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Where did it lead as it led nowhere? (2023)


sop. sop. bar.

2-2-2-2 • 4-2-2-1 • timp. perc. perc. • 14-12-8-6


8 min.


Written while student as part of a project between the Norwegian Academy of Music and the Oslo Philharmonic

Video from the premiere

First performance

Victoria Joner

Karen Margrethe Heier Hovd
Simon Thorbjørnsen

Oslo Philharmonic, Trond Husebø.

Hovedscenen, KHiO, Oslo.



Paul Celan's poem “there was earth inside them” is a poignant exploration of the intricacies of existence. It delves into themes of memory, loss, and our connection to the natural world, all while conveying a deep complexity that can be felt throughout the text. When translating this to a musical composition, I was struck by the narrative focus on digging, which became the anchor for all of my sonic choices.


At its core, the piece serves as a meditation and fantasy on the tension between life and death, the tangible and the intangible, and the fleeting nature of our existence. The three singers are important to this exploration, their voices rising and falling in a powerful chorus that captures the shared experience of the human condition.


As the composition builds towards its climax, the text takes on a new urgency, hopefully evoking a sense of longing and a desire for connection. In the end, the piece fades away into a peaceful conclusion, with a sense of quiet contemplation and reflection.

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