Erik Janson

rarescale's Artistic Director, Carla Rees, talks to Erik Janson ahead of the UK Premiere of Microsoundworlds at The Forge Camden on 7th January 2015
What is it that appeals to you about writing for the alto/ bass flute?
I like composing for the low woodwind and also brass instruments and I´ve written a lot of solo pieces for them (working cycle (work in progress)
with the titles "sur les ailes du temps")

What attracts you to rarescale as an ensemble?
I´m fascinated by the combination of low wind instruments which are not often used together in this way, and also I like the precise way the musicians work together with the composers.

Tell us a little about your experience of working with rarescale
We first worked together in Düsseldorf at the Jazzschmiede in September 2014 for an intense rehearsal for the Microsoundworlds Festival. We also collaborated during the compositional process via a series of emails etc

What is your musical aesthetic?
My musical aesthetic is to write works mostly with richness of different sound colours, with microtones and multiphonics. I try to use many different means of musical language (techniques) but only with a substantial function in the structure of my works.

Who are your main influences?
Early influences (before my studies) include composers like Olivier Messiaen and Stravinsky, then later I was influenced by Helmuth Lachenmann, Xenakis and Kurtag. But after that I looked more and more for my own language. I´m also influenced by experimental Jazz and
Progressive Rock music for example.

Tell us about the background of your piece – how did it come to be written and what’s it all about?
The piece grew out of the idea of my friend composer Claes Biehl to make a project with low woodwind instruments including the possibilities of microtonality etc. Later we extended this in form of a project title of "Micro soundworlds". This means that also complex rhythmical and harmonic structures can be "Micro Soundworlds".

What made you become a composer?
I decided to compose after I improvised a lot on piano and church organ between the age of 4 and 16 years. I wanted to save and write down my ideas.

If you could sum your music up in three words, what would they be?
That is for the audience to decide!

Is classical music dead?
No, it´s definitely not dead! Classical and also ancient music and all tradition (as every musical genre) still have important and inspiring aspects for the musical works today (for all musical parameters you can imagine).

Erik's website