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Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports

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Urström at the 1999 Stockholm Water Festival



    The music for Urström was especially composed by Örjan Strandberg working in close association with Jan Kriland and Bo Anderson, the artistic team and the visionaries behind the saga. The music had to tell a story without words and enhance the mood of the images in the show. Many months of collaborative work went into the show design while the soundtrack for this show took about a month to compose and orchestrate

Download MP3 File

    Örjan graciously provided LaserFX.com with a CD of the music and has given us permission to make an MP3 version available to our readers. You can download this file and use an MP3 player to listen to the full 21 minute Urström soundtrack. There are mono and stereo versions available for download.
    We suggest that you begin the download now while you read this and the next page as the file is large and will take some time to download. Listen to the music while reading the descriptions on The Show page.
NOTE: Due to copyright considerations, Örjan asked us to "damage" the music so it could not be used in any other productions. We are therefore making low resolution MP3 versions available that were purposely recorded at a low level. If you would like to obtain a high quality copy, please contact orjan@visionandsound.se

Örjan: "For my part, I always have the ambition to produce for the ears, every bit of what is being produced for the eyes. Thus, I feel it's the composers responsibility - besides writing enjoyable music - is to also give audible body to the creatures, objects and other things appearing in a show."
    "In this particular case we also dealt with especially three important components in the story; time, temperature and water. Starting off in the Great Ice Age, I tried to provide the proper 'cold' scene up till the meeting with the heat, where the ice melts producing the Yoldia Sea, which will by the start for the saga about life and human civilization."
    "For both the start of the show and the start of the Palace projections later on, I made an attempt to musically mirror a sense of religious ritual. Something out of human reach and control.
    If this could be obtained, I felt we had the "core" or "soul" to engage people deeply. I always appreciate it if the (show) concept allows for a strong core, inside the more or less concrete visuals. This story sure has that."
Örjan Strandberg
      "The challenge is then of course, to communicate the message through all the components of the show, to a daily crowd of 35,000 individuals. You know beforehand that the message will be different to everyone of them, but you should have provided enough LEVELS, so that everyone will pick up something enjoyable."
Örjan at master control
Örjan at master control supervising sound
and time code checks
    "The 'density' of the Urström music is more than 60,000 tonal events. This means that there are on average 3,000 notes per minute, or 50 per second, distributed over 12 categories of instruments plus a lot of special ones; synthesisers, SFX etc. Some people have the impression that composing music with computers means less work than with pen and paper. The time gain really is the performance, where everything I just wrote is instantly audible! No rehearsals, no expenses for conductors & musicians... Otherwise the structure of the music is fully compatible with a traditional orchestral score, only I address my 'musicians' digitally - but they play the same notes as their physical counterparts would have."
Örjan concludes, "In my case, at least the music should be - apart from narrative - nice to listen to. I really enjoyed writing the music to this special event."


Quick Links to Report Pages

Stockholm Water Festival Report - Introduction
Sweden and Stockholm - Background and general information
The Site - Orientation to the show area and the challenges it presented
The Crew - The people who put it all together
Tech Specs - The equipment used in the presentation
The Music - An interview with the composer and MP3 file of the soundtrack
Smoke on the water - Covering a lake with smoke for beam effects
The Show - A description with many pictures
Animated Gifs - Gifs showing Palace projections and climatic beam effects
Stadshuset - Stockholm City Hall tour (very large page)
Show Diary - Day-to-day coverage of the trials and triumphs


DISCLAIMER: Some of the information in the Backstage area is provided by the persons or companies named on the relevant page(s). Laser F/X does NOT endorse or recommend any products/services and is NOT responsible for the technical accuracy of the information provided.  We provide this information as a service to laserists using the Backstage area. 

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