The emsPrize has been awarded now for the past
two years. It is different from the prize that was awarded earlier
in connection with the former Electronic Music Festival in Stockholm,
the Stockholm Electronic Arts Award, in that it has one theme,
that of text-sound compositions. However, there is nothing that
says that this theme cannot be changed in a few years, if preferred.
But at this moment, it is the text-sound theme that is of interest.
This is hardly by chance, of course. The EMS and
Sweden have a long and glorious tradition in this area; indeed,
text-sound composition is quite simply a Swedish invention, with
such names as Åke Hodell, Sten Hansson, Lars-Gunnar Bodin,
Bengt Emil Johnson and Ilmar Laaban as prominent figures; many
of them are still active in their fiels. The introductory period
at the beginning of the seventies, when there were also text-sound
festivals at Fylkingen, remained in hindsight rather isolated,
even though the composing process has never stopped. The eighties
and nineties were no match for the introductory phase, even though
the composing of text-sound pieces has continued (albeit partly
along new lines).
The emsPrize intends to change all that and start
the composing process again, as the concept itself is still alive
to a very high degree and far from exhausted. There has never
been any strict definition, if it is possible to make one at all,
but it is at least initially, rather broad and open, which is
also a conscious strategy designed to attract as many contributions
as possible. There have been about 80 of these over the past two
years. In summary, it can be said that they have been more about
text and sound rather than text-sound in the traditional sense,
and it is possible that we may make this more strict. At the same
time, it has been intereting to see the scope and all the various
conceptions of text and sound. The various interpretations have
rally proved to be quite different from each other everything
from radio documentaries to processed language sounds.
16 countries were presented last year and out of
almost eighty contributions, half were from the USA. Almost all
of the other were from Europe, and I assume that this is a relatively
true reflection of the degree of activity in the various degrees
of latitude. Surprisingly few contributions were from Sweden,
however, somthing that we would like to see change in future.
It will take time to awaken this sleepig beauty again, but she
is already rubbing the sleep out of her eyes at least.
emsPrize WINNERS 2001
Out of 60 entries the jury of the emsPrize 2001
(Lars Gunnar Bodin, Anders Blomqvist and Ulf Stenberg) has decided
to give the prize to two composers, Christian Banasik for ...
letzte Gebrde offener Münder and William Brunson for Creature
Comforts with the following motivations:
Christian Banasik: "Within the framework of a classical
text-sound-composition the composer elaborates a linguistic material
into concentrated poetical brightness."
William Brunson: "With humour and love-and-hate-feelings
the composer listens to and attacks our contemporary media world."
The jury has also picked out five honourable mentions:
Hsin-Wen Tsao for Clair de lune
Hanna Hartman for Die schrauben, die die welt zusammenhalten
Erik Peters for Allt som ligger under snön
Lidia Zielinska for Just too many words
Jaroslaw Lublin for Rum-Cum
emsPrize WINNERS 2002
Out of 75 entries the jury of the emsPrize 2002
(Erik Peters, Hanna Hartman and Ulf Stenberg) has decided to give
the prize to two composers, Paul Rudy for Thema: Omaggio and Francis
Corcoran for Quasi una Missa with the following motivations:
Paul Rudy: "with irony and humour the composer
virtuosly transforms a very familiar soundmaterial to a playfull
and coherent whole"
Francis Corcoran: "with an open mind the composer
uncovers a concrete and traditional image- and linguistic material
and places the maybe-higher-power in the middle of an irish stew"
The jury has also picked out three honourable mentions:
Angelo Sturiale for Voiceless madrigal
Hans Sydow for Dada3
Chris Mann for Double Standard
I would like to thank all participants for their
contributions and congratulate winners and honourable mentions
and also welcome everyone to the emsPrize 2003, which will have
the same theme: text-sound-compositions.