Livet Innanför Väggarna
2 vla, vc, db
Adrian Knight Music

June 4, 2009
Stockholm, Sweden

Erika Sandström, vla 1
Karin Norrfors, vla 2
Adina Rydqvist, vc
Ville Bromander, db


The title is Swedish and translates roughly to “life behind walls.”

What is rhythm? Is it something we can measure like time? Always when I use the word rhythm I think of fluctuations and uneven distributions. I don’t feel that it has so much to do with regularities and repetition as with the minute changes in such regularities. Rhythm to me is irregularity, movement—changing from one state into another. In ‘Livet Innanför Väggarna’ I have tried to focus on these aspects, while also thinking a lot about scale. How large should the canvas be? This canvas is quite large—or, rather, there are many small canvases tiled on top of each other to form a mosaic where each tile still refers to all of the other tiles. The piece is about one hour long (but it could be longer). It is based on repetitions of four notes that are always changing. The score can be played in a number of different ways. I don’t know why I am doing this, but I like to see things from different angles. I like to look at the same thing for a long time, turning it slowly. Perhaps that’s a better way of describing how “livet innanför väggarna” works.

The work consists of 20 modules of varying durations (from 15’’ to 2’), with one module per page (for a total of 20 loose pages). The modules are divided into four blocks, like this:

Block a : modules 1-4 module a
Block b : modules 5-8 module b
Block c : modules 9-12 module c
Block d : modules 13-16 module d

The order of the modules within each block is free, but the modules have a fixed number of repetitions. I recommend that you agree on a sequence during rehearsals, and work your way toward a coherent expression. Note that the individual modules must remain intact. Only their sequence may be jumbled, don’t jumble the parts! Between each block is a module a, b, c or d. Its position is fixed, but it may be played any number of times.

All four musicians read from the full score. Each musician has a stopwatch. After having settled on a sequence in which to play the modules, I recommend that you make a note of the time at the top of each page. Absolute synchronicity is not required, but try to start the stopwatches at the same time. A few seconds’ discrepancy is not an issue.

Make sure to sit comfortably during the performance. There is no need for an intermission, but it is possible to have one—but only after module b, before block c.


Copyright © by Adrian Knight 2022.
Front page illustration by Tom Henry.