Calling all. This is our last cry before our eternal silence.

"Calling all. This is our last cry before our eternal silence." Chamber orchestra piece. (Ísafold Chamber Orchestra, 2005)

Composed by Hildur Ingveldardóttir Gudnadóttir

This piece is an ode to comunication, telegraphers and morse code. The name and the core of the piece is the last official sentence sent by morse code from french waters in 1997.
Calling all.. is dedicated to Ólafur K. Björnsson, who spent a great deal of his life as a telegrapher and contributed enormously to the society of telegraphers in Iceland.

The piece is 12 minutes, divided into four parts the same way an hour is divided for telegraphers out on sea. Telegraphers are to have silence every 15 minutes of the full hour, so the ships with the weakest signal out on sea are able to cut through with a distress signal. The same way the orchestra has to have silence” every 3 minutes so that the instruments with the “weakest signal” can be heard.

The tones the orchestra is playing are transcriptions of the most common frequencies the telegraphers use out on sea. The distress frequency (the frequency where all conversations out on sea begin to take place) is the fundamental tone of the piece. The orchestra is morsing the sentence, playing each note for the equal length as the morse letters, each musician having control of the way they “morse” same as telegraphers play their morse key.
The musicians are also able to have individual conversations” with in the limits the conducter sets for them same as the telegraphers and their captain.

Recordings of the first satellite comunications from Iceland are also a sound source in this performance.

Calling all. This is our last cry before our eternal silence. was conducted by Daníel Bjarnason and performed by Hildur I. Gudnadóttir and Ísafold. Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir made an animation video for the piece that was shown at the performance.

Click here to listen to a clip.

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