Archive for November, 2011

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.

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