Hearing the Northern Lights
Rundfunkchor Berlin has made a name for itself with its interdisciplinary projects for years. With its project »cosmic lights« the choir was looking into the fascination for a wonderful spectacle of nature under the artistic direction of its principal conductor Gijs Leenaars: In collaboration with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin the choir performed the premiere of Ēriks Ešenvalds multimedia symphony »Nordic Light«.
From time immemorial, the mystical light show in the Arctic sky has enthralled human beings, and there are a number of myths and legends surrounding this heavenly spectacle. Ešenvalds spent three years tracking down the Northern Lights and their reflection in the Nordic peoples’ stories and songs. He travelled with a recording and camera team throughout northern Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland and Alaska and recorded their tales and melodies. In an interplay of sounds and moving images, his multimedia symphony combines chorus and orchestra with captivating film sequences by »The Aurora Chaser« Kjetil Skogli as well as original sound material from his recordings. The music is composed like a great river of sound, at times shimmering and flowing peacefully, at others condensing into dramatic climaxes. The orchestra and chorus are positioned in the former film theatre, its seats now removed, and the audience is invited to open itself up from different perspectives to the flood of sounds and images.