concerts in rural surroundings

Echoes off cliffs

Vang Granitbrud, Bornholm, Denmark

Martin Lohse’s “Echoes off Cliffs” was an electroacoustic tribute to Bornholm – and to the echo – that framed the eternally tantalizing question: Where does the sound go when it goes out?
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– Andreo Michaelo Mielczarek – 23 June 2021

Trailer from concert series on Bornholm on 2-9. June 2021 in rural surroundings.

Performer: Bjarke Mogensen
Composer: Martin Lohse
Sound engineer: Jesper Andersen
Video: Nikolaj Lund

Further info

Echoes of cliffs
a modern symphony in rural surroundings

In the summer of 2021, music will flow from the rocks on Bornholm. Classical music and nature accompany each other in an untraditional concert experience created by composer Martin Lohse and accordionist Bjarke Mogensen.

Composer Martin Lohse has during the time with corona worked on creating a site-specific work that the audience will be able to experience outdoors. It has been created in close collaboration with accordionist Bjarke Mogensen, and sprang from an idea to develop one of the composer’s previous works electronically. The new work is called “Echoes of cliff´s – a modern symphony in rural surroundings”. The title reveals both the stage, the raw rock landscape on Bornholm, and the compositional concept. The echo permeates it all. The composition and the musician reflect a previous work, it expands and reflects the time. At the same time, Bornholm’s landscape and the speakers reflect the sound.

“Human time. The time of the rocks.
Earth time. Facing each other. Echo.”

– Martin Lohse

Artistic laboratory

With a curiosity to try out new dimensions
Lohse and Mogensen experiment with several artistic means in the concert experience of modern classical music. The result differs from Lohse’s earlier compositions, and the process has added new experiences to his artistic practice.

“What happens when I do something I do not usually do? Gives the work a more ambient feel, almost like an installation. So what does music do when it plays, and what learning is there? ”

– Martin Lohse

In the processing of the work that has taken place, completely new facets have already emerged. It helps to pursue new potentials in music and unfold the genre. Lohse is convinced that the work will have an afterlife when the concerts on Bornholm are completed. They are first and foremost a test. The format is mobile, and he imagines that the concerts with simple grips can move to other locations, e.g. Stevns Klint or participate in the annual accordion festival in Norway.
Lohse also makes a number of notions about what audience reactions the concerts will create, and looks forward to being able to integrate that insight into his future development of concert experiences.

3D concert experience in the open air

“Echoes of cliff´s – a modern symphony in rural surroundings” is performed at a number of outdoor concerts at selected Bornholm locations. The audience should not occupy rows of chairs as in the concert hall, but may happen to pass by, stay, or pass. The music is simply present in nature, and meets the audience where they are. Through new technology and hybrid constructions of the physical and digital, Lohse is testing a new way of going to concerts and reaching a larger audience.

“Nature is a great source of inspiration. Combined with a bit of installation art. It is an audible landscape. ”

– Martin Lohse

The sound is projected in 3D, which intervenes in a recent trend that is occupying more and more composers, musicians and sound artists. Mogensen plays the accordion live in the open air, while the sound is carried out via speakers. The echo in the rocks also forms an extra layer for the three-dimensional sound experience.

Unlike a traditional concert, this one becomes, according to Lohse, more ambient and atmospheric. Lohse and Mogensen have therefore entered with tonemester Jesper Andersen, head of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s tonemester education and expert in 3D sound, to unfold the possibilities in the three-dimensional sound. Lohse expects to continue the collaboration with Andersen when the work is to be reworked and possibly further developed to other locations.

“Like falling into a nature experience, the audience falls into a listening experience.”

– Martin Lohse

The most important thing for the composer is that the work is connected as a whole, and that the experience can get the audience talking. He believes that the new format can reach a different audience than those who usually come to the concert hall.

Local audience

Every single concert is marketed in the local areas on Bornholm. Experience from Lohse shows that the people of Bornholm do not move around the island in the same way as the tourists. And it is a clear ambition to be able to attract both citizens and tourists to the concerts.