A track from the new CD, "Post Scriptum," by the Wolfert Brederode Quartet, is meant to suggest tragedy. And, indeed, its composer, bassist Mats Eilertsen, is Norwegian. But the massacre in Norway in July was not the inspiration for the piece.
Eilertsen wrote it after a tsunami devastated the Indonesian region of Aceh on December 26, 2004. He says he himself was nowhere near the disaster.
"I was at home celebrating Christmas in Norway, far away from the events … outside, actually, almost all day in the snow, playing," Eilertsen said. "So it's really a contrast."
The melody echoes in the mind's ear each time it stops for a quiet passage.
"I wanted to have these pauses in between, almost like a wave," he said. "I mean, not the big wave, but all the endless waves … that time after and the silence in between. That's where the main motif is, just repeating, repeating, with a little variation."
Eilertsen said that the other three musicians in the Wolfert Brederode Quartet had no idea that the piece was inspired by the tsunami that ravaged Aceh.
"Somehow, I never felt any need to tell anybody, because I don't want it to be programmed music, even though it's based on a concrete event. It's just my way of turning my emotions into something concrete, like getting control of them or letting it out. I can't write a sad poem; this is my way of expressing myself."