Madeleine Isaksson's Infra for Duo Gelland is partly inspired by Roland Barthe's A Lover's Discourse (1977). The music has to do with that which exceeds one's control, the feeling of living with no safety net - and that is also how the work has been written. The different parts succeed each other like the bullets in an ammunition belt, and express conditions that are partly related to direction, partly to loneliness and alienation. One violin's G string has been tuned down to a F and on the other, the E has been tuned down to E flat. Other flageolette tones also appear in this way, as does an additional brittleness that makes the interplay between instruments loaded, open and unpredictable. The two instruments each play on one of the three eight-tone scales that are evenly distributed over an octave, including quarter-tones, but as such they never play exactly the same scale or exactly the same notes. In their longing for unity and integration, they simultaneously express their loneliness. This is also expressed in Barthe's passionate and evasive text: "During a life devoted to love, figures appear in the lover's head without order, for they always depend on chance (outwardly or inwardly). On each such occasion (that 'happens' to the lover), to the loving person delves images of the mind, according to need. The figures flare up, tremor like a sound deprived of all melody - or are repeated ad nauseam, like the theme of some persistent tune."
© Magnus Haglund (Stockholm New Music Festival catalogue , 2008)