Ultima Contemporary Music Festival: Two Extremes

by Michael Straus, NewMusicBox

“The final concert of Ultima was the world premiere performance of Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje’s Crepuscular Hour for three choirs, six noise musicians, and organ. Bringing everyone together, this massive, evening-length piece felt as though it could have single-handedly carved out the Norwegian fjords. I became a bit disoriented and started to lose track of time at what felt like twenty to thirty minutes into the piece. Surrounded on all sides by a choir of noise, the piece continued to snake its way through the expansive church. After a long, gradual build, it gave one last roar before quietly sending us home.”

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