New Danish Christmas Music is an outstanding initiative by the musicians in the danish Ensemble 2000. As the title says, the idea was quite simply to invite living composers to give their best shot at what “christmas music” could mean today, thereby perhaps reviving or questioning the tradition.

 

The material was produced and tried out under large touring activities during the years before 2000, when they decided to make a CD release of some of the compositions.  

 

My contribution is called Sonnez les matines. This is the french version of one of the lines in the childrens song Are you Sleeping, brother John, and this is in fact a small salute to one of my dear old collegues, Pelle Gudmundsen Holmgreen who in the middle of the sixties wrote a fine piece called Frere Jaques.

 

I don’t quote Are you sleeping, though. The piece deals with a vision of expanding the time, one stroke on a large bell lasts. This means that my piece, which lasts 8 minutes, describes in extreme slow motion, the action of raising the clapper in a huge bell, letting it go one time, and then listen to what may happen.

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