a-ha on BBC’s The One Show

a-ha on The One Show, November 9th

a-ha made an appearance on BBC’s The One Show on Friday night, performing “Take On Me” live with an orchestra outside the BBC Broadcasting House in London.

The performance, for which both Magne and Paul had brought out their custom Everly Brothers acoustic guitars, can be seen on YouTube.

This was in connection with tickets for next year’s Hunting High and Low tour going on sale, as well as the release of a new compilation album called 80’s Symphonic, on which “Take On Me” is one of 15 songs from the 80’s where the original vocal track has been combined with new string arrangements, recorded at Abbey Road by the 50-piece London Studio Orchestra.

The 80’s Symphonic album is available now from amazon.co.uk and amazon.de.

While in London, Magne also attended the Queen Sonja Print Award 2018 ceremony at the Royal Academy of Arts on Thursday night. Magne is on the board of directors of the award, which was presented to Canadian artist Emma Nishimura this year.

2019 tour will focus on Hunting High and Low

New promo shot by Stian Andersen

Today it was announced that next year’s 15-date a-ha tour will focus on playing their debut album Hunting High and Low in full, along with a selection of other songs. And thereby crushing any hopes of a new a-ha studio album next year.

“Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy will be performing in An Evening With format, with an interval. For the first half of the concert, they will play new and old, familiar and less-familiar songs. Then, after returning to the stage, they will play the ten songs of their 1985 debut album Hunting High And Low in the running order of the original release.”

Some fans may feel this is quite an unimaginative move, considering this will be the third tour in a row not supporting a new studio album and the fact they’ve already done Hunting High and Low-concerts in Oslo and London back in 2010, while others – who perhaps missed out the first time – will be looking forward to hearing some songs that are seldom played live.

The full list of tour dates:

29 October: 3Arena, Dublin, Ireland
30 October: SSE Arena, Belfast, UK
01 November: The Armadillo, Glasgow, UK
02 November: First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK
05 November: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK
06 November: Brighton Centre, Brighton, UK
08 November: AFAS Live, Amsterdam, Netherlands
09 November: Seine Musicale, Paris, France
12 November: SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany
13 November: Leipzig Arena, Leipzig, Germany
15 November: König Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Germany
16 November: ÖVB Arena, Bremen, Germany
18 November: Torwar Arena, Warsaw, Poland
20 November: Ice Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia
22 November: Crocus City Hall, Moscow, Russia

There will be a fan presale later this week, before the general ticket sale starts on November 9th.

New a-ha tour in 2019

Back on the road in 2019

Although a-ha have done two major tours this year; the MTV Unplugged Tour and the Electric Summer Tour, the band will be going on the road again in October and November 2019, the official site announced on Friday:

The tour will take place in October and November of 2019. We will be announcing all the dates and cities at once, several days in advance of the ticket on sale, which starts November 9th. The venues will be all seated. And the band will be returning to a few cities they haven’t played in over 15 years!

Over the coming days, we will reveal a new tour city each day on Instagram and Twitter. Be sure to follow along and share in the excitement as we count down to the full announcement in early November!

Four cities have already been announced: Dublin, Bremen, Glasgow and Paris, with more cities to follow in the coming days.

But what kind of tour is it? Will it be in connection with a new a-ha album?

No one knows for sure yet, but Morten was at Peter Kvint’s Studio Brun in Stockholm earlier this month. In addition to being the place where Morten has recorded much of his solo work in recent years, Studio Brun is also where parts of a-ha’s Cast In Steel album was recorded in 2014/15.

Meanwhile, Paul has been working in the studio in New York with engineer Chuck Zwicky. In addition to assisting on Savoy and Waaktaar & Zoe projects, Zwicky also worked on the Cast In Steel album.

Magne in 55pluss magazine

Magazine cover

Magne is on the cover of the latest issue of 55pluss, a Norwegian magazine for – you guessed it – people over the age of 55.

Inside there is an 8-page interview about his art career, in which he talks about past projects such as “Payne’s Gray” and “Climax”, as well as new series of artworks including “Stigma” (woodcuts), “Spina” (etchings) and “Queen vs Queen” (sculptures).

The interview was done before the opening of his solo exhibition of new works at Bærum Kunstforening on 3 May this year.

A shortened version of the same interview has previously been published by the online art magazine PLNTY.

This summer, in between a-ha concerts, Magne held three further solo exhibitions around Norway:

23 June – 5 August: “Sorgenfrei”, Galleri Jennestad, Sortland
16 August – 16 September: “Stigma”, Galleri Ismene, Trondheim
19 August – 16 September: “Icon”, Haugesund Billedgalleri, Haugesund

The Voice tickets now available

Ready for another season

Morten has signed on for another season of The Voice, with blind auditions starting at H3 Arena in Oslo in November.

Free tickets for 8 different tapings are now available through universe.com.

Here are the blind audition taping dates:
15 November: 16:00 and 19:00
18 November: 16:00 and 19:00
22 November: 16:00 and 19:00
25 November: 16:00 and 19:00

The fifth season will probably start airing on TV2 sometime in January/February 2019, with live shows starting in April and the final sometime in May/June.

The same four mentors will return this season, meaning Morten will be joined once again by Lene Marlin, Yosef Wolde-Mariam and Martin Bjercke.

Apparatjik events in Sweden and Poland

Exhibition poster

This month marks the 10th anniversary of Apparatjik, as their very first single “Ferreting” was released in September 2008.

Tomorrow a retrospective exhibition of Apparatjik’s various projects over the years, with graphic prints and video installations, will open at Pumphuset gallery in Landskrona, Sweden. The exhibition will also feature new graphic prints, created in collaboration with the New York-based artist Foxito.

Magne, Martin and Jonas was at the gallery yesterday to meet the local press. A picture was posted on Magne’s Instagram and articles later appeared on the websites of Helsingborgs Dagblad and Landskrona Direkt.

The Pumphuset exhibition will be on display until 28 October.

There will also be a retrospective Apparatjik exhibition as part of the MDF Festival in Szczecin, Poland, opening on 19 September:

This exhibition presents a retrospective look at visual works, objects, books and films from the Apparatjik oeuvre. Part of the exhibition is an experimental typographic poster wall by students of Prof. Sven Völker from the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam. Using words and sentences from old newspaper articles about Julia Pastrana, the work creates a fresh portrait of the life and death of an exceptional woman.

And as previously mentioned, Apparatjik will also be performing during the MDF Festival, on Sunday 23 September at the Szczecin Philharmonic Hall.

The first part of the concert is called “The Sound of Szczecin”, and has been created in a partly similar way as “The Sound of Fosnavåg” four years ago, in collaboration with Audiokolor:

This composition is the result of an exceptional project carried out on 17th and 18th April 2018 in Szczecin. The city streets were cruised by specially marked cars equipped with devices collecting geodata from the streets, which were later transformed into binary codes, and these – into music codes. (…) The piece will be performed for the first time during the final of the MUSIC.DESIGN.FORM festival by the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and the synth-pop group Apparatjik. It will be a unique opportunity to hear how Szczecin sounds.

The second part of the concert is called “A Heroine for our time – the artist Julia Pastrana”, and will once again feature special guest Concha Buika on vocals:

“A Heroine for our time – artist Julia Pastrana” is the world premiere of the orchestral version of the song “Heroine of our time”, based on musical material for an upcoming opera detailing the tragic life of Mexican circus artist Julia Pastrana. The story of a peculiar woman with a beard, her fate and loneliness, will be told by music and light images created jointly by Apparatjik, Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, as well as Concha Buika – a Spanish vocalist and composer.

A video clip of Rune Bergmann and Magne talking about the upcoming Szczecin performance can be seen here.

The story of Julia Pastrana was also the inspiration for Apparatjik’s “Day of the Dead”-performance with Buika in Bergen two years ago. Buika’s latest single “Deadbeat”, released in June, is a cover version of the Apparatjik song from 2010.

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