Exposition

The Significance of Electro-acoustic Music in the Space Opera Aniara (2014)

Johan Stenstrøm

About this exposition

In 1956 the Swedish poet Harry Martinson published Aniara, a poetic narrative set in a distant future and based on the idea that the Earth has been contaminated with nuclear fallout from atomic bombs and has become uninhabitable. A fleet of spacecraft ferry people to Mars and Venus, where the population of the Earth must be evacuated. One of these spaceships is called Aniara. Soon after take-off, she is involved in a collision that renders her steering gear nonfunctional. Consequently, she veers off course, setting out on a journey into space with no possibility of ever reaching her destination. The reader follows the fate of the passengers and crew during the next 24 years as they try to adapt to life in the spaceship. In 1959 the opera Aniara by Karl-Birger Blomdahl premiered at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. One of the features that attracted widespread attention was the Mima tapes – that is, taped electro-acoustic music and musique concrète used to represent the sound sequences emanating from a computer-like machine called the mima on board the spaceship Aniara. To create the Mima tapes, the composer and the librettist used key phrases from different songs in Martinson’s epic. By using this device in an opera about mankind set in a remote future, Blomdahl was able to create an affinity between music and subject matter.
typeresearch exposition
date26/11/2014
published01/12/2014
last modified01/12/2014
statuspublished
licenseAll rights reserved
urlhttps://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/108969/108970
published inJournal of Sonic Studies
portal issue8.


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109448 Figure 6 Johan Stenstrøm All rights reserved
109444 AudioObject 7 Johan Stenstrøm All rights reserved
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109399 AudioObject 1 Johan Stenstrøm All rights reserved
109396 Figure 3 Johan Stenstrøm All rights reserved
109388 Figure 2 Johan Stenstrøm All rights reserved
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