instruments 15 solo strings

5 vln I - 4 vln II - 3 vle - 2 vc - 1 cb

year of production 2000

dedication Mattias Svensson, composer and head administrator at the

Gotland School of Composition

duration 11‘   

first performance
"Unga Tonsättare 2000" (Young Composers 2000)

a collaboration project with students from music academies of Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm.
November 24th 2000

Växjö, Karl-Birger Blomdahlsalen, Konserthuset

Musica Vitae/Michael Bartosch

Muramaris, outside Visby.


work comments

Muramaris means literally "the herd by the sea". It's an artist's resident (10 km from the town of Visby) in which was built some years after the turn of the 20th century. With its very ascetic frontal and its beautiful interior, you will get a feeling that it is soon going to collapse! The music starts from nothing and is projecting towards different directions in a surrealistic world. You will find also a fireplace made by sandstone and a sculpture portraying "the goddess of love", which is struck by the last sunbeams during midsummer time.
If you touch these items unnecessarily they will break down and vanish like a desert storm.

Muramaris was composed during summer 2000 in Visby and partially at home in Malmö.

This piece is dedicated to the composer Mattias Svensson, teacher and head master at the Gotland School of Composition.

other performances made

November 25th

Malmö, Rosenbergssalen

Musica Vitae/Michael Bartosch


January 20th

Malmö, Rosenbergssalen


"FLEXTID 2001"

Strings from the Academy of Music in Malmö/Albert Schnelzer


October 2nd

Music Around

Grand, Trelleborg, Sweden

Huaröd Chamber Orchestra conductor: Mats Rondin

October 3rd

Den Sorte Diamant, Copenhagen, Denmark DANISH PREMIERE

October 4th

Kungskolans aula, Örkelljunga, Sweden

October 5th

Sigmahuset, Dockplatsen 1, Malmö, Sweden

October 6th

Theater Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany GERMAN PREMIERE


"Unga Tonsättare i Norden 2003" (Young Nordic Composers 2003)

a collaboration project with students from music academies of Gothenburg, Malmö,Stockholm,

Copenhagen and Reykjavík.

April 29th

Musica Vitae, conductor: Michael Bartosch

Växjö, Karl-Birger Blomdahlsalen, Konserthuset

April 30th

Concert/Seminar, Academy of Music in Malmö , Rosenbergsalen.

May 1st


Copenhagen, Det Kgl. Musikkonservatorium, Denmark.



Reykjavik, The National Art Gallery of Iceland, ("Listasafn") Iceland


November 28th

Die Glocke, Bremen, Germany BREMEN PREMIERE

Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie

Stefan Solyom

Radio broadcast on Radio Bremen and DeutschlandRadio (both analog and on internet) on November 30th 2008

November 30th

Palatin, Wiesloch, Germany

Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie

Stefan Solyom

Radio broadcast on SWR 2 Baden-Württemberg (both analog and on internet)

on June 14th 2008

February 12th
Auditorium C. Pollini, Padova, Italy
Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto

Stefan Solyom

Reviews about Muramaris:

Unga Tonsättare i Norden 2003


Musica Vitae/Michael Bartosch

[…] ”The fascinating and instructive concert with young composing

talents was completed with Benjamin Staerns Muramaris.

There was an expressive and intense wall of sound that is contrasting with

inspired melodic lines. Violently so called ’Bartok - pizzicatos’ and

’smooth’ glissandi created rather original sound experiences.”[…]

Ladis Müller, Smålandsposten April 29th 2003.

Unga Tonsättare i Norden 2003, Listasafn Islands

(National Gallery of Iceland), Reykjavík

Musica Vitae/Michael Bartosch

[…] ”In spite of highly abstract tonal language one could sense precise

and systematic modus operandi under the flow of this yet characteristic piece,

which covered great and plastic latitude in its tightly overlapping instrumentation.

The progress indicated a mature sense of the modernistic process,

even more than is common amongst his fellow young composers”. […]

Rikhardhur O. Pálssón, Morgúnbladíd May 3rd 2003

Huaröd Chamber Orchestra/Mats Rondin

Sigmahuset, Malmö

[…] ”Benjamin Staerns new piece Muramaris fits in this

glass-like environment [Sigma Building] with a view towards

harbor and sky. Tender overtones comes out from nowhere,

a simple starting point for more and more complex music

that often uses glissandi (sliding) of the string instruments […]”

Matti Edén, Sydsvenska Dagbladet, October 6th 2002

Huaröd Chamber Orchestra/Mats Rondin

Theater Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany

[…] “The 24 year old composer from Malmö had planned,

thus it nearly, even within limits sneezing, harrumphing and

seemed itself also holding back coughing from the audience.

The musicians realized weather conditions with the help of

soothing harmonic passages, string-thin sliding tones and

dissonances dissolve into beautiful harmonies."


Landeszeitung für die Lüneburger Heide, October 8th 2002

Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie/Stefan Solyom

Die Glocke/Bremen, Germany

[... ] ”very dignified composing handicraft offered the work

”Muramaris” from the year 2000 by Benjamin Staern,

where the composer was also present. Sounds for 15 solo strings,

which offered more or less a connotation of non-binding sounds

along the convention of a non-binding modernistic harmony.

Sublime subjectively organized, this composition offered in its

best moments meditative states of suspension between

rhythmical detachedness and tension.” [... ]

Michael Pitz-Grewenig, Weser Kurier, November 30th 2007.

[…] ”Der Komponist Benjamin Staern wurde 1978 in Göteborg (Schweden)

geboren und widmet sich nun, durch zahlreiche Stipendien unterstützt.

intensiv dem Komponieren. Muramaris, eine Villa naher der Stadt

Visby, in der sich Künstler zum Gedankenaustausch und

bei der Arbeit begegnen ist ein Haus, das Staern besonderes

anregte und in eine andere Welt versetzte, so daß er seine

Gefühle für das Gebäude in Musik umsetzte.

Ein gelungenes Stück Programm-Musik, in der Natur, Umwelt,

Vergänglichkeit und das Mobilar aus dem Beginn des. 20 Jahrhunderts

zur Sprache gebracht werden.

Die Musik wurde außerordentlich bemerkenswert

feinfühlig und sensibel dargeboten.” […]

Robert Wieser, Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, 6. Dezember 2007

Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie/Stefan Solyom

Palatin/Wiesloch, Germany

”Die 2000 entstandene Muramaris-Fantasie für

15 Solostreicher von Benjamin Staern (* 1978)

bezeugte eine atmosphärische und satztechnische Finesse,

welche den jungen schwedischen Komponisten durchaus

in die Nähe etwa eines Mattias Pintscher zu rücken vermag.”

Klaus Ross, Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, 7 Dezember 2007.