The Sacred Family
Funded with support from Swedish Arts Grants Committˇe
for string quartet and computer
Computer part can be ordered from the composer on CD or sent via e-mail
About the piece
As the name implies, the inspiration for this piece has been gathered from the Barcelona Cathedral by Gaudi, La Sagrada Familia. I visited Barcelona when I was about to start writing, and was very taken by the whole scenery and the project.
However, during the process of working, my wife had a very serious and possibly deadly illness, I had to take care of our then one-year old daughter and my wife, and at the same time try to work. Naturally the work was interrupted during long periods of time, and I had to put both family as well as other more pressing work in between, making the process of composing – for me – extremely long (three years).
My wife is now cured, but this piece more than others relates to my family, and the holiness of being alive together.
Thus, it is fascinating that the cathedral is referred to as having three sides – Nativity, Passion and Glory, all of witch relates to the piece, as well as to the near-death-process we struggled through.
The three sides are used as the three sections in the piece. The facades also contain a multitude of smaller structures, statues and alike, and from these I have made a selection that is reflected in the music.
A generalization of my interpretation of the building is that the Nativity facade is the most intricate; Passion is more clean if you will, and the Glory facade is monumental.
Conceptually the long process of composing also relates to the ongoing nature of the building of the church. The church is not yet finished and will probably not be until several more years. Perhaps the piece is not finished either in a sense, since it allows for free interpretation in many places.
The electronics are available in both stereo and surround (4.1) versions.
The stereo version is possible to perform as a backing track, but you still need a
and a midi pedal.
To play the computer part, the patch for MAX/MSP is needed from the composer.
It is not self-sufficient, and will need a player through the performance to operate it.
This is done by using a midi pedal or similar. Pedal can be simulated through the
computer keyboard, however.
If using a pedal, it is possible for one of the musicians to operate the whole patch.
Simply press the pedal at the corresponding numbers in the computer part (the
numers are most convenietly transferred to the part of the musician playing)!
One will also need a computer capable of running the MAX/MSP runtime environment.
The patch is only tested on Apple computers.
A soundcard with four in and two out is also needed. It has to be set to very low latency.
If using the surround version a soundcard with four outs is needed.
A PA-system with four speakers to be placed around the audience in each corner of a
square, with the string quartet in between the front speakers.
Four microphones – one for each of the instruments. Preferrably attatched to them,
and connected directly to the sound card.
More information and the computer programming can be obtained from
All rights reserved
Copyright by the composer 2008
Performing rights administrated by STIM, www.stim.se
Score and parts can be ordered from www.mic.stim.se