Archive for August, 2011

Morten preparing new solo album? (UPDATED)

According to the website of 140dB Management, UK producer Steve Osborne is “about to start work on a solo album for Morten Harket”.

Exactly when this was posted and how far along they are in the process is not known.

Osborne previously worked with a-ha as a producer, mixer and musician on the Foot Of The Mountain album in 2009. He also did alternate mixes of “Nothing Is Keeping You Here” and, most recently, “Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah)”.


Update: The solo album info has now been removed from the 140db Management website.

In a message sent out to several fans, 140db Management writes the following:

“Steve is not currently doing any work with Morten. Unfortunately that is an error at this stage and nothing has taken place. One of our interns got over excited and has placed that on a page as he has been updating our website and assumed this project is happening. At this stage nothing has happened or is actually confirmed.

You can definitely pass the word as there is nothing going on at the moment. Of course that may change in the future but our official comment is that nothing is happening at the present time. Steve is currently working on a band from New York called Glint.”

(Thanks to “greeneyedgirl” and Carlos)

More Weathervane promotion

On stage at the Amanda Awards

The Weathervane promotion in Norway continues. Today Paul and Jimmy appeared on P4’s morning radio show, where they performed another acoustic version of “Weathervane”.

A shortened MP3 podcast of the show can be downloaded here. The interview starts at 11:45 minutes.


In an interview with newspaper Bergensavisen Paul says that Frode Unneland, who played drums at the Amanda Awards on Saturday, could be joining Weathervane on a more permanent basis:

“Yes, that’s absolutely an option. He’s part of the family, after all. Frode is a fantastic guy, both as a musician and as a person.”

Frode himself wouldn’t mind doing more work with Weathervane:

“That would of course be interesting – it’s always fun to work with Paul”, he tells the newspaper.

He’s also looking forward to more Savoy:

“There will definitely be another Savoy-album, we just need to find time to do it”, Frode says.

Paul tells Bergensavisen that his unused a-ha songs could turn into Weathervane songs instead:

“I always have a bunch of material lying around and I may end up using the songs intended for a-ha in Weathervane. We have already tested out some stuff in the studio.”

He also hopes to do something with Weathervane in the US:

“That would have been really interesting. All of Jimmy’s contracts have been signed in the US and he has his whole network of contacts over there. For him it’s actually very exotic to be here in Norway.”

Weathervane interviewed in newspapers and radio

Picture from

Paul and Jimmy have continued promoting Weathervane in Norway this week.

Yesterday they were interviewed by NTB, Side 2 and Dagsavisen.

And this morning they were guests on NRK P3’s morning radio show, where they were interviewed, answered questions from the listeners and did an acoustic version of “Weathervane”.

The whole radio show can be downloaded as an MP3 podcast here. The interview (in English) starts at 29:30 minutes and lasts until 48:00 minutes. (The acoustic performance starts at 37:45).

Below are a selection of quotes from the various interviews:

Jimmy on the Amanda Awards performance:
“It was really exciting. When we stepped up there to do soundcheck, it felt like we’d been doing it for years together. It felt really natural. And I just looked to the side and felt like I was standing next to my brother, and we really had been doing it forever. I had to find my footing at first, when we started, but once we locked into it I felt really good.”

“With Weathervane there is no pressure, no plans. It’s like resetting yourself and starting all over. A new spring – springtime in Paris! I’ve been there before and know the feeling.”

Jimmy on being compared to Morten:
“There are bound to be comparisons. I have always been a big fan of Morten. It’s flattering to be compared to him, but our voices are different.”

Picture: Universal promo

Paul on the song lyrics in “Weathervane”:
“We don’t have to analyze our own lyrics. But it’s actually a very domestic story about Lauren wanting to go to London for a week to spend some time alone.”

Paul on their international ambitions:
“The movie’s been sold to so many countries that now it’s just up to us how far we can take it”.

Jimmy on working with Paul:
“It feels really natural. I don’t know what it is, if it’s because of similar influences that we both had growing up, or that I’ve been influenced by Paul’s music as well, why it feels so natural to me. It’s like working on my own songs, it’s just the same. I feel completely at home with it, and connected to it all.”

Paul on Jimmy:
“Jimmy has a fantastic voice. It’s incredibe to hear when he starts the song and what he can do with it.”

Paul on future plans for Weathervane:
“Ideally we would love to have an album out around Christmas time, or after Christmas. You know, on stage in Haugesund I was like ‘Oh, this could actually be really cool’. I think we would both like to do festivals or something next year.”

“We’ll take one step at a time. We can easily put out three-four singles before the album is released. I like that kind of build-up.”

Paul on a-ha’s performance at the National Memorial Ceremony:
“Being asked to participate was a great honour. We said yes at once. It turned out to be a completely heartbreaking experience. I find it hard to describe with words. For me, music is what brings the most comfort.”

a-ha perform at National Memorial Ceremony

a-ha performed “Stay On These Roads” together with The Norwegian Radio Orchestra as part of the National Memorial Ceremony at Oslo Spektrum today, to remember the victims of the July 22nd attacks.

With them on stage they also had Karl Oluf Wennerberg on drums and Erik Ljunggren on keyboard. The song was arranged for orchestra by Kjetil Bjerkestrand.

If you missed the live broadcast, a-ha’s performance can be seen here. The whole 2-hour ceremony is available at

Weathervane at Amanda Awards

Weathervane did their first ever performance at the Amanda Film Awards in Haugesund last night. The award show is held in connection with the city’s annual international film festival.

Paul and Jimmy Gnecco were backed by three Savoy-musicians on stage; Frode Unneland on drums, Preben Grieg-Halvorsen on keyboard and Hågen Rørmark on bass.

The performance itself was all playback, except for Jimmy’s vocals, and the music video for the song was shown on a screen behind them.

The movie Hodejegerne, in which “Weathervane” is used, has its Norwegian premiere at the festival on Tuesday the 23rd.

Update: The performance is now up on YouTube here.

Morten sings in Vennesla

Morten and various family members singing at the Haydom fundraiser in 2007. His father Reidar by the piano.

Morten was in Vennesla in Southern Norway on Sunday, August 14th, to sing Christian hymns together with Harket Mannssangforening (The Harket Men’s Choir) at the annual fundraiser meeting to support Haydom Lutheran Hospital in Tanzania.

Morten has performed at this event a number of times in recent years (see August 10th, 2009 news update). He first joined the choir in 2003, after his uncle Kjell passed away.

“This choir is a continuation of a quartet that my father and other relatives had many years ago. Now we have taken this up again. Our only scheduled appearance is singing at this Haydom fundraiser”, Morten told newspaper Vårt Land when he performed at the same event in 2007.

“The history of Haydom is a story about an impressive effort done by idealistic people. With limited means they have managed to build a hospital that’s become important to a lot of people. If I, with my voice, can do something to support this work, I’m there”, he added.

No reports or pictures from this year’s event have appeared in the local press so far.

a-ha to perform at national memorial ceremony

NRK announced on Wednesday, August 10th, that a-ha will be among the artists performing at a national memorial ceremony on August 21st, following the recent terror attacks here in Norway on July 22nd.

In a statement posted on, the band says:

“On 22 July, we, like everyone else in Norway and the rest of the world, were shaken to the soul by these actions of cruelty and violent provocation against everything we stand for. But we are also very proud to belong to a small country where people, politicians and the royal family worked together and showed solidarity in the face of such tragedy, and we are grateful to be asked to participate in the memorial ceremony.

We do this to honor those who have been torn away, to show appreciation to everyone who made an effort to help on July 22, and to express our sympathy to the survivors who now are left in sorrow.”

The band was asked by NRK on August 2nd if they would be willing to do a one-off performance at the memorial ceremony. “There was no doubt that they wanted to do it. They are grateful to be able to contribute”, a-ha manager Harald Wiik told Dagbladet.

The memorial ceremony is taking place at Oslo Spektrum and is only open for invited guests; survivors, family and friends of the victims, rescue workers and others. Government officials and members of the royal family will also be present.

Besides a-ha, other artists scheduled to perform include Susanne Sundfør, Leif Ove Andsnes, Karpe Diem, Dumdum Boys, Sivert Høyem, Jarle Bernhoft, Bjørn Eidsvåg, Ingrid Olava, Sissel Kyrkjebø and Åge Aleksandersen.

The 90-minute memorial ceremony, which starts at 3PM local time, will be broadcast live in Norway on the TV stations NRK1, NRK2, TV2, TV Norge, TV3 and online at It will also be broadcast live on the radio stations NRK P1, NRK P2, NRK P3 and Radio Norge.

For more info, read the news story and NRK press release posted on There is also an official site about the memorial ceremony (in English) at

Magne explains cancellation

Picture from VG

Magne explains the cancellation of his “Futura Plus” exhibition in today’s VG.

Here are some quotes from the interview:

“I sat there completely numb and glued to the TV screen for a week, inhaling the news about the unbelieveable tragedy at Utøya island and the government quarter. As I gradually started to think ahead, it became clear that it wouldn’t be appropriate to hold my opening exhibition.”

“Drawing from experiences which include my own hospitalizations, I have during this last year been creating works for an exhibition thematically linked to human frailty in general, and hospital settings specifically, with everything that entails of drama, suffering and helplessness. I don’t want to make an exhibition which could be potentially upsetting in this situation.”

For “Futura Plus”, Magne had once again been collecting used bed sheets from various hospitals, to use as canvases.

“I’m not sure if this exhibition will ever be shown. We’ll see.”

“It is ironic that I’m opening my own gallery by cancelling my own exhibition. But that’s the right thing to do now. The paintings have been important for me to create, but it’s not important to show them now.”

Magne has created the new gallery Stolper + Friends together with his UK gallerist Paul Stolper and the Norwegian gallerist Hugo Opdal, who lives at Flø.

“I haven’t really harboured any ambitions to start my own gallery, but I have already been working with Stolper and Opdal for years, and when my previous gallery Trafo closed down last year the idea evolved naturally.”

The gallery’s opening exhibition will now be “The Souls” by Damien Hirst instead.

“The original plan was to show new works by Damien Hirst closer to Christmas, but now we had to do a quick turnaround, and it’s very fitting to show the beautiful butterfly-series “The Souls”, made in collaboration with Paul Stolper, where the butterfly symbolises, among other things, the journey and rebirth of the soul. It’s a much more appropriate association right now”, Magne says.

Exhibition cancelled

Magne has issued the following press release today:

“In light of the recent tragic events in Norway, Magne Furuholmen has decided to cancel his upcoming exhibition ‘Futura Plus’ due to the potentially upsetting nature of the works.

The new gallery ‘Stolper + friends’ will launch as planned on the 1st of September, but the first exhibition will be ‘The Souls’ by Damien Hirst.

More info to follow.”

The gallery’s new website states that Magne will be exhibiting later this year instead. Apparatjik are also planning something at Stolper + Friends later on.

Stolper + Friends is also on Twitter and Facebook.

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