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RunSten: and Varin said... for renasissance lute solo
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The music was conceived with resonances of the performer's Swedish (Viking) heritage. Rök is a village in Sweden famous for its 8th century engraved rune stone. The author of the runic script is Varin, who writes in memory of his son Varod slain in battle. Varin used riddles and complex allusions to weave a story that imbued with Viking history. The Norse telling of tales was a bardic practice and likely accompanied by the harp or lyre. The lute suite RunSten...and Varin said: aims to reflect this practice, but rather than subverting the styles and techniques associated with Renaissance lute music, it draws on the same, with contrasts from contemporary rhythmic and harmonic gestures, as well as embedded quotations from traditional Swedish folk material. Four words from the runic text were selected for each movement in the suite, which, like the Rök rune stone, is telling a story: Thul means 'storyteller' in Old Norse; Gåta means 'riddle' in Swedish; and Sakum means 'I say [the folktale]' in Old Norse. Rauk is the Old Norse word for 'stone' and probably the name of the village itself.

video of this piece, performed by Tommie Andersson:

Professor of Music and Associate Dean (Research) at the University of Western Sydney, Michael Atherton has made a sustained contribution to the arts, unique in its breadth and originality, for which he is internationally acclaimed. His creative output includes composition, performance and direction in many genres and styles. His concert music includes Jiriyai! (2006) for percussionist and dancer (Aurora 2006); Kamawarah (2001) for orchestra and Indigenous performers (Centenary of Federation); and Kalliopeia Sopha (2001) for SSA choir (Gondwana Voices). Recordings include Parallel Lines (2006) – electroacoustic music with Garth Paine; A pocketful of songs (2004) – songs and instrumentals for pre–school children; Sea and Mountain: music in the Korean style (2003); Melismos (2003) – an investigation of ancient Greek music. Michael is an expert in Asia-Pacific musical instruments. His book and CD Australian Made Australian Played, a study of Australian musical instrument makers (book and CD) was a breakthrough publication. In 2003 Michael was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to Australian society and was the featured composer at Aurora Festival 2008. Michael is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce and in 2003 was awarded a Centenary Medal for service to the community. Recent performance highlights include New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) opening concert, New York, June 2007 and NIME, Paris, 2006.
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