Bengt Emil Johnson

Also known as Bengt-Emil Johnson, Johnson

Discography of Bengt Emil Johnson:

# Release title Total tracks Type of release is Imprint date Label
1 Semikolon 3 Audio 1966 Sveriges Radio
2 Elektronmusikstudion Dokumentation 4 4 Audio 1973
3 In Time 3 Audio 1979 Caprice Records
4 Kerstin Ståhl, Sopran 13 Audio 1981 Caprice Records
5 Gubbdrunkning 2 Audio 1965 Bonniers
6 Fåglar I Vår Närhet 22 Audio 2010 Bonnier Audio
7 Semikolon 4 Audio 2013 Paradigm Discs

Born on 12th December 1936 in Saxdalen, Sweden. He studied the piano 1956-1962 with Knut Wiggen, who also gave him his first lessons in composition. Johnson joined the concert organization Fylkingen circle in the early 1960s, appearing there himself as a pianist and composer and in happenings. He established co-operation with several other musicians and composers, including Lars-Gunnar Bodin. Johnson has been on the staff of Swedish Radio since 1966. Between 1968 and 1977 he was among other things editor of the journal Nutida Musik. In 1979 he was made director of the Music Department, where among other things he has been an enthusiastic initiator of the annual Electronic Music Festival in Stockholm (first arranged in September 1979). He became Programme Director at Swedish Radio, 1984. Johnson is also a practising poet, with fourteen collections published between 1963 and 1986. He is much in demand as a compere and author of programme notes at concerts.

As poet and composer, Bengt-Emil Johnson is greatly fascinated by materials. His poetic career began with collections in a concretist spirit, and his music was also inspired by the thought of coming to terms with different kinds of acoustic material. And yet he has seldom figured as a technically preoccupied composer. His works often have literary ramifications, sometimes relating to poems of his own, sometimes to those of other poets (Carl Jonas Love Almqvist). He is a pioneer of text-sound composition, an amalgam of poetry and musical composition which acquired especially powerful standing in Sweden during the 1960s. He has taken a close interest in improvisation and collective composition. A more refined technique of composition underlies Disappearances for piano and recorded tape, the ensemble piece Mimicry and Colloquium.

Experiences of nature, awareness of death, reflections on contemporary phenomena — these are some of the ideas recurring in his musical compositions, with Night Chants, to words from ceremonies of the Navaho Indians as something of a high-water mark. The singer Kerstin Ståhl has played an important part in inspiring and interpreting several of Johnson's works.

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