North of the mountains

North of the mountains

2016; dur. 17'30''; Eight Double Basses; Commisioned by Christian Henriksen (DNO&B); Score at NB Noter

Also in version for Two Double Basses; Score at NB Noter

North of the Mountains is inspired by the traditional hardanger fiddle tune Norafjølls (meaning north of the mountains), which comes from Setesdal.

Norafjølls is a halling (a tune in 2/4  or 6/8 meter performed to accompany the halling dance) where the lowest string of the fiddle is tuned down, giving it a particularly dark sound. The tuning is called gorrlaus.  

I have based my readings on several different transcriptions of the tune, and made syntheses, combinations, and superimpositions of the various melodic and rhythmic material. Furthermore, I’ve tried to use some sound-imitating playing techniques that I have developed, techniques that enable the double bass to sound like, for example, a jews harp, a willow flute and a hardanger fiddle.

The octet is primarily conceived as a work that showcases the great contrasts of the double bass, where the deep and aggressive, the bright and brilliant, and the melodic and rhythmic is strongly present.

Håkon Thelin and John Andrew Wilhite-Hannisdal playing the duo version of the piece >