MADELEINE ISAKSSON, born in1956, studied from 1979-1987 at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. After receiving her diploma as a piano and ensemble pedagogue in the class of Gunnar Hallhagen, she entered the composition class with teachers such as Gunnar Bucht and Sven-David Sandström (composition), Pär Lindgren (electroacoustic music), Arne Mellnäs (instrumentation), and Bo Wallner (music theory and analysis). In 1987 she traveled to Amsterdam for a year of studies with the composer Louis Andriessen, later moving on to France, where she has lived and worked since the beginning of the 1990s outside of Paris.
Meetings with composers, their different traditions and aesthetic features—Brian Ferneyhough in Stockholm and at the composition course at Royaumont in France, Iannis Xenakis, Morton Feldman and Emmanuel Nunes—have contributed to Isaksson’s development as a composer. The exposure to the music of Giacinto Scelsi in Darmstadt 1986 came also to play an important role.
In the music of Madeleine Isaksson, the relationship between different sonorous sources, that which separates them and that which causes them to blend together, are in the foreground.
Her basic frameworks can be described as different forms of space: those of interval, register, and time where the material is developed through contrasting terms such as light/dark, weightless/heavy, from/to… Returning melodic cells are made smaller and larger, together forming a sort of patterned web always related to a perceptible, sometimes hidden, often elastic pulse.
”There is something going on, something that has matured and that expresses itself in a musical form.” The quote is telling, and is applicable not only to the individual works, but also to Madeleine Isaksson’s whole attitude towards creation as an organic development from spaces and shifts.
Text : Andreas Engström
Engl. translation: George Kentros
From Phono Suecia, PSCD 134 (2005)