Signe Lykke: Contemporary Composer Collaborates.

DSC02320Signe Lykke , Denmark composer
, credits her desire to collaborate from her non-classical, jazz background. However, she has a MA in classical composition, but believes that process is important, and that contemporary composers, such as herself, need to be familiar with the musicians who will be playing their music.  This is one of the reasons why Signe is at Arte Studio Ginestrelle, with Harriet Wheeler, violinist, to compose a piece, and learn more about the range of the violin, and what sounds are possible with other string instruments.

Passionate, and deeply committed to this process, Signe is quite fascinated and eager to work closely with classical musicians because, she says, “As a composer, you need your musicians to be engaged in your music and to understand the deeper meaning of the music. You don’t want robots playing all the correct pitches; they have to put their own feelings/soul into the music.”  Signe wants musicians to be able to identify with the intention behind the composition.  She stresses:  “When it’s new music, and you are the composer, you need to talk to the musicians, come up with a language you can both relate to and understand. “

As a composer, Signe is curious, and listens keenly to the various instruments, so that when composing, her compositions are stamped with her identity. We (she and Harriet) are doing a portfolio, examining different ways of exploring the violin.” She adds that what she is doing is not innovative, nor does she think it will amaze the world, but she beams, “The process is amazing!  We have come up with all these sounds; to us they are innovative, and they are personal –we have been playing around, improvising, having lots of fun.”  Signe believes playing around, discovering, is quite important, as well as necessary if a composer wants to collaborate and find new modes.  Although, a long, tiresome process, Signe says they are almost there, but the hard work still remains, that being, to figure out how “to put these extend techniques on paper, to write them down so musicians know how to play them.”

”When you do new music, when you hand your final piece to your player, it should be readable and as accessible as possible.  The musicians should be able to see the story, understand the feelings or whatever you, the composer, were thinking when creating the piece. I am quite excited.”

“I am about collaboration. I want to know what kind of musicians are playing my music. They all have unique sounds, but I have to get to know them as musicians, as artists, so that when I write a piece that is beautiful, they know where I’m coming from, and can put their soul into the piece.”

To learn more about Signe, visit her website:

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