The Neck is an eight channel, 24-minute-long composition work made by London-based, Swedish electronic music composer Tomas Nordmark. The poem “Näcken” by Swedish poet E.J. Stagnelius (1821–1823) serves as a point of departure for the work in which Nordmark investigates the obscurity of the mythological shape-shifting water sprite ”Näcken” (in Scandinavian folklore often depicted as a naked man luring humans down into his water with beautiful violin music) and tries to open up a dialogue with the creature itself. The composition uses slow and evolving phase-shifting calculations, a process reminiscent of the American downtown minimalists and inspired by the French literary OuLiPo group—yet the oscillating composition and narrative entwine in the spirit of a mythological mutation.
Tomas Nordmark is a Swedish composer, sound artist and graphic designer, currently living in London. He paints his minimalistic compositions with a careful and harmonically rich sound design of abstract landscapes of crystal, cold and pure images, which allude the genres. On one side, he is learning the form of his music from the American minimalists of the 20th century, and exploring the melodic textures of ancient Scandinavian holy hymns on the other. These two landscapes are juxtaposed on his terms with modern electronic tools and techniques. So it is no wonder that this year he opened the stage for a sonically related musician—Tim Hecker. He is presenting his debut album ‘Eternal Words’ (2019), a mature and beautiful achievement which received nods of approval from The Guardian, New York Times, Bandcamp and more. Tomas Nordmark is also a resident at MOTA — the Museum of Transitory Art, invited by the festival to make a new 8-channel composition for the Arcade Gallery collection.