The thesis



Indy500: seklernas udde

Hamlet II: Exit Ghost

A Language at War

Arrival Cities: Växjö



Musical Composition as a

Dramaturgical Strategy



and resources


List of works

and performances


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The Bells

Champs d'étoiles

CHAPTER 6.2.4 - 6.2.6

The dramaturgical functions of the music: ten modes

4. Music sections with texts that are sung, connected to themes or dramatic situations

In Arrival Cities: Växjö there are two more extended sections with the vocal ensemble alone, commenting the faith of the fleeing girl in a somewhat ancient style both musically and in the text, partly relating to the role of the Greek choir in ancient dramas.

Example 6.2.4a. Sound: from Arrival Cities: Växjö, part II bar 401-694

In Fält there are a number of rock songs with texts and expressions commenting or emphasizing particular events or emotions in the narratives in a way that may bring to mind how musicals are structured. These songs mostly emerge and dissolve from something else, for example from or to a dramatic situation or a soundscape.

Example 6.2.4b. Video: from Fält (Save my soul)

Example 6.2.4b. Sound: from Fält (Save my soul)

5. Music sections where actors perform texts as a part of a musical ensemble, usually non-relational acting

Indy500: seklernas udde was largely composed with this approach, with the three actors together with the instrumental trio and the electronics. As discussed previously, the text lines were divided in such a way that when performed the impression was that the words were bouncing between the actors. When composing the music I took this as a point of departure also for the instrumental writing resulting in musical sections with words and musical materials bouncing between the performers. This ‘ping-pong’ effect often results in a strong musical feel because of the rhythmic texture it creates.

Example 6.2.5a. Sound: from Indy500: seklernas udde, part B, 4:05-5:20

Example 6.2.5b.(1) Video: from Arrival Cities: Växjö part II, p. 153-166, bar 694-750.

Example 6.2.5b.(2) Sound: from Arrival Cities: Växjö Part II, p. 124-134, bar 380-401.

6. Music composed for dramatic situations and/or the scenic situation

This mode deals with one of the central investigations of this thesis: how I in my compositional work approach the relation between the dramatic situations found in the script and the performance situations between the actors.  In the compositional process I strive for making the music interact with the actions of the actors on stage, by following, supporting, emphasizing or contradicting both the dramatic and the scenic situations. The dramaturgical structure of the music, the play script and scenic actions are intertwined. The music I made for Hamlet II: Exit Ghost is to a large extent an example of this approach.

Example 6.2.6a. Video: from Hamlet II: Exit Ghost, scene 12

Example 6.2.6a.(2) Sound: from Hamlet II: Exit Ghost Radio theatre version, scene 9

The music can be a direct co-actor, and the actor a co-musician, as in the scene in Hamlet II: Exit Ghost where the male actor shouts out for help and for his mother and the answer is a reversed echo of his own voice. He starts searching for words to get the echo to sound right, a musical dialogue occurs for a few minutes before the female actor cuts it off.

Example 6.2.6b. Video: from Hamlet II: Exit Ghost, scene 6