Working with a predominantly fragmentary musical syntax in a textural environment characterized by noise and silence, Swedish composer Kristofer Svensson describes his music as consisting of the "simplest harmonic objects" he can imagine. He wants these harmonic objects to appear as if by 'accident' or as 'found objects' in a state of near collapse, which allows the listener to attend to them with a fresh ear and discover the inner miracles of their becoming. Tuning the music carefully in Just Intonation, a key feature of Svensson's work, further invites a microaudial attention to its fine details, while at the same time enhancing the beauty of these simple harmonic objects.
Kristofer Svensson's employment of Just Intonation is also connected to his keen interest in the antique, which is revealed in his many compositions for European baroque-period instruments, most often tuned to one of the series of Just Intonation keyboard designs called 'Kirnberger-Svensson' he has designed for performances of his music. It is inspired by an early temperament by Johann Philipp Kirnberger (d. 1783). The 'antique' is, however, not only limited to European traditions, and Svensson has spent extensive time studying Asian traditional musics such as the shakuhachi with Gunnar Jinmei Linder in Stockholm, the guqin with Yung-Hak Chi in Hong Kong, and Sundanese karawitan with, amongst others, Ade Suparman and Dody Satya Egagustiman, in West Java.
In East Asia, he found a musical ally sharing this set of interests in Just Intonation, early European tuning theory and instruments, and classical Asian musical instruments and traditions, in the Japanese experimental composer Mamoru Fujieda, which lead to studies with him in Fukuoka, Japan.
Svensson's music has been performed by soloists and groups such as Contemporaneous, Musica Vitae String Orchestra, andPlay, Håkon Stene, Quatuor Bozzini, Fukuoka Earth Rhythm Ensemble, ensemble mise-en, Ko Ishikawa, Mats Persson, Kristine Scholz, Swedish Wind Ensemble, Nicholas Photinos, and Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, the latter which premiered his piece Ir Himinn, Groen for prepared piano tuned to one of the aforementioned 'Kirnberger-Svensson' tunings, and specially built gamelan-modelled instruments that Svensson designed together with Sundanese gamelan-maker Asep 'Dede' Ahum in West Java.
e-mail: linuskristofersvensson [at] gmail [dot] com