Celebrating the International Women’s Day our local CAS host in Oslo, Kent Horne, have invited sound experimentalist, vocalist and composer Maja S K Ratkje to present her ‘Crepuscular Hour’ at Deichman Public Library. After a talk with the artist we listen to the album in 5.1 surround on our audiophile sound system and watch the video from the recordings.
The extraordinary piece is composed for three choirs, three pairs of noise musicians and concert organ, and was originally commissioned for a performance at the Ultima festival 2010 in Uranienborg church, Oslo. All performers surround the audience, and are amplified locally.
OSLO – HUDDERSFIELD
In 2012, the piece was adapted for a performance at the Town Hall of Huddersfield with the idea to transform the work into a gigantic sound and light installation. By bringing down the lighting rig from the high ceiling to the stage floor and removing the seating, the audience were placed at the heart of the piece, and encouraged to walk around to make their own crepuscular journey.
The composition gradually introduces the performers standing on the balconies, on the stage and at floor level. The first section focuses on the front performers, with the second, long section starting with those performing at the back of the room. Eventually, everyone is playing simultaneously in the final, cathartic quarter of the crepuscular hour.
The surround sound mix for the DVD is true to the positioning of the musicians, taking the viewpoint of the middle of the hall, facing the stage. The film uses various footage from the performance at the Town Hall with additional imagery made by Kathy Hinde especially for this release.
All texts are from the Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of thirteen ancient books containing over fifty texts, that was discovered in upper Egypt in 1945. These texts have provided a major re-evaluation of early Christian history. Ratkje has chosen text fragments touching on the origin of the world and of humans.
A female divinity is in charge. On her own, she creates a ruler for the material world who turns out to be a beast; ‘and its eyes were like lightning fires’. Then, her divine offspring Sophia (Wisdom) creates an androgynous human from a droplet of light.
In Crepuscular Hour we are at the origin of the world with texts depicting both chaos and consolidation. Following this, Sophia calls out to today’s people of Earth, attempting to teach us how imbalance still creates darkness and war. She pleads and she is furious. ‘Be on your guard!’, she rages.
The concert was beautifully filmed and directed by Kathy Hinde and can be found on the DVD that came with both the CD and 2LP editions from Rune Grammofon in 2016. Included a 5.1 surround sound option which is the one we will be playing from tonight. The special vinyl edition comes with an embossed, golden foil spot on the sleeve. Only 70 hand numbered copies were printed, making it a rare thing of beauty. The ordinary vinyl edition is limited to 430 copies. Both vinyl editions come with an etching on Side D. All three editions come with the DVD.
Join us for this exclusive session, with the artist, in Oslo.
Date and Time: Thursday March 8th 2018, 7pm – 9pm (doors open at 6pm)
Venue: Deichman Public Library
Tickets: 50/100NOK in advance here.
Presenters: Kent Horne with artist Maja S K Ratkje
Audio Menu installed by Duet Audio: DVD-player: Panasonic DMP-UB900, Preamp: Trinnov Altitude 32, Integrated Amp: 5 x Auralic Merak monoblocks, Loudspeakers: 5xPiega Classic 80.2, Sub: REL 212SE, Interconnects: Midas Reference Silje, Speaker Cable: Midas Reference Silje, Power Conditioner: Isol-8.