because he felt the music was too important for him, and describes his life as a hunt for new sound.

Tord Kalvenes, born in Austevoll near Bergen, has a master’s degree in musicology from the University of Oslo and studied ensemble management and composition at Norges Musikkhøgskole. He has collaborated with several choirs and ensembles in different parts of Norway, like Ole Bull Kammerkor, Schola Cantorum and Kammerkoret GNEIS. Many of his pieces are published by Cantando Musikkforlag. In 2016 his piece Missa Brevis was nominated for “Newcomer of the Year” at Musikkforleggerprisen 2015 and as part of the award Tord was given a grant from Honarary Prize winner Trond Kverno. In his music Tord searches for a relationship between sound atmospheres and an often strong, painterly expression.

Presented in collaboration with Kammerkoret GNEIS.

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