Hey there, reader/listener/new friend!
Thanks for stopping in! All of us here at Loop38 firmly believe that concerts are even more enjoyable when you have some background in what you’re about to hear and why it’s incredible! SO, leading up our concerts this year, I will be posting these short little tidbits about our featured composers. Hoping that this will feel like you’re chilling with a friend (that’s me), and getting psyched about great music (literally my constant state of being)! Feel free to take a peek, have a listen, and get a taste for what’s to come!
Our upcoming concert BEHIND THE SCENES, BEHIND THE SOUNDS, on November 14 features performances of electro acoustic works by Maja Ratkje, Ashley Fure, and Lewis Nielson.
Today, we’re getting to know the SoUndS (and there’s a LOT of them) of Maja Ratkje! Get those ears ready!
It can truly be said that Norwegian composer Maja Ratkje is unlike anyone else. Her compositions are known for their vibrant, feral, and jarring sound worlds. She frequently incorporates her own voice (which you can’t help but be obsessed with) into her work.
Her breakout album, Voice, released in 2002, took an absolute gamut of extended vocal techniques and gave them the electronic treatment. For those of you who might not know what an ‘extended technique’ is, it’s actually pretty simple. If you think of ‘standard technique’ as the normal sounds you would expect from a singer (re: do re mi, la di da, I’m singing a lil’ song over here), ‘extended technique’ encompasses everything else! It’s a special art to be able to grunt, yell, whisper, shriek, vocal fry, and make the guttural, jarring noises Ratkje does. Listen below to two of my favourite tracks off that album:
For something on the other side of that spectrum (but equally trippy), check out the title song:
You can hear that Ratkje samples some traditional-ish singing, but distorts it with extended techniques and electronics. Unreal. If that doesn’t get your heart rate up, I don’t know what will. So,
I HOPE THAT GOT YOU ALL FIRED UP BECAUSE….
You’ll definitely be hearing lots of Ratkje’s incredible voice on November 14 in her piece ‘and sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep’. Her raw vocals are sampled, processed, and imitated throughout the piece. That being said, this singing is not like any singing you’ve heard - and you definitely will not fall asleep.
Before I sign off, here’s one more clip of her, this time live!
Hope that this opened your ears a bit and you’re PUMPED for what is going to be a fantastic concert! I’ll be coming at you with our other featured composers shortly!
xx ally xx