Since ancient times music has been used to set the tone for important events, an essential part of rituals in all cultures worldwide.
Near the conclusion of such a challenging year (2020), I am optimistic to now be developing original music for two events in 2021:
- Fanfare for the inauguration of the new rektor (president) at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, historian Gunnar Yttri.
- Music for the opening ceremony of the Bergen Summer Research School, an international PhD-level collaboration between multiple research institutions in Bergen, Norway.
Both of these events will mostly occur online, but we are hopeful that the ongoing pandemic will become much less of a concern in the coming months, making the planning of “live” events ever more realistic.
How ceremonial music should sound in 2021 is an interesting question. Composers and songwriters often struggle to find an ideal balance, in the hope that audiences will not regard their work as either too conservative, too commercialized, or too abstract and complex. Music for events of this kind—with a truly diverse audience—should sound different from music designed to advance the artform with techniques that may only be fully appreciated by composers and professional musicians. It also should not sound like something that belongs in a different century, or that is pop-influenced to the point of seeming condescending to the audience. It is meant to create a serious yet festive mood and focus attention on a significant point in time and space.
[Public domain image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9c/Russian_Fanfare_Trumpets.jpg]