PUKSÅNGER – LOCKROP  (TIMPANUM SONGS – HERDING CALLS)

for two female singers and percussion

 

Puksånger – lockrop was commissioned by Rikskonserter for the 1989 Falun Folk Music Festival. Basically, the intention was to investigate the potentialities of the voice, with reference to vocal techniques used in earlier Swedish folk music, and especially what is known as “kulning” , the solo technique formerly used out of doors for herding cattle, communicating with each other over long distances and so on. This was possible because by 1989 Swedish women singers had appeared (Lena Willemark and Susanne Rosenberg) with a command both of Swedish folk music and of complicated music reading.

 

I wanted to juxtapose the voices with percussion, and especially with the timpani, the most sophisticated of percussion instruments. The tremendously high and concentrated against the tremendously low and muffled, but both highly original and corporal modes of expression.

 

Conceptually, I asked myself questions about the concrete, “diurnal”, as opposed to the more intangible, mystical aspect of existence. (The observant will experience that, for the most part, both levels exist simultaniously.) Words as opposed to sounds, sounds as opposed to silence, intelligible versus unintelligible language, delicate versus crude expressions and so on.

 

“Because kulning through the ages has been a feminine mode of expression (which, unconsciously, was probably one reason why I chose to work with it), this gave me an opportunity of thinking a little more palpably about women and music/musical creativity – questions which, undeniably, one has to ask oneself and which, from time to time, are very much in my thoughts.”

 

Karin Rehnqvist