Aeolian draws its inspiration and title from the breath of the accordion.
Norwegian composer Maja S. K. Ratkje, British artist Kathy Hinde and I have collaborated closely on creating this unique piece that has the accordion and accordionist at the centre of the work both physically and musically.
New aeolian instruments have been designed and built to create a sculptural installation, which fully integrates with the acoustic ensemble. These air-activated instruments are sometimes autonomous, and sometimes mechanically activated by the musicians during the piece, blending the sounds of the Aeolian installation with the musicians’ conventional instruments in a composed, breathing entirety.
Aeolian was commissioned by Red Note Ensemble from Scotland and premiered on November 17 2017 at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
“(…)Thank goodness, Maja S K Ratkje and Kathy Hinde were on hand to salvage the evening, bringing the day to an end in Bates Mill Photographic Studio with Red Note Ensemble’s performance of their installation piece Aeolian. Initially, i sat at the side of the space and just listened, content not to be simply and superficially drawn to its visual aspects. But it worked magic: never have i seen and heard such a kaleidoscopic panoply of bizarre and exotic musical instruments used in a way that cancels out completely the idea of novelty. This was so true that i found myself looking at the ‘regular’ instruments – accordion, flute, cello and so on – and wondering what the fundamental difference was between these and the home-made gadgets and gizmos surrounding them. In Aeolian, there really is no difference between them, all united in the most beautiful, exquisitely-designed and executed ballet of action and sound, like a tender exquisite lullaby, perfect before heading off to bed.” – 5against4.com