Merry Go Round

"Merry Go Round" a soundclock performance for 14 musicians on platforms on wheels, (2005)

Composed and conducted by Hildur I. Gudnadóttir

Merry Go Round is a sound clock and is to resemble how time flows and how different people live in their time.

The audience sits in a big circle forming the face and circle structure of the clock. There are 14 musicians on platforms on wheels, being pushed inside the circle and around the audience while they play – the musicians resemble the people that live in time. When they play inside of the circle, they are playing certain structures – that is, they have to play certain notes while crossing certain places of the clock – just as people have to go to certain places at certain times - for they are in the structure of time controlled by the clock. Outside of the circle is to resemble the place where people go when they lose all track of time - timelessness. When the musicians travel outside of the circle they are free to improvise as they want (in a certain scale), for they are not controlled by the clock or time, but able to wander around - as one does while day dreaming. In the middle of the circle the conducter is seated, surrounded by outward facing loudspeakers and playing the cello. The soundscape coming from the loudspeakers is moving in surround, serving as the arms of clock – every soundsource moving in it´s own time. The conducter is the timekeeper and starts and ends the time. The timekeeper is also able to have conversations with “the people” and echo melodies that they play.

The scale the musicians play is borrowed from the traditional Gamelan music from Bali, and is called “slendro”. Merry Go Round is heavily influenced by Gamelan music, where as both try to capture the nature of time, and both are based on the circle movement.

The sounds that the platforms make are a big part of the soundscape of the piece, and resemble the fragile and mechanical structure of time, that people base their life upon.

The piece is an hour long. This is a live recording of the performance of Merry Go Round, taking place in the spring 2005.

Merry Go Round was performed by:

Andrew D´Angelo
Áki Ásgeirsson
Gudbjörg Hlín Gudmundsdóttir
Gudmundur Steinn Gunnarsson
Gudny Jónsdóttir
Hildur Ingveldard. Gudnadóttir
Hilmar Jensson
Jóhann Jóhannsson
Júlía Mogensen
Kjartan Sveinsson
Matthías M D Hemstock
Ólafur Björn Ólafsson
Ólöf Helga Arnalds
Páll Ívan Pálsson
Skúli Sverrisson

Click here to listen to a clip.

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