Ísland Project

Ísland is an ongoing project containing a collection of still and animated graphic scores for performance inspired by the topography and natural geological phenomena of distinct regions of Iceland. Each piece in the series visually and sonically highlights unique attributes of the region for which it is respectively named. 

In writing each movement, I seek to capture the divergent characters with a painterly approach to expressing the experience of traversing the land. Visually and sonically, I convey the experience of traversing the terrain. Sounds are used as shapes and colors, determined by octave, timbre, and means of sound production. Instrumentation is divided into homogenous sound groups that change throughout the piece to be used as colors, determined by octave, timbre, production types of the instruments, separated into larger subsections (woodwind, brass, percussion, strings). Some instrument groups have more improvisational freedom than others in their roles within the larger picture, making individual choices together in a group framework operating as a cohesive organism/organic biological system. Performers must communicate and negotiate improvisational choices within the given parameters to navigate through the piece, traversing the terrain together while simultaneously recreating it. 


Snæfellsnes, a peninsula located on the west coast, is famous for containing the great topological diversity of the country in just one region - earning it the nickname “Iceland in Miniature.” It is simultaneously expansive, desolate, beautiful, daunting, understated, and magnificent. 


Hvalfjörður is a place of stoic majesty; rolling yet steep mountains surround the wide fjord, making it look carved from the landscape. Both pitch content and motivic shape are derived from direct transcription of the irregularities in elevation as well as the horizon line, as observed from various perspectives within the fjord. 

Using Format