Subscribe to Dacapo's newsletter

Nicolai Worsaae

composer
1980
© Niels Magnússon

Nicolai Worsaae’s works bear adjectives such as direct and expressive. A search for a violent and perhaps even grotesque musical language. Isolation is a term that very well depicts the ideas on several of his pieces. Either visually dividing musicians on stage or in the music as a sort of principle of composition. In particular, Worsaae works with circular forms of movement in which repetitions of small sections serve to freeze musical moments. In this way time, structure and space become clearly apparent in the work. The larger part of Worsaae’s works unfolds through a play between developmental and static principles. Stylistically his music contains elements of what could be called “concrete instrumental music”. These are not direct imitations but musical suggestions of concrete sounds. “It is liberating to work with something concrete when working with sound otherwise is so abstract. When I move through the city I listen a lot to all kinds of sounds. Many people that listen to abstract music often have an experience similar to listening to concrete sounds – that the music sounds like something specific. If one can work with the suggestion of real sounds the music becomes richer.”

Nicolai Worsaae studied composition at the Royal Danish Conservatory with Bent Sørensen, Niels Rosing-Schow, Hans Abrahamsen and Hans-Peter Stubbe Teglbjærg as well as at Hoch- schule für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Graz with Beat Furrer.