Born in Klövsjö on 15th April 1936. He was leader of the Fylkingen language group from 1968 and in charge of the Text-Sound Festivals which were held for many years. He is self-taught as a composer. He was Chairman of the concert organization Fylkingen 1982-1984, member of the Executive Committee of ICEM 1981-1982, and has been member of College compositeur de GMEB from 1982, member of the Executive Committee of the ISCM from 1982, member of the Executive Committee of the Electronic Music Studio, and Chairman of the Society of Swedish Composers 1984-94.
Sten Hanson has been working with experimental music, literature and art since the beginning of the 1960s, cultivating both instrumental, vocal and electro-acoustic music for performance on radio and television, on outdoor occasions or from the concert platform. He himself has been on numerous performing and lecturing tours all over the world. He was quick to realise the importance of the tape recorder as a factor in the renewal of poetry and the ability of text-sound compositions to break the isolation often experienced by an author in a small language area. Many of his early compositions were short, hard hitting collages of text and sound with a socially and politically committed content: Che (1968), Western Europe (1969), Revolution (1970). In other works the emphasis was more on humorous burlesque: Coucher et souffler (1968), How are You (1969). Compositions like Fnarp(e) (1970) and L’Inferno de Strindberg (1971) have passed through more extensive electro-acoustic processing, as is also the case in the humorous but cautionary The Flight of the Bumblebee (1982).
The voluminous John Carter Song Book (1979-1985) is based on the early science fiction writer Edgar Rice Burroughs’ texts concerning the American Captain John Carter’s adventures among the red men of Mars. In principle this is pentatonic music, but with a lavish flora of glissandi and microtonal elements. The vocal elements have been synthesised at the computer studio of Brooklyn College, New York. Wiener-Lieder (1985-1986) for soprano, piano and recorded tape was first performed at the 1987 Swedish Music Spring Festival. In a series entitled Play Power (e.g. No. I 1961, No. IX 1982) he has used the potentialities of an instrument together with a recorded part in which the characteristics of the instrument are electro-acoustically prolonged.
Stig Jacobsson 1987