Following his seminal release Sandin 1977, Swedish experimental composer Ragnar Grippe worked on various art and performance commissions, often returning to Stockholm during the summer months to focus his efforts on his compositional practice. It was there at the famed EMS Studioswhere he began employing the Buchla synthesizer and the facilities multi-tracking capabilities as new instruments to map his mining of sound and movement.
During the late 1970’s, Grippe formed a creative collaboration with choreographer Susan Buirge, specifically writing compositions for her works ͞Restes͟ and ͞Tamis͟, thus pushing Grippe to start working in a more intricate studio environment. These passages inspired Grippe into a more complex layering process that focused more on placement and structure, rather than the aural floods and flourishes of his previous Sand album, eventually germinating in his first full 24-track composition entitled ͞Orchestra.͟
After debuting ͞Orchestra͟ in 1980 at the Electronic Music Festival in Stockholm, Grippe holed up at EMS Studios with those lessons and the fussy Buchla synthesizer, in which Grippe affectionately recalls ͞needed to be tuned and calibrated every 20-30 minutes.͟ He emerged with a new commission for Susan Buirge later formally titled Symphonic Songs and used in her avant-garde theater piece ͞Ci-Déla͟ which debuted in Paris in 1981.Symphonic Songsshowcased Grippe’s sound au courant, pushing dense against sparse, calm into cacophonous, using each track as its own intersecting plane. Using the machinations of studio and structure to drive Symphonic Songs’ voice, Grippe culled a haunting, often cinematic electronic work that dots and darts into unexpected corners with curious aplomb.