Bye the Sea - Rapsodie Pastorale

 “By the Sea” is a programmatic composition conveying my impression of the serene shoreline spot named Spornes on the island of Tromøy outside Arendal, Norway. Spornes is well known to the local residents, a favorite destination for leisure and contemplation. It provides a unique nature experience as the shoreline was shaped during the ice age leaving an edgy landscape and large boulders just off the water. Moreover, winter storms will change the shoreline from year to year, some years providing a fine sandy beach and other years a tumultuous rocky seaside terrain. Always, though, the waves from the sea gives a soothing backdrop and the enormity of the ocean is a reminder of the mightiness of the earth.

“By the Sea” captures an imaginary trip to Spornes from the nearest town, Arendal. The majestic and resolute introduction depicts glimpses of the growing town as I saw it in my upbringing in the 1970s and 80s, when sporadic industrialization had eagerly paved the way for buildings in the brutalist architectural style (cement brut), concrete structures randomly interrupting the nature. The trip would then take you over the bridge to Tromøy, a Golden Gate lookalike and a engineering feat that had been completed a couple of decades earlier. Reaching the destination, the calmness of Spornes is captured by a lyrical melody in D-Major which becomes the main thread of the “By the Sea.” The lyrical melody is interrupted by a tumultuous rhythmic section in B-Minor depicting the playful gusts of the winter storms. In the end, tranquility is restored by the sentimental melody in a romantic arrangement.


Seconds was written in 2015 and premiered in Norway by Agder Camerate the same year.