The Gauntlet

The Gauntlet for the 450th anniversary of the founding of the city Fredrikstad

by Sxip Shirey


Composer and NTA teacher Sxip Shirey is creating musical composition as a present for the 400th anniversary of Fredrikstad which is a direct response to the city itself. He is drawing inspiration from the city streets, the river and the old town and writing melodies for each of their atmospheres. It will culminate in a public performance in Gamlebyen.

Shirey will also explore the topic of feeling,    “koselig“, which you can translate in English as cozy“ but it doesn't really have an equivalent meaning or carry the same weight. In a cold climate, where the days are short - family, friends and home must replace the lack of sun with something warm and nourishing. Shirey understands "koselig" as "the sun you make yourself".

There will be three pieces of music written around the concept of“koselig“ in Norwegian Winter.

 

The first composition will be played by the city bell tower.

 

The second one will be sung by a choral gauntlet in the old city. The Gauntlet is a choir you walk through. It is created by 2 lines of performers facing each other in pairs.  Each pair sings a short phrase of music. Each member of the pair only sings one note of that phrase before the other takes the next note. The melodic line bounces back and forth across the aisle between the performers. The back and forth technique is known as "hocketing" and was an aspect of some medieval choral singing. The audience walks between the singers. Shirey is collaborating with first year acting students from Norwegian Theatre Academy on text and melodic ideas. We will also ask local choir members and volunteers to join us for this piece.

 

The third composition will be sung across the river between Isegran and Gamlebyen by 3 singers with megaphones on each side accompanied by two boats playing bell rhythms from the water.

 

All these three compositions will be linked by people with the bells walking from the city hall to Gamlebyen and so connecting all the music and places together in one experiece.

 

Tea and waffles will be served afterwards.