< Contents >

Landscape with figures I

Poem by Ammons

"Landscape with figures

When I go back of my head

down the cervical well, roots


thinning, figuring

into flesh

and flesh

glimmers with man-old fires

and ghosts

hollowing up into mind

cry from ancient narrowing

needle-like caves:


a depth of contact there you'd

think would hold, the last


feeding direct from

meat's indivisible stuff:

but what we ride on makes us ride

and rootless mind

in a thundering rove

establishes, disposes:

rocks and clouds

take their places:


or if place shifts by a sudden breaking

in of stars

and mind whirls

where to go

then like a rabbit it

freezes in grass, order

as rock or star, to let whatever can, come,

pass, pass over: somewhere another human

figure moves or rests, concern

for (or fear of) whom

will start and keep us. "1

Composition of fragments

Landscape with figures I (2012) is a 16 channel endless sound installation, first shown 22th to 24th of october 2012 in Studio A, Rokkans Hus, Bergen (Artistic Research Forum). It became integrated in Landscape with figures II, as variable sound installation situations within a more fixed work.


Composing earlier works I have had parallel cycles of events in mind, which appear in new constellations in a kaleidoscopic manner. With initial outlines, detail work take over to fill bubbles of the kaleidoscope. Landscape with figures I was created as a large number of preprosessed sound fragments, as variations within a few main categories. The fragments should be complete statements alone, and work in any order or superpostion with other categories of fragments. Durations vary between a few seconds and a couple of minutes.

Constant new constellations of textures can create endless compositions.


Arne Nordheims installation Poly-Poly (1970) consisted of 6 independent tape loops. These would not meet at the same point for 102 years.2 Landscape with figures I, with more than 1200 fragments, independently triggered in superposition and spatialized, would be a much longer composition, if the intention really was to exhaust all possibilities. This self-composing installation can work as a sketchbook for interactions between musical ideas over a long period of time.



1 A. R. Ammons Collected poems 1951-1971, p. 175.

2 http://lydskrift.no/story/memorabler-%E2%80%93-om-arne-nordheims-elektroniske-musikk

< Contents >