This piece was written for Peter Sheppard Skærved, who played it at an informal workshop in Copenhagen in november 2007. It's structure is build on a system that I have used many times, which is derived from change ringing and goes like this:
a b c d a c b d c a d b a
The reason I like it is because each connection of letters is unique, and that every possible connection is present: a is followed by b the first time - the next time a goes to c, and the last time it is followed by d - and so on with the other letters. This gives me a very concentrated form, but one that is quite unpredictable. And even though it is very strict, it seems musical and free.
I usually interpret a as pauses. The other letters can have different functions though. In Lützhøft fragmenter they decide phrase directions: b is an upwards-going phrase, c is a phrase that stays at the same place, and d is a downwards-going phrase. In Chorale they decide the root (b=D, c=A, d=G), and in this piece they decide the interval: b is a third, c is a single note and d is a sixth.
I wanted a very warm sound to the piece and therefore used these intervals. That is also the reason for the low register, and the key (Db major). And I imagine that the piece should be played with some kind of heavy mute (and possibly sul tasto), to produce that beautiful sort of hollow sound that the violin is capable of.
Anton, by the way, is the name of my son. The piece doesn't really have anything to do with him, but needing a title for this gentle and very slow music, I thought it worked well.