I was about nine years old, and I heard violins on the radio. Nobody played violin in my family yet. I had to do it! So my parents let me start violin lessons. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very inspired to practice, and I quit after just one year.
At Södra Latins gymnasium, as a vocalist, I happened to make friends with a girl who played violin, and I learned a lot about how to write for one. She even encouraged me to start the viola! But I didn’t start playing until 2010, ten years after graduating from Södra Latin. I love string instruments, and they are so versatile.
At Södra Latin in 2001, I found a collaboration with Erik Hamrefors, a cellist. We made a collection of improvisations/songs, which we recorded. Here are a few of my favorites:
In my capstone project, I included a violin and a cello, along with two clarinets, as the ensemble to accompany the five singers. (Starts at about 0:36, they had to tune first).
When I was a student at BYU, we had the fantastic opportunity to write a piece for the New York New Music ensemble (flute/piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion), and they came and played it. I loved the challenge, and decided on a set of miniatures. There are seven miniatures, and six interludes, each featuring one soloist. This is the recording from my senior recital, featuring my fellow students.
At one point I decided to write a sonata for unaccompanied viola, for Carrie Maxwell, now Castleton. She also played this at the senior recital.
I mentioned my music drama “Eldsäpplet/The Fire-apple” on the Brass page, but I adapted one of the pieces for string quintet as well. That piece has yet to have its premiere performance. Let me know if you’re interested in it! It has 2 violins, viola, 2 cellos, and I call it “A cold wind.”
Some of my songs are written for soprano(-s) and violin. I owe much of my appreciation for the violin for rubbing shoulders with Dr. Yeagi Kim Broadwell, at BYU, when we were both undergraduates. She has such a beautiful tone and fantastic technique. Dr. Margot Glassett Murdoch, who was pursuing her masters of composition at BYU when I was there, inspired me to complete my degree. She joined me in the duet “Älskade dotter Älskade Mamma”, a song I wrote inspired by my daughter, in the premiere in August 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
A few years ago, she asked if I had written anything that she could play for a recital, and I happened to have written a waltz for string trio, which hadn’t been performed publicly until she premiered it at Mountain Springs Music Festival Faculty Recital, in Orem, Utah, July 2018. I had simply called it Vals Från Rundvik, since that is the little village I had lived in when I wrote it, in the style of Västerbotten folk music. The performers were Yeagi Kim Broadwell, Rachel Bower Karr, and Gregory Williams.
In 2021, I was contacted by Dr. Diana Golden, who commissioned me to write a piece for solo cello. The recording of this piece (October 23, 2023) is available here. It was premiered in September 2023, and she has performed it several times.