YLVA Q ARKVIK”Ylva Q. Arkvik has a thorough musical background, yet still the path to composition was far from straight. She worked as a ballet accompanist, read musicology at Uppsala University, and after graduating as a cantor went on to study music teaching at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. This was where she also studied composition, earning her diploma in 2000.
Arkvik has written pieces for most orchestral settings, including electroacoustic music, chamber and orchestral music, opera and theatre music. What inspires her is the synthesis of different forms of expression, which has led to collaborations with artists from very diverse fields, such as sculpture, dance and poetry. She has also written several solo works for specific musicians, as well as pieces uniting instrumentalists with electronics. She wrote a chamber opera, Solitario, with poet Eva Runefelt, and an emotionally charged mini-opera Du får inte gå! with author Eva Ström based on the events of 9/11.
Her music is often harsh, even passionately intense at times, but is mostly mournfully restrained and steeped in a kind of fantastical, abrasive melodic tincture. Pieces exemplifying these traits include Tid läggs som tunt papper över beröringarna, Que for saxophone quartet and Skarpa, vassa for solo violin. Unlike many of her generation, Arkvik does not imbue her music with stylistic fusions, bur remains firmly rooted in the modernist tradition with an intensely concentrated mode of expression”
Words by Tony Lundman
”Ylva Q. Arkvik chose to begin the suite Vikingamark (for alto saxophone and poetry) with a long, deep and very confident saxophone tone. Like the instrument, played by the saxophonist Jörgen Pettersson, cut a furrow throughthe silence that loss and sorrow bring forth. I wrote the poetry and Ylva heard my words take form in music. That is how we met and started our work together who also has brought forth the camber opera Solitario, played at Plaza Theatre in Stockholm, 1999. Grab hold, hold still – those are words I instantly associate with Ylva Q Arkviks way of relating in her works. Not fearing the long tones. The wave coming from beyond is not to be stopped, only recieved.
The music is in the color of water – it can be transparent and weak, almost frail but also marin and bottomless blue-black and in between intensivly blue-greyish. Like she, as a composer, dwells in the eye of the storm. A calm is always there, but all the time surrounded by movement, strictly legible or like a faint hint. I think about Ylvas music as a horizon. A distant horizon closing up, and suddenly transformed from untouchable, unseizable substance to a strange yet firm landscape. And in this musical nature rises groupes of flora and fauna. Flaming bunches of the drawn out stillness, obstinate thin plants spiring up. A cellos dark bowing or the animallike puls of a saxophone – around my poetry in an operalibretto it is closing up, painting a room of strange growth.
Ylva Q Arkvik lets her sensations take musical form. She doesn’t stop it, she lets it spread out and sound out when the breathing breaks and the movement faintly changes. For me this music is very visual and filled with the range of blue nuances, without any similarity with blues. Ylva Q Arkvik's palette contains the escaping blue toneslings of the water, like the blue that drills itself deep down in the dark like diabase. The horizon is never just far away beyond reach. It glides nearby me, so I can hear, taste its lust to sink deep and to rise – high, high.”
Words by Eva Runefelt
A challenge to humanity cantata for mixed choir and wind orchestra, 28 min 2008, first p. 22/8-08 in Blå Hallen, Stockholm City hall.
Tidsgömmor for 2 sopranos, mixed choir, orchestra and electronics, 22 min 2005, first p. 1/5-06 in Swedish Radio P2
De som varit, de som ska komma, de som blev for orchestra, 17 min 1999-2002, first p. Aug-02 with the Royal Filharmonic Orchestra in Stockholm
Tid läggs som tunt papper över beröringarna for string orchestra, 10 min 1997, first p. Musica Vitae in Växjö, Sweden
Enigma 15 for orchestra, 14 min 1996, first p. at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm
Johannes Uppenbarelse oratorio for mixed choir, soprano, baritone, sologroup, chamber orchestra, organ and electronics, 65 min 2013, first premiered 17/3-13 in Högalidskyrkan in Stockholm.
Barnet och de grå chamber opera, 2 sopranos and piano, percussion and alto saxophone, 19 min, first premiered 2/12 2007 in Stockholm
Du får inte gå chamber opera, soprano, mezzosoprano, baryton and 11 instruments, 24 min 2002, premiered in Vadstena castle, a commission from the Vadstena Academy
Solitario chamber opera, 2 sopranos, 1 mezzo, 2 baryton , chamber orchestra and electronics, libretto E.Runefelt, 50 min 1999, premiered. at the Plaza theatre in Stockholm
Electronics, with or without instruments
Psalm 23 o 142 for electronics, 10 min 2009, first p. 29/4-10 Heliga Trefaldighetskyrkan, Gävle
Herre, var är du? for electronics, 6 min 2009, first p. 8/3-10 Högalid Church, Stockholm
Jag ropar till Herren for soprano and electronics, 3 min 2009, first p. 8/3-10 Högalid Church, Stockholm. Anna-Lena Engström sopran.
Tagel for electronics and sounds, 13 min 2008, first p. 4/10-08 in Västerås Konserthus.
Restless wind for violin and electronics, 10,31 min 2007, first p. 15/11-07 in Gävle
Eko for viola da gamba, lute, recorder and electronics, 6 min 2004, first p. in Nov-04 in Växjö
The day before… for recorder and electronics, 8 min 2004, first p. in Nov-04 in Växjö
Andorien for flute and electronics , 9.04 min 2002, first p. at Johannebergskyrkan in Gothenburg
Väsen for cello and electronics, 10 min 1998, first p. by Chrichan Larson violoncello in Västerås, Sweden
The power in between for saxophone quartet and electronics, 10 min 1997, first p. by Stockholms Saxofonkvartett at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.
Clou for electronics, 6 min 1995, first p. at Kulturhuset in Stockholm
Capriccio quasi fantasia for piano, 6 min 2010, first performance 27/8-10 in Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, Stanislaw Drzewiecki piano.
Spread it out for piano and electronics, 15 min 2010, first p. 31/3-10 in Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Lisa Ullén piano.
Dance with me! for piano and electronics, 11 min 2003, first p. March-03 in St:Eskil Church, Stockholm
Psalm 142 for mixed choir, 3 min 2009, first p. 8/3-10 Högalid Church, Stockholm
En gång ska allt försvinna bort for mixed choir, 4 min 1999, first p. Nov-99 in Örebro by Maria Magdalena Motettkör
Rata de ciudad for mixed choir and 3 percussionists, 7 min 1997, first p. by Capella Kreuzberg at Emmauskirche in Berlin
Pieces for 1-3 instruments
Leave me! for oboe and percussion, 8 min 2004, first p. 8/12-09 in Stockholm. Markus Leoson slagverk and Fredrik Söhngen oboe
Cold and clear för violin, 4 min 2003, first p. March-03 at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Anna Lindal, violin
No comments for alto saxophone and piano, 8 min 2003, first p. June-03 at Schwarzwald Festival of Music in Germany
Skarpa, vassa. for solo violin, 9 min 2003, first p. March-03 at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Anna Lindal, violin.
Vikingamark for alto saxophone and poet, 17 min 1997, first p. by J.Petterson, saxophone and E.Runefelt at Kungsholmen library in Stockholm
Gestures for solo percussion, 8 min 1997, first p. at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm
Esconderé for flute, 5 min 1995, first p. at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm
Pieces for ensembles
Lines from the future for chamber ensemble, 9 min 1997, first p. by Sonanza at the Swedish Radio, Studio 2
Cataract for violin and electronics, 10 min 1996, first p. 31/3-10 by Andreas Andersson at Kulturhuset in Stockholm
Dona nobis pacem theatre music, 90 min 1996, first premiere in 1996 at Arbogaspelen in Arboga
Pictures for string quartet, 12 min 1995, first p. at Glashuset in Stockholm
Qué for saxophone quartet, 7 min 1995, first p. by Stockholms Saxofonkvartett at Fylkingen in Stockholm
Chiffer for six percussionists, 8 min 1994, first p. by Kroumata in Helsingfors, Finland.