Brekstad in Ørland commune
The Hannah Ryggen Centre is part of the Ørland Cultural Centre in Brekstad, located in southern Trøndelag. It is devoted to artistic textiles produced by the Swedish artist Hannah (Jönsson) Ryggen (1894–1970), who settled here in 1924 with her husband, Hans Ryggen, on his family farm. Hannah Ryggen's politically engaged art triggered debate, with the struggle for human dignity a recurring motif in her tapestries for almost forty years. During his trips to Trondheim, Arne Nordheim often took the opportunity to see the tapestries of Hannah Ryggen.
For the centenary of the Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum (NKM, National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design), of which the Brekstad Centre is a branch, and as a homage to Hannah Ryggen, Nordheim offered to compose a suitable piece. Thus arose Vevnad [The fabric] for trombone, cello and Yamaha disklavier (with electromagnets and optic sensors). This work consists of three parts with names referring to weaving: Fabric, Weft and Warp. The keyboard part is written in such a way that the score resembles a woven tapestry. In order to stress even more the link between weaving technique and the composed music, the keyboard part should be performed on an electronic piano (disklavier), controlled by a MIDI file, with its front open and directed to the audience, so that they may observe the strings, the hammers and the whole mechanism, resembling the movement of a shuttle across the warp.
Vevnad was performed in the Hannah Ryggen Hall at the NKM on 2 October 1993 by cellist Ingrid Stensland, trombonist Arne Johnsen and Sigurd Saue, who controlled the MIDI file for the Yamaha disklavier. It was played again in 2012, in connection with the "Documenta 13" international exhibition of contemporary art in Kassel, which included tapestries by Hannah Ryggen. After the opening of the exhibition, the work was played at the Fridericianum twice a day for a week (and also several times later for other occasions) by trombonist Sverre Riise, cellist Emery Cardas and Asbjørn Flø (disklavier and electronics).