Archive for 2011

The Voice premiere date

The four mentors on the Norwegian version of The Voice: Sondre Lerche, Magne Furuholmen, Hanne Sørvaag and Yosef Wolde-Mariam.

TV2 has now announced the premiere date of The Voice – Norges Beste Stemme, which is Friday 27 January 2012.

Another four taping dates have also been announced:

Wednesday 25 January
Thursday 26 January
Monday 30 January
Tuesday 31 January

The first episodes, focusing on the initial blind auditions, were taped earlier this month. Apparently, the audience also got to see an “exclusive mentor performance”.

The episodes taping at the end of January will feature duels between the contestants.

If you live in the Oslo area, info on how to get tickets can be found at

Exhibition at Blaafarveværket

Magne will be exhibiting at the Blaafarveværket museum in Norway next summer – more specifically in the wooden barn at Nyfossum.

Sverre Følstad at Blaafarveværket says this will be the first time Magne revisits previous art projects to present a retrospective exhibition. It will apparently include “monumental woodcuts”.

The exhibition is open from 19 May to 23 September 2012. A PDF folder can be downloaded here.

Apparatjik invite fans to collaborate on new album

The new Apparatjik album Square Peg in a Round Hole, which was released exclusively for iPads last month, is now available for everyone to stream and download on Apparatjik’s Facebook.

It features Magne on lead vocals at the beginning of “Combat Disco Music” and at the end of “Control Park”.

However, this is only the “first draft” of the album. Apparatjik now invite fans to submit ideas and even remix the songs, resulting in a new “draft” being released each week until the final version of the album is released on 21 February 2012.

Full album stems in WAV-format can now be downloaded from, where you can find further instructions on how to proceed.

UK music site quotes a new press release about the album project:

“Apparatjik is chiefly a conduit for creative trip-wiring: first you find out how a thing works, then you break it. all children learn this way. all adults too. on the new album we have collaborated with other artists and now we want to invite our fans and other musicians to contribute by commenting, voting for ideas or taking raw elements from the album and work with, embellish and submit back to us. we have collaborated with our fans in this way for visual projects like ‘everybody is a pixel’ at the Neue Nationgalerie in Berlin and our new iPad magazine ‘apparatjik world’. this time we’ll try with music.” also reveals ambitious concert plans for next year:

“The group are also set to bring ‘Apparatjik World’ (iPad Magazine/new album/live performances) to 11 cities starting mid 2012 including London, Oslo and Copenhagen and their first dates in the US. More on that soon.”

Echo opens in Oslo, to great reviews

Some of the monotypes on display at Stolper + Friends 
(Picture from VG)

Magne’s new solo exhibition Echo opened at Stolper + Friends in Oslo yesterday.

It consists of four large monotypes on hospital sheets, originally intended for Futura Plus, and a selection of twelve smaller monotypes on sheets and paper.

Although commercially successfull, Magne’s art hasn’t always been embraced by art critics. But Echo gets a glowing review by VG’s Lars Elton, who gives the exhibition a 5 out of 6 rating and describes Magne as an innovator in his field:

“This is an exhibition that takes the field of art a step further. Not only does Magne Furuholmen really make himself respected, he also moves graphic print techniques forward”, Elton writes.

“(…)Visual games with letters has been a dominating motif for Furuholmen since the 1990s. And you would think this theme had been worn out by now. But with these new works he reaches a new level, partly because the images are visually strong, but first and foremost because the letters and the words they form have been put into a meaningful context.

The works provide a level of seriousness and reflection that evoke emotions. When you add the groundbreaking formats and the innovative technique, this becomes an exhibition that moves the field of art a step forward”, Elton writes in his review.

Echo is on display at Stolper + Friends until January 15th.


Update: Before the official opening, the British Ambassador to Norway, Jane Owen, visited the exhibition. A picture of the ambassador with the three gallerists has been posted on the Stolper + Friends Facebook page.

And a 4-minute video interview with Magne from the opening can be seen at


Update II: Magne attended the launch party for a new Moods of Norway perfume in Oslo a few days later, on November 29th. See a picture from Dagbladet here.

Russian dates confirmed

New promo picture

The six previously known Morten Harket concert dates in Russia have now been confirmed on Morten’s official Facebook page – plus a seventh concert in the city of Tyumen.

Tickets have already been on sale for weeks, though (as is often the case in some countries).

Here are all the dates and venues:

16 April: Palace of Sport, Krasnoyarsk
18 April: Circus, Novosibirsk
20 April: Palace of Sport, Omsk
21 April: Palace of Sport, Tyumen
22 April: Concert Hall, Yekaterinburg
24 April: Crocus City Hall, Moscow
26 April: Little Ice Palace, St. Petersburg

This brings the total number of concerts on Morten’s 2012 tour up to 18 – with more to come.

The tour may start in South America in February/March, but those dates have not been announced yet.

a-ha albums on Top 100 list

Earlier this year, weekly newspaper Morgenbladet asked 100 Norwegian musicians, including Magne, to each set up a list of their ten favorite Norwegian albums.

The goal was to name the 100 best Norwegian albums of all time. Starting back in August, a new album has been revealed almost daily at

Last week the top ten albums were announced, with a-ha at number two and three:

1. Radka Toneff/Steve Dobrogosz: Fairytales (1982)
2. a-ha: Scoundrel Days (1986)
3. a-ha: Hunting High and Low (1985)
4. Kjøtt: Kjøtt (1979)
5. Knutsen & Ludvigsen: Juba Juba (1983)
6. The Aller Værste: Materialtretthet (1980)
7. deLillos: Suser avgårde (1986)
8. Röyksopp: Melody A.M. (2001)
9. Garbarek/Jarrett/Danielsson/Christensen: Belonging (1974)
10. De Press: Block To Block (1981)

Number one on the list, Radka Toneff, was a talented jazz singer who died in 1982, only 30 years old. Magne had her album Fairytales at number two on his personal list.

Bendel's book

In connection with Morgenbladet’s list, ten small books have been published – one book about each of the top ten albums.

German a-ha fan Larissa Bendel has written the book about Hunting High and Low, in which she provides a basic overview of the songs and the recording process. The interesting part of the book can be found in the last chapter, which includes new e-mail interviews with Magne and Paul. They talk about how they feel about Hunting High and Low 25 years later and how it was to perform the full album in Oslo and London last year.

Norwegian author Frode Grytten was asked to write the book about Scoundrel Days. He has approached the book project in a very different way and has chosen to write a collection of surreal short stories, loosely connected to a-ha, instead.

Grytten's book

Each story is named after a song on the album (translated into Norwegian). In one of the more amusing stories, “The Weight Of The Wind”, 48-year old Paul Waaktaar-Savoy meets 24-year old Pål Waaktaar on the New York subway. In “Soft Rains of April” a couple who first met at an a-ha concert in Paris in 1991 meet up again in Oslo in December 2010 after ten years to attend the final a-ha concert together.

“It’s all fiction. I was given complete artistic freedom to write whatever I wanted in connection with Scoundrel Days. (…) The book turned into different short stories, or moments in time, about how I’ve experienced the band and their songs”, Grytten said in a VG interview earlier this month.

Both books can be ordered from online store – but be aware that they are written in Norwegian and don’t contain any pictures.


BTW, if you’re interested in seeing which albums Magne voted for, here is his own top 10 list:

1. Susanne Sundfør: The Brothel (2010)
2. Radka Toneff/Steve Dobrogosz: Fairytales (1982)
3. Magnet: On Your Side (2003)
4. Jan Garbarek: Dis (1976)
5. Kjøtt: Op. (1981)
6. De Press: Block to Block (1981)
7. Motorpsycho: Demon Box (1993)
8. deLillos: Hjernen er alene (1989)
9. Jan Eggum: Nesten ikke tilstede (1993)
10. Röyksopp: Melody A.M. (2001)

New Apparatjik album

Apparatjik released the first issue of their Apparatjik World magazine yesterday, 11.11.11.

It’s a free app for iPads (size: 683 MB) containing videos, pictures, the Mike Perkins comic and lots of random stuff.

The magazine also includes a new 12-track Apparatjik album.

Here is the tracklist:

1. Time Police (3:20) – same as this one
2. Sequential (3:15)
3. Your Voice Needs Subtitles (4:03)
4. Signs of Waking (3:34)
5. Pakt (1:25)
6. Combat Disco (3:41) – same as this one
7. Do It Myself (3:07)
8. .,,. (Dot Comma Comma Dot) (5:13)
9. (Don’t Eat The Whole) Banana (3:22) – same as this one
10. Gzmo (4:14) – same as this one
11. Super-positions (1:30) – same as this one
12. Control Park (3:51) – same as this one

For those of you without an iPad, the album will be made available in other formats at a later date.

The next issue of Apparatjik World is released on 21 February 2012.


Update: The name of the new album is apparently Square Peg in a Round Hole.

“The Voice” taping dates

As mentioned earlier this fall, Magne will be one of four mentors on the talent show “The Voice – Norges Beste Stemme”, together with Sondre Lerche, Hanne Sørvaag and Yosef Wolde-Mariam.

TV2 has now posted the taping dates for the first ten episodes – the blind auditions, where the mentors initially can’t see the singers.

The dates are: 
Monday 5 December 
Tuesday 6 December 
Thursday 8 December 
Saturday 10 December 
Sunday 11 December

Two shows are taped back-to-back each of these nights, at Nydalen Studios in Oslo.

If you want to be in the audience, there are contact details in the TV2 article linked above.

Magne meets the press in Helsingborg

Magne and fellow artists Kjell Nupen, Ørnulf Opdahl and Queen Sonja of Norway gave a large number of journalists a preview of the group exhibition Under stor press at Dunkers Kulturhus in Helsingborg, Sweden yesterday (see October 27th news update for more info about the exhibition).

Magne in conversation with Queen Sonja

Queen Sonja is exhibiting her art in public for the first time, and was really the center of attention.

“I think she’s got courage who has chosen to expose herself to the type of questions that are bound to come, when she sticks her neck out like this. I can definitely relate to that, being famous for one thing and then venturing into a completely different field”, Magne told Aftenposten’s web-TV.

He could be seen standing in front of 10 large prints from Futura Plus, covering an entire wall.

Today there’s a vernissage for invited guests, which will also be attended by King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Queen Silvia of Sweden, before the exhibition opens to the public tomorrow.

Under stor press will be open until August 5th next year.


Update: A few more interviews with Magne in Helsingborg have now appeared online. TV2 has a video report which can be seen here.

There is also an interview at

Magne has become used to printing on hospital sheets, but with Futura Plus things turned a bit more graphic (as could be seen in the “Nasjonalgalleriet” documentary):

“This time I mistakenly received a bag full of unwashed hospital sheets, straight from the emergency room, that were badly stained, creased and smelt horrible. That felt like a starting point for a series of prints based on hospital situations”, Magne tells TV2.

“The prints are 200×80 centimeters. That’s the original size of these hospital sheets made by manufacturer Futura Plus – which inspired the name of my exhibition”, he told Dagbladet.

Morten: New tour dates and album info

Three new dates on Morten’s 2012 solo tour have been announced today:

29 April: Congress Center, Hamburg, Germany
3 May: Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt, Germany
8 May: Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium

Additionally, the concert venues in Munich and Berlin will be Kesselhaus and Tempodrom.

Tickets for Brussels go on sale November 10th, while tickets for all the German dates will go on sale November 11th.

There is also a new and official Morten Harket page on Facebook, which will provide news about the upcoming album and tour.

The page reveals that the album will include “one song by Will Young and possibly one or two songs by Paul Waaktaar-Savoy”.

It also states the first single is out in January or February, and that the album will be released by “Starwatch/Universal Germany in Eastern and Western Europe, as well as in South America”.

The Facebook page also confirms that Morten will be touring in South America next spring, as Harald Wiik has previously mentioned.

Dance For Daddy documentary

The new documentary Dance For Daddy – a portrait of Magne Furuholmen aired in a special edition of NRK2’s culture programme Nasjonalgalleriet tonight.

The documentary, which was made by Charlotte Thiis-Evensen, follows Magne’s work on the Futura Plus exhibition earlier this year and tells the story of how his father’s tragic death in a plane crash has influenced a lot of his art.

It can be seen on NRK’s web-TV here, where it will be available for one month.

Futura Plus ended up being cancelled, but Magne is opening a new exhibition at Stolper + Friends in Oslo on November 26th called ECHO. The gallery said in a Twitter message to expect “stunning new works on canvas and paper”.

ECHO will be on display until January 15th 2012.

Secret message in a time capsule

The time capsules on display at Rockheim 
(Picture from

In connection with the Hall of Fame induction at Rockheim, five time capsules with information about each artist have been put together, NRK Trøndelag reports.

Each time capsule, which is basically a steel container, contains pictures, biographies, discographies and recordings. It also contains a secret message to the future from (or on behalf of) the inductees.

The capsules will be on display at Rockheim over the next year, before they are sealed shut. They will then be placed somewhere in Trondheim for the next 50 years, before they are to be opened.

So mark your calendars folks, and be prepared for a secret message from a-ha sometime in 2062.

a-ha inducted into Norwegian Hall of Fame

Magne interviewed after the ceremony

a-ha were among the first five bands and artists to be inducted into the new Hall of Fame of Norwegian popular music at the Rockheim museum in Trondheim last night.

Around 100 specially invited guests were gathered at Rockheim to honour the inductees at a closed ceremony. Only Magne was on hand to represent a-ha, as Morten and Paul were unable to attend.

“It’s a great honour to be mentioned alongside Alf Prøysen, Wenche Myhre, Jokke og Valentinerne and Åge Aleksandersen”, Magne told’s web-TV after the ceremony.

“Since we have retired as a-ha, the band’s body of work now has to live on in the history books. It’s therefore very nice to become part of something that will preserve music history for generations to come”, Magne added to NTB.

a-ha were inducted by Trond Giske, who is the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry (and former Minister of Culture). Giske’s speech “was worth the trip alone”, Magne said afterwards.

A few pictures from the ceremony can be seen here (Magne and manager Harald Wiik) and here (Magne in conversation with host Rune Nilsson).

Bøgeberg remembers his time with a-ha

Bøgeberg performing at the opening of the a-ha exhibition in Oslo, October 2010
(Picture from

Jørun Bøgeberg, a-ha’s bassist from 1990 to 1994, has updated the a-ha section on his website with a new and long article about his time with the band.

Writing in detail about various studio sessions and concert tours, Bøgeberg provides fascinating insight into one of the most interesting periods of a-ha’s career.

The article also includes a wealth of private pictures, most of them never seen before.

This is recommended reading for all fans.

The article can be found on Bøgeberg’s website at – click on “A-HA 90-94” in the left-side menu.


Be also sure to check out his two solo albums Songs From The Pocket (1996) and Basstard (2006). The first one features backing vocals by Morten and cover art by Magne.

Morten attends Crosby/Nash concert

Legendary folk-rock duo David Crosby and Graham Nash played a concert at Oslo Konserthus on Sunday, October 23rd, where they dedicated the song “Just A Song Before I Go” to a-ha.

“I’d like to dedicate this song to a-ha. They’re friends of ours. This is for you, Morten”, Nash said as he introduced the classic tune, which first appeared on the album CSN in 1977. A live clip can be seen on YouTube.

Morten was in the audience at Oslo Konserthus last Sunday, just as he was when the duo last performed in Oslo six years ago.

Graham Nash’s friendship with the members of a-ha, and especially Morten, resulted in him doing backing vocals for two songs on a-ha’s Analogue album in 2005; “Cosy Prisons” and “Over The Treetops”.

In an interview that same year, Nash talked about his respect for the members of a-ha:

“I met a-ha for the first time in Barbados, and they made a very positive impression on me. They are different personalities that come together to make something creative. I really respect what they’re doing, and we made good contact. (…) a-ha is a great band, and the songs that I did backing vocals on are excellent”.

Magne visits New York and Los Angeles

New York, October 20th 
(Picture from

Magne has been spending some time in the US recently. On October 20th he attended a gala luncheon at The Pierre Hotel in New York, held by The Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce, where Moods of Norway were presented with The Norwegian-American Trade Award. King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway were also present.

Moods of Norway, which has its own store in Los Angeles, has experienced success in the US and is planning another store in New York. Magne is currently on the board of directors of the clothing brand.

Some pictures of Magne with Simen Staalnacke and Stefan Dahlquist from Moods at the New York event can be seen at the NACC website here and here.

And on October 28th, Moods of Norway posted a picture on their Facebook page of Magne visiting the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Los Angeles together with Simen and Stefan.

New TV documentary about Magne

The weekly culture programme Nasjonalgalleriet on NRK2 in Norway will broadcast what appears to be a new half-hour documentary about Magne’s work as a visual artist on November 7th.

Here is the description from NRK’s website:

“Documentary about Magne Furuholmen. An old and dented trumpet that has been through a dramatic airplane crash, used and blood-stained hospital sheets, and a story of sceptisism and resistance. Get to know the artist Magne Furuholmen in tonight’s Nasjonalgalleriet.”

The trumpet refers to his father Kåre’s instrument, which was recovered after the airplane crash in 1969 where Magne’s father and four other members of his band died. In the early years of his art career, between 1989 and 1994, Magne carried the trumpet case with him everywhere, and used his father’s handwritten sheets of music inside the case as the main inspiration for his breakthrough exhibition Kutt in 1995.

The hospital sheets mentioned in the description is something Magne has used as canvases for several years, seen in exhibitions like Monologues, Camera and now Futura Plus.

This new documentary in Nasjonalgalleriet is not to be confused with John Sullivan’s half-hour NRK documentary Billedkunstneren Magne Furuholmen from 2004, which followed Magne’s process of working with glass paintings and ceramic jars between 2001 and 2003.

Nasjonalgalleriet is repeated November 9th on NRK1 and November 12th on NRK2.

Russian tour dates?

According to the ticket site, Morten will do a concert in Moscow on April 24th. Tickets are supposedly already on sale.

After contacting concert promoter Andrei Agapov, Russian fans were told there will be an additional five concerts in the country.

Here are all the dates:

16 April: Krasnoyarsk, Russia
18 April: Novosibirsk, Russia
20 April: Omsk, Russia
22 April: Yekaterinburg, Russia
24 April: Crocus City Hall, Moscow, Russia
26 April: St. Petersburg, Russia

But please remember that these are all unconfirmed for now…

Magne takes part in Helsingborg exhibition

"Futura Plus" monotype

Magne is one of the artists taking part in a group exhibition entitled “Under stor press” (“Under great pressure”), which opens at Dunkers Kulturhus in Helsingborg, Sweden on November 11th.

“Under stor press” presents around 800 graphic prints by 80 artists, all of whom have worked together with Atelje Larsen – Helsingborg’s own world-renowned print studio. Magne has used Atelje Larsen to create his graphic prints for many years.

The exhibition includes works from Magne’s recent “Futura Plus” project, which will be shown in public for the first time, as well as prints made by the members of Apparatjik.

When creating “Futura Plus”, Magne has said that he “painted on blood-stained sheets collected from hospital autopsy-rooms and similar”.

Magne will be in Helsingborg on November 9th together with fellow artists Kjell Nupen, Ørnulf Opdahl and Queen Sonja of Norway to give members of the press a special preview of the exhibition. There will also be a private vernissage on November 10th.

“Under stor press” will be on display until August 5th 2012.

More tour details

According to a press release posted at, Morten’s touring band this time will be the a-ha musicians Karl Oluf Wennerberg on drums and Erik Ljunggren on keyboards/bass, plus Dan Sunhordvik from Magne’s solo band on guitar.

In addition to solo material, he will also perform “some selections from the a-ha catalogue”.

Morten collaborates with Pet Shop Boys and Kent

(Picture by Just Loomis)

Manager Harald Wiik is interviewed in today’s VG, and reveals that members of Pet Shop Boys and Swedish band Kent have written songs for Morten’s new album.

Here are some quotes:

“This has been an open process where Morten obviously has written a number of songs himself, but we have also been in contact with various other songwriters.

When there’s an opportunity to work with Pet Shop Boys and Kent, of course we’ll say yes. Both bands have extremely good songwriters and have been at the top of Morten’s wish list.

We are well underway with the new album. Our goal is to be finished by Christmas, which would mean that the album is released in March next year.

There will also be a solo tour that starts in April. But this all depends on whether we get finished in time or not.”

Pet Shop Boys vocalist Neil Tennant has in previous interviews talked about a-ha being one of his favorite bands and about Morten having a fantastic voice.

Kent vocalist Joakim Berg has also praised a-ha and their songwriting skills, most recently in an interview with ABC Nyheter last year. You may also remember that his brother Adam Berg directed the music video for “Summer Moved On” in 2000.


Update: Wiik provides some further comments to Dagbladet about the album and tour.

Regarding the songwriting collaborations, Pet Shop Boys have written one song for the album, while Joakim Berg and Martin Sköld from Kent have written two songs together with Morten.

Work on the new album started in April this year. It’s being produced by Steve Osborne, and will be released by Starwatch/Universal.

Wiik also shares some more details about the tour:

“Morten will be touring all over Europe, starting in mid-April, and there’s likely to be a tour in South America in February/March. Plans for the fall of 2012 aren’t ready yet, but we assume the tour will include Japan and Oceania in that period.”

UK dates announced

Three Morten Harket concerts in the UK have been announced by today:

11 May: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, UK
13 May: indigO2, London, UK
14 May: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK says there will be a pre-sale for all three shows on the a-ha Facebook page starting on Wednesday, October 26th, while the public sale starts on Friday, October 28th via Gigs and Tours.


To keep track of all the dates on the 2012 tour, visit the Morten Harket tour page.

Paris date added

French promoter Gérard Drouot Productions has announced a Morten Harket concert at La Cigale in Paris on May 9th.

There will be a pre-sale 10am on Monday at, while the public sale starts on Thursday, October 27th.


Meanwhile, tickets for the Zurich concert on May 2nd are now available at


Update: Zurich and Paris have also been confirmed by now. Album release in March, according to the official site.

Apparatjik perform in Graz

Apparatjik did their sixth performance of the year last Saturday at the Orpheum in Graz, Austria, as part of the Steirischer Herbst Festival.

This time, only Magne and Jonas were present of the original Apparatjik members. Instead of Guy and Martin, they were joined by Tobias Wilner (vocals) and Bo Rande (trumpet) from the Danish band Blue Foundation. A picture of the quartet in “combat disco” outfits has been posted on Facebook.

The set included a few new songs, which can be heard on YouTube:
Clip 1    Clip 2    Clip 3    Clip 4

More video clips are available here, here and here.

According to a fan on the apparatchick forum, Magne told her that this was probably the last time they performed inside the cube. He also said that musically he’ll only be focusing on Apparatjik in the coming year, although it will be a while until the four of them meet up to work together again.

BTW, earlier in the week, Magne did an e-mail interview (in his usual “witty” style) with Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung, which has been posted here.

(Thanks to “Mortianas” and Denise for videos and info)

Morten tour dates 2012 confirmed

Info about four Morten Harket solo concerts in Germany and Switzerland in April/May 2012 were revealed (prematurely) by a German ticket agency today.

Following the info leak, Morten’s management decided to officially confirm the dates, Andrea at says.

These are the dates (so far):

30 April 2012: Munich, Germany
2 May 2012: Volkshaus Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
4 May 2012: Mitsubishi Electric Halle, Düsseldorf, Germany
6 May 2012: Berlin, Germany

More venue and ticket info to follow…


Update: The Swiss promo agency Good News have posted some info about the Zurich concert and a new promo picture on their website.

According to the website, which cites Universal, the album is now slated for a February 2012 release.

New solo album from Morten

(Picture: Universal)

Following the recent confusion about whether or not Morten had started work on a new solo album (see August 31st news update), a-ha manager Harald Wiik can now confirm that Morten is indeed working on his fifth solo album, to be released sometime next year.

The info appears in an interview with Swedish singer Anna Järvinen in Bergensavisen today, where she mentions that she’s always wanted to work with Morten:

“I have always wanted to do a duet with Morten Harket. Let’s hope he reads this. I guess he’s got more time now?”, Järvinen says.

The journalist then contacts a-ha manager Harald Wiik, who says the following:
“That’s nice to hear. Morten is working on a solo album to be released next year, but I can’t give much more details at this point.”

Morten’s previous solo album Letter From Egypt, which was released in 2008, sold around 30.000 copies in Norway.


Update: In an additional comment to VG Nett, Wiik says they’re aiming for a March/April release next year.

Magne ready for talent show “The Voice”

Sondre Lerche, Magne, Hanne Sørvaag and Yosef Wolde-Mariam. (Picture by TV2)

Magne will be one of the mentors on the Norwegian version of the talent show “The Voice”, TV2 revealed at a press conference in Oslo today.

Joining him as mentors are Sondre Lerche, songwriter Hanne Sørvaag and Yosef Wolde-Mariam from Madcon.

“I agreed to do it because the show is about backing someone that you believe in and trying to give them the best possible conditions. I want to support the talents I believe in and give them an opportunity to shine. This is a big difference from other talent shows, because in “The Voice” we’ll follow the talents and try to further develop their own style”, Magne says.

Magne was aware of the American version of the show, which aired on NBC earlier this year, before he was approached by TV2 in Norway:

“I was offered to write a song for the guy who won “The Voice” in the US, so I already had some experience with the show before TV2 asked me. That meant that I was more open to be a part of it”, he tells VG.

He has said no to several other talent shows in the past, but feels that “The Voice” is a different concept:

“In the past I have said no to everyone that’s asked. I don’t like the type of talent shows that have been shown on Norwegian TV before. But this time all the focus will be on the voice and the talent. There won’t be any ridicule of people who think they can sing, without really having any talent. The selection process is done in advance, so our job is simply to choose the ones we really believe in.”

Sondre Lerche also has a good impression of the concept:

“I agreed to do “The Voice” because I have seen the show in the US and I really like it because it’s a constructive talent show. It’s about the music and the process. I think it’s cool to be involved in other people’s projects, I know the value of giving people a chance”, Lerche says.

More articles and pictures about Magne and other mentors have been posted at and Dagbladet.

“The Voice” will air on TV2 in Norway sometime next spring, while the pre-auditions are starting on October 12th. The winner gets a record deal with Universal.

The Word interview

While at the Smart Urban Stage exhibition in Frankfurt on September 13th, Magne was interviewed by Belgian website The Word.

The interview has now been posted here.

(Thanks to Carmen for the link)

Morten’s report from Jamaica


From “Humorkveld” on TV Norge, September 25th.
Click on the “CC” button for English subtitles.

To learn more about how you can support UNICEF, visit

Morten on “God Kveld Norge”

Morten on "God Kveld Norge"

Morten appeared on TV2’s gossip programme “God Kveld Norge” last night, to promote the UNICEF show.

“When UNICEF asked me, my first thought was that I really wanted to participate. Jamaica was one of the countries UNICEF had in mind, and that’s where we ended up going.

The humanitarian aspect is a natural reason to support the work UNICEF is doing, but there’s also a political aspect; what kind of world do you believe in?”, Morten told host Dorthe Skappel.

He also mentioned that he’s working on some new music:

“I am currently working on some exciting stuff, within music. It’s stimulating and fun.”

Update: The interview is now up on YouTube

Morten performing in Guatemala, 1997

There is also an extra clip from the interview on the “God Kveld Norge” website, where Morten talks about the peace concert he did with Oslo Gospel Choir in San Martin, Guatemala in December 1997.

Attended by both Guatemalan and Norwegian officials, including the Norwegian foreign minister, the outdoor concert was supposed to be a celebration of the peace agreement signed in Oslo a year earlier, to end the country’s long-running civil war.

But things took a dramatic turn when three men, heavily armed with machine guns and hand grenades were captured by security personell during the concert. They had been paid a few thousand dollars to kill both local leaders and the Norwegian guests. Luckily, their plan failed.

In the interview, Morten says that he had brought his two sons Jakob and Jonathan with him to Guatemala and that he also remembers a bomb exploding in the area when the terrorists were captured.

“It was very unexpected. I’m used to consider all eventualities, not least because of my children, but those things took me by surprise”, Morten says.

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