Mette Nielsen releases debut album recorded by up-and-coming young musicians
On 26 May the album Frozen Moments, recorded by NOVO Quartet and clarinettist Jonas Frølund, will be released – a snapshot of a decade in the life of the young composer.
Frozen Moments is a stunning debut album by the young Danish composer Mette Nielsen, presenting works for string quartet and clarinet written between 2012 and 2021, recorded by the award-winning Danish string quartet, NOVO Quartet, and the gifted clarinettist Jonas Frølund.
Pre-save the album to your streaming service via this link.
The works on this album explore various ways to enter sound, pause time, or otherwise alter it, and offer an introspective collection of compositions that challenges the listener to ponder the nature of time and sound.
‘What would it be like if you could pause in the middle of a piece – if you could stop time, walk around all the elements and observe them?’ asks Nielsen for example in the preface to her score for Forestilling om et fastfrosset øjeblik (Notion of a Frozen Moment). The string quartet presents a musical realisation of that idea – the music freezes on particular notes or chords, as though we are taken inside the chord to see it from within.
Triology of 'companion pieces'
In works by Mette Nielsen, one can often notice an inspiration from the music of Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, which alerted Nielsen to modular techniques by which one titled score might consist of a single component of another, or an existing score with parts removed.
This can be heard in the trilogy of related pieces Alone, Together and Apart, which puts that modular technique into practice as each score reveals further truths about the two others. In Alone the clarinet is heard exploring a space in all its emptiness. Apart gives us the other side of the story – the space itself, as embodied by string quartet. As the name suggests, Together unites the two scores and the whole settles into place.
Single out now
The string quartet Kvartet til minde om en sang (Quartet in Memory of a Song) is already released as a single from the album. Listen via this link. The quartet uses a tune Nielsen wrote in childhood, which as the piece emerges is rendered increasingly fragile, wobbly and distorted, made elusive by tracking harmonics or pinging pizzicatos.
About Mette Nielsen
Mette Nielsen (b. 1985) has studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen and Aarhus with Simon Steen-Andersen, Hans Abrahamsen and Bent Sørensen among others. Since then, her works have been performed by the Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble TM+ and SCENATET among others and lately by Odense Symphony Orchestra, who in April gave the first performance of her orchestral work Bevægelser.