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Without Knowing

Mixed choir a cappella

Without Knowing was written during a composer’s residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada, where I had the opportunity to work with all professional choir Pro Coro Canada, their conductor Michael Zaugg, and the Danish/Swedish conductor Lone Larsen. While at Banff, I wrote two major choral pieces. Before the West, a complex, rhythmical 7-minutes piece, and this, Without Knowing. Perhaps a simple response to the complexity I was exploring at the time. Pablo Neruda’s words are overflowing with love, warmth and compassion, and my job when setting it to music was mostly to not do too much with it. I tried not to complicate things, but to set the text with an open heart, writing intuitively, which also resulted in me only setting parts of the original poetry. The piece to me sounds it’s best when sung that way. Simple, without dramatic gestures – almost like a folk tune, or even a pop song. Without Knowing was premiered by Pro Coro Canada at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity on the 29th of February 2020, under the direction of Canadian conductor Mona Holton.

Henrik Dahlgren


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