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Fish & Fowl

Juliana Hodkinson
Niels Rønsholdt

Fish & Fowl

SCENATET, Hélène Navasse, Ursula Andkjær Olsen

With the experimental CD project FISH & FOWL, the two Danish composers Juliana Hodkinson and Niels Rønsholdt have transformed recordings of their chamber works into one total super remix\: A journey through an intimate and violent universe, which has been woven together from thousands of clips of studio recordings by the ensemble SCENATET. The two composers have been working closely together to create a new dimension and a common dramaturgy to their music specially for this CD.\\\

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Niels Rønsholdt & Juliana Hodkinson. © Anka Bardeleben
"Musiken trevar, famlar, smeker och vilar i ett oavbrutet spel mellan närhet och avstånd, det uttalade och det outtalade."
Matrin Nyström, Dagens Nyheter
"Man bliver helt rød i hovedet af at lytte til komponisten Juliana Hodkinsons lydkollage."
Thomas Michelsen, Politiken
"Gloriously abstract, yet possessed of an enigmatic narrative and emotional coherence, Fish and Fowl will keep you under its spell from beginning to end."
Dean R. Brierly (customer review), Amazon (UK)
Total runtime: 
68 min.

Dear Fish,

Here I am with my lungs, my breathlessness, I can't stop breathing, oscillations in the air = sound = music, I can't help myself. It's the constant breathing that makes me feel so fleshy, so convulsive.

I've tried to collect my thoughts on the good life, I feel like a lawyer pleading my case, or a fool engaged in seduction:

Music, kids, books, love, sex,
a healthy home,
theatre, city-life, company,
love, care, intimacy, awareness,
art, quality, meaningful occupation,
good health, food on the table, and fun and games. And peace in the world,
of course. My children. Tons of happiness, being in successful
dialogue with others, joy and curiosity about the future,
my wonderful wife. More joy than sorrow, peace - especially inner -
(red) (red) (red) (red) (red) (red)
peace, energy.... hmm ... love, warmth, freedom.


... hm ... hope ...



Dear Fish,

My breathlessness, an invitation.
Is breathlessness an invitation to pay attention to sound? Unsound? You don't
say anything. Music = sound = oscillations in the air, but why not in water, that's
not what I wanted to say: Music = sound = oscillations = turning oneself inside
out = breathing.
Something so concrete and yet so abstract. Breath. The voice of life. I am so porous.

Are you listening? Can you hear (especially) perfume, do you think I'm (red)
basil? It's pouring out through my mask. Free-fall,
free, free ...

Hope? Nuances, like: everything and nothing, just nuances. Everything and nothing, nuances.
Paradox. Hope you can use it.


Dear Fish,

Lungs are so porous, it's pouring out through them, all-pervasive,
how can I understand you (without lungs)? Like a plant? I know so few plant names.

Honeysuckle ... Seaweed .... yes! More interactive with the world. The nightshade family. Sunflower, bluebell, (red) basil, I feel (red) basil has roots in the same way
of thinking. As I like me. Lovage or lilac, the invitation is a premise for my being in the world. I know so few plant names, a perennial, or some other plant which makes you hallucinate when you take it ... hmm ... a poplar tree. Not newly pollarded. 
A birch tree.

Mimosa ... a tree-top, can one hear the intervening years?

Is it also pouring in and out of you? We are both empathic. In some ways we're quite similar, an occupation with people's complex emotions.

I act like a fool:
I look out of the window: bluebell, basil. It's so cool!
I'm crazy about.
I'm fleshy.

All that - there's nothing I detest.
Everything and nothing, just nuances. Which in the right mood could be perceived as


Dear Fish,

Unimportant, unconscious, bad, an insult.
What I am saying?

The lung as an invitation to dialogue.
I'm really perverse, I am the voice of life. A must\. And everything in between.
\\Bigger than the sum of my parts\\ - or however you say it. That's what I'm trying
to say.

Like a plant, like a creeping-creeper - which attaches to the tiniest growths and slowly but surely moves upwards and out to the sides ... you could see my breathing like that.

A delusion.

Isn't language a costume sewn by others? (Who, who, a squirrel, a bluebell? It varies from day to day.) A low-grade filter that our thoughts and feelings pass through before they, (lightly or heavily) distorted, arrive at their destination.

You? Even though I haven't met you? I judge from your music and the e-mail correspondence. Through the wall.
You are like (I am like) a (red) squirrel?
A beautiful silvery fish.
A Siberian snow leopard.
A little bird, the way it doesn't work, so porous.
Like café mocha with orange chocolate.
Maybe a cat, a lion, a lioness, a kind of feline - lithe and wary ...
A medium-sized dog, a fox. From the canine family. Sorry.
Guinea pig, mule, sorry, the way it doesn't work, it varies from day to day.
A Bengalese tiger, a malnourished wild cat. My dreams are based on music that makes us hold our breath spontaneously.

Unfold your lungs. Eagle.

Not a filter, my lungs are improvised filigree.

The natural unreliability, it's not me that's unreliable, but it's not me that sewed the costume, language's natural costumes (the nature of language is costumes, (red) (red) (red) (red) (red) (red)).

Yet still: costume, I sew (red) cloth on it. The need for forms of expression that are as comprehensive as possible. More imaginative definitions are no less legitimate.

Dialogue, in the eye of the storm, or of the beholder. That's what I'm trying. To be in the moment.
Paradox. The lung is my temple, my, your temple! An invitation.

Dialogue. A costume that we have all sewn. A tree-top, hope ... being in the present moment, the moment's (red, red) micro-world.

The natural unreliability of lungs, mysterious, fleshy filigree, sewn by everyone, an invitation to hallucinate, to improvise, to summon forth the beauty in the world that surrounds us.


Dear Fish,

I keep breathing the whole time, but it still keeps going off course, it turns into breathlessness. Paradox. You, me, you are hereby invited to

free, freely.

freely, through the wall.

My, my breath as an improvisational approach.
My breath as a strict compositional structure.

In my temple.

Breathing - executed by someone who doesn't mean it? An evil heart?

In the eye of the storm, the mask,
In the cracks, fundamental differences are revealed, earth, water,
even though we have the same roots. It's coming on too strong from inside to be able to keep its word.

The word as one of breathing's costumes, something that could, in the right mood, be perceived as music = oscillations in the air, water, oxygen? - my temple = free fall = isn't that what it's all about?

Naked and clothed, between the mask and the face, sits the free, free fall.




Release date: 
January 2011
Cat. No.: 
Jewel Case
Track count: 


Recorded at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Studio 2, in January and February 2010
Mixed and recomposed in Berlin by Juliana Hodkinson and Niels Rønsholdt
Recording producer: Peter Barnow
Sound engineers: Peter Barnow and Martin Gru
Executive producer: Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Editing by Juliana Hodkinson, Niels Rønsholdt and Peter Barnow
Mastering: Peter Barnow

Artistic directors: Anne Berit Asp Christensen and Niels Rønsholdt

Graphic design: Denise Burt

Scenatet would like to thank following collaborators and sponsors of this CD: Dacapo, Danish Composers' Society's Production Pool and KODA's Fund for Social and Cultural Purposes, The Danish Arts Foundation, The city of Aarhus, The Danish Arts Council and KODA.