Njord Biennale – Colour of Sound

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 29th January 2016
  • Great news! After a very long Christmas break, Nordophile is back for 2016 and will continue to introduce to Nordophiles many different Nordic talents. But we aren’t the only ones who are are here! Last year in the summer we featured the up-and-coming Njord Biennale – Copenhagen Festival and in 2016 it’s arrived! From 28th January […]




    Great news! After a very long Christmas break, Nordophile is back for 2016 and will continue to introduce to Nordophiles many different Nordic talents.

    But we aren’t the only ones who are are here! Last year in the summer we featured the up-and-coming Njord Biennale – Copenhagen Festival and in 2016 it’s arrived!

    From 28th January to 1st February Copenhagen is going to explode with Colour & Sound from Nordic contemporary artists.

    “With a focus on timbre in music and color tones in the visual arts, the biennale brings together a number of cross cultured composers, visual artists, musicians, directors, etc. in Nordic collaboration on a number of cross artistic projects.”

     

     

    Programme

     

    NJORD Biennale has a clear aim to focus on the interaction between the tonal colors of music and colour tones of visual art. To live up to this aim, we have gathered a group of composers, artists, musicians, and directors etc. to create cross-artistic projects with a common Nordic tone.

    The festival´s programme offers five nights of concerts and three exhibits that will unfold the vision of this year´s theme. The programme is broad in scope  – both the well known and established as well as the new generation of composers are represented in NJORD´s diverse selection. Concert formats and content varies; from grand opera productions over experimental ensemble concerts with visuals, to intimate solo and duo performances.

     

    Featured Artists

     

     

    photo; Maarit Kytöharju

     

    Aliisa Neige Barrière (b. 1995) was born into a French-Finnish family in Paris, where her music studies have included violin, piano, chamber music and choral as well as orchestral conducting.

    The passionate chamber musician has participated in projects and master classes throughout Europe and America, and moving musical from the Baroque to the latest music.

    In Denmark Aliisa Neige Barrière helped to create the new Hindsgavl Nordic Chamber Orchestra and has participated in chamber music festival Open Strings.

    In the year 2011-2012 she studied violin with Renee Jolles in New York at the Preparatory Division of Mannes College of Music, as well as orchestral conducting and chamber music. As a winner of the Concerto Competition she played the first movement of the Khachaturian Concerto in March 2012 at Symphony Space, New York.

    After having received her Performance Diploma at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional, she returned to New York in 2013 where she was awarded a full scholarship for four years of studies at Mannes College of Music, where she studied for 2 years with Lewis Kaplan and Laurie Smukler (violin), Michael Adelson and David Hayes (conducting) playing also in the Mannes Baroque Players under the direction of Nancy Wilson.

    As a passionate chamber musician, Barrière has participated in a great variety of projects and masterclasses throughout Europe and the United States, and is interested in all music from baroque to contemporary.

    Her recent engagements have included solo, conducting and chamber music appearances. She most recently conducted Stravinky’s L’Histoire du Soldat at Mannes College and is also a founding member of the new Hindsgavl Nordic Chamber Orchestra in Denmark and has participated in the Open Strings Chamber Music Festival both as a performer and in assisting in artistic programming.

    Since her move to Norway, her projects have included taking part in the celebration of the 80th birthday of pianist Liv Glaser in an all Mozart program on period instruments, under the direction of Bjarte Eike, and also producing and leading a special project, For Peace We Stand meant to unite musicians against barbary in the world.

    Aliisa Neige Barrière plays a 1717 violin by Claude Pierray.

     

    Avanti! Photo: Marco Borggreve
    Avanti! Photo: Marco Borggreve

     

    Finnish Avanti! Chamber Orchestra is a quite extraordinary artistic powerhouse! The ensemble was founded in 1983 on the initiative of Esa-Pekka Salonen, Olli Pohjola and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and since 1998 clarinettist Kari Kriikku has been artistic director.

    Today Avanti! is renowned as one of the best ensembles for new music in the world. The ensemble specializes in no particular genre; rather, it is proud to be a specialist in all styles with a strong sense of responsibility for the music of today.

    Avanti! works in close partnership with front-line international conductors, soloists and composers, and has won many prizes and widespread acclaim from audiences and critics all over the world.

    The concerts at NJORD Biennale 2016 are the first time ever Avanti! Chamber Orchestra will perform in Denmark.

     

    photo; Nikolaj Lund

    photo; Nikolaj Lund

     

    Bjarke Mogensen (b.1985) This Danish accordionist at the age of 13 made his debut as a soloist in a German TV broadcast with the Munich Symphony Orchestra.

    In 2011, Bjarke Mogensen had his solo debut at Carnegie Hall, New York, and in 2012 he received 1st prize in the prestigious European Broadcast Unions “New Talent” competition in Bratislava.

    Bjarke Mogensen studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music as a pupil of Geir Draugsvoll and today he teaches chamber music at the same place.

    He has given solo concerts all over the world from New York to Moscow, from Iceland to Turkey. He has performed chamber music with violinists Augustin Dumay and Gidon Kremer and cellist Andreas Brantelid. As a soloist he has worked with orchestras such as the Moscow Virtuosi, Kremerata Baltica, Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, The Tiroler Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Copenhagen Philharmonic, conducted by maestros such as John Storgårds, Francesco Angelico, Rafael Payare, Lan Shui, Rolf Gupta, Leos Svarovský, Beat Furrer and Vladimir Spivakov.

    A long succession of collaborations with prominent living composers has resulted in many new compositions – concertos, chamber music and solo works – dedicated to Bjarke Mogensen.

    Bjarke Mogensen’s repertoire is almost unlimited, with a span ranging from folk music and accordion classics over his own arrangements and transcriptions to brand new works for accordion.

     

    asa_gudjonsdottir_photo_guðmundur_ingo-lfsson (1)

    photo; Guðmundur Ingólfsson

     

    Asa Gudjonsdottir from Reykjavik, Iceland, came into a family devoted to the arts. Beginning her studies at the age of 3, and instantly became mesmerized with the instrument. At the age of 12, Asa was admitted to the Reykjavik Conservatory, ultimately leading up to her acceptance at the prestigious Icelandic Academy of the Arts where she studied with Auður Hafsteinsdottir. Asa has cultivated her talent with wonderful musicians, of which includes Routa Kroumovitch at Stetson University, Boris Kuschnir, in Vienna, and Anton Miller at the Hartt School of Music where she graduated with Masters in violin performance.

    Asa regularly performs in concerts and music festivals in Europe and United States, as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Her recent performances have included appearances at Scandinavia House in New York, Lincoln Center in New York, Icelandic embassy in Berlin and Washington D.C. She is a recipient of the Visa cultural award in Iceland, Fulbright Foundation and the American-Scandinavian Foundation.

    Asa’s latest concerts feature performances at the contemporary music festival, “Dark Music Days” in Reykjavik, Iceland, the “Mostly Nordic Concert Series” in Seattle in May with her duo, the Amaranth Duo, Mendelsohn Violin Concerto with the Icelandic Youth Orchestra and a premiere of Depo Flux, concerto grosso by Ken Steen at Lincoln Theater in Connecticut.

     

    jakob_kullberg_foto_charlotta_miranda

    photo; Charlotta Miranda

     

    Jakob Kullberg has been praised internationally for his performances of the modern cello concerto,  living in Paris, he is one of the most active and diverse young Danish instrumentalists.

    Jakob studied in a.o. Amsterdam, London, Zagreb, Vienna and Copenhagen, with Harro Ruijsenaars, Dmitri Ferschtman, Valter Despalj, Mats Lidström, Morten Zeuthen and Anner Bylsma.

    Top prize winner at international solo and chamber music competitions, twice winner of the Danish Grammy, most recently in 2013 for his concerto CD ’Momentum’ which was also nominated for the coveted Gramophone Award in London and chosen for ’Album of the Week’ with Q2 Music, New York.

    In 2011 he was awarded the ’Gladsaxe Music Prize’ and has been artist in residence for, amongst others, the Tivoli Garden Concert Hall, the International Carl Nielsen Violin Competition and New Music Orchestra, Poland.

    Jakob’s recent debut with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London as well as with Ensemble Intercontemporain at one of their inter-sessions in Paris received excellent reviews, and he looks forward to concerto debuts with the Bergen Philharmonic and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestras. He is scheduled to record Per Nørgård’s Remembering Child with Sinfonia Varsovia in December 2014. In the 2016/17 seasons he will embark on a two-CD recording project with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by John Storgårds comprising concertos by Saariaho and Nørgård as well as the two cello concertos by Shostakovich.

    He has returned frequently to prestigious international festivals such as the Aldeburgh Festival, the Warsaw Autumn Festival, the Huddersfield Festival and Bergen International Festival.

    Jakob enjoys a unique working relationship with the Danish composer Per Nørgård, who has composed and dedicated numerous works for him; the two have developed a rare dialogical collaboration in which the composer utilises the creative potential of the cellist in an experimental composition process. He is also a notable interpreter of the work of Bent Sørensen and in 2011 he moved to Paris to focus on his collaboration with Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.

    As a teacher Jakob has garnered attention giving masterclass internationally at for instance, the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Norwegian Academy of Music and the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Poland, and has held a teaching position at the Royal Danish Academy of Music since 2005.

    In 2013, he was appointed to the Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme and has been the artistic director of the Open Strings Cello Academy since 2004.

    For more information and other featured artists head over to njordbiennale.com

     

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    Nordophile attends Norwegian Night in Utrecht

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  • 29th September 2015
  • A Nordic fairytale in…Utrecht? As a Dutch copywriter – editor – journalist I don’t usually write in English, but when Nordophile’s Sarah Surgey – whom I ‘met’ on Instagram – asked me to cover the Nordic Delight Festival in my hometown Utrecht I thought: why not give it a try! The undiscovered culture of Northern […]




    A Nordic fairytale in…Utrecht?

    As a Dutch copywriter – editor – journalist I don’t usually write in English, but when Nordophile’s Sarah Surgey – whom I ‘met’ on Instagram – asked me to cover the Nordic Delight Festival in my hometown Utrecht I thought: why not give it a try! The undiscovered culture of Northern Europe brought to an innovating local music venue in the centre of a historical university town. It might be a positive new experience to a middle-aged guy (54) like me, normally covering city development and architecture. Well…I can tell you now, it was an experience more than worthwhile.

    Utsolgt’

     

     

    Not only did the unexpected request from Nordophile’s Sarah Surgey to cover the Nordic Delight Festival trigger my interest, I was also intrigued as to the fact that the festival at first did not get any attention in what’s called ‘Uitagenda Utrecht’, which claims to give full insight in cultural events across the city. Woud this affect the success of this relatively small festival, still unknown to many? Probably not, with around 300 visitors the 2014 edition in EKKO was ‘utsolgt’, Norwegian for sold out! Not a mainstream festival, Nordic Delight isn’t the first that brings high-caliber performers to the picturesque city of Utrecht. Until recently it was Summer Darkness that turned Utrecht gothic-black in a more than special gathering of spirits once every year since 2003. And November this year it’s Le Guess Who? that again welcomes international upcoming bands and artists as well as international visitors. The initiative for a Nordic Delight Festival in Utrecht started in 2013. Founding fathers Arne Dee and Ad Pontier successfully organized two festivals and several events in Utrecht since then, always focused on Scandinavian music and culture. This September 26 Nordic Delight again offered a chance to experience the most talented upcoming music acts, from Norway this time, for the first time in the Netherlands.

     

    DSC_7247

     

    Getting tuned

    Not being much of a Nordophile myself the complete line up was unknown to me. Live performances by Fay Wildhagen, Emilie Nicolas and Bloody Beach, names that did not ring any bells to me. Then again, set to play their first shows in the Netherlands it would probably also be a first acquaintance to many. I decided to check them out before visiting the festival and doing so l had to adjust all of my (somewhat mainstream) musicality to tune into the styles of music they represented. In that way, and perhaps in many ways, covering Nordic Delight promised to be like discovering an entirely new world. Seeing some YouTube vids of the young but already eccentric Emilie Nicolas for instance, made it clear to me that she could bewilder me even more performing live at our local music venue EKKO, famous for its widely renewing agenda. Nicolas’ enchanting, melancholy and sometimes ecstatic songs made one shiver inside. ‘Amazing work on sound, vocals, electro-pop arrangements and a great richness of colours, true emotion and sensibility’ someone strikingly defined her music. For instance ‘Psterio‘ from her 2014 debut album ‘Like I’m a warrior’ (released in the Netherlands June this year) brought Northern Europe straight into my living room the way only Volvo did before with their ‘Made by Sweden’ campaign.

     

     

    Different dimensions

    Besides prizewinning Nicolas, without any doubt the most famous act in the Nordic Delight line up, the other acts deserve some special attention as well. Fay Wildhagen, the young singer-songwriter and guitarist with her impressive band brings songs with an organic mix of folk, rock and other genres. Straight from the heart and with a wide range of emotions, from small and modest, melancholy at times (as in this beautiful song), too loud and extrovert. Not always easy listening but pure, intense and very vivid. Her promising debut album ‘Snow’ was recently released in the Netherlands. And then there’s the five-piece band Bloody Beach with their self-proclaimed ‘tropidelica’, a colourful and warm cocktail of rock, psychedelia, dub, afrobeat, disco, punk, reggae and pop. Awaiting their final breakthrough with the release of their second album next year, performing at Nordic Delight might warm us up for what’s to come. But it’s not only the main acts that draw attention. The program contains music, a wonderful selection of short films and a Norwegian dinner. So, hungry in many ways, I headed for EKKO on this Saturday night.

    Stunning and ecstatic

    There I was in the midst of a mostly young, alternative audience that at first seemed to be more in place. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly and obviously everyone was curious for what the night would bring. None of us, however, seemed prepared for the impact of this evening. Where the sit down Norwegian dinner appeared to be reserved for other limited guests and was not open for all of the media, I arrived just before the stage opened at 20.00 hours. With the short films and musical performances programmed at the same time, for me it was more than logical to focus on music this evening and I’m glad I did. Almost traditional at times it was the stunning and sometimes ecstatic performance of the beautiful Emilie Nicolas and her impressive band that brought up a variety of emotions to probably every single visitor this night. What can one say about an overwhelming first acquaintance with this group of very modest young artists that in my opinion deserve a world stage. I’m convinced we’re gonna hear more of them soon…

     

     

    A warm embrace

    Also impressive was the first Dutch performance of the somewhat unordinary but charming Fay Wildhagen and band. Don’t ask me why, but to be honest, I was not expecting them to be as convincing as they were this evening. I was wrong there! Coming in from Hamburg/Germany, where she and Emilie Nicolas performed the night before at Reeperbahn Festival, Wildhagen rocked the house in many ways. Modest and fragile, folky at times and then up-tempo, loud and strong with a great sense of musicality and impressive guitar playing by Wildhagen herself. It felt like a warm embrace with this talented and promising young artist. And then, closing up Nordic Delight, there was Bloody Beach that finally made the audience move with their down to earth mix of music styles. In many ways a somewhat peace loving hippie style, dreamy rock perhaps, rather than the heavy metal appearance they seem to have. They did great on stage and knew how to take the house along with their infectious music.

    Catching up

    Looking back on the overwhelming experience that Nordic Delight was, it seems I’ve been missing out on the fast growing interest in Nordic culture. Working on this article, for instance, I discovered NordicVibes.com, a Dutch version of Nordophile.com which is, to my surprise, based in Utrecht. So without any doubt I’ve got some catching up to do and writing this article might be just the start of that!

    Maurice Hengevel Twitter 

    All photos credited to Wim Pontier

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    Norwegian/British band – Sun Up

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 24th September 2015
  • Nordophile is always on the lookout to bring you fresh Nordic music sounds which are creating ripples on the music scene. Occasionally known for its darker melancholy sounds running alongside with upbeat electronic pop, the acts coming out of the Nordics are certainly welcomed in countries fixated on the Nordic genre right now. We were […]




    Nordophile is always on the lookout to bring you fresh Nordic music sounds which are creating ripples on the music scene. Occasionally known for its darker melancholy sounds running alongside with upbeat electronic pop, the acts coming out of the Nordics are certainly welcomed in countries fixated on the Nordic genre right now.

    We were very excited to learn about a London/Norway mixed band called ‘Sun Up’ and wanted to find out more about this group whose track has been shared on Soundcloud this week.

    Listen to the ethereal dreamy voice from Frøydis Erås backed by upbeat pop music.

     

    Frøydis Erås – Voice
    John de Smet – Keys, Samples & Voice
    Maxim Fernandez – Guitar
    Howard de Smet – Bass
    Andrew Lusher – Drums, Samples & Voice

    If you tipped a scoop of Scandinavian snow, a handful of Hackney muck, and five friends in a blender, you’d get Sun Up, a new electro-speckled pop band hailing from Norway and London. Led by frontwoman Frøydis Erås, this five-piece uniquely weave together the introspective quirk of rural Scandinavia with the Technicolor clatter of metropolitan life.

    Sun Up’s first track ‘Machines’, a bedroom demo recorded and uploaded with minimal fanfare, immediately caught the attention of music tastemaker blogs such as Crack In The Road, Breaking More Waves and Gold Flake Paint.

    At their third ever gig, Sun Up were spotted by veteran booking agent Dave Chumbley at Primary Talent (Lana Del Rey, Alt-J, Wolf Alice) and spent the remainder of the year supporting the likes of Childhood, The Joy Formidable, and Phoria.

    Sun Up’s official debut track ‘Anchors’ is the crystallization of the band’s distinctive Anglo-Scandi DNA. Recorded during the pre-dawn hours of studio downtime by up-and-coming producer Neil Tollitt (Låpsley, Swim Deep, Pussy Riot), ‘Anchors’ is a glittering pop Trojan Horse hiding a bleak, broken heart.

    ‘Bursting with joy but tinged with something that sits between desire and the crushing weight of regret… understated brilliance’ – Gold Flake Paint

    ‘One of our new favourite voices… it took us just twenty-five seconds to fall in love’ – Breaking More Waves

    ‘Fantastic… Sun Up are well worth keeping an eye on’ – Crack In The Road

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    Ultima – Oslo Contemporary Music Festival

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 7th September 2015
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    Ultima – Oslo Contemporary Music Festival takes place September 10-19. This is a fascinating festival which we thoroughly recommend as it takes us through a celebration of music through collaborations, talks, commissions, exhibitions, improvised performances and of course music from every corner of genres. Held in Oslo this is the perfect opportunity for a Nordophile to […]




    Ultima – Oslo Contemporary Music Festival takes place September 10-19. This is a fascinating festival which we thoroughly recommend as it takes us through a celebration of music through collaborations, talks, commissions, exhibitions, improvised performances and of course music from every corner of genres.

    Held in Oslo this is the perfect opportunity for a Nordophile to explore this cultural mecca of a Nordic city and immerse in the music culture through the festival.

     

     

    Rikksscenen

     

    About

    Ultima is the premiere contemporary music festival in the Nordic region. The festival became a designated “knutepunkt” (cultural hub) in 2006 and is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs and Oslo City Council. Ultima is a foundation with 17 members, all of them professional cultural institutions or organisations.

    The festival takes place during September and is staged at venues all around Oslo. Our events are staged both in large, established venues such as the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Oslo Concert Hall and the University of Oslo’s Great Hall as well as in small clubs, shop premises, industrial premises, museums, schools and outdoors.

    The Ultima Festival aims to promote artistic distinctiveness, trends and innovation and to make music of a high artistic standard accessible by everyone.

    His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon is the patron of Ultima.

     

    Featured Events

     

     

    Below are just a few of some of the events which are taking place. Head over to the Ultima website to find out about the other events which are taking place at the festival.

     

    Elisabeth Vatn: The color Beneath.

    Ekeberg park 6.30pm, September 10th

     

     

    Exclusive sunrise and sunset concerts with Elisabeth Vatn in James Turrell’s light installations in Ekeberg sculpture park.

    The Color Beneath by musician and composer ELISABETH VATN was conceived in James Turrell’s light installations in the old water reservoir on Ekeberg. Between 10–13 September, Vatn (harmonium, Meråker clarinet, bagpipes) performs withANDERS RØINE (langeleik, mouth harp, violin).

    Contemporary artist JAMES TURRELL works with perception, colour, light and space. The two location-specific works Ganzfeld: Double Vision and Skyspace: The Color Beneath were both created for the old water reservoir in 2013. While Ganzfeldexplores the way colours affect our senses, Skyspace makes use of the chromatic interaction between the concert space and the sky at dawn and dusk.

    In The Color Beneath the composer and performer turn their encounter with the installation into music, partly following the composition and partly through improvisation. Consequently, none of the concerts performed in this unique setting will be identical.

    The Color Beneath album was recorded during autumn 2014 and is released during Ultima 2015. The concerts are staged in cooperation with nyMusikk, Ekebergparken and Grappa Musikkforlag with contributions by Fond for Utøvende Kunstnere.

     

    Teknisk Museum, 10 AM

    Installation throughout festival

     

     

    ‘We are so used to seeing that suddenly we forgot how to look, so used to hearing that suddenly we forgot to listen.’

    Every movement we see in nature can be perceived as a visual concert, like a storm of birds moving together making astonishing patterns, or snow falling from the sky and touching the ground.Quintetto is based on the study of casual movement of objects or living creatures used as input for the production of sounds. The basic concept is to reveal what the ‘invisible concerts’ of everyday life. In this installation, the scene is five aquariums with a goldfish in each. The movement of the five fishes is captured by a video camera that translates their movements in digital sound signals/music in real time.

     

    Den Norske Opera & Ballett, Provesalen.

    MATTHEW SHLOMOWITZ: LECTURE ABOUT BAD MUSIC (WP)  ALEXANDER SCHUBERT: SENSATE FOCUS  September 11th 5pm

     

     

    Can music really be bad in itself or is ‘bad’ really nothing other than a subjective opinion?

    That is the question MATTHEW SHLOMOWITZ asks in Lecture About Bad Music, which was specially composed for the Anglo-Belgian octet. The work, which was written for lecturer, clarinet, electric guitar, synthesiser and violin, has been commissioned by Ultima and will receive its debut performance here. Australian-born Shlomowitz draws on elements from many fields and genres, employing musical demonstrations and recreations of psychological experiments to examine differences between musical experience and musical material.

    ALEXANDER SCHUBERT‘s Sensate Focus combines light and image, allowing lighting effects take on the role of a fifth performer to a quartet of musicians. In the work, Schubert, who studied bioinformatics, experiments with the interfaces between gesticular movements and musical sounds, where the performers’ physical movements and position in the room are essential elements of the composition.

    PLUS MINUS ENSEMBLE specialises in new music and modern key works. It is particularly known for its interest in avant-garde, experimental and conceptual music, such as Stockhausen’s seminal work from 1963, from which the ensemble takes its name.

     

    OCA (Office for Contemporary Art)

    September 13th 6.pm PRE-TALK AT OCA 5PM. INTRODUCTION BY KATYA GARCÍA-ANTÓN, DIRECTOR OF OCA.

     

     

    CAMILLE NORMENT, who is Norway’s entry to the 56th Venice Biennale, began her collaboration with composer and writer DAVID TOOP at Café OTO in London in 2014. The collaboration resulted in a performance at the Biennale. The performance explores the legends, stories and mysteries of the depth of the oceans through sound. It is still being continually developed, and will be performed at Ultima in September.

    The Oslo-based American artist CAMILLE NORMENT’S practice includes performance, installation, drawing and sound. She explores how the body is interconnected with its environment through sound, and contemplates on the power of dissonance to create spaces for new ways of thinking. DAVID TOOP is a British composer, writer and professor of Audio Culture and Improvisation at the London College of Communication. The third edition of his debut book, Rap Attack, has just been released. He has recorded five solo albums since he released Ocean of Sound in 1995.

    In cooperation with nyMusikk and the Office for Contemporary Art Norway.

     

    Black Box Teater; Annie Dorsen – Yesterday Tomorrow

    September 18th, 7pm & September 19th, 6pm

     

     

    AN EVOLUTIONARY MUSICAL

    Annie Dorsen’s Yesterday Tomorrow is a musical that breaks most of the rules for this genre. Unlike traditional musicals, the music for this musical is created during the course of the performance with the help of computer-generated algorithms, which means that the final result is different every time. The only points of reference are the two well-known songs Yesterday by The Beatles andTomorrow from the musical Annie.

    Based on evolutionary processes such as mutation and natural selection, the algorithms determine the most appropriate route from the first song to the next, or from what has passed to what is to come. As a result, the performance stands as an expression of the unpredictable nature of the present, as a contrast to a familiar past and the notion of a happy future. The music is performed by three singers who continually receive information about which rhythm, pitch and lyrics to sing. The result is an intelligent, humorous yet disturbing encounter between man and machine.

    Annie Dorsen has previously work in film, dance and theatre, and in recent years has been particularly interested in artificial intelligence and digital performance. The Yesterday Tomorrowproject was developed in cooperation with Pierre Godard and Greg Bellar from the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM.).

    Concept, direction: Annie Dorsen. Music director: Joanna Bailie. Algorithm design: Pierre Godard. Sound design: Greg Beller. Video systems design: Ryan Holsopple. Lighting design and technical direction: Bruno Pocheron, Ruth Waldeyer. Producer: Alexandra Rosenberg. Performers: Hai-Ting Chinn, Jeffrey Gavett & Natalie Raybould. Coproduction: Holland Festival, Black Box Teater, Performance Space 122, La Villette – Résidences d’Artistes 2015, L’Hippodrome, scène nationale de Douai, Théâtre de Gennevilliers with Festival d’automne à Paris, Le Maillon-Wacken – Scene européenne – Strasbourg, théâtre Garonne – Scène européenne – Toulouse. Supported by: Mount Tremper Arts, Abrons Arts Center, New York State Council on the Arts.

     

    CEO & Artistic Director – Lars Pettern Hagen

     

     

    “The board appreciates that Lars Petter Hagen will continue to manage the festival for another three years,” says Stein Gullberg, Chairman of the Board. “Mr. Hagen has brought an innovative spirit to the festival program and steered its administrative advancement with a steady hand. Public attendance is on a rise, and Ultima is meeting with ever growing international attention. It’s important to make the best use of this potential, which is best served by the continuity we achieve by extending this appointment. Lars Petter Hagen’s extensive network as well as the fact that he is held in esteem by a broad music and art environment, both within Norway and internationally.”

    Lars Petter Hagen has accepted the offer. “Oslo is a fabulous music town in constant growth, making the Ultima Festival one of the most exciting places to work in the whole world right now. I look forward to another three years with unpredictable musical encounters, dialog with the public and artists, good colleagues and partners,” he says.

     

    Ultima Academy

     

     

    How does art affect nature? How does nature affect art? For its 2015 edition, Ultima Academy invites scientists, music researchers and artists to talk about nature and discuss our attitude to it.

    Head over to Ultima.no to read more about the collaborations and what you can expect to see!

    Special thanks to Ultima for text and photos.

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    Swedish composer – B Tommy Andersson

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 28th August 2015
  • Swedish composer B Tommy Andersson is the Composer-in -Association for BBC NOW for the 2014/15 Season. His last big piece to be performed by them is a new commission from the BBC to be premiered at the BBC Proms on 3 September 2015. Pan is the piece to be performed: The music is inspired by the […]




    Swedish composer B Tommy Andersson is the Composer-in -Association for BBC NOW for the 2014/15 Season. His last big piece to be performed by them is a new commission from the BBC to be premiered at the BBC Proms on 3 September 2015.

    Pan is the piece to be performed:

    The music is inspired by the ancient Greek myths about the god Pan; the god of Nature, of the Wild, of Shepherds, and of Rustic Music. He is also known for his sexual powers and for playing the pan pipe. The large organ is used as an element in the orchestration. In a way, the organ becomes sort of a gigantic pan pipe, representing the god Pan.

     

    B Tommy Andersson 3 (72dpi)

     

    Nordophile wanted to know about this Swedish music master who composes and conducts throughout the world.

    B Tommy Andersson was composing music at the age of 11. At that point it was mostly small pieces for one or two violins, but he soon became interested in writing pieces on a larger scale. The first piece of Andersson’s music performed in public was the Prelude and Fugue in F major for organ, performed by Lars-Erik Bernvill in Sandhult Church, 20 May 1979.

     

    preludium-kopia2

     

    At fourteen years old, he started to study orchestration with a local conductor in Borås, Jan-Anders Eriksson, who generously gave his time and advice to his young student. He also studied harmony and counterpoint with an elderly military band leader, Arne Ask. In the spring of 1980, a larger orchestral piece, Trolle-Ljungby Horn och Pipa, was performed by the local youth symphony orchestra in Borås. This, of course, inspired Tommy to learn even more about composition. During the Borås years, the local music school continuously commissioned him to write musical arrangements and he had many opportunities to listen to what he had composed or arranged.

     

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    During his high school years in Borås, he also studied composition with composer Sven-Eric Johanson in Gothenburg (1981—83). Andersson was quite productive during these years (writing about 25 compositions), considering that he also went through high school and in addition, played several instruments. The studies with Johanson focused on counterpoint in Palestrina-style (according to Knud Jeppesens textbook), twelve-tone technique (according to Ernst Krenek’s principles) and Paul Hindemith’s Unterweisung im Tonsatz.

    In the course of his studies in the music teacher’s class in Stockholm, from the Autumn of 1983, he took composition lessons with Hans Eklund and Professor Sven-David Sandström. At first, he continued to compose regularly and received several commissions. During the years 1991—2001, B. Tommy Andersson was focusing on establishing his conducting career. That is the reason why so few pieces were composed during this period. Nevertheless, three larger works were created; the Horn Concerto, Apollo — the successful concerto for solo percussion and orchestra, written in 1995 for Markus Leoson, and Satyricon. Furthermore, quite a few arrangements, orchestrations, transcriptions for symphonic band and adaptations for chamber orchestra were made during these ten years.

     

     

    Since the turn of the century, his music has increasingly attracted more attention and several larger pieces have been commissioned and performed. Among these, we find an opera, orchestral pieces, and choral pieces. In April 2009, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in Stockholm gave a festival entirely dedicated to the music of B Tommy Andersson. During four days, 24 of his compositions were performed in Stockholm Concert Hall. It was a great success, just like the CD Satyricon, which was released in 2009 and received highest possible acclaim from the critics.

     

    Interview

    We are really interested in hearing how you first discovered your talent for composing and conducting? Do you feel the two go hand in hand with having such an understanding of music?

    When I was eight years old, I was given the opportunity to learn to play an instrument in the local music school in the city Borås (a city situated 60 km west of Gothenburg), where I grew up. Like everybody else, I had to start with the recorder, but then I switched to the violin. In those days, all children were offered this possibility for free, which tells a lot about the kind of society Sweden was in the 1970’s. Had this not been the case, it is not at all certain that I would have come into the world of classical music, since there was no tradition of music in my family.

    In the music school, I met several enthusiastic and inspiring people, who opened my eyes and ears to classical music. By coincidence, the municipal library happened to have a large collection of orchestral scores, a result of a donation, which I happened to notice. For me, the discovery of the connection between the music I listened to and the notation in the scores was exhilarating. I listened a lot to classical music on the radio, which gave me access to a wide repertory. The classical channel (P2) was a really fantastic thing for me, since in those days, prior to the easy access everybody has today through Internet, it was very expensive and difficult to get to hear the music you wanted to get to know. Before long I systematically borrowed the scores to the music that was broadcast, and I followed the music in the score as I was listening.

    For some reason, this inspired me to try to compose my own pieces. In the beginning, when I was around eleven years old, it was small pieces for one or two violins, which I played together with my violin teacher. But one thing led to another, and shortly I tried to compose bigger pieces. Through the music school I received wonderful help from enthusiastic teachers to learn the craft and I was also given lots of opportunities to hear my music played, which is, of course, the ultimate inspiration to continue composing.

    Before I left Borås, at age 19, for studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, I had already been able to listen to many of my own pieces, also some orchestral works. By then, I had also conducted my own music on some occasions, and somehow it became clear that I had a talent for conducting.

    My original intention was to try to become a professional composer. But in the early 1980’s, the prevalent style of new music was much more modernistic than I was comfortable with, and I realized that it would become tough for me to become successful as a composer, so after a while I put more time and energy into trying to become a professional conductor instead.

    Times have changed, however, and since the mid 1990’s the scene for contemporary music is open to a wider spectrum of musical styles. Suddenly, my music has become increasingly appreciated and I have taken up composition again.

    For me, the combination of being conductor and composer is really successful, since the two roles are closely related. I learn new things about music and composition every time I conduct, particularly during the rehearsals, and the experience as a conductor gives insights in music-making that is invaluable for a composer.

     

    Coming from Sweden how have you seen the arts appreciated and encouraged there?

    Sweden is, like all the other Nordic countries, situated on the outskirts of Europe. Because of this, it took more time for cultural phenomena to reach us in the 18th and 19th centuries. As a result of this, it was not until the 20th century, particularly the second half of it, that a proper infrastructure for classical music was built up, in the form of several professional orchestras and opera houses.

    The state support for art, theatre, literature, and music has been strong since WWII. It’s not until the last decade that neoliberal ideas has become involved in the discussion about cultural financing. Despite severe cuts in the culture budgets in many countries around the world, the cultural institutions in Sweden have so far remained rather intact.

     

    Boras

     

    • Can you tell us a little bit about your new commission for the BBC, Pan, which is to be performed at the BBC Proms September 3rd?

    The piece is inspired by the ancient Greek myths about the god Pan; the god of Nature, of the Wild, of Shepherds and of Rustic Music. He is also known for his sexual powers and for playing the pan pipe. Pan is sometimes depicted as a rather small and not very attractive being, horned and goat-like. On the other hand, he could also be rendered as an imposing, beautiful, and seductive man, albeit with some characteristic features like horns and a tail. Regardless of his appearance, he is to be reckoned as a powerful force of nature. The word “panic” (Panikon) was used by the ancient Greeks to describe the feeling of fear that was incited to men and animals alike when they sensed that Pan was nearby.

    The organ is used as an element in the orchestration and it becomes a gigantic pan pipe, representing the god Pan. The loud organ is a manifestation of the immense power that the god possesses, and at the same time the panic that he stirs around himself.

    Despite rather illustrative musical characters, the music is by no means programme music in the sense that it tells a story. I have been influenced by several different representations of Pan, from old Graeco-Roman pictures and statues, paintings of Nicolas Poussin, and also more contemporary artwork, such as the images by the Italian painter Roberto Ferri.

     

    How did your relationship with the BBC come about?

    It is a direct result of that the Danish principal conductor of BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Thomas Søndergård, likes my music. He wanted me to be Composer-in-Association with his orchestra for one year, and there we are.

     

    What do you have coming up after this?

    In terms of composition, I’m working on a violin concerto right now. When it’s finished, it will be followed by a couple of choral works, and after that my second opera. Besides composing, I have several conducting engagements, and I am also Professor of Orchestral Conducting at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

     

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    Find out more about the BBC Proms, 3rd September BBC.co.uk/proms

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    Nordic Delight – Norwegian Night

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 26th August 2015
  • EKKO_pand_voorkant_SophiaTwigt (2)

    Nordophile has always noted the Nordic connection between the Nordics and the Netherlands. Close ties are going to be made even stronger when Nordic Delight put on a Norwegian Night in the cultural hub city, Utrecht.     Nordic Delight Norwegian Night with Emilie Nicolas, Bloody Beach & Fay Wildhagen The organisation of Nordic Delight […]




    Nordophile has always noted the Nordic connection between the Nordics and the Netherlands. Close ties are going to be made even stronger when Nordic Delight put on a Norwegian Night in the cultural hub city, Utrecht.

     

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    Nordic Delight Norwegian Night with Emilie Nicolas, Bloody Beach & Fay Wildhagen

    The organisation of Nordic Delight has announced the next Scandinavian event today. On Saturday, September, 26th music venue EKKO in Utrecht is all about Norway. With live performances by Emilie Nicolas, Bloody Beach and Fay Wildhagen Nordic Delight brings three talented high potential acts from Norway to Utrecht. Besides live music, short films by Norwegian makers are screened and there is a limited number of combi tickets available including a three-course Norwegian dinner.

     

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    Fay Wildhagen is a young folk singer-songwriter and guitarist from Oslo and one of the biggest promises of Norway. With a full band including violin and cello she brings an organic blend of folk, rock and other genres with lots of passion and charm and a very unique sound. After a summer full of performances at all important Norwegian festivals, she will play at several international (showcase) festivals later this year, but first she will make her debut in the Netherlands at our Norwegian Night.

    FayWildhagen.com

     

    Bloody-Beach-Photo-by-Tore-Winsents

    Photo credit Tore Winsents

     

    Who remembers Kakkmaddafakka? Bloody Beach are also from Bergen and guarantee a similar party! A cheerful mix of pop, rock, psychedelia, with elements of afrobeat, dub and surf rock, which they describe as ‘tropidelica’. Next year, with the release of their second album, a breakthrough is expected, including shows at Dutch festivals, but at Nordic Delight you can get a first taste.

    BloodyBeachMusic.com

     

     

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    Emilie Nicolas is the most well-known name in her own country and was already on the wishlist of Nordic Delight for a while. The Norwegian singer and composer is praised for her powerful vocals and wistful lyrics, accompanied by a sparse and somber backdrop of electronic beats. Emilie Nicolas won several awards as best live act and for her debut album, which was released in the Netherlands in June this year. In September, she will tour through Europe and gives an exclusive show at Nordic Delight.

    Nordic Delight organised two festivals and several events in Utrecht in the last three years, always focussed on Scandinavian music and culture. On September 26 Nordic Delight offers you the chance again to experience the most talented upcoming music acts from Norway for the first time in the Netherlands.

    EmilieNicolas.com

     

    Head over to Nordic Delight for more information and support this Nordic event at EKKO Utrecht.

     

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    Tickets are now for sale here: http://bit.ly/1EglOP5

    More info: www.nordicdelight.nl

    Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1633009736915265

     

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    SALT – A culture explosion in Norway

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 12th August 2015
  • Naustet-1024x647

    Nordophile is proud to present SALT, an extensive and varied programme of art and culture throughout August, with an all Norwegian list of artists.     The artists Edvine Larssen, HC Gilje and Caroline Bergvall will each present a commissioned art installation on the beach. You can experience  Jenny Hval, Mari Boine and Bjørn Eidsvåg play concerts in breathtaking […]




    Nordophile is proud to present SALT, an extensive and varied programme of art and culture throughout August, with an all Norwegian list of artists.

     

    IMG_8487-Marte_Antonsen-1024x576

     

    The artists Edvine Larssen, HC Gilje and Caroline Bergvall will each present a commissioned art installation on the beach. You can experience  Jenny Hval, Mari Boine and Bjørn Eidsvåg play concerts in breathtaking surroundings, and let yourself be seduced by the DJ concept Solitude Sessions. SALT introduces a series of concerts with young Norwegian talents. They will give intimate solo concerts in the atmospheric Cafe Naustet and Agora; Marthe como el planeta, Ingeborg Oktober, Nagel and Sophie Kvam, Fredrik William Olsen, Morten Myklebust and Psyence Fiction.

    Every Saturday there will be sauna in one of the world’s largest saunas with panoramic view!

     

    Agora

    Marte Antonsen

    For thousands of years people have followed the movement of animals and the seasonal rhythms in the Arctic landscape. Footprints are few. SALT is inspired by and moves in that same Arctic landscape with care and respect“.

    SALT begins its journey on an Arctic beach on the mountainous island Sandhornøy. Sandhornøy is in Gildeskål municipality in Northern Norway, just south of Bodø. SALT opened in August 2014 and will stay at Sandhornøy until 2016. Over the coming years, SALT will travel across the northernmost part of our planet, making a home in Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Ireland, Scotland, Spitsbergen, Alaska and Russia.

    SALT consists of several structures taking their form from the fiskehjelle (fish rack), a strong symbol of the livelihoods of the people of the north. Within these simple and portable structures, the audience is invited in to experience extraordinary art projects, concerts, theatre, readings and local food cultures.

    The world is watching the Arctic. It is estimated to hold more than twenty percent of the world’s currently unexploited oil reserves; it is the home of many of the world’s most vulnerable environments. Climate change is increasingly visible, the rate of change exceeding that of any other part of the world. What will happen as ever larger areas become ice-free, with nations and global corporations pushing for the extraction of oil and minerals?

     

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    Martn Losvik

    Mankind has inhabited the Arctic landscape for ten thousand years. Arctic nomads wandered with the ice, taking advantage of available resources from coastal areas and a mountainous countryside. Their concern for and close relationship to nature means that archaeologists are able to find few remnants of their culture. This is the essence of the Arctic indigenous people’s philosophy and the guideline for SALT’s eight year long journey, which will be a cultural platform focusing on our common future, lifestyle and on environment and climate changes.

    Northern Norway has been the uninterrupted abode of more people than anywhere else in the Arctic region. This has been possible due to the abundance of fish at the outskirts of the Gulf Stream, as well as the inventiveness and stubbornness of its inhabitants. To endure long winters, all kinds of food preservation methods had to be invented. Two of the most successful were the salting and drying of fish on rocks (clipfish) and the drying of fish on fiskehjell constructions – the fish rack (stockfish). For thousands of years, such fish racks have been seen along the northern coast, on exposed headlands and small islands, where winds are strong and fish dries fast. Today, in many places, these are in the process of being torn down and forgotten.

     

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    Martn Losvik

    The fish rack has a form that reflects the coastal mountains. It has solid, strong poles that allow gusts of wind to slip through; it is a steep, slender and tall structure with an inherent Arctic flexibility; its lightness effectively enables it to be erected and taken down in a day in case people need to move along the coast. Since the poles float, they can also be dragged behind a boat when people look for new land, new seas and a new life. SALT has an equally flexible and fundamental function, albeit using art as the primary means of support.

     

    Featured artists

     

    Edvine Larssen

    For her new work at SALT Looking Close. Looking Far.Larssen will be in close dialogue with the people, history and places at Sandhornøy and the surrounding islands in Nordland over a period of one year. The first part of the work titled Pust is presented in the Pyramid, and offer a new way to navigate and experience the existing site at SALT. The installation was premiered Saturday 8 August, and involved a conversation on the artist’s next project Looking Close. Looking Far. with curator Helga-Marie Nordby og Edvine Larssen. Local people who would like to contact the artist are very welcome to email the artist: hedvine[a]gmail.com

    Entitled PUST (‘BREATH’ when translated to English), the work features a bright neon coloured textile installation, similar to the form of a curtain or large boat sail, which will cover one end of the largest of the wooden pyramid structures that is housed on the beach at SALT, acting as a highlight or marker in the landscape. The theatrical curtain, made from a transparent and lightweight fabric, will be visible from the sea and will live within the area’s striking scenery, evolving with the changeable weather conditions and moving with the wind and rain.

    At intervals during the project, the curtain will become a backdrop for the ongoing project Looking Close. Looking Far. and be raised up to mark the next stage of the project’s evolution.

    Since 2013 Larssen has been a Research fellow in the Norwegian Programme for artistic research at the Art Academy in Trondheim, NTNU with the project: Theatrical, but not theatre. Architectonic, but not architecture. Sculptural, but not sculpture. In this research project Larssen is using the Japanese concept [Ma], dealing with different layers of time and space, as a tool or method for creating art works in-between different fields. Her work for SALT is part of this research.

    Gunnar Holmstad
     
    HC GILJE is a Norwegian artist working with light, sound, architecture and space. SALT has commissioned Gilje to create a light motion installation for the fish rack structure, the Pyramid.

    Since 2006 Gilje has worked on a long-term project he has called Conversations with Spaces. It incorporates elements from his earlier practice: exploration of physical spaces in his videos, creation of spaces in his stage work and improvisation from his live work.

    This project explores, mainly through large-scale installations, perception of change and transformation in the meeting between the ephemeral media of light, projection, sound and motion with physical structures.

    Gilje aims to activate spaces and structures that are experienced through our bodies, seeing the body as the link between our mind and the physical world. He links perception of time and space to motion as it passes through spaces, objects, bodies and landscapes.

     
    Caroline Bergvall

    Caroline Bergvall is a French-Norwegian writer and artist working across media, languages and art-forms, based in London since 1989. Her projects alternate between installations, live performances, sound and audioworks, books and printed texts, as well as net-based pieces.

    On 23 August 2015, at 9am in the morning, Bergvall will present Watchman (68°12’N), a special time and site-specific performance at SALT, which invites the audience to call in the day as a communal experience.

    Watchman (68°12’N) is part of Bergvall’s ongoing work Raga Dawn, a sunrise vocal performance performed outdoors from the last hours of night until the very early morning during the Summer months, to accompany and celebrate the rising of day.

    From May – September 2016, Bergvall will perform Raga Dawn as a travelling trajectory at some 10 European sites of varying latitudes. The piece changes according to the length of the sunrise, from twilight to the first rays of the sun. The composition is an open and changing cycle of time-specific vocal and instrumental pieces, written for two voices (spoken and sung).

     

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    Photo Tom Martin

    Watchman (68°12’N) will be performed on the beach at SALT, from the very early hours of the morning until the sun reaches over the mountain and down to the beach. Celebrating the rise of day, the piece releases serenity and a spirit of hope, collective openness and amorous connectedness. It explores sounds and structures from mantra morning traditions to create vibratory connections between the two live voices and the very sparse frequency-based sound design. Passing birds’ songs, solar winds and meteoric showers are invited into the open composition.

    The title Watchman (68°12’N) is loosely inspired by the early medieval European morning poetry, the “alba”, in which secret passionate lovers are warned by the watchman, their accomplice, that dawn is calling in and that they soon need to separate.

    Here, the collective spirit of the performance also calls up the large rhythmic seasonal and diurnal patterns that re-connect beings to their bodies, to their surroundings.

    Artistic team:

    Lead artist: Caroline Bergvall
    Singing voice: Anouk Molendijk
    Sound design: David Scrufari
    Dramaturgy: Michèle Pralong

    carolinebergvall.com

    Bergvall-1280x720 (1)

    Gunnar Holmstad

     

    Music programme

    SALT presents a series of concerts with young Norwegian talents. They will give intimate solo concerts in the atmospheric Cafe Naustet and Agora; Marthe como el planeta, Ingeborg Oktober, Nagel and Sophie Kvam, Fredrik William Olsen, Silje Hansen, Psyence fiction and Lamark.

     

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    Martin Losvik

    Outdoor stage – Gildehallen

    Experience Mari Boine and a family concert with Bjørn Eidsvåg. In Agora amphi, with a panoramic view to the beach, sea and sky, Jenny Hval will perform. SALT also introduces the concept “Solitude Sessions”.

     

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    Martin Losvik

    Every Saturday 10pm – 1am the outdoor stage Gildehallen, will hold different DJ’s all giving different interpretations of SALT and the beach which it is situated.

    The DJs are Snasen, DJ Strangefruit, Ådne Meisfjord (120Days/ Serena Maneesh) and DJ Karima.

    Head to Salted.no to find out more

    All photos provided by salted.no

    Featured image; Martin Losvik

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    Icelandic singer – DíSA

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 4th August 2015
  • Sculpture_EP_Cover_4_zpsq3gfrfpk

    Nordophile is featuring Icelandic singer/songwriter DíSA from Reykjavik. Bringing her Icelandic vibe to her adoptive country Denmark, DíSA combines all the Nordic qualities to mesmerise with her musical talent. Bio Icelandic born DíSA is a singer and songwriter based in Copenhagen, Denmark. DíSA’s music is about challenging and expanding the boundaries of modern pop music, and she […]




    Nordophile is featuring Icelandic singer/songwriter DíSA from Reykjavik. Bringing her Icelandic vibe to her adoptive country Denmark, DíSA combines all the Nordic qualities to mesmerise with her musical talent.

    Bio

    Icelandic born DíSA is a singer and songwriter based in Copenhagen, Denmark. DíSA’s music is about challenging and expanding the boundaries of modern pop music, and she finds inspiration in the wild, Scandinavian nature. DíSA’s Music shares the qualities of her native country – it is cold yet compelling and you always sense an underlying risk of eruption.

     

    DíSA debuted in 2013 with the single ‘Sun’ that premiered on the lifestyle magazine Nowness.com. Subsequent, it created a lot of blog attention, with a dark and beautiful video. The single was well received by the Danish press as well describing DíSA’s vocals as “unearthly” and “angelic”. With DíSA’s symphonic and picturesque compositions, she is the latest demonstration of Iceland’s enormous pool of talent.

    Photo Chris Calmer

    DíSA released her second single ‘Stones’ 3rd of February 2014 – the day after she played her debut concert as support act for Ellie Goulding.

    The song is produced by Brian Batz (Sleep Party People), and the video is made by Icelandic video artist Máni Sigfússon, who have made a perfect match between the Icelandic nature and the music of DíSA.

    Since then DíSA has been working with various songwriters in London, Gothenburg and Stockholm and is currently, and will be performing at this year’s Iceland Airwaves. Her debut EP, Sculpture, was released worldwide on March 24th, 2015.

     

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    DíSA has earned praise from Pigeons and Planes [“spooky but entirely compelling”], The Line Of Best Fit [“truly exciting”], Hilly Dilly [“if ‘enchanting-pop’ wasn’t a sub-genre before, it should be now”] and many others. She has played Scandinavian industry festivals Iceland Airways, by:Larm and Spot festival.

    disamusic.com

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    Farao – Norwegian songstress

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 29th July 2015
  • farao_till_its_all_forgotten_lp_pakshot_lo

    Nordophile has been seduced by the ethereal voice of Kari Jahnsen, a London-based Norwegian singer. Farao, is the musical alter ego of adventurous pop songbird & multi-instrumentalist Kari Jahnsen, who will release her debut album Till It’s All Forgotten on 11th September 2015 via Full-Time Hobby.     Today she reveals a new single ‘Bodies’, a song about […]




    Nordophile has been seduced by the ethereal voice of Kari Jahnsen, a London-based Norwegian singer.

    Farao, is the musical alter ego of adventurous pop songbird & multi-instrumentalist Kari Jahnsen, who will release her debut album Till It’s All Forgotten on 11th September 2015 via Full-Time Hobby.

     

     

    Today she reveals a new single ‘Bodies’, a song about giving into bad decisions and described by The Fader as “A tense, trombone-laced march led by Jahnsen’s gentle urging.”

    Farao composed and performed all instruments (except brass and drums) on Till It’s All Forgotten’s ten songs. Shimmering with depths of determination and sorrow, the album combines celestial pop, R&B and haunting brass melodies.

     

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    Farao’s varied and evocative musical artillery – guitars, synths, organs, glockenspiel, sitar – dances at her fingertips, dazzlingly interwoven with her ethereal vocals to create a suite of music that is otherworldly and entirely her own. First single ‘Hunter’ shimmers with starry electronics churning against an inexorable underbelly of rhythm. The brooding ‘Bodies’, thunders over rugged terrain, its knotted path smoothed by Farao’s angelic, but stoic, voice.

     

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    Produced by Mike Lindsay (of Tunng) and mixed by Grammy Award winner Andrew Scheps (Hozier, Lana Del Rey, Cass McCombs), Farao’s sublime debut is a unique composite of sonic elements perfectly reflecting and enlarging upon its emotional themes and dramatic range.

    Farao is set to play the Sebright Arms on 10th September.

    Farao.co.uk

     

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    Flow Festival – Helsinki

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 16th July 2015
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    Flow Festival – Helsinki will be taking place on 14th – 16th August 2015. Flow Festival has become synonymous with bringing music from old school legends to topical newcomers. Beyond the music, Flow, offers a warm embrace of the arts and an exceptional array of world spanning cuisine. Only a short walk away from the […]




    Flow Festival – Helsinki will be taking place on 14th – 16th August 2015.

    Flow Festival has become synonymous with bringing music from old school legends to topical newcomers. Beyond the music, Flow, offers a warm embrace of the arts and an exceptional array of world spanning cuisine. Only a short walk away from the centre of Helsinki, the festival strikes an alluring setting for a few days of blissed-out festival escapism. There’s easily enough to keep attendees occupied, if ever spending a summer weekend in culture hub Helsinki wasn’t enough.

     

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    One of the cultural experiences on offer is the Art programme. In collaboration with the University of Arts Helsinki, Flow presents a broader arts programme than ever before with one-off commissions, installations and pieces around the whole festival, both indoors and out. The exhibition space Art Laboratory captures the experiential nature of art. The Voimala building will house the interactive VJ-installation of the Excerpt group along with the video installation of the Pink Twins brothers, who create their art by toying with electronic music and visual arts. Once again, Flow welcomes their Artist of the Year. This year Riitta Kopra has been commissioned to create a piece of art for the festival area, using materials from previous festivals. The University of the Arts will also contribute to Flow’s children’s afternoon with a series of workshops led by dance and theatre pedagogy students.

     

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    The University of the Arts will create the Art Laboratory, which houses sound sculptures, video installations, and sound art, as well as on-stage concerts and experimental performances. The concerts take an open-minded dive into the world of improvisation and interactive shows engage the audience. Performance art is featured right next to the Art Laboratory.

     

    A few of the featured artists…….

    Vohm combines 1970s minimalism with 2010s electronic music, creating repetitive, growing sound walls and textures. The music is in constant motion but not in a rush to get somewhere. The harmonious and repetitive material is perfect for immersive listening and letting your thoughts wander.
    Vohm is the solo project of Helsinki-based composer, musician and sound designer Ville Aalto. Aalto has worked as a composer, producer, and musician for such groups as Rev and K!NG. K!NG released its debut album in October 2014.

     

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    Viialainen is a performance and sound artist who explores the field of conceptual arts, our way of experiencing the immediate and the conflict between our senses and the intellect. His mission is a performance, which combines opening, magic, realism and love. The performance situation and expectations will crumble. Fragments create light and light creates flames. The tools of the upcoming work are frequency, rage, reflection and hands. Viialainen performs with timpanis, bell plates and mirrors.

     

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    IKIHEVONEN is an improvisational psychedelic post rock band. The group focuses on its very free and reactive playing, having roots in blues and expanding their musical approach towards the infinite possibilities of psychedelic atavism. The group started as a free form jamming session following the rule ‘You can’t do wrong in IKIHEVONEN’. The players regard the group as a spaceship of sorts, where participation and devotion are the fuel and the ride itself the goal.

    The members of IKIHEVONEN are: Anders Bergman, Kalle Leino, Tuomas Niemi and Antti Ruuhela.

     

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    Artist and photographer Erno-Erik Raitanen works with sound, installations, sculptures and radios. He was born in Lahti, and has studied in the UK and USA before entering the master program at the Time and Space Arts department at the University of the Arts Helsinki. “Finlandia” is a radio transmitted (FM 98,0) sound collage, which consist of recordings of Finlandia collected from flea-market vinyls and online.

     

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    Antti Kytömäki is a Helsinki-based artist. He is interested in sound and movement as the elements of sculptures. At Flow Festival, he will present a sculpture “Untitled”, which is a piano prepared with DC motors that is triggered by the presence of the viewer, filling the space with its intervening resonance. The piece playfully comments on the tradition of western avant-garde compositions, automatic music or even the saloons of western films, as well as extends the auditive possibilities of traditional instruments anchored to the 12-tone harmonic system.

     

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    www.flowfestival.com

     

     

     

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