what inspires me?
bára gísladóttir (iceland), composer
My composition process pretty much always starts with something external and non-musical. I get my musical ideas mainly from surroundings, events and incidents, the characteristics and atmosphere of which I then try to present in sound. For example, the piece being performed at Nordic Music Days, ‘Suzuki Baleno’, is a musical transcription of a memory from childhood, when my father came home in a brand new car that I knew there was no way he could have afforded. Most of the time I try to portray something definite.
The way I implement this varies a lot. I try to do what I think is the most suitable for the idea I have in mind every time, whether that implementation is abstract, concrete or something else. My orchestral piece VAPE was inspired by the Tokyo subway sarin attacks committed in 1995, when five men released sarin into the atmosphere with terrifying consequences. In the piece, the instruments are divided into ve groups, as representatives of each attack, describing the circumstances and atmosphere, both literally and figuratively, as well as the actual vaporisation. Since the piece was built on a very concrete event, I wanted the music to be so as well.