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LO KRISTENSON "Förnimmelser" 2xLP

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GENRE - Ambient

The Swedish word "förnimmelser" translates to mean both sensations and perceptions. In the context of Lo Kristensons debut full-length album on XKatedral, the word signifies the perception of other beings. The music on Förnimmelser consists of eight pieces in two categories, with the core compositions denoted by Roman numerals I-V. Inserted between these are pieces called mellanrum 1-3. mellanrum translates to a space in between. Consequently, these pieces use tension-filled silence punctuated by sparse activity to insert a space between the rest of the music.

Förnimmelser was developed by Lo together with the ensemble performing on this record through collective exercises, conversation and experiments. For the musicians, Rakel Emhjellen Paulsen, Julija Morgan, and Tove Bagge, this process was explicitly developed to challenge and unlearn the bodily and musical expectations associated with playing their instruments in a traditional manner. To achieve this it was essential for them to focus intensely on the listening process and maintain an awareness of the body as an entity of willpower, impulse, tension, and longing. They were encouraged to embrace the naturally occurring friction and resistance to create dynamic waves of musical energy while playing.

When performing Förnimmelser, the musicians choose between precisely notated fragments and phrases where the intensity and density of the sounds are repeated or altered. förnimmelser is not performed at a specific tempo. Instead, an approximate duration is provided to encourage the timing to develop from collective intuition. The musical score also includes instructions for the musicians to focus on the rhythm and strength of their breathing patterns by observing the breath's natural dynamic swells and accents. The collective observation of breath changes the mental state of each musician in a way that colors the character and timing of the music.

Lo Kristenson is a composer interested in creating structures of resistance and tension that enable the vulnerabilities of human strive and musical struggle to be visible and heard in her music. Kristenson is a 2018 graduate of the Master’s Programme in Composition from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, during which she developed a particular interest in the ways collective musical practices can be organized and facilitated. Since 2018, Kristenson has collaborated with Damkapellet, a musician collective that highlights and performs music by composers who define themselves as women or transgender, from all eras. Lo Kristenson, Norwegian duo Vilde & Inga, and violist Tove Bagge are developing methods for approaching composition and collaboration from a non-hierarchical relationship between composer and musician. Together with Julija Morgan Kiibus, she creates graphic scores to explore the relationship between image and sound and to open up for improvisation. For Lo, the act of listening is intimately tied to the physical experience of being present with others.
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