My Beautiful Decay 1973 = Carsten Bo Eriksen


Carsten Bo Eriksen (alias My Beautiful Decay 1973) is a prize winning and award nominated danish composer. His music incorporates elements and inspiration from post-rock, american minimalism, ambient electro-acoustic/electronic music and field recordings. He’s educated at the Royal Academy of Music as a composer (1997-2003), pupil of Professor Ib Nørholm, Ivar Frounberg and Hans Abrahamsen. As a painter and videoartist he is selftaught. He had his debut from the extended studies program in composition in 2003. Furthermore he has studied at Berklee College of Music, Mass, USA. And has studied the balinese gamelan music in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, with the musician Pak Tama. In 2004 he was granted by the Danish Arts Foundation with a 3 year working grant.

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Since 1991 he has produced and established ensembles, among others the critical acclaimed ensemble Nordlys and art rockband Melonheads. He has established and been active in the realisation of music and media festivals like the World Music Days (1996) and ARTRA (2000).And he was a boardmember of the concert society for contemporary music Musica Nova (1997-2000). He’s been appointed member of KODA’s collective tape funds assets (2003 and 2013). He’s been appointed jury member of ISCM (Danish section)(2000). In 2002 he was nominated for a Danish Music Award (grammy) for best chamber music release with his ensemble Nordlys on the record label DaCapo Records. In 2001 he was the 1st prize winner of the Danish Art Foundations electronica competition. In 2005 he won the 2nd prize for best journalism on the internet INSOMNIA, creating the sound, and in 2009 the 1st prize for best media production on the internet together with the Face The Climate team. He’s also committed to work with a broad scope of collaborators, as with multiscoped artist and singer Martin Hall, visual contemporary artist Jesper Fabricius, The Symphony Orchestra Copenhagen Philharmonics, Athelas Sinfonietta, Ars Nova Ensemble (SWE), Ensemble Adapter (GER), JACK Quartet (US), ACME (US) Messer Quartet (DK). He’s been exhibited and performed at the most prestigious spaces in Danmark as the Museum of Modern Art Louisiana, The National Gallery of Denmark, The Royal Library “Black Diamond ConcertHall”, Tivoli’s Concerthall, VEGA. Internationally he has been performed in Germany, USA, Spain, Sweden, Norway ect. He has also been performed live and been aired on the Danish National Radio, and on other radiostations around Europe.

Introduction to the music:

” My minimalist electro-acoustic music, draws on my inspiration from American minimalism, musique concrete, electronica and post-rock/pop, which I without doubt stand on the shoulders of. Repetitive patterns and patchwork, which acts as architectural building blocks and piles, gets filled up with climatic spatial moods and atmospheres. In other selected pieces there is an absence of concrete structures, as I try to create empty pockets of time and airy space. I work with light, temperature and timbre “klangfarben”, a lot like a traditional painting and sculpting artist. In many ways it’s my fascination about working with computermusic, that you’re working directly on the sounding material, at the same time it still fascinates me, how expressive acoustic instruments can be. I’ve wanted to create a more conceptually composed expression where there is an entity present in the “sound” I use and with some clear-defined tonal means. For this I have some specific practices and sound libraries, which I regularly use. I collect audio, as others collect stamps. Another of my practices is that I sample fragments of classical music from audio CDs and rework it to become my own material and record acoustic fragments with various musicians and orchestras, sections from my own compositions and manipulate them into new pieces together with the electronic manipulations. I also make field recordings in good Pierre Schaeffer spirit, and sound processes, recomposes, restructure the material, until I feel that I have the “right”expression. I still compose in a traditional score form, but it is not crucial to me that the pieces must be present in this format anymore. A score is only a communicative possibility among others. The recording has become the finished work. Therefore, I plan to record all my future works and publish them in the coming years, a mindset I have not had before. This shall be done in a new inspirational way together with my paintings, photographs, mixed media and additional videos”.

“I’m surely a strange hybrid between a traditional classical composer and a contemporary electronic musician “

Danish Arts Foundation

Scholarship in 2004 to:

Carsten Bo Eriksen, f. 1973

Carsten Bo Eriksen has undergone both the diploma as well as the soloist degree in composition at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Next to the profession as score composer, he is a singer and songwriter of the rock band Melon Heads, player in the music business’ organizational work, including the establishment of a classical composer ensemble “Nordlys”, and a now defunct electro-acoustic festival ARTRA, and he is also active as a painting artist. In other words, a wide-ranging gentleman, who today receives the three-year working grant just for one of all these activities: musical composition.

As a composer of scores, Carsten Bo Eriksen is something of a lyrical rebel in the Danish music scene. He writes sounding accommodating music! It’s a music that would unfold in soft harmonic soundscapes, alternates in various tableaux with quite a few reminiscences of the American so-called “minimal music” and on the whole is distinguished by its immediate availability. Eriksen’s music sticks, however, deeper than the pure beauty of sound. Firstly, there is at Eriksen a movement in music that takes you somewhere. And this place – the movement’s end – has like a special poetic beauty that at the same time explains and exits. Secondly, it reflects the very movement itself a series of events that call for an attentive listening. As in chamber work “Series of Escape” where it immediately beautiful seemingly simple sound image hides a complex web of melody lines at different speeds, which in their opposite rhythms relativists each other and the foregrounds simplicity.

This combination of a broadly appealing surface, built by a precisely formulated underlying richness of details, gives the music an artistic depth that paired with its immediacy looks promising for the composer’s development. It is this development that The Tone Art Committee of Classical Music considers obvious to support. We do so to the best of our ability, namely the award of a three-year working grant.

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