Time Lost

Ekmeles I Iwo Jedynecki I Hannah Kendall I George Lewis I Therese Birkelund Ulvo

Tuesday, 19 September, at 19:30–20:30
200–300 kr

Experimental vocal sextet Ekmeles and three exceptional composers delve into time, loss, and the African-American diaspora.

George Lewis works with Mackey’s poem Lone Coast Anacrusis, whose portrayal of nomadic human struggle in a dystopic, drowned landscape suggests the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Music and text refuse to offer comfort, while the lonely accordion textures and interrupted vocal stuttering evoke unease in an unstable world.

Hannah Kendall’s This Is But an Oration of Loss draws from court transcripts describing the massacre of slaves on a ship in 1781. The eerie music includes quotes from the book of Ezekiel, bones, tendons, flesh, harmonicas expressing afro-diasporic sorrow.

Therese Birkelund Ulvo's Timelessness investigates the nature of time, which people have always struggled to comprehend. The piece speculates on what backwards-running time might look like, in a poetic mix of beating hearts and film of the enduring Norwegian mountain landscape. 


George Lewis: Lone Coast Anacrusis (2023 WP) for vocal ensemble and accordion based on a poem by Nathaniel Mackey

Hannah Kendall: This Is But an Oration of Loss (2022) for vocal ensemble based on the text Zong! by M Nourbese Philip

Therese Birkelund Ulvo: Timelessness (2023 WP) for vocal ensemble and film




Fluid transitions

Between this concert and the marvellous Pytheas Travels, Ultima has a distinctly watery thread running through it this year. Like a flowing river, George Lewis’s piece was in constant motion, never the same river twice.All three of tonight’s pieces flowed together in streams of memory, dread and hope.



Unheard melodies

This was an amazingly complex and moving performance, with poignantly sad but beautiful sounds and text. As someone familiarwith Greek, I could not help but think how well the name of the group, Ekmeles, whichmeans ‘outside melody’, suited their performance.This ensemble (New-York based, I believe) breathes new life into the tones most others ignore.



Time and timelessness

Ulvo’s work is so strong because she writes for specific people to make the best of their talents. Her music seems to be open to all sorts of influences, like art, film, literature and so on. I was enthralled by this piece and the beautiful film by Thomas Radlwimmer - their exploration of the mystery of passing time. The combination of voices, pulse, breath, beating and stopping hearts...A collective experience of shared time in the moment.

Ekmeles | Photo: Bill Wadman

George Lewis I Photo: Maurice Weiss

Hannah Kendall

Therese Birkelund Ulvo I Photo: Elisabeth Emmerhof

Iwo Jedynecki. Photo: Anita Wasik.


  • Charlotte Mundy
  • Eliza Sutherland
  • Timothy Parsons
  • Tomas Cruz
  • Jeffrey Gavett
  • Steven Hrycelak


  • Iwo Jedynecki

Film I Timelessness

  • Thomas Radlwimmer

Sound engineering

  • Manne Madsen

Co-funded by

  • Kulturrådet
  • Mid Atlantic Arts through USArtists International, a program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.