Biography

Rebecka Sofia Ahvenniemi (b. 1982) is a composer and philosopher based in Bergen. She was born in Finland, but moved to Norway in 2004.

In many of her compositions Rebecka has applied concepts like breath and articulation, and focused on a gestural or timbral quality of the sound. This applies both to vocal and instrumental works.

In recent years she has started to explored a contextual approach to all music, questioning the spaces and rituals related to the process of composing, performing, and listening. She fights the romantic view of the autonomy of a musical work, and wishes to forwards the idea of a musical work being largely “non-authentic”.

Most of Rebecka’s music is written score music, often combining acoustic instruments with electronic elements. In addition, she has composed several acousmatic works for spatialised surround sound, using Ambisonics as a tool.

Rebecka also engages in issues concerning gender equality. In 2017 she started the project «Nye stemmer» in Bergen, which offers seminars and tutoring for women who want to compose professionally. In addition, Rebecka teaches composition at the Grieg Academy and a little bit at the Norwegian Academy of Music.

Rebecka has been the board member of the Norwegian Society of Composers since 2013 and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra since 2016. She is also the leader of the committee of “Musikere og musikkensembler” in Arts Council Norway.

Today, Rebecka works on a PhD in philosophical aesthetics for the University of Helsinki, with the title “On the Relationship between Music and Philosophical Writing in Light of Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory”.

 

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Key interests: Music, language, epistemology, voice, body, critical theory, repressive structures and mechanisms of the society, gender equality, nature, the “other”

Key composers, writers, and thinkers: Salvatore Sciarrino, Kaija Saariaho, György Ligeti, Luigi Nono, John Cage, Beat Furrer, Henry Purcell, Hildegard von Bingen, Theodor W. Adorno, Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Buber, Hermann Hesse, Charlotte Brontë, Arnfinn Bø-Rygg, Arild Linneberg, Edith Södergran, Karin Boye, Vibeke Tellmann, Lydia Goehr