SUBCHAMBER ENSMBLE is a musical project established by musician, film composer and sound artist Nathan Larson with cellist Gerda Holmquist. The ensemble involves a rotating roster of classically trained musicians in the area that are active, but might not directly be connected to the conventional orchestral platforms. Inspired by the enigmatic composer La Monte Young and his minimalistic musical explorations as well as by Alice Coltrane’s ever evolving cascade-like flow of acoustic sound, this first performance will feature harp, strings, clarinet, tuned metal drums, electronics and cassette tape manipulations/ loops.
In June 14, 2018 the ensemble played for the first time. Photo: Camilla Rehnstrand. Courtesy of the photographer and Subchamber Ensmble.
First version of the poster designed by Studio Atlant, Copenhagen.
Subchamber Ensmble was formed in 2018 by film composer Nathan Larson and cellist Gerda Holmquist. Larson and Holmquist have such distinct musical backgrounds that could appear irreconcilable at first sight: the former, a punk rocker grown in the New York independent music scene of 90's, the latter a classical musician with formal academic studies in the south of Sweden.
Back in late 2016 we had the opportunity to experience Larson's embracing soundscapes at Prequel, our first curated exhibition in central Malmö. This led us to invite him to contribute to our second exhibition and as a further development we offered him to take over the location in three dates that could be conceived as a series.
In the spring of 2018 Nathan came back to us with a project that proposed involving musicians with classical background from the region that for different reasons weren't directly associated to the larger official platforms such as the city orchestra. We embraced this idea because what we initially imagined as a sophisticated contemporary sound installation, turned out to be the seed of a musical project that addresses community questions and touches upon issues of sustainability and cooperation across genres and scenes.
The first incarnation of the Ensmble (deliberately written with a missing 'e') took place at OBRA in June 16, 2018. A relatively small crowd had the chance to experience for the first time what the Ensmble calls Semi-improvised Free Classical music, something we read as a sort of exploration of the sublime with spirit healing qualities.
Although not formulated as a genre by its creators this could be the opportunity to get a glimpse at this holistic, open-minded approach to music making and attend to a previously unheard combination of social and artistic practice.
Stora Varvsgatan 12-14 +46 72 720 6633 gallery(a)obra.se