drömseminarium (dream seminar)
drömseminarium (dream seminar) is a new piece of music-theater based on the texts of contemporary Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer and music of American composer Ellen Lindquist, produced by Companion Star, and developed collaboratively by an international company of musicians and artists.
drömseminarium creates an environment in which the spaces between the real and unreal elements of life are bridged, an important theme that appears throughout Tranströmer’s work. It is bilingual, mixing Tranströmer’s original Swedish with English translations (Robin Fulton). The cast of drömseminarium includes two singer/actors and thirteen instrumentalist/actors . A highly unique aspect of the piece is that all players, instrumentalists and singers alike, are characters in the piece, and also movers (with coaching from Swedish choreographer Helena Högberg). Set design by ceramic artist Henny Linn Kjellberg is a central element of the piece. Costume design by Camille Assaf. Directed by Patrick Diamond. drömseminarium is a large-scale work, roughly 75 minutes in length, and is slated to premiere in 2011 in Sweden and the United States.
The music of Ellen Lindquist is performed regularly throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe (Sweden, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria), and has also been performed in Cuba, South Korea, the Philippines, and South Africa. Discovery of unique sound-worlds through collaboration is central in much of Ellen’s work; several of her pieces are collaborative projects involving dance, theater, poetry, and performance art. Ellen’s work has been heard at venues such as Carnegie Hall, The United Nations, and The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine (New York), The Västerås Konserthus (Sweden), and The Royal Northern College of Music (England). Past commissions range from solo and chamber pieces to choral and orchestral works. Currently, Ellen is working on a new piece for music-theatre produced by Companion Star, based on the work of Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer. With its international ensemble Companion Star has presented work-in-progress performances of drömseminarium (dreamseminar) in both Sweden and New York. (The premiere is slated for 2012 in Sweden.) drömseminarium has been featured on Swedish television, and on both American and Swedish radio. Grants to support Ellen’s work on the piece while living in Sweden include fellowships from the American-Scandinavian Foundation and the American Swedish Institute (the Malmberg Scholarship), and development funding from The New York State Council on the Arts. She has been invited for multiple residencies at the Visby International Centre for Composers (Sweden), the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), and the International Ceramic Research Center (Denmark; a collaboration with ceramic artist Henny Linn Kjellberg to develop porcelain percussion instruments), and has served as composer-in-residence at Mälardalen University (Sweden). Ellen has been invited to speak about her work live and in radio interviews in the US, Canada, Sweden, and Denmark. Her work is published by Marimba Productions, Inc., the Swedish Music Information Center, and Apple Mountain Music Press (ASCAP). Go Fish Music has released Thomas Burritt’s solo CD titled All Times Identical, with his recording of her solo marimba work Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky.
As a pianist, Ellen has performed as chamber musician and accompanist in the US, Canada, and Europe. She was a co-founder of the Musicians’ Alliance for Peace (MAP), and co-organized MAP’s annual Music for Peace Project, a global network of concerts for peace. During the years 2004-2007, 350 concerts dedicated to peace were performed in 30 countries. Ellen holds degrees from Middlebury College (BA in composition and piano performance) and Stony Brook University (MA and PhD in composition). She has recently served as visiting professor at the Gotland School of Music Composition in Sweden, and now lives in the Netherlands. She co-founded and serves as composer-in-residence for Skogensemble, an international chamber group that presents new music from the Nordic countries. A deep respect for and love of the natural world is reflected in her work.