March 17, 2005 • Volume 13 Number 13

Hilmar Thordarson

'Music of the Northwind'

Given this year's seemingly unending winter, perhaps it's only appropriate that Boston College usher in spring with a concert of music from the far, far North.

On Sunday, March 20 - the official first day of spring - BC's contemporary music ensemble Hyperprism will present "KARI: Music of the Northwind," with works by composers from Iceland. The concert takes place at 4 p.m. in Gasson 100.

A highlight will be the world premiere of a piece especially written for the event by Hilmar Thordarson, an expert in electro-acoustic and computer music who visited campus this week to meet with and present lectures to music students. Other composers whose works will be performed are Haflidi Hallgrimsson, Hrodmar I. Sigurbjornsson, Mist Thorkelsdottir and Erik Julius Mogensen.

Showcasing contemporary music from other countries has become a regular theme for the 15-year-old Hyperprism, whose repertoire has featured the likes of notable composers Gunther Schuller and Milton Babbitt. In recent years, the group - whose members include BC Music Department faculty members Margaret McAllister, Sandra Hebert and Mark Simcox - also have performed works by modern composers of Scotland and Australia.

"This allows our listeners to muse on a recent phenomena in music called the 'International School,' and builds international connections for our students who meet the visiting composers," explained McAllister, who is artistic director for the concert. "Through these events, we also can explore and discuss issues of artistic cultural identity.

Hrodmar Sigurbjornsson

"The Icelandic concert is especially interesting since the Icelandic language is so archaic and the country has been so isolated. Is the music truly Icelandic, is it informed by the 'International School,' or is it perhaps a bit of both? This is one of the things we can have fun talking about."

For more information, call ext.2-6004 or e-mail

-Sean Smith

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