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the peärls before swïne experience

Sara Hammarström, flutes
George Kentros, violin
Mats Olofsson , cello
Mårten Landström, piano


The peärls before swïne experience ( was founded in 1995, and has grown into one of Scandinavia’s most successful and original ensembles for new music. They have specialized in commissioning their own repertoire of short (5 minute) pieces, and have to date received more than 120 works from 21 countries.

The peärls before swïne experience’s relaxed and direct style in concert, which includes quite a bit of audience contact, has made them attractive to festivals around the world, and they have performed at all of the important new music festivals in Scandinavia as well as being specially invited to the ISCM World Music Days.

In addition, they have specialized in bringing new music to younger audiences, and have been invited to several rock festivals in Sweden along with workshops for youths; they also founded a successful club for new music, film, electronica, and performance art in their home town of Stockholm called SEKT (, which has for the past eleven years been a popular meeting place for young people between the ages of 18-35, and where the group regularly performs.

The peärls before swïne experience has released 2 CDs on the Caprice label; their self- titled first CD was given a five-star rating by the German CD magazine Fonoforum, and their second, ”swïne live!”, was hailed  by the national morning paper Svenska Dagbladet as having ”revitalized the Swedish new music scene.” Or, as the evening paper Expressen put it: ”the peärls before swïne experience is one of the best things ever to happen to new music.” Their latest CD, “Debris reassembled,” on Phono Suecia, was recently named to several “best of” lists for 2010 and can be heard at the Swedish MIC website. In 2012 theor recording of Annie Gosfield’s “Cranks and Cactus Needles” will be released on John Zorn’s Tzadik label. In 2004, the group won the Crystal Prize (Kristallpriset), awarded jointly by Edition Reimers and the Swedish Society of Conductors for special contributions to new music, and in 2005, the group was awarded the Society of Swedish Composer’s Interpreter’s Prize. In 2010 the group won the Nordic Composer’s Council Prize.



David Lang (US)
Tristan Murail (F)
Annie Gosfield (US)
James Clarke (GB)
Hiroyuki Yamamoto (JP)
Jouni Kaipainen (FIN)
Svend Hvitfelt Nielsen (DK)

Classics (12-15 minute pieces)
Claude Vivier
Morton Feldman
Anders Eliasson
Isang Yun

Anders Hillborg
Mikael Edlund
Lars Ekström
Pär Lindgren
Klas Torstensson
Per Mårtensson

Female composers
Diana Rotaru (RO)
Maja Ratkje (N)
Sachiyo Tsurumi (JP)
Ida Lundén (SW)
Leilei Tian (CH)

Swïne +  EAM
Mattias Petersson
Tony Blomdahl
Lise-lotte Norelius
Fredric Hedelin
Ylva Lund Bergner

Film + EAM (10-15 minutes each)
This is a new project that’s being written now for premieres this summer/fall at movie festivals and theatres. We commissioned four composers who have studied both composition and video art to write pieces for us. What happens is that we have no idea if the music or film came first, it’s just incredibly well put together. Which makes it fundamentally different from music set to film or vice versa. Link to one of the films: 

Art projects

The elevator project (2 hours, 8 12-minute concerts for people inside a moving elevator, written by Lars Carlsson)
This is a weird thing that became the talk of the Stockholm New Music festival a couple of years back: a commission where the audience goers in 12 people at a time into an elevator and is led to different floors. Each time the doors open members of the group, or all four of us, play part of the piece outside the elevator. Then we run like crazy between floors according to a strict pattern so that there is always a new picture for the audience when the doors open again. It takes some planning, but is extremely effective when it works. Short film about it:


Ventriloquism (hourlong live sound installation for art museums)

Here three of us sit and play according to prerecorded instructions spoken to us by our own voices, e g, ”Sara, could you please play section 3?” ”George, play part 7.” An odd but affecting hourlong exposé of a work continually in progress written by Erik Peters.


Short videos w/a taste of the swine: 

Animated short film w/swine and electroacoustic music: 

Recent youtubefilm with a piece by Marie Samuelsson: