Speech of Nature
The large in the small: click any nature image for a standalone high resolution version
«Wind rustling in Botn»
The forest is my friend. Trees and flowers mirrored in the water.
Look, sun is rising high. All that live may listen to my heartbeats.
Here peace fills up my soul. Here life will find its goal. They wish my presence near. My truest home is here.
Bird chirps in the sky. Breeze touching with ease. Streams rushing beyond. And close to the chasm stand I.
My dearest, nearest friend. All that live would die without your spark.
You're feeding the music within. Absolute sound. All around.
So, when life is a nightmare. And thoughts are running wild.
You will find me alone by the lakeside, perfectly still. (FJB)
Nature is constantly present. Music perpetually sounds from beyond the mountains. Humankind arises from earth while Music is directing the cycle of life. Nature is the impartial arena.
What happens when Humankind cannot relate to this unified energy of Nature and Music?
In this film, we follow a wooden boat's venture across a lake. We will be exposed to the vast array of temperate sensations, sensitive harmonies and visions — freed from the conventions of time.
Also, the brutality and mercilessness of life are central elements, in connection with eleven closely connected parts and originally written music.
This production is respectfully dedicated to the fragile world we all live in.
«Three dragonflies» Op.86 by Flint Juventino Beppe will soon be available on the Work List.
— Warm late summer. Nature is in harmony with my heart. My heart is in conflict with life. An incredible experience of nature is about to unfold.
A dragonfly lands on my left shoulder, and I hold my breath not to frighten it. Yet another dragonfly lands on my right shoulder, and I am in awe. The last of the dragonflies settles on my back. They join me on a cautious trip in nature, and convey a magic that says: "you shall live".
That instant, I decide to write a piece and dedicate it to a person who means a lot, and has helped me more than I could anticipate. Three dragonflies asked me to embrace life, the companions in nature. Magic that lets me live.
Flint Juventino Beppe
«The beam struck the most beautiful memories» Flint Juventino Beppe
Exhaling music in about 100 °C
Perhaps the heat has a mending effect on the physics, forcing an often aching body to relax, including blocking out much of my tendency to severely overthink — just for some allotted moments?
I can only wonder why the sauna frequently has such a profound effect on me; maybe it has something to do with being close to non-human elements of nature (wood, stone, heat, water). A sauna session also provides me with most welcome moments in solitude with my own thoughts, surrounded by steam and dim lighting.
Nevertheless, I'm grateful that my brain handled the intense heat well enough to let me exhale a new composition in such a "boiling" setting.
Here, you can listen to a MIDI recording of the Double Concerto, and, if you like, simultaneously study the free score: «Four Elements of Hedmark» Op.85
Best wishes from
Close to the boiling point, music seems to thrive...
Everything from new album releases to font updates on sheet music are listed on the Newsticker.
In order to provide current FJB Updates in a tidy and concise way, the Newsticker is easily accessible all over the site, on the header / top menu.
— When I surround myself with static timelessness, the music automatically starts playing in my head, and I feel like a reflector of all things static, completely detached from the world. (FJB)
Detached from the world
This album single release features two electronically based works that are intrinsically connected because of their inner mood and dreamlike, uncanny characteristics. One might say that they reflect a subconscious state of mind.
«The Gaze» Op.75 is the feature soundtrack from the film CAPTURED IN A GAZE (2015, The FJB Fingerprint).
«Du Faller» Op.26 was first released on the album MULIGENS (1994, Kornåld Music), where the male falsetto voice plays a prominent role. The cover painting was a commission carried out by Liv "Oda" Irene Storli. The idea was to complement the nightmarish atmosphere in «Du faller» (You're Falling).
Related: Tightrope Walking
Embraced with anxiety and love
By Oddbjørn Fiskefjell
What is INFINITY CHIMES?
This digital album is in many ways the sequel to the album ABOUT MY GRANDFATHER (2002) and it contains two orchestral works: my first piano concerto, which is partly based on themes from Op.1, and a symphonic poem written in 1997. I am very partial to both of these musical forms; I cannot say I prefer one to the other.
With the exception from the last track, Heart, the material on INFINITY CHIMES has never before been released, so I am very pleased that this album is finally becoming a reality. I have done my best in post-production to digitally re-master and preserve the atmosphere that was captured on tape those two hectic days in the studio. Much effort has gone into optimising the sound quality in 24 bit 48 kHz, and I am satisfied with the result. On a personal note, I have to say that Ari Rasilainen's conducting is of reference quality. The first desks of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, featuring Tom Ottar Andreassen (flute), Trygve Aarvik (oboe) and Rigmor Heistø Strand (horn), to mention a few, are of very high quality and contribute greatly to the album´s atmosphere. In «Theh Goldest» Op.27 a solid horn section is vital for the performance. Also, my good friend Wolfgang Plagge, to whom the «Piano Concerto No.1» Op.24 is dedicated, delivers a brilliant and very vibrant performance throughout the concerto. I was fortunate enough to supervise the recordings myself, which was a valuable and unforgettable experience.
The title INFINITY CHIMES is slightly ambiguous: what does it mean?
I have always enjoyed the concept of infinity, even though it seems impossible to grasp it completely. It is closely intertwined with life and death – and to me, music is a part of both life and death. Infinity has a celestial dimension as well, and I am very fascinated by the universe. Maybe the title refers to something that you can hear forever, or something that will continue to chime infinitely even if you cannot hear it?
You mention that INFINITY CHIMES is the sequel to ABOUT MY GRANDFATHER (2002). Wouldn't it be more correct to call it the forerunner, since it was in fact recorded a few years before, in 1998?
Well, the recording, which is in fact a radio studio recording, was indeed made in 1998, and all the time the intention was that any release of this material should be after the release of ABOUT MY GRANDFATHER. It resembles what The Beatles did when they released Let It Be as their final album, even if most of the tracks had been recorded before the release of their second last album Abbey Road.
«Piano Concerto No.1» Op.24, which bears the alternative title 'Anxiety', has three movements, all of which mention fear in different contexts. Can you elaborate a little?
As always, the titles of my works only provide clues for the listener — and this is no exception. Fear and anxiety are crippling conditions, but they can be overcome. The complete piano concerto was conceived and written out during three very intense and painful days in the Easter of 1995. I was caught in a cycle of overwhelming anxiety. I felt compelled to complete the whole work without pausing, and that is what I did. I believe that the three movements mirror different stages of anxiety: the struggle, the unpredictable intensity and finally the victory when one's fear eventually loses its power. What is a little mysterious perhaps is that the final fear comes as the middle movement, and the concerto ends full of anxiety, as if this anxiety has powerful recurring traits just when you thought you were rid of it. Unfortunately, I think this is a part of anxiety's nature — lurking in the shadows through a whole life span. I cannot remember much of these three days, but I know that writing this concerto helped me cope with my anxiety at the time.
Would you say that anxiety has shaped you in any way?
I think so. At least I now have a relatively clarified relationship to it. For many years, I struggled with severe anxiety on a daily basis. I was on medication to reduce the symptoms, and I consumed a lot of alcohol to try and escape from this overpowering situation. However, I always knew that anxiety would catch up on me; it was just waiting for the right moment,so to speak. Nevertheless, what I found most helpful to ease my nerves was to surround myself with music. I also had a few close friends who I could talk to, and who I knew wouldn't abandon me. However, I don't necessarily see anxiety as something negative. It is more a symptom of something else, like a fever of the mind, especially if you are very open to impressions,and wear your nerves on your sleeve, like I do. If you struggle a lot in life, and there are things that your brain cannot process, pressure builds up inside of you. In turn, the mind shuts down, and you are drenched in something you cannot control.It is extremely heavy when it happens, but it always passes. I still have bouts of anxiety today. As a matter of fact, each time I wake up from having slept deeply, I have anxiety. I think it is because I'm inherently vulnerable due to my Asperger's syndrome, and I see each day as a new start. I'm sort of "new-born" every time I wake up, and I have to get used to every impression all over again.
The difference between before and now is that I have learned that the anxiety will withdraw when I acknowledge what is going on. Anxiety will eat you up if you let it, but if you understand the nature of your own fear, it will gradually subside and let go. The three sub-titles of«Piano Concerto No.1» Op.24, 'Fear Struggler', 'Final Fear' and 'A Chased Fear', say it all, really.
The other work on the album is «Theh Goldest» Op.27. Who or what is «Theh Goldest»?
Some listeners will perhaps remember that Op.27 was originally titled «Randi» Op.27. Randi is the name of a woman who has a very special place in my heart. I chose to alter the title because I wanted to make it more communicative. In one of my blog posts I explain why I invent new words when I find that existing words fail to reach the level of nuance I'm looking for. "Theh" is, simply put, an amplified version of "the". "Theh" signifies the one and only. "Goldest" is the most golden someone or something. So, the title refers to the most golden treasure, which is a more precise and personal rendering of how I feel about this person.
How would you describe each of the movements in this work?
This symphonic poem has five movements, and each movement has a very concrete and descriptive title connected to different characteristics of the woman in question. The movements are individual expressions of what I feel inside, or how I react to love — from the heart. There is nothing intellectual about it. The music is quite massive and intense at times, but often warm.
All of the feelings that are displayed in this work are of course very personal, and it has one specific muse, but, since I believe these feelings also have a universal nature, they might be recognised by others, too.
The movement «Neck» is not necessarily just a part of the body in itself, but it can be the innocence and vulnerability I see when looking at the nape of the neck of a person I care deeply about. My mind immediately starts to wander and I see so much more than meets the eye: I can get a whole life story out of looking at a neck: this person's life from before birth and into infinity.
«Scent» not only describes a scent for the nose, but it also portrays the atmospheric trail the loved one leaves behind,that lingers in the air after she has left the room. «Mark» might refer to a little mole on a person's hand, a small, inscrutable wonder in itself.
«Infinity» is the limitlessness of love, both in strength and in time. Since love is such an abstract force, many questions arise: was love always there, latent, ready to come out and embrace? Can love truly have an end? The final movement «Heart»is not about the heart as such, it is more a declaration from the heart. All in all, deep heartfelt love might be seen as the thread running through «Theh Goldest» Op.27.
What is it like to release two works that are so personal – that is, with fairly revealing themes of anxiety and love?
Anxiety and love are innately honest conditions. Why should I hide that? Both anxiety and love are intense and somewhat brutal,and they both took me by complete surprise. They will take you on a roller coaster of feelings and thoughts, but I would never have chosen to live without either of them. Generally, I can say that the music that comes out of my experiences is never planned. One moment the symphonic poem is non-existing, the next moment it is suddenly there. My compositions are not intentional,so to speak – I do not sit down with nothing in my head with the intention of writing music. The music comes to me uninvited.That is perhaps why I feel close to the works in one way, because it is always personal, and yet the works are alien to me,since I cannot grasp from where the music arises or why it happens. I just watch the notes materialise, and finally I write them down. It is both painful and intense to experience this, but perhaps this is what it's like to have a creative and sensitive soul? I feel like I am both the composer of the music, and at the same time I am a manager and a producer, and also part of the audience.
Do you have anything else you would like to say about INFINITY CHIMES?
Yes. I hope the music may mean something for others. The profound honesty of love and anxiety is powerful, and it concerns so many.
Painting: Line Majormoen (commission). Graphic design: Flint Juventino Beppe.
Click cover art for a larger version (1200 pixels).
«Neck» — Looking around, you may always turn to the soft side of existence.
«Scent» — Expecting something to move, there is much to find in the room.
«Mark» — No need to get lost, as your soul rests at a clear point.
«Infinity» — As I say when all my different feelings collapse in a positive way.
«Heart» — Leave the rainfall in peace. No more waiting for nothing. You'll always be there.
[Flint Juventino Beppe — liner notes for the symphonic poem «Theh Goldest» Op.27]
Humour accompanied by solemnity. To Beppe, these moods are reciprocally coexisting.
The universal understanding of sounds
Well, I think it is possible. If you hear a song in a foreign language, you may get a different yet meaningful experience, even if you do not really understand the language. I have chosen to re-release three albums with their original lyrics because I believe there is a universal understanding of sounds — the musical significance in every vocal colour, in every syllable that fills a melody, released from the constrictions of nationality.
I define any text I produce as I define the music in what I create. Lyrics are transnational; they travel easily, freed from the conventions of geographical and political borders. Basically, you can decipher meaning from anything you hear. To me, lyrics are often a part of the overall mood and sound picture of a melody, rather than something that speaks for a specific nationality or belongs to a defined geographical area through the language used. The actual words and the semantics of the text narrow the songs down, while I think of the lyrics as opening the songs out.
Through the years I have released several albums, with different genres of music: orchestral music, chamber music, electroacoustic works, songs and surreal poems. But if anyone were to ask me which genre or album I rate the highest, I would not be able to choose. I cannot rank the FJB albums; it would be like ranking a mountain versus a valley. Genres are just human-made niches to help define artistic expressions of music in order to perhaps make it easier to relate to what you hear. Putting music into a niche creates some sort of order and stability.
The FJB albums are often conceptual. A story is told whether I sing and play the guitar or an orchestra performs a concerto. I wish to discard any pre-existing notion of what to expect from a release. It is just as important for me to publish a song as to publish a flute concerto or a symphony. The songs, the humour and the symphonic poems go hand in hand. Laughter, mystery and surrealism are equally significant. These elements combined create a "third eye" in what I make, and they are all a part of The FJB Fingerprint.
What about me personally as composer and artist? Am I as transnational as the expressions of art? To be honest, I feel naturally freed from the nationality concept. I belong nowhere and everywhere (well, perhaps even outside the world), just as the melodies and lyrics I have written do. I cannot feel pledged to a specific country if the country is teeming with bigotry, moralism and backward-thinking people. I have to be honest with myself, and therefore I have in many ways become exiled.
There is one thought I cannot escape, the possibility that in the moment we are born, we fall into a situation in which we are stuck, since death seems to be so inextricably connected to birth. Perhaps human beings gradually register this subconsciously, and a common way to endure the invisible restraint of death approaching is to spin life-lies: to pretend for the sake of one's own happiness, or simply to maintain the will to persist. Many FJB lyrics provide thoughts around this.
Life-lies can take many shapes, and they are often coloured by moralism, politics, religion and the determination to impose one's own convictions and "truths" on others. Even though this might be seen to be both egocentric and cruel, the brain is perhaps programmed to keep one alive, and the accrued convictions feed the life-lies. Consequently, these deceptions gain a foothold as accepted conventions for a majority of people. It seems like death is the only way out of this lifelong confinement, and human beings find it comfortable to follow these conventions — life-lies as I call them — as death draws nearer. Meanwhile, the charade is unfolding, and human beings keep deluding themselves.
It is difficult for me to intellectually rationalise about this, being myself a part of the travesty, and being constantly reminded of, and confronted with, life-lies. Furthermore, it is beyond my comprehension how human beings can let intolerance and "moral hysteria" lead the way, and by so doing effectively undermine real personal autonomy and balanced thinking.
Still, I have moments of seeing pure innocence, and I occasionally experience inexplicable euphoria, and this is what makes it credible for me to justify making art, and staying alive. My sensory system is wide open, I constantly stare into the sun, but cannot close my eyes even if I wished. I am reminded of this every day and it is a constant fight, because I feel alienated in society, and I find it hard to lie to myself.
If our existence is a tunnel starting with our delivery into a life of being stuck then maybe, at the end of the tunnel, there is an opening, a relief from confinement. There is a fifty-fifty chance of this, as I see it. We just have to wait and see.
For now, I am in the middle of this tunnel, communicating a universal language that will conceivably be understood by those of us who dare to lift our gaze: the universal understanding of sounds.
Best wishes from
I create art to counter the dark shadows that loom in the background. This helps me exist in this world. Basically, my whole production is a proclamation for personal freedom and a statement against bigotry. What I do, I do intuitively: I breathe in impressions and breathe out expressions.
Maestro für einen Tag – Teil 2 / 2
In der Nacht vor dem 2. Tag der Aufnahmen schlief ich sogar besser als sonst. Schlaf und ich sind normalerweise zwei Extreme, die nicht so gut zusammenpassen. Vielleicht führten der Adrenalinkick sowie eine Mischung aus Schock und Euphorie vom Vorabend dazu, dass mein Körper in sich "zusammensank" um irgendwie die Verantwortung des nächsten Tages übernehmen zu können? Die Einspielungen des ersten Tages, die Aufnahmen von Flötenmaterial mit der Flötistin Emily Beynon und ihrer Schwester, der Harfenistin Catherine Beynon als Solisten, waren problemlos abgelaufen. Die Tatsache, dass der Dirigent Vladimir Ashkenazy direkt im Anschluss fiebrig erkrankt war, war für mich natürlich sehr traurig und emotional belastend.
Wir mussten jedoch weitermachen und das Projekt auf irgendwie stilgerecht beenden. Vladimir Ashkenazy hatte mich persönlich als Vertretung benannt. Das Amsterdamer Concertgebouw Orchester und das Londoner Philharmonia Orchestra sind seit meiner Kindheit meine beiden Lieblingsorchester, aufgrund ihres unverwechselbaren Klangs und der langen Zusammenarbeit mit hochgeschätzten Künstlern wie Bernard Haitink und Vladimir Ashkenazy. Wie bereits zuvor erwähnt, reicht mein Kontakt mit Ashkenazy bis zu meinen Jugendtagen zurück, sodass es ein ziemlich besonderer Moment für mich war, als das Flute Mystery Aufnahmeprojekt Mit dem Philharmonia Orchestra und Ashkenazy selbst als Dirigent Wirklichkeit werden sollte; darüber hinaus noch mit Emily Beynon, der ersten Flötistin des Concertgebouw Orchestra, als Solistin in «Flute Mystery» Op.66b und in «Flute Concerto No.1» Op.70, das ihr sogar gewidmet ist.
Am zweiten Tag kamen der Produzent Morten Lindberg und ich frühmorgens im Watford Colosseum im Norden Londons an, einem historischen Veranstaltungsort, der bekannt ist für seine einmalige Akustik und verschiedene sehr gefeierte Soundtrackaufnahmen, wie zum Beispiel das Musical The Sound of Music aus den 60er Jahren. Wir machten einen Spaziergang durch die Halle, um ein Gefühl für die kommenden Aufgaben zu bekommen. Eine Stunde später würden wir uns in eine komplett surreale Situation stürzen müssen. Einige Musiker waren schon im Haus eingetroffen aber noch wusste niemand, dass Ashkenazy krank geworden war und dass sie gleich einen Ersatz haben würden, der noch nie zuvor ein Symphonieorchester dirigiert hatte — auf welcher Ebene auch immer.
Als Test stellte ich mich ans Dirigentenpult und tat so, als ob Produzent Lindberg das Orchester sei, um zu sehen, ob ich mich an die Rolle des Dirigenten gewöhnen könnte. Ich stellte schnell fest, dass ich elementare Verständigungsschwierigkeiten hatte: Ich versteckte ständig meinen Kopf hinter meinen Armen. Lindberg sagte mir, ich solle meine Arme gerade ausstrecken, damit meine Augen und mein Gesicht sichtbar blieben. Da spürte ich, wie es sich anfühlen muss, in einem Orchester zu sitzen und wie wichtig es ist, freie Sicht auf Arme und Gesicht eines Dirigenten zu haben. Dieser Crashkurs und die Unterstützung des Produzenten Lindberg würden für den Rest des Tages entscheidend werden.
Das aufzunehmende Programm bestand aus drei Sinfonischen Dichtungen: «Pastorale» Op.32 No.1, «Vicino alla Montagna» Op.58b und «Warning Zero» Op.54b. Alle sind für eine breite Palette von Besetzungen geschrieben und sind durchweg anspruchsvolle Stücke, gespickt mit heiklen Rhythmuswechseln und virtuosen Passagen. Ich hatte diese schwierigeren Werke sogar extra bei der Planung für den letzten Tag zurückgehalten, damit sich Orchester und Dirigent am ersten Tag für sie "aufwärmen" konnten. Stattdessen befand ich mich nun in einer Situation, in der ich die Verantwortung für diese Wahl — vom Podium aus — persönlich übernehmen musste, Auge in Auge mit ungefähr 100 ultraprofessionellen Musikern.
Als alle Musiker zusammengekommen und bereit für die erste Aufnahme des Tages waren, informierte sie der Inspizient des Orchesters über Ashkenazys plötzliche Erkrankung und Abwesenheit und lenkte dann die Aufmerksamkeit auf mich. Diese Schritte aus dem Hintergrund aufs Podium waren extrem surrealistisch. Als ich das Philharmonia Orchestra über meinen völligen Mangel an Erfahrung als Dirigent von Symphonieorchestern informierte, wurde hörbar nach Luft geschnappt. Zum Glück verwandelte sich diese Unsicherheit schnell und entwickelte sich zu einer sehr konstruktiven Atmosphäre: Das Orchester würde mir bei meinem Versuch, die letzten Werke fertig aufzunehmen, beistehen. Wir hatten jedoch nur einige Stunden. Die fantastische Einstellung der Musiker und ihre musikalische Professionalität waren auf jeden Fall ein entscheidender Faktor beim Erreichen unseres Ziels.
Ohne zu sehr ins Detail zu gehen, haben wir es tatsächlich geschafft, alle Werke aufzunehmen — es war das Resultat einer fein abgestimmten Zusammenarbeit zwischen dem Produzenten Morten Lindberg, dem Orchester und mir selbst als Aushilfedirigent. Am Ende des Tages war sogar noch etwas Zeit übrig. Natürlich habe ich viele umständliche und ungewöhnliche Körperbewegungen gemacht, aber das Orchester war sehr kooperativ und die Spieler baten oft um die Erklärung von Details oder darum, dass ich meine Armbewegungen verändern solle um eindeutiger zeigen zu können, was der erste, zweite und dritte Schlag und so weiter waren. Der Perfektionist in mir und meine Kenntnis der Werke waren selbstverständlich sehr nützlich, aber ich hatte diese Werke noch nie wirklich live aufgeführt gehört; bis zu diesem Moment hatten sie lediglich als Töne in meinem Kopf und als Noten auf dem Papier existiert.
Danach fühlte ich mich beinahe froh über das Geschehene. Ich muss sagen, dass es überaus euphorisch für mich war, auf diese Art mit Musik arbeiten zu können — auf dieser Ebene. Ich trug mich sogar mit dem Gedanken, eine neue, zusätzliche Karriere als Dirigent zu beginnen. Dennoch habe ich bis heute nach diesem Tag in Watford nichts mehr dirigiert.
Das TV-Dokumentarfilm-Team News on Request, die als Beobachter vor Ort waren, haben wirklich unerwartete Dramatik aufzeichnen können. Als sie später ihren Film EXHALING MUSIC veröffentlichten, wurde die Produktion international preisgekrönt, vermutlich zu einem großen Teil aufgrund der Ereignisse an diesem zweiten Tag in Watford. Dramen wie dieses ergeben gutes Fernsehen.
Ich bin allen Beteiligten, die diese Produktion möglich gemacht haben, sehr dankbar: Vladimir Ashkenazy, Emily Beynon, Catherine Beynon, das Philharmonia Orchestra, Produzent Morten Lindberg, Lindberg Lyd AS (2L), Symbiophonic AS, Erling, Randi, sowie andere Freunde und Assistenten, die am Planungs- und Aufnahmeprozess beteiligt waren.
Einige Zeit später, als ich die Nachricht erhielt, dass das Album FLUTE MYSTERY für einen Grammy nominiert worden war, dachte ich bei mir, dass wir an diesen zwei Wintertagen damals im Jahr 2008 etwas richtig gemacht haben müssen.
Flint Juventino Beppe
Komponist (und Maestro für einen Tag)
Maestro für einen Tag – Teil I / 2
Das Einzige dieser Werke, das ich zuvor live gehört hatte, war «Flute Mystery» Op.66a, die Altflötenversion, die dem Flötisten Sir James Galway gewidmet ist, der das Werk 2006 mit dem National Symphony Orchestra unter Leonard Slatkin in Washington DC uraufgeführt hat. Auf diesem Album nun ist es die C-Flöten-Fassung von «Flute Mystery», Op. 66b, die aufgeführt wird.
Es ist eines der vielen Geheimnisse des Lebens, dass einige Menschen zur künstlerischen Verständigung anscheinend nicht ständiger Kommunikation bedürfen. Kurz nach meinem allerersten Kontakt mit Ashkenazy im Alter von 17 Jahren wurde er zu einer Art musikalischer Vaterfigur für mich, der mich mit seiner Integrität unterstützte. Ich war und bin seinem "dritten Auge" sehr verbunden, das seinen Auftritten ein einmaliges Charisma verleiht. Daher fühlte ich mich geehrt, mit einem solch überragenden Musiker zusammenarbeiten zu können.
Catherine Beynon und Flint Juventino Beppe. Foto: Morten Lindberg.
Am ersten Tag liefen die Aufzeichnungen sehr gut, wir machten Aufnahmen von «Flute Mystery» Op.66b und «Flute Concerto No.1» Op.70, die ich aufrichtig als authentisch beschreiben würde. Schließlich erfolgten sie in Anwesenheit des Komponisten und mit einem Dirigenten, der den Komponisten sehr gut kennt, sowie mit erstrangigen Musikern und dem mehrfach preisgekrönten Schallplattenlabel 2L, die in Hinsicht auf die Tonqualität unerbittlich sind, dabei aber gleichzeitig innovativ, wenn es um das Erleben von dreidimensionalem Klang geht.
Der Produzent Morten Lindberg arrangierte das Orchester als einen geschlossenen Kreis um den Dirigenten herum, sodass die Balance der Noten als eine bestimmte, maßgeschneiderte Landschaft auf das Publikum treffen würde. All diese Details basierten auf der Aufnahmeerfahrung von 2L und sowohl das Orchester als auch der Dirigent nahmen die ungewöhnliche Platzierung der Instrumente als eine positive Herausforderung. Die Leitidee war es, dass das Orchester nun die Hörer "umarmen" würde, anstatt dass man das Orchester frontal vor sich spielen hört.
Die Flötistin Emily Beynon, erste Flötisten des Amsterdamer Concertgebouw Orchesters und ihre Schwester, die Harfenistin Catherine Beynon, waren die Solisten. Das Philharmonia Orchestra — ein unglaublicher Klangkörper mit seinem eigenen unverwechselbaren Klang, den ich auf verschiedenen Alben der letzten Jahrzehnte genießen konnte — waren das weitere Humankapital bei diesem Projekt. Insgesamt wurde dieser erste Tag zu einem feierlichen Moment für mich als Komponist, den Aufnahmen mit solch herausragenden Kräften beizuwohnen.
Am Ende des ersten Tages erhielt ich jedoch eine völlig unerwartete Nachricht. Auf meinem Weg zurück in mein Hotel rief mich Ashkenazys Ehefrau an und teilte mir mit, dass der Maestro plötzlich fiebrig erkrankt sei und deshalb beim zweiten und letzten Tag der Aufnahmen nicht anwesend sein könne. Selbstverständlich galten meine Gedanken zuallererst Ashkenazys Zustand. Ich hatte große Angst, dass es sich um eine ernsthafte Erkrankung handeln könnte. Dann richtete ich mein Denken auf unser Projekt, das nun vor einer Krise stand. In solchen Situationen arbeitet das Gehirn unablässig, um einen Ausweg zu finden. Wir hatten nicht viel Zeit — und auch keine Ausweichlösung. Kein anderer Dirigent konnte einspringen. Wir hatten nur noch den nächsten Tag, um die Aufnahmen fertigzustellen. Wir saßen anscheinend in der Falle.
Vladimir Ashkenazy teilte mir durch seine Frau mit, dass er mich als die erste Wahl ansah, um das Dirigieren am zweiten Tag zu übernehmen. Ich verlor fast den Verstand. Ich? Ich hatte noch nie auch nur das kleinste Symphonieorchester dirigiert — oder, was das betrifft, irgendein Orchester. Was es noch schlimmer machte, ich bin kein sozial besonders aufgeschlossener Mensch; ich bin nicht gut darin, Dinge spontan anzugehen. Und bei diesem Projekt hatten wir das Philharmonia Orchestra, eines der besten Orchester der Welt, zur Verfügung, seit meiner Kindheit von mir persönlich hoch geschätzt. Es stand viel auf dem Spiel hier.
Ich war erst einmal entsetzt über die Verantwortung, ein Gefühl, das sich aber allmählich in Euphorie verwandelte. Der Produzent Morten Lindberg stellte sich hinter den Vorschlag Ashkenazys. Wir saßen spät abends im Taxi. Der Produzent und ich trafen die Entscheidung zusammen: Ich würde selbst dirigieren müssen. Nicht nur, weil niemand sonst einspringen konnte, sondern auch, weil tief in mir ein Perfektionist schlummert und ich darüber hinaus die Werke, die wir aufführen sollten, genauestens kannte. Ferner bedeutete auch die Tatsache, dass Ashkenazy mich persönlich vorgeschlagen hatte, sehr viel. Allerdings zählt das Bewegen meines Körpers und meiner Arme nicht zu meinem natürlichen Körpersprachen-Repertoire. Wie sollte ich nur den 3/4-Takt dirigieren — einen Walzer?
Flint Juventino Beppe
Diese Geschichte geht weiter hier.
Maestro for one day – Part 2 / 2
I actually slept better than usual the night before day 2 of the recording sessions. Sleep and me are normally two extremes that do not melt so well together. Perhaps the adrenalin kick and a mix of shock and euphoria from the evening before made my body want to "collapse" in order to somehow be able to take responsibility the next day? The sessions on the first day, recording flute-based material with flautist Emily Beynon and her sister, harpist Catherine Beynon, as soloists, had been executed unproblematically. The fact that conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy had fallen ill with fever just after this was naturally very sad and emotionally challenging for me.
However, we had to try to proceed and finish the project in some kind of style. Vladimir Ashkenazy had personally named me as his stand-in. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam and the Philharmonia Orchestra of London have been my two favourite orchestras since childhood, much because of their distinctive sound and lengthy collaborations with highly treasured artists like Bernard Haitink and Vladimir Ashkenazy. As I have mentioned earlier, my contact with Ashkenazy goes back to my youth, so it was quite a special moment for me when the Flute Mystery album project was going to be realised with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Ashkenazy himself as conductor, and, on top of this, with Emily Beynon, the principal flute of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, as soloist in «Flute Mystery» Op.66b and in «Flute Concerto No.1»Op.70 which is, in fact, dedicated to her.
On the second day, producer Morten Lindberg and I arrived early in the morning at Watford Colosseum, north of London, a historical venue renowned for its unique acoustics and some very celebrated soundtrack recordings, e.g. the Sound of Music album from the 60s. We had a stroll through the hall in order to get a feeling of the upcoming tasks. One hour later we would have to jump into a completely surreal situation. A couple of musicians had already arrived at the venue, but none of them knew at that time that Ashkenazy had fallen ill and that they were about to have a substitute who had never conducted any symphony orchestra before — not at any level whatsoever.
As a test, I stood on the conductor's podium and pretended that producer Lindberg was the orchestra to see if I would manage to get used to the role of conductor. I quickly understood that I possessed elementary communication problems: I was constantly hiding my head with my arms. Lindberg told me to stretch my arms straight out to make my eyes and face visible. Then it struck me how it must feel to sit in the orchestra, and how important it is to have a clear view of both the arms and the face of a conductor. This crash course and support from producer Lindberg would become crucial for the rest of the day.
The programme to be recorded consisted of three symphonic poems:«Pastorale» Op.32 No.1, «Vicino alla Montagna» Op.58b and «Warning Zero» Op.54b, all of them written for a large gamut of instrumentation, and all of them demanding pieces, with their difficult rhythm-changes and virtuoso passages throughout. Actually, in the planning I had saved these advanced works for the last day in order for the orchestra and conductor to "warm up" for them on day 1. Instead, I had ended up in a situation were I had to take responsibility for this choice personally — from the podium — face to face with around 100 ultra-professional musicians.
When all the musicians were gathered and ready to start the day's first session, the orchestra's stage manager informed them about Ashkenazy's sudden illness and absence, and then handed the attention over to me. Those steps from the background onto the podium were extremely surreal. When I told the Philharmonia Orchestra about my total lack of experience as a symphony orchestra conductor, a gasp went through the hall. Luckily, this uncertainty soon changed and developed into a very constructive atmosphere: the orchestra was going to help me try to finish the last works to be recorded. However, we only had a few hours. The fantastic attitude of the musicians and their musical professionalism were definitely a critical factor in achieving our task.
Without going too much into detail, we indeed managed to record all the works — it was a result of a finely tuned collaboration between producer Morten Lindberg, the orchestra and myself as stand-in conductor. There was even some unused time left at the end of the day. Sure, I made many awkward and unusual physical moves, but the orchestra was very cooperative and the players often asked me to explain details or to change the way I used my arms to show more clearly what was the first, second and third beat and so on. The perfectionist in me and my knowledge of the works were naturally very useful, but I had never actually heard these works performed live before; they had only existed as tones in my head and as notes on paper until this very moment.
Afterwards, looking back on the day, I felt almost cheerful about what had happened. I have to say it was extremely euphoric for me to be able to work with music in this way — on this level. I even played with the thought of starting a new, additional career as conductor. However, as per today, I have not conducted anything after this day in Watford.
The TV documentary team News on Request, which was present as flies on the wall, really got an unexpected drama on tape. When they later released their movie EXHALING MUSIC, it actually became an international award-winning production, I guess much because of what happened that second day in Watford. Dramas like this make for good TV.
I am very grateful for everyone who contributed to make this production possible: Vladimir Ashkenazy, Emily Beynon, Catherine Beynon, the Philharmonia Orchestra, producer Morten Lindberg, Lindberg Lyd AS (2L), Symbiophonic AS, Erling, Randi, as well as other friends and assistants who were present in the planning and recording process.
Some time later, when I got the message that the FLUTE MYSTERY album had been nominated for a Grammy, I thought to myself that we must have done something right those two winter days back in 2008.
Flint Juventino Beppe
Composer (and maestro for one day)
Photo: News on Request AS.
Maestro for one day – Part I / 2
The only one of these works that I had previously heard live was «Flute Mystery» Op.66a, the alto flute version, which is dedicated to flautist Sir James Galway, who gave the first performance, playing in Washington DC in 2006 with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin. On this album it is the version of «Flute Mystery» for C flute, Op.66b, that is performed.
It is one of life's many mysteries that some people don't seem to need frequent communication in order to reach an artistic understanding. Soon after my very first contact with Ashkenazy back when I was 17, he became a kind of musical father figure to me, supporting me with his integrity. I was, and still feel I am, very connected to his "third eye", which adds a unique charisma to his performances. So I felt honoured being able to collaborate with such a pre-eminent musician.
Catherine Beynon and Flint Juventino Beppe. Photo: Morten Lindberg.
The first day, the sessions went very well, laying down recordings of «Flute Mystery» Op.66b and «Flute Concerto No.1» Op.70, which I would sincerely describe as authentic, being made in the presence of the composer, and by a conductor who knows the composer very well, top-level musicians and the multi award-winning record label 2L, who are merciless on the subject of sound quality, but at the same time innovative when it comes to how we experience 3- dimensional sound.
The orchestra was placed in a full circle surrounding the conductor, prepared by producer Morten Lindberg in order to ensure that the balance in the sheet music could meet the audience in a specified, tailor-made audio landscape. All of these details were based on 2L's production experience, and both orchestra and conductor took the unusual instrument placement as a positive challenge. The master idea was that instead of hearing an orchestra playing in front of you, the music would now "embrace" the listener.
The flautist Emily Beynon, principal flautist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, and her sister, harpist Catherine Beynon, were soloists. The Philharmonia Orchestra — an incredible ensemble with its own distinctive sound, which I have enjoyed on several albums the last decades — were the other human resources involved in the project. All together, the first day became a solemn moment for me as composer, being present at the recording sessions with such superlative forces.
However, at the end of day 1, I received a totally unexpected message. On my way back to my hotel, Ashkenazy's wife called me and told me that the maestro had suddenly been taken ill with fever, and that he therefore could not attend the second and last day of the recording sessions. The first thing I thought of was, of course, Ashkenazy´s condition. I was terrified that the illness might be serious. Then my thoughts turned to our project, which now faced a crisis. In such situations the brain works intensely to find a way out. We didn't have much time — neither did we have a backup solution. No other conductor was ready to step in. We only had the next day to finish the recording sessions. We were, it seemed, trapped.
Vladimir Ashkenazy told me, via his wife, that he saw me as the first option to conduct on day 2. I almost lost my senses. Me? I had never conducted so much as a small symphony orchestra before — or any sized orchestra, for that matter. What was worse, in social matters I am not particularly outgoing; I am not good at doing things on the fly. And in this project, we had available the Philharmonia Orchestra one of the world's greatest orchestras, one of my personal treasures since my childhood. A lot was at stake here.
Immediately, I felt horrified about the responsibility, but gradually this feeling changed into euphoria. Producer Morten Lindberg backed up Ashkenazy's suggestion. We sat in the taxi late at night. The producer and I made the decision together: I had to do the conducting myself. Not only because no one else could take over, but also because deep inside of me there is a perfectionist and, moreover, I had an intimate knowledge of the works we were to perform. Furthermore, the fact that Ashkenazy personally suggested me meant a lot. But, moving my body and arms is not part of my natural physical way of expressing myself. How should I even conduct 3/4 time — a waltz?
Flint Juventino Beppe
This story continues here.
Grandness. Or nothing.
My inborn personality denies me to acknowledge ism-based or «experimental» aspects of life or art. Unless it is 100 % based on grandness.
Hence, I often end up with mountains, life or Beethoven. Or nothing.
Take care —
Best wishes from
theh [ðəh]Demonstrative article used to point out "the one and only" / "the greatest" and similar, or to point out something unique / irreplaceable about a noun or adjective. The pronunciation is also characteristic.
What is special about the demonstrative article is that you also can use it before an adjective, generating a special meaning and mood because when using "theh", you actually change the adjective to become a noun.
a) — I was looking for a matchless and incomparable racing car; then one day I came over theh car, and bought it immediately.
b) — My girlfriend is my true love. She is theh love.
c) «Theh Goldest» Op.27. In this work title of mine, "Theh" replaces the superlative, i.e. The (most) golden (something).
In the above-mentioned examples, some would have written "THE" to underline the meaning, e.g. "THE love".
By using "theh" instead, one avoids contaminating the language with three capitalised letters (adding unknown or inconsistent pronunciation). Furthermore, "theh" is easy to recognise in spoken language because of its characteristic pronunciation: theh [ðəh].
On an (ironic) end-note: It is also worth pointing out that I had to create the term «demonstrative article» to be able to classify «theh».
Copyright protected FJB words, trademarks and phrases
«Theh Goldest» Op.27 No.5
Distance, time and space
More than four years have gone since the previous release, the Grammy nominated FLUTE MYSTERY (2L, Philharmonia Orchestra / Ashkenazy / Beynon), and many thoughts and feelings are connected to the process of making a sequel. Besides composing the music, which never is more work than exhaling air, all the practical aspects connected to a huge production involving approximately 100 musicians are first and foremost a lot of planning and collaboration with the producer. Simply put: a lot of plain hard work.
Thus, it is a true privilege and honour to once again work with outstanding performers such as the Philharmonia Orchestra and Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy and the soloists Emily Beynon, Mark van de Wiel and Ralph Rousseau. And it is always a pleasure collaborating with 2L, the innovative record label that never compromises with quality. So, I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of them.
As sure as I get up in the morning, music will fill my day. As sure as I meet the world and sense any "grandness" in the surroundings, music arises. This means that my days always are intense and challenging because I have no safety net or something to help me filter out certain impressions and thoughts. This might be related to my life with Asperger's and Tourette's syndromes, a condition that instantly puts me in an alternative spot in a conventional world. For me, it is all about how to handle distance, time and space and eventually leaving a musical fingerprint on a sheet of paper.
REMOTE GALAXY is available in iTunes and a lot of other places as digital album today, and I hope that my musical fingerprint might give the listeners a rewarding and lasting experience.
Today is a milestone.
Best wishes from
All about the release
Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor
Emily Beynon, flute
Mark van de Wiel, clarinet
Ralph Rousseau, viola da gamba
Catalogue No. 2L-100-PABD | 2L-100-LP
World Premiere: FJB Podcast
What happens in the "musical soul" when strong life impressions are going to be transformed to musical expressions? Composer Flint Juventino Beppe talks about an incident from 1993 that resulted in the composition «Lost in September» Op.17.
Follow the FJB Podcast on your mobile devices by obtaining the free FJB Mobile App:
— If you have any questions you wish me to discuss in FJB Podcast; please send them to me per e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
I will do my best to answer all serious questions regarding my work as composer.
Flint Juventino Beppe
The loss of a close friend and colleague
His complete dedication to his work and unique style and power will be deeply missed and impossible to replace.
Today, my thoughts go his closest family and friends.
From the recording of Vicino alla Montagna (Near the Mountains) in 2004. Both photos: News on Request AS
Related: Tomas Evjen replaces Flint Juventino Beppe in Tromsø (Article in Norwegian, 31.01.2012)
When the past arises
Many of the tracks on ABOUT MY GRANDFATHER were written while being out in nature. If you have this music on your headset while walking in nature, I wonder if you will be able to hear this? Because of the many melodic and dramatic compositions on this album, the music is also used in movies. Read the album notes here, and see if this orchestral music album belongs in your collection.
Sometimes episodes of joy or despair get manifested on piece of paper. On SEASONS OF LIFE, several works from my teenage years are present. I have just as close relationship to my first work as to my last. Time is just a relative factor; perhaps we all in reality grow younger? You can read more about the content of this chamber music album here. If you are into flute, violin or piano music - or if you just wish to take a chance to meet an unknown world of organic music and life philosophy, then perhaps this album might become a future treasure? Among others, you will find the enchanting «Waltz of the Queen» Op.4a No.1, the piano piece that end all movies in the Symbiophonies series, on this album.
On PICTURES BEFORE AN EXHIBITION, I used a synthesizer and a computer, not only to write down what I was hearing (or sometimes dreaming), but also to perform the works myself on the recording. I consider myself to be a perfectionist, and being able to have full control over the audible expression feels just right. If you enjoy the many possibilities of synthesizers or the imaginative world of film music, and if you at the same time are a bit open to new soundscapes where instruments perform in ways that actually are impossible in real life, then this album might right down your alley. Read the album notes here.
Well, time goes on, and there is much in this life I wish to do. Whatever happens, I am happy that the three new re-releases have arisen from the past and from now on can live their own life out there in the big, wild world.
I cannot promise that the music will appeal to your subjective taste, but I can promise honest musical journeys provided by The FJB Fingerprint. You'll find the albums on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify - yes everywhere where digital albums are for sale.
Take care - and thank you for the attention!
Best wishes from
A little girl who made a big impression
Take care —
Best wishes from
Still your mind is each moment's restraint.
Little Ida will sit next to you. All the fear she will softly undo.
Thoughts depart, let them sail boundlessly. Heart will nourish from her magic dancing on the moonbeam.
Little harebells fly low on a kite.
Close your eyelids, feel safe with the night. Lungs' desire, your breath to delight.
Who might steal in the dreams who you are? Surely death has been waiting for your final statement.
Who knows where your thoughts will arrive?
Don't panic, your head will be clear. Though your body is drenched in fear.
When the twilight is hunting you down. And you're crouching there forever in the wild tornados.
You may send all your worries my way.
We will fight all the demons that slay. Or just simply; shake hands with the day!
Flint Juventino Beppe (1994)
Can you see it in my eyes?
Having had the Tourette's syndrome diagnose for years, it took me 38 years to get the additional Asperger's syndrome diagnose, after someone came up with the idea that Asperger's syndrome could be the reason to all my inexplicable episodes through the years. Asperger´s syndrome is a relatively new diagnose, and I can imagine a number of "outsiders" and artists throughout the years might have had it, too. But Asperger's syndrome is not an illness; it is a syndrome within the autism spectrum. It has its good sides, too.
Read more here:
Take care —
Best wishes from
You are Your life now
If you would like to try out these songs yourself, a songbook including guitar chords will be available in connection with the audio release.
Best wishes from
You are Your life now | Du er livet Ditt nå
2013 — Escaping Time Power
Though, I know I am not the only one.
I dream the same every year: that all people can obtain total individual freedom, and that narrow-mindedness, moralism, religion and politics that abuse individual freedom will be eliminated as soon as possible. So much time is used to prevent freedom around the world, and Time Power is a constant challenge and existential factor between life and death. Perhaps taking a look at the star lake can make the Time Power a friend rather than a frightening force?
Well, I know I have to continue dreaming. Probably until my last breath in this life.
In the meantime, I take the liberty to breath out more music and lyrics about this.
Take care —
Best wishes from
«Flute Concerto No.2» Op.80 from REMOTE GALAXY is dealing with Time Power.
A breath of thoughts
That is indeed a philosophical question. In order to answer your question I have to use a philosophical parameter: music is for me communication that goes beyond the intellect and emotions. Paradoxically, one has to use one's arenas of intellect and emotions as a backdrop to the music when it is written down systematically – that is, so as to make it comprehensible for human beings.
Now known as Flint Juventino Beppe
Sometimes, a natural consequence will manifest itself as a name change, as it did for me. There is no drama connected to this decision; it has been on my mind for several years.
Best wishes from
More about the name change [Wikipedia]
Two dogs imprinted in music
Where am I? — Distant Words from a Paralyzing Atmosphere
It is a curious fact that long before I knew why I struggled the way I did in the conventional world (due to my Asperger's perhaps) I wrote about the same things that occupy my mind today. I have not developed or changed my reflections about matters that concern me. To be honest, everything is the same for me today as it was 20 years ago. In hindsight, all of the lyrics and titles have become somewhat self-fulfilling... Strange, and a little spine-chilling.