The Voice: week 2 and 3

Morten and Yosef in last Friday’s episode

Over the last couple of weeks, seven new talents have joined Team Morten. They are:

Marie Øvstebø
Sebastian Hågensen
Cecilie Haukland
Marta Hagen
June Salomonsen
Hanna Solemdal
Trina Coleman

Trina Coleman in particular, could turn out to be one of the favorites this season.

When discussing how the various song choices during the blind auditions could impact their decisions, Morten said that he had an advantage over the other mentors:

“My great advantage is that I rarely listen to music at all. So for me, all the songs are more or less unknown.”

To see video clips of all the performances so far, go to TV2’s YouTube channel.

The Voice: week 1

Back in the red chair

The fifth season of The Voice started airing on TV2 this week, with the first two blind audition episodes on Monday and Friday.

So far Morten has ended up with three talents for his team, Lene has five, while Yosef and Martin both have two.

As with the previous season, TV2 will be posting all the performances on YouTube. Here are the video clips of this week’s talents, backed by a band featuring a-ha’s Karl Oluf Wennerberg on drums:

Helene Seljehaug – Yosef
Silje Rubin – Lene
Carl-Christian Grimstad – Martin
Marius Brynjulfsen – Lene
Martine Kristofa Rygvold – none
Steffi Jo Buie – Morten

Kristin Husøy – Yosef
Martin Løvereide Lindtner – none
Ida Ganes – Lene
Edward Mustad – Morten
Oline Rørstad Bredeli – none
Charlotte Marie Hjelmeland – Lene
Ray Hardy Johansen – Morten
Amanda Rusti – Martin
Mina Lund – Lene

Magne working on new solo album

Left to right: Thomas Vincent Furuholmen, Even Ormestad, Morten Qvenild, Tor Einar Jensen, Bjarne Stensli and Magne F. (See large version on Karl Oluf’s Instagram)

Magne has been up in the mountains at Norefjell this past week, to work on what seems to be a new solo album. Norefjell is an area where he owns two cabins, and it looks like he may have converted one of them into a recording studio.

He was joined by the whole a-ha backing band from last year’s Electric Summer tour, including the string trio, the only difference being that Ingvild Nesdal Sandnes played the cello instead of Tove Margrethe Erikstad. Magne’s son Thomas Vincent was also there, along with Magne’s ever-present assistant Tor Einar Jensen.

“It’s new Magne F Music. Really good songs!”, Karl Oluf Wennerberg said in an Instagram comment.

According to a Facebook post by catering firm Food Occasion, which delivered food to the recording session, Magne’s solo album will be released sometime in 2020.

Sound engineer Bjarne Stensli was also part of the recording session. He is the former drummer of Harrys Gym, whose original debut album was co-produced by Magne at Kensaltown back in 2006/07 (that version of the album ended up being shelved, as the band re-recorded the whole album themselves).

Several pictures from the recording session at Norefjell have been posted on Instagram by Karl Oluf Wennerberg, Madeleine Ossum and Emilie Heldal Lidsheim.

The Voice: Fifth season premiere date

From the new season: Martin Bjercke, Yosef Wolde-Mariam, Lene Marlin and Morten Harket with host Øyvind Mund. (Picture: TV2)

The fifth season of the Norwegian version of The Voice, where Morten returns as one of the four mentors, will premiere on TV2 on Monday, 14 January.

A short promo clip has been posted on the show’s Instagram.

Blind audition episodes will air both Mondays and Fridays for the first five weeks. After that, starting on 22 February, the show will only air on Fridays – up until the season finale on 31 May.

Meanwhile, eight studio tapings of the upcoming Knockout and Battle rounds will take place at Nydalen Studios in Oslo in the coming weeks, starting this Wednesday:

9 January: 16:00 and 19:00 (Knockout)
12 January: 16:00 and 19:00 (Knockout)
23 January: 16:00 and 18:15 (Battle)
25 January: 16:00 and 18:15 (Battle)

Free audience tickets are available through universe.com.

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.

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