Composer’s award resonates well

Composer Lasse Thoresen. Photo by courtesy of Lisbeth Risnes,

West Berkshire Baha’is have sent a message of congratulations to Norwegian composer Lasse Thoresen after he won a prestigious music award for his piece Opus 42.

Lasse, who won the Nordic Council Music Prize 2010, became a Bahai in 1971. Since then virtually all of his compositions are said to have incorporated spiritual themes.

Opus 42 was described by the adjudication committee as ‘strikingly beautiful’ and is being acclaimed for the similarities it draws between ancient and modern, as well as Scandinavian folk music and sounds more associated with the Middle East. It also incorporates the traditional overtone singing of Mongolia, in which the singer manipulates the resonances created as the air travels from the lungs to the mouth and nose.

Lasse said: “I think it is important to regard cultural differences as a resource and not as a threat. Even if you cannot escape from your own cultural conditioning, in some ways you can embrace other cultural sensibilities and reflect them in your own cultural context and produce an example of fruitful coexistences of cultural differences.”

Classical music lover Shawn Khorassani, a West Berkshire Bahai, said: “The Nordic Council Music Prize was searching for a work ‘in which all involved play their own part’ and that’s a very important facet of the Bahai Faith.”

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