Bengt Hambreus – Rota II/Tetragon

Bengt Hambreus - Rota II/Tetragon LP front cover
Bengt Hambreus - Rota II/Tetragon LP back cover
Bengt Hambreus - Rota II/Tetragon LP side 1

This LP combines 2 electroacoustic compositions from the 1960s by Swedish composer Bengt Hambraeus (1928-2000) — see previous post for more info. It was released by the Expo Norr label, named after the famous annual trade fair and folk festival in Östersund. An emanation of Rikskonserter, or Concert Sweden, a state-funded concert organizer, Expo Norr was created in 1965 and released Swedish contemporary music and jazz untill the mid-1970s. The Rota II/Tetragon LP, bearing the Riks LP-7 reference, was probably released in 1972 or 1973, since Riks LP-6, I Speglarnas Sal by Karl-Birger Blomdahl, was released 1972, according to Discogs. Though the record labels say “stereo”, the pressing is in fact in mono, so the contents of right and left channels are identical. The music is no less powerful and enthralling for that.

Rota II, composed 1963, is an electroacoustic composition for organ, bells, electronic sounds and musique concrète. Tape manipulations and sound processing form the basis of the piece, while organ and bells are used to add density, color and timbre. The bells’ sounds are manipulated and processed sometimes beyond recognition, what the liner notes call “klockklangerna sammansmälta”, or bells collage, and which form the backbone of Rota II. Composed 1965, Tetragon is a montage of various live instruments’ parts including flute, trumpet, cimbalom, harpsichord, percussion, voice and, of course, organ. Some of these are historical, period instruments which were recorded in various places: at the 1965 Picasso exhibition in Kiruna, in the North of Sweden ; at the Musikhistoriska Museet in Stockholm ; and the organ parts in the Storkyrkan church in Stockholm. If one adds the composer’s studio, the recording took place in 4 different places, hence the title. In 1965, Hambraeus was a producer and director of the chamber music programs at Sveriges national radio and many doors were opened to him, one assumes.

01 Rota II (12:15)
02 Tetragon (16:02)
Monica Zetterlund, voice
Gunar Schmidt
Ulf Bergström

Total time 28:17
LP released by Expo Norr, ref. Riks LP-7, Sweden [1972?]


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5 Responses to “Bengt Hambreus – Rota II/Tetragon”

  1. 2 continuo February 16, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    You’re welcome.

  2. 3 Dave M February 17, 2011 at 1:42 am

    I remember this guy from another LP, which I can remember only vaguely – possibly organ works w/electronics. Anyway, thanks for this one!

  3. 4 Acousmata February 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Fantastic! I’ve been meaning to find more by Hambraeus, whose electronic piece “Doppelrohr II” can be heard on the Acousmatrix disc devoted to the early music of the Cologne studio:

    Now, if you can find the Blomdahl LP you mention in the post, I will be in your eternal debt.

  4. 5 continuo February 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Glad you enjoy Hambraeus’ music as much as I do. I actually plan 2 additional posts with pieces by this composer. Regarding the Blomdahl LP, I have yet to secure a copy of this intriguing release.
    Thanks for your comment.

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