Video Premiere: Muspelheim by Jasmine Morris

A cluster of discordant droning reeds usher in a slinking ornamented melody in composer Jasmine Morris‘ “Muspelheim,” a musical depiction of the mythical Realm of Fire from ancient Viking cosmology. The music has an almost unsettlingly jaunty character to it considering Muspelheim’s role in actualizing the apocalyptic Ragnarök prophecy about the end of the world and the gods who ruled it. But just as fire ultimately destroyed the universe, it also helped to create it, and Molly Andrews’ video for “Muspelheim” juxtaposes black and white animations of rising smoke and dancing flames.

“Muspelheim” is one of nine tracks on Astrophilia, the debut album from Jasmine Morris featuring performances by folk musician/ethnographer Per Runberg, vocalist Mieko Shimizu, and Tippett Quartet. Scored for various combinations of traditional Viking instruments, voice, string quartet, and electronics, the album explores the nine mythical realms with each track depicting different landscapes and their unique inhabitants, including giants, elves, humans, and the dead.

Jasmine Morris--Photo courtesy of the artist

Jasmine Morris–Photo courtesy of the artist

Here’s what Jasmine had to say about Muspelheim:

Muspelheim is a land of blazing fire whose heat melted the ice of Niflheim to create Ymir, one of the first giants in Norse mythology, and Audumla, a cow that fed on the salty ice blocks and nursed Ymir. The prophecies of Ragnarök predict that the fires of Muspelheim would destroy all, inciting the end of the world. The piece is scored for four viking reeds.

Astrophilia is out April 28, 2022 on Nonclassical, and you can pre-order the album on Bandcamp.

About Jasmine Morris

Jasmine Morris is a musician and composer currently studying at the Royal College of Music on a full BAME Scholarship under the tutelage of Simon Holt and Haris Kittos. In 2018 she joined the Purcell School of Music on the George Drexler Scholarship where she studied with Brian Elias and Joseph Phibbs. In 2019 she was selected to be one of the composers in residence of the National Youth Orchestra where she had her pieces premiered at the Barbican Centre. Since then she has worked with various UK based ensembles and has worked on projects with the Tate Modern where she had two works premiered to the public for the opening of the Boiler House. Her piece Sirens for Harp and Orchestra was selected to be performed by the Purcell Symphony Orchestra, and was one of the winning entries for the BBC Young Composer’s Competition 2020.


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