Ulf Grahn (1942-)

Han som vaknade av sång över taken [approx. He who woke up by song over the roofs]

  • Year of composition: 1984
  • Work category: Voice and other instruments
  • Text author: Tomas Tranströmer (1931-2015)
  • First performed: Premiered as part 4 of From Dusk to Dawn at Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. October 15, 1984
    Pamela Jordon, soprano; Edward Hays, clarinet
  • Duration: 4 min


Bass clarinet and soprano voice

Solo voices/choir


Location for score and part material

Edition Nglani

Description of work

This is the last piece in From Dusk to Dawn were the previous works are Du Silence, A clear Midnight and Night Images:the Jinni,

Work comment

It all started in 1979, with a commission for a short piece for soprano and bass clarinett based on a theme inspired by the paintings of Edvard Munch. During a stay in Trosa in the spring of 1979, I found a painting by him and also a text by George Rodenbach written in the same year (1890) Munch painted 'Natt i Saint-Cloud' [Night in Saint-Cloud] in Paris. Both works express the theme of loneliness and reflection in the evening, in solitude.

Later, the two performers premiering this work, 'Du Silence', wished to have a complementary work composed for them. I then chose a theme relating to midnight.

In 1984, I picked up the thread again and composed the 'Night Images Vocalis', based on a poem ('Öknens Djinn' [the Jinn of the desert]) by Bertil Malmberg, whereafter it seemed natural to add the morning.

As a child in the late 1940s, we lived in Bromma [a suburb of Stockholm] and over our house, at 5 a.m. every morning, an airplane passed approaching Stockholm Bromma Airport.

Thus, Tomas Tranströmer's poem constituted a natural connection to this, concluding, part of the 'From Dusk to Dawn'.