In ‘Hands’ Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Opsahl investigates the use and symbolic importance of the soloist’s and the orchestra’s hands being transmitters of sound and core medias for human expression and evolutionary development. Hands conceptually and dramatically unfolds as a journey through the evolution of humankind; from the emerging of simple floating microcells in the primordial soup to organisms evolving into breathing, moving, conscious and imaginative beings. Along with the motor development of the hands, the human brain matures accordingly and results in the formation of refined systems, societies, cultures, and expressions.
Composed in the shade of the global covid-19 pandemic, Hands is a post pandemic ritual for the healing of our relation to human connection and creative power through touch, tactility, bodies, and collective movement. As a conceptual basis for the concerto, Opsahl examines how the areas of the instruments touched by the hands of the soloist and the orchestra must be treated as 'contaminated'. This creative restriction becomes the starting point for unique tonal patterns and scales that constitute the characteristic motivic sound material of the cello concerto. As a result of the restrictions for free movement and expression, the musicians slowly become more and more alienated from their instruments’ bodies, own bodies, other bodies, communities, expression, possibilities and meaning. Reflecting on this, the concerto exposes extreme confinement, detachment and alienation versus the power of collective movement and human imagination in overwhelming masses of sound.
‘Hands’ was originally commissioned by Århus Sinfonietta and SPOT Festival (DK). The World premiere took place in The Symphonic Hall of Musikhuset Aarhus during SPOT Festival in May 2023 with the Århus Sinfonietta+ and Josefine Opsahl as the cello soloist led by conductor Holly Hyun Choe.
*Also possible with optional staging, lights, audience integration and co-performance*
|DK - Vejle
|DK - Nykøbing Sjælland
|Josefine Opsahl Solo
|DK - Odense