top of page

Towards the island

Saturday 10.August


Høyloftet, Akershus Festning


“The Island” is an iconic metaphor that has inspired and fascinated people throughout history, from the legend of Atlantis via the famous painting “Toteninsel” by Böcklin and Tennysons “The lady of Shalott” to Victoria Hislops bestselling novel “The Island” (2005). The words of John Donne (1572-1631) “No man is an island, entire of itself” has become an established proverb.

The island reaches outwards in the geography, stretches the gravity field of the mainland, and defies the laws of nature. But in this lies the condition for communication: the island can only be reached by travelling. And the people living there, cannot avoid meeting each other, and thus, they are forced to interact.

The string quartet is a perfect laboratory for studying how people relate to eachother as individuals (or islands) and as a group. The predecessor can be said to be the four part polyphony of the renaissance era, where the interaction of the soprano, alto, tenor and bass parts found an inexhaustible richness of expression.

We have been inspired by the subject of the individual versus the collective, and have created a program where we use the physical room to explore the boundaries of musical interaction. We present works by leading composers such as Haas, Lutoslawski, Abrahamsen and Cage, framed by excerpts from Bachs “Die Kunst der Fuge”.

And up and down the people go, Gazing where the lilies blow Round an island there below The island of Shalott Alfred Tennyson


J.S. Bach – from Kunst der Fuge 4’

Witold Lutoslawski – from String Quartet (1964) (excerpt) 3’

Georg Friedrich Haas – String Quartet No 5 (2007) 22’

Eivind Buene – from City Silence (2005-2008) (excerpt) 2’

John Cage – from String Quartet in Four Parts (1950) (part 1&4) 8’

Krzysztof Penderecki – String Quartet No 1 (1960) 8′

Hans Abrahamsen – Strygekvartet nr. 3 (2008) 12′

J.S. Bach – from Kunst der Fuge 4’

bottom of page