SOLKREDS III to be unveiled on April 16th, 2022

Solkreds III, the latest and final version of the sound installation at the monument Dodekalitten, will be heard for the first time on April 16, 2022. At 1:00 PM there will be a short introduction to Solkreds III  before the premiere, which will occur at 1:14 PM, when the sun is highest in the sky on this day of the full moon. Afterwards there will be a concert featuring Jakob Buchanan on trumpet and Mikkel Hess on drums improvising over Solkreds III.

Solkreds (Sun Circle) is a permanent, site-specific sound installation created for the monument Dodekalitten at Kragenæs on the Danish island of Lolland. When completed, sometime around the year 2025, the monument will consist of 12 megaliths carved out of solid granite by the Danish sculptor Thomas Kadziola. They stand on a hill overlooking the sea in a circle 40 meters in diameter, 7-9 meters tall, and weighing up to 50 tons each. For now there are 10 megaliths, 7 of which have been sculpted.

Solkreds is more a system than a piece of music in the traditional sense. The music is produced live by a computer program, creating a gradually changing soundscape around the sculptures. The music is alternately audible and silent, played through 12 permanent loudspeakers and two subwoofers hidden beneath twelve granite sitting stones, one in front of each position in the circle. The duration is unpredictable and varied. Solkreds begins playing every day at sunrise and stops at sunset. The computer system uses data for the position of the sun, the phase of the moon and tide levels to control musical processes

Solkreds is made up of three musical elements: drones, bells and Sun Songs. The drones consist of 24 electronic voices, one heard from each speaker. The voices each have their own development, but they also relate to each other and form changing harmonies. There are 52 different harmonies that develop gradually without repetition. The bells are heard only occasionally and only when the drone sounds are active, creating a contrast to the slowly changing drones. The musical structure for the bells is based on the harmonies that the drones are playing at any given time, and they are heard more often at high tide than at low tide.

Each day at solar noon the drones and bells are silent and a Sun Song is heard. This is a daily event that occurs when the sun is highest in the sky at the local coordinates. The time varies from day to day within the range of 11:58 AM and 12:30 PM local standard time and an hour later during daylight saving time. There are 30 Sun Songs, one for each day of the lunar cycle. Sun Songs that are close to each other in the lunar cycle are musically similar, while Sung Songs that are far from each other are musically different. The Sun Songs are through-composed with a duration of 3 – 5 minutes each. They provide a contrast to the other, more random elements of Solkreds. Each Sun Song consists of twelve solo voices. The twelve sculptures are heard in a call and response dialogue with each other with some tutti passages, where all twelve voices sing together.

Solkreds III was commissioned by the Dodekalitten Foundation with financial support from the Augustinus Foundation, The Danish Business Authority (Erhvervsstyrelsen) LAG-fund, KODA Culture and the Municipality of Lolland.