In late 2018, I was approached by the outstanding young Bassoonist Kristian Oma Rønnes to composer a piece for him that exploited a larger than normal range of the instrument. KOR, as he is affectionately known, has worked tirelessly on expanding the range of the Bassoon both downwards and upwards. Being a Bassoonist myself, I felt that this would be an exciting challenge to present a piece that he could use but also one that a Bassoonist who does not possess these incredible notes can tackle.
At the time of the commission, I had recently finished reading Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda one of the primary sources of Norse mythology. While these stories are Icelandic in nature, they have a strong connection to KOR’s homeland of Norway where many of these eddas originated. There is no one edda that inspired this piece, but rather it is an impression of the kind of story told. There is the call of the horn (KOR and I debate whether this call is more reminiscent of a Bukkehorn or a Lur) that calls the hero to action. This is followed by his “hero’s song” and is quickly followed by a song of the people. Our hero meets monsters, battels them, returns triumphant, but eventually, the hero fades away into myth.