Waaktaar & Zoe signs with Drabant Music

Picture from Drabant Music

Picture from Drabant Music

The Norwegian record label Drabant Music issued the following press release today:

Pål Waaktaar-Savoy (a-ha) and singer Zoë Aphrodite Gnecco (daughter of Jimmy Gnecco) recently signed a worldwide recording deal with the Norwegian record label Drabant Music.

Pål and Zoe are both living in NYC and they have known each other for years. When this exciting collaboration turned into an album project they decided to simply name it Waaktaar & Zoe.

The album “World Of Trouble” is set to be released on the 24th of February 2017, while the first single “Beautiful Burnout” will be released on September 30th this year. Pre order the single here.

Follow Waaktaar & Zoe on Facebook.

The music video for “Beautiful Burnout” premiered at the international a-ha fan convention in Oslo in April this year. The song features lyrics that Paul has re-used from the early version of “Foot Of The Mountain” that was included on the deluxe version of Cast In Steel.

Waaktaar & Zoe also have a new Twitter account.

Magne presents new exhibition and art book with Queen Sonja

Magne and Queen Sonja in front of one of the prints they have made together

Magne and Queen Sonja in front of one of the prints they have made together

Magne was in Bergen last weekend, to present a joint exhibition with Her Majesty Queen Sonja. The two of them have been collaborating on a new series of prints over the last year and a half, which has resulted in an exhibition called Texture.

Their work on Texture started in New York in April 2015, when they did three days of experimenting at the Universal Limited Art Editions workshop on Long Island.

“The Queen and I met about thirteen years ago at one of my exhibitions”, Magne said in an interview with Scandinavian Traveler last month. “I found her curiosity inspiring. She is dedicated in ways I rarely see in others, with an elastic and inquisitive mind. It was her curiosity that formed the basis of our artistic relationship.”

“Her personality and dedication to printmaking has allowed me to relate to her as a colleague and not as a queen. When we collaborated on prints, there was never any need to establish a set of roles. At the same time she wanted me to give her honest feedback”, Magne told A-magasinet on Friday, which featured a 12-page article about the project.

As well as opening the exhibition, they could present a brand new coffe-table book about their artistic collaboration called Grafikkens vinger. The Norwegian edition of the book, which features text by Lars Saabye Christensen, can be ordered from bokkilden.no. The book will also be released internationally.

The Texture exhibition is on display at Grieghallen in Bergen until 3 September, and can later be seen in several other cities:

– Galleri Ismene, Trondheim (23 September–23 October 2016)
– The Paul Stolper Gallery, London (27 September–23 October 2016)
– Ålesund Kunstforening, Ålesund (5 November–4 December 2016)
– Bodø Kunstforening, Bodø (9 March–2 April 2017)
– Gulden Kunstverk, Steinberg (22 April–14 May 2017)

Video clips:
Working on Texture – official video
Vestlandsrevyen – from the opening in Bergen (starts at 8 minutes)

Articles:
NRK Hordaland     Bergens Tidende     Dagbladet
Aftenposten     Budstikka     Kongehuset.no     TV2/Kongebloggen
Paris Match     A-magasinet (subscribers only)

Tomine on ‘Stjernekamp’

Tomine performing on Stjernekamp, 27 August

Tomine performing on Stjernekamp, 27 August

The fifth season of NRK1’s popular singing contest Stjernekamp kicked off tonight, with Tomine Harket as one of the contestants.

Morten in the audience

Morten in the audience

Stjernekamp is a live show where established artists and younger talents perform songs from a different music genre each week. The theme this week was Norwegian rock and Tomine had chosen to perform “Hjerteknuser” by Kaizers Orchestra.

Morten was in the audience to show his support, like he’s been on several occasions before.

The theme next week is country music, and Tomine will be performing “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash. Tonight’s episode is available to watch at nrk.no.

In addition to Stjernekamp, Tomine is currently enjoying success together with the rapper Unge Ferrari. Watch the music video for their latest single “Iblindeserenbedre” on YouTube.

Magne’s ‘Beatles’ score to be released on CD and vinyl in Japan

Cover of the Japanese CD version

Cover of the Japanese CD version

In connection with the release of the 2014 movie Beatles in Japan – where it’s called Yesterday – the film score by Magne Furuholmen will be released on CD and vinyl by the label Cinema-kan.

The CD is set for release on 7 September, while a limited edition vinyl LP with a different cover will be out on 5 October.

Magne’s score was only available digitally in Norway, so this is the first time it’s released in physical formats.

Both the CD and the LP can be pre-ordered from amazon.co.jp.

The movie itself premieres in Japan on 1 October.

Morten performs in Russia

Rehearsing at Music House in Copenhagen this week (Picture from Music House on Facebook)

Rehearsing at Music House in Copenhagen this week
(Picture from Facebook)

[Updated]: Morten travelled to Russia this weekend, to perform at two separate events in Yekaterinburg with his solo band.

The first concert was apparently held at the Pine Creek golf resort on Friday, 22 July, and seems to have been in connection with the Day of Metallurgist, which is a Russian holiday celebrating workers in the metallurgical industry. The logo on stage says Russian Copper Company, so that may be the company that’s hired him.

Setlist 22 July (with links to video clips):
1. Foot Of The Mountain
2. Stay On These Roads
3. Spanish Steps
4. Crying In The Rain
5. Brother
6. A Kind Of Christmas Card
7. Did I Leave You Behind
– – – – – – – – – – –
8. Let It Be Me

The second concert was held at the Hyatt Regency in Yekaterinburg on Sunday, 24 July, as part of the award ceremony of Eurasia Extreme Open 2016, a week-long handgun shooting tournament. The setlist included two additional songs; “Safe With Me” and “Wild Seed”.

Setlist 24 July (with links to video clips):
1. Foot Of The Mountain
2. Stay On These Roads
3. Spanish Steps
4. Safe With Me
5. Wild Seed
6. Crying In The Rain
7. Did I Leave You Behind
8. Brother
9. A Kind Of Christmas Card
– – – – – – – – – – –
10. Let It Be Me

These were Morten’s first solo performances since November 2014. It was also the first time he has played a-ha songs with his Brother backing band. On the 2014 tour he only played his own solo songs.

Pictures from Yekaterinburg:
The band backstage   Morten with his son Jonathan   Morten with a fan at the airport

Earlier this week, Morten was rehearsing with the band at the Music House venue in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The musicians were mostly the same as on the Brother tour in 2014; Vicky Singh on guitar, Lars Danielsson on bass, Per Lindvall on drums, but with Kjetil Bjerkestrand on keyboard instead of Christer Karlsson.

Music House has posted a few pictures from the Copenhagen rehearsals on their Facebook page.

Apparatjik’s “Day of the Dead” in Bergen

Apparatjik in Bergen, with striking visuals by Void (Picture by Thor Brødreskift)

Apparatjik in Bergen, with striking visuals by Void
(Picture by Thor Brødreskift)

Apparatjik presented a unique and captivating “Day of the Dead” performance at Grieghallen in Bergen on Friday, June 3rd, as part of Festspillene i Bergen (Bergen International Festival).

Magne Furuholmen, Martin Terefe and Jonas Bjerre were joined on stage by Spanish singer Concha Buika, a string quartet, plus Karl Oluf Wennerberg on drums and Even Ormestad on bass – all of them in appropriate face paint.

Songs played included “Deadbeat”, “Quiz Show”, “Look Kids”, “Arrow and Bow”, “Snow Crystals”, some new songs and songs by Buika in Spanish. Among the highlights was a Spanish version of Magne’s “In a Quiet Corner” – here is a little sample of it:

 
Buika’s intense presence and vocal delivery really took the show to another level, enhanced by the four solid musicians on string instruments.

The scenography by Void was amazing, with projections onto layers of see-through fabric on stage creating a stunning 3D-effect. Whereas the visuals Void created for a-ha’s “Afterglow” concert didn’t live up to the expectations, this time it really worked wonderfully.

Near the end of the show, Magne strapped on his electric guitar and rocked out with Karl Oluf and Even – listen here:

 
Although the Julia Pastrana story was merely hinted at, this was a spectacular, bizarre, funny, innovative and moving performance which will probably never be seen again in this form.

“Normally, a production like this would have been set up as a tour to try and make money on it. But we’d rather spend all the money and then some, to make it as cool as possible for one single night”, Magne told Bergensavisen.

Watch a short video clip from “Day of the Dead” on the Facebook page of Festspillene i Bergen. There’s also a photo gallery.

Earlier in the day, Magne, Martin and Jonas took a stroll around Bergen in full Apparatjik costume, together with Buika, inviting people to the concert. Bergensavisen has pictures from this and an interview with Magne. There’s also a video clip by Festspillene on Facebook.

Bergens Tidende had an interview with Buika on Friday (subscribers only), where she talked about her work with Apparatjik.

“I love this collaboration. The guys are crazy. This is one of the most incredible things I’ve done in recent years”, she says.

Buika, who first performed with Apparatjik at the opening of Fosnavåg Kulturhus in October 2014, got involved with the guys through Martin Terefe who produced her latest album.

“Martin asked me. And then Magne called. We met, and there was an instant chemistry. Magne is a maestro, a master. He is full of ideas and is able to change direction in seconds. That’s how I love to work.”

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