Jon Balke, Batagraf and Trondheim Voices
This spring sees pianist and composer Jon Balke busy writing a commissioned piece for the vocal improvisation ensemble Trondheim Voices and the percussion group Batagraf.

The Trondheim Voices vocal ensemble consists of nine seasoned solo vocalists and improvisers. They focus on exploring the possibilities for vocal improvisation as an ensemble. Their works often begin life as commissioned pieces and collaborative projects with composers.

In the percussion group Batagraf, Jon Balke and a handful of drummers explore new polyphonic techniques in rhythmic boundaries, deriving their inspiration from West African drum music in the Wolof tradition and where language and linguistic rhythmic themes are constantly experimented with.
In Jon Balke's new commission, the musicians form a semicircle with the vocals and drums constituting the focal elements. The lyrics were written by the American poet Yusef Komunyakaa, who views his own work as dealing with enduring themes, myths and sin, sensuality and jazz.


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