A Suite in 8 Parts
Compositions by Kristian Blak
In 2020, Kristian Blak and Yggdrasil were commissioned by Listasavn Føroya (The National Gallery of the Faroes Islands) to create music to a painting, a landscape from the permanent collection: “Porkerisvatn”, by William Heinesen. This album is the result.
4 Grátt undir steini
William Heinesen, in his short story “Gæster fra månen” (“Guests from the Moon”), describes the landscape around Porkerisvatn as “resembling a gigantic, jagged lizard back.”
In the Enûma Elish, the Babylonian epic of creation, the god Marduk kills the chaos-dragon Tiamat and divides her body into two parts, from which he forms the heavens and the Earth.
As I composed this suite, I imagined the land around Porkerisvatn, Heinesen’s “dragon back”, to be the remains of Tiamat. The eighth part of the suite describes the dragon herself, while the other parts are inspired by various elements of the landscape.
1 Vatn (Lake)– Porkerisvatn is a lake on the old footpath between Argir and Kirkjubøur. The rhythmic pattern in this piece is inspired by the Faroese traditional ballad “Dagmoy”.
2 Á (Stream) – A small stream runs into Porkerisvatn from the mountains to the north and flows out on the south side of the lake.
3 Grót (Rock) – Situated on the tableland Kirkjubøreyn, the lake is surrounded by stones and rock formations.
4 Grátt undir steini (Woodlouse) – Woodlice abound in this landscape. In Faroese, their name is more poetic: Grey-Under-Stone.
5 Jørð (Earth) – Music based on a Sámi joik.
6 Skýggj (Clouds) – I have composed a new melody for the traditional Faroese hymn “Farvel, farvel du gamle År”.
7 Flog (Flight) – Inspired by a flock of ruddy turnstones that flew overhead during one of my walks around Porkerisvatn.
8 Drekin (The Dragon) – The Faroese landmass arose about 60 million years ago, the result of volcanic eruptions. From chaos and destruction came life, just as Marduk created the earth through the destruction of Tiamat’s body.
The musical material is based on the Faroese traditional ballad “Sjúrðarkvæðið,” the story of the slaying of the dragon Fafnir.
Angelika Hansen – violin, viola
Anders Hagberg – C-, alto and bass flutes.
Kristian Blak – piano, näverlur, vocal
Heðin Ziska Davidsen – guitar
Mikael Blak – bass
Brandur Jakobsen – drums
Released on the following formats:
Digitally on all major platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, etc.). You can check it out on the player below.