Maria W. Horn mourns the world

On September 18, Swedish Maria W. Horn will perform Dies Irae in the Lutheran Church, as part of Dag in De Branding x Rewire. The online magazine The Quietus interviewed Maria about her work.

Maria W Horn’s Dies Irae is about a reckoning, one dragged from its medieval origins into the present day climate catastrophe. Dies Irae  premiered in Stockholm last summer and it contains an arrangement for voices, electronics and tuned glass. In translation it speaks of “a day of wrath” in which “all creation is awaking/to its Judge an answer making”. It was partly written while on residence in a mining district in Sweden in 2018, at a time when fires were ravaging nearby forests, and was finished during the pandemic.

“These periods affected the theme, they were a way to channel a lot of my angst about the future, and about the environmental crisis,” she says. “It has a lot to do with this constant cognitive dissonance of living in the wealthy western part of the world, where – especially in Sweden – the common view is that we can continue living in eternal economic growth, and just invest ourselves out of this environmental crisis, and never have to sacrifice a single comfort. the Dies Irae theme is so appealing, because it’s a requiem, so it gives us space where we are allowed to mourn the world.”

Horn describes music-making as a transformative experience that she needs, and describes it like growing a garden, where there’s multiple things to take care of at once, in various stages of bloom and decay. “It requires imagination and direction of will,” she says. “Presenting my music becomes an extension of this process, a quest to create transformative experiences for others. I think it all boils down to a belief in the mind’s inherent capacity for change, and its ability to imagine new worlds.”

You can read the entire interview of The Quietus with Maria W. Horn here. Maria W. Horn will perform in the Lutheran Church at 8:00 PM. This is part of the evening program of Dag in de Branding x Rewire.

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