An old Swedish Ballad

Duration: 15'30''
Composed: 2013
8 channel fixed media


Lykanthropos is an 8-channel electroacoustic piece. The title refers to the Swedish so-called medieval ballad “Varulven”, literally “The Werewolf”. The ballad tells the story of the young maiden venturing into the woods who is attacked by a werewolf. The maiden tries to appease the werewolf with her finery — a silk scarf, her silver belt buckle... But the werewolf is having none of that and is determined to have her. In desperation, she climbs a tall tree and screams for help. A young hero comes to her help, but in the end both of them are slain by the raging werewolf.
     Lykanthropos could be described as an oratorio sans words. The 15-minute long piece tells the story of the ballad using only voice and the transformation of voice material (with the exception of a couple of passages using theremin). Techniques used have been based around largely modular analog equipment, albeit sometimes in their modern digital reincarnation. Compositionally, along with an abstract re-telling of the story, the idea was to create the emotional environment of the individual protagonists—the sounds outside their heads, as well as the sounds inside their heads. Maintaining a relationship to oral story-telling, the piece employs a fairly clear “lead voice” structure and at times refers to the use of repetition in many of the traditional ballads of Europe.
     Lykanthropos was premiered at the Electric Spring Festival in Huddersfield, UK (February 2013) and was selected for Sonorities (Belfast, NI, April 2013), SSSP (Leicester, UK, June 2013), CSUF New Music Festival, Voice in the 21st Century, Fullerton, USA and Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium (Toronto, August 2013). It will also be performed in Lövstabruk, Sweden on Sunday 24th of August 2014.



Lykanthropos started out as a live piece, commisioned for outdoor exhibitions with photos of the art of August Sörenson. It was performed in all the largest cities of Sweden during 2011 and 2012. The photos above and below are from the performance in Kungsträdgården in Stockholm on the 16th of November 2011. August's dad took these nice photos.