Apparatjik to perform at Bergen International Festival in June

Magne Furuholmen, Martin Terefe, Concha Buika and Jonas Bjerre, as they are presented on the Bergen International Festival's website

Magne Furuholmen, Martin Terefe, Concha Buika and Jonas Bjerre, as they are presented on the Bergen International Festival’s website

In addition to being the new chairman for Bergen International Festival, Magne will also be performing at this year’s festival together with Apparatjik.

This will be a special performance, inspired by the true story of “the ape woman” Julia Pastrana, where Magne, Jonas Bjerre and Martin Terefe will be joined by Concha Buika and Void. Some info from the festival’s website:

The Day of the Dead is a colorful Mexican festival that eases the spiritual passing of those who have died. This festival is central when Apparatjik, in collaboration with Void and Mexican artists Laura Anderson Barbata and Concha Buika, present a staged concert production to honor Julia Pastrana both as an individual and an artist.

“The story of Julia Pastrana is one of the most fascinating stories I have ever come across, both as an artist and as a fellow human being”, Magne said back in 2013, when he announced plans of an opera based on the Julia Pastrana story.

The Apparatjik performance will be held at Grieghallen on 3 June 2016. Tickets are available now from billettservice.no.

Magne appointed new chairman for Bergen International Festival

Magne interviewed in Bergen, 2 February

Magne interviewed in Bergen, 2 February

Magne Furuholmen has been appointed new chairman for Festspillene i Bergen (Bergen International Festival), for the period 2016 – 2019.

This was announced at a press conference in Bergen today, where Magne was present alongside the festival’s artistic director Anders Beyer.

For two weeks in May and June each year, Bergen International Festival presents a variety of performances within music, theatre, dance, opera and visual art. Being the chairman is a prestigious position, which will take up much of Magne’s time in the coming years.

The Norwegian Minister of Culture, Linda Hofstad Helleland, says in a press release posted on a-ha.com:

Bergen International Festival is a central power source in Norwegian art and culture, and I am pleased that one of Norway’s foremost and versatile artists has accepted the important position of chairman. With his international network and wide experience, Magne Furuholmen will strengthen the Festival in the years to come.

Magne himself says he is honoured to accept the new position:

The position as chairman for Bergen International Festival is a great honour and a prestigious national responsibility. The high level of artistic quality maintained throughout the years is very impressive. My role as chairman will be to facilitate further development of the festival’s international orientation, and build on the good work by the administration and former chairman.

Magne tells Bergensavisen that he was surprised when he was asked to take the position a few weeks ago:

“I didn’t say yes right away. This was a question that I needed some time to think about. I was worried whether I was ready for such a big task. At the same time I felt I would have been a coward if I declined.”

Bergen International Festival 2016 is held from 25 May to 8 June.

Links to Norwegian media coverage:
NRK Hordaland: Vil gjøre Festspillene til verdens viktigste festival
Bergensavisen: – Ville vært feigt å si nei
Bergens Tidende: A-ha-Magne blir ny leder for Festspillene
Vårt Land: Furuholmen: – Ville vært feigt å si nei
Dagbladet: A-ha-stjerne blir styreleder for Festspillene i Bergen
Budstikka: a-ha-Furuholmen ny styreleder for Festspillene

Video: NRK Vestlandsrevyen

Morten in Brazil to shoot TV commercial

Morten has been in Brazil over the last few days, to shoot a TV commercial for Hydro.

According to P4, the commercial is directed by Norwegian director and photographer Reinert K. Olsen aka Ray Kay, who has previously done music videos for artists like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears and Beyonce, as well as commercials for brands such as Pepsi and AT&T.

A promo reel of his previous work can be seen on Vimeo.

Ray Kay also did two commercials for Hydro last year, which can be seen here and here. Earlier today he posted some photos from the current shoot in Brazil on his Facebook page.

A number of fans have had their photos taken with Morten in Sao Paulo and Belém since Friday. Here are some of them:
Picture 1   Picture 2   Picture 3   Picture 4   Picture 5   Picture 6

Icelandic concert dates rediscovered

Paul and Morten on stage in Reykjavik, 17 July 1987 (Picture from the newspaper Þjóðviljinn)

Paul and Morten on stage in Reykjavik, 17 July 1987
(Picture from the newspaper Þjóðviljinn)

In an interview with the Headlines and Deadlines fanclub magazine back in 2007, drummer Øystein Jevanord mentioned that a-ha did two concerts in Iceland near the end of their first world tour in 1987, following the Japanese leg in June/July. The former Bridges drummer toured with a-ha as an extra percussionist that summer, but in the interview he didn’t share further details about these dates.

Strangely, those two concerts hadn’t been mentioned anywhere else that I was aware of. They hadn’t appeared on any lists of tour dates, neither online nor in a-ha books. In the following years no further details emerged about these mysterious dates.

However, a while ago I was searching through an Icelandic newspaper archive and found solid evidence that these two concerts actually happened.

"Gítarleikari" (guitarist) Paul and "hljómborðsleikari" (keyboardist) Magne in Reykjavik, 17 July 1987(Pictures from the newspaper Morgunblaðið)

The “gítarleikari” and the “hljómborðsleikari” in Reykjavik, 17 July 1987
(Pictures from the newspaper Morgunblaðið)

The concerts were held at the indoor arena Laugardalshöll in Reykjavik on 17 and 18 July 1987. They seem to have been late additions to the summer tour and were first announced a couple of months before, on 19 May. This may be why the dates largely went under the radar back then. One of the press reviews seem to say 4000 people attended the first concert.

On 17 July, prior to the first concert, the band also attended the Icelandic premiere of The Living Daylights. This is something they have later mentioned in interviews; how they couldn’t attend the world premiere in London because they were on tour in Japan, but did manage to attend the Icelandic premiere instead.

Adding these shows to the previously rediscovered 1987 Japanese dates, this brings the total number of concerts on the 1987 summer tour up to 25. See the updated list of 1986/87 tour dates here.

Spellemann nomination

a-ha have been nominated for the 2015 Spellemann Awards, in the Pop Group category, for their Cast In Steel album.

This is the first time since Minor Earth ⎜ Major Sky in 2000 that a-ha have been nominated in this category.

The award show is held at Oslo Spektrum on 30 January, and will air live on NRK1.

See a list of all the nominated artists here.

“Flags In The Air”

Cover artwork

Cover artwork

Magne’s youngest son Filip Clements has recently been posting some of his own music on Soundcloud. The latest track “Flags In The Air” is a song written by Magne, and recorded as a duet between the two of them.

Magne posted a link to the song on Instagram today:

“hohoho…as a little yule-tide treat, head over to soundcloud – for a father/son duet of ‘flags in the air’. i originally wrote this song for the a-ha album, but no one else wanted it on the record, so instead here is a demo to complete(?) your happy holidays. 🎅 merry xmas to my loyal insta-followers!”

a-ha.com has additional info about the song, including the lyrics.

Powered by WordPress