Archive for 2011

Royal birthday celebration

Heidi and Magne arriving


Princess Märtha Louise celebrated her 40th birthday at the Royal Palace in Oslo tonight.

Magne and Heidi were among the celebrity guests attending the party, along with people such as director Harald Zwart and singer Lene Marlin.

Pictures of some of the guests arriving can be seen at and


Morten talks about Jamaica visit

Morten's sunglasses were popular among the girls in Kingston, Jamaica (Picture by Just Loomis)

Morten is interviewed in today’s VG, in connection with tomorrow’s comedy show on TV Norge to benefit UNICEF. The show will feature a report from Morten’s visit to Kingston, Jamaica this summer.

“We visited a community with much violence and difficult social conditions, quite a common type of area in Jamaica. Some of those we met, around 20 years old, were clearly on drugs and already heavily involved in crime. That’s how they’ve chosen to take control of their own life”, Morten tells the newspaper.

Among those he met was a 14 year old girl who was eager to get married.

“It’s normal for all girls that age to be thinking about boyfriends, but when they get pregnant at such a young age, it really puts them back in relation to their own future.”

– Do you feel privileged to have your children grow up in Norway?, VG asks.

“Yes, of course we’re privileged – we have such a high level of safety and security here that it’s almost incomprehensible for other people.”

– In that respect, the Utøya attack this summer was a big exception?

“It definitely was.”

In Jamaica, Morten apparently received a lot of attention. Not because he’s famous, but because he’s white and had expensive sunglasses.

“The children we met had no idea who I was. Jamaica is very isolated in that regard, as they only listen to local music. They don’t know who U2 are, or Coldplay, REM and Madonna. And certainly not a-ha! But that’s also what makes it an interesting place to visit”, Morten says.

“Humorkveld” to benefit UNICEF airs live on TV Norge tomorrow night. Part 1 between 19:00 and 20:00, and part 2 between 21:30 and 23:00.

Stolper + Friends launch “Shed 13” project

Magne in front of Shed 13, with Kate Smith (Daily Manager of Stolper + Friends) and Arnt Gøran Hartvig. (Picture from VG)

Stolper + Friends will unveil a new project in Oslo today. As an extension of the current “The Souls” exhibition, a large warehouse at Tjuvholmen called Shed 13 will be covered on two of its sides by six huge butterflies made by Damien Hirst.

“Everyone have been talking about Norway this summer, so this art project with the enormous butterflies can be seen as a nice gesture from Damien Hirst to Norway. (…) I think he felt that having his butterflies on display in super-format, out in the public for everyone to see, was an exciting and different project”, Magne tells VG.

The six butterflies, which measure a total of 1200 square meters, will stay on the walls for one month.

“Shed 13 is the perfect space to make temporary statements of different kinds on a grand scale. We hope this Hirst project is the first of many, from exciting artists from around the world and the other galleries in the area”, Magne said in a press release posted on Stolper + Friends’ Facebook page.


There is also a 2-page interview with Magne in the current issue of art magazine KUNST.

Asked if he now sees himself as a gallerist, he says:

“No. I’m involved as an owner, and I will of course make use of my network of contacts. But I’ll leave the daily operations to Hugo and the gallery workers. I’ll primarily focus on my own art projects, but I do live close by and will step in if there’s a need for it.”

Magne also says that he’s planning a new solo exhibition in December. But he’s not sure what the theme will be yet.


Update: After the lights had been switched on at Shed 13, Magne appeared on NRK’s evening news. The video clip can be seen here.

He was also interviewed by Dagbladet.

1987 concert dates rediscovered

I have now added a bunch of concert dates from 1987 that I was previously unaware of.

On and almost everywhere else, the 1987 Japanese tour in June/July has always been listed with only 7 dates (and several missing venues). But as can be seen on the Japanese a-ha fansite, it turns out that the band actually played 17 concerts.

Megumi, webmaster of the Japanese site, can confirm that all the dates are correct and that none of the shows were cancelled.

And Selina in the UK, who first brought this to my attention, points out that the dates are all listed in the 1987 Japanese tour programme.

So, translated from Japanese, these are the correct tour dates (notice that the Nagoya concert should be June 21st instead of July 21st):

21 June: International Exhibition Hall, Nagoya, Japan
22 June: Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan
23 June: Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan
25 June: Makomanai Indoor Stadium, Sapporo, Japan
27 June: Sendai City Gymnasium, Sendai, Japan
29 June: Osaka-Jo Hall, Osaka, Japan
30 June: Kobe World Hall, Kobe, Japan

1 July: Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium, Yokohama, Japan
2 July: Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan
3 July: Shizuoka City Culture Hall, Shizuoka, Japan
5 July: Kosei-Nenkin Hall, Hiroshima, Japan
6 July: Fukuoka Convention Center, Fukuoka, Japan
7 July: Matsuyama City Hall, Matsuyama, Japan
9 July: Nagano City Culture Hall, Nagano, Japan
10 July: Citizen’s Culture Hall, Yamanashi, Japan
11 July: Niigata Prefectural Civic Center, Niigata, Japan
12 July: Ishikawa Kosei-Nenkin Hall, Ishikawa, Japan

This brings the number of concerts on the 1986/87 world tour up to 169, and the total number of all regular a-ha concerts between 1986 and 2010 is now 564.

(Thanks to Selina, Megumi and Suzie)

Apparatjik and a-ha comics in the making

A page from the Apparatjik comic book

Award-winning British comic book artist Mike Perkins has created a new comic about Apparatjik, which will be used in connection with upcoming Apparatjik concerts.

“It’s in black and white and fairly short, but I’ve shown it to Magne Furuholmen, who liked it. It will be published in concert folders in connection with upcoming Apparatjik concerts. Later on, it will be available in other media as well”, Perkins says.

Perkins, known for his work on Captain America and Stephen King’s The Stand, was in Bergen at the Raptus Comics Festival last weekend. In an interview with Aftenposten he says that he’s also planning a comic about a-ha’s Scoundrel Days album:

“For a long time I’ve wanted to turn Scoundrel Days into a comic book. It’s the darkest and most melancholic of a-ha’s albums, and I was a big fan of it when it was released in the fall of 1986.

The title track immediately caught my imagination, and gives me hints to manipulative politicians and things like that. There’s a certain film noir feeling to it, which can also be seen in the music videos, for example in “I’ve Been Losing You” which includes the line “The gun on the bedside table”.

I’m hoping to do Scoundrel Days in noir-style with limited use of colours. I would also want to use several of the music videos as inspiration, plus songs from other a-ha albums like Hunting High and Low and more recent songs like “Butterfly, Butterfly”. In the “Hunting High and Low” music video, Morten Harket transforms into a whale, a dolphin and finally a wolf [sic]. This is also something I’d want to incorporate into the comic book.

The main characters will be humans with the ability to transform into animals and jump to parallel worlds.”

Magne Furuholmen says that he’s all positive to a-ha songs being turned into a comic book:

“I think this is really exciting, and I can’t imagine the others in the band being negative to it. I have never been a comic book nerd myself, but I did read comics as a kid, like everyone else, and I have seen some of his previous work. He is very skilled and it will be interesting to see what he can come up with.”

– What do you think about an album living on in other art forms?

“This will be like a reinterpretation of something we’ve done. Having one expression living on in a different form is exciting. There’s something good about having created something that triggers someone else’s imagination in ways we couldn’t have originally envisioned”, Magne tells Aftenposten.

Morten visits Jamaica for UNICEF

Morten in Jamaica (Picture from UNICEF)

Morten has recently visited Jamaica, to learn more about a project run by UNICEF.

A report from his visit to the country will be shown during TV Norge’s third annual comedy show to support UNICEF.

The comedy show is held at Oslo Konserthus and airs live on TV Norge next Sunday, September 25th, at 19:00.

Whether Morten will also be performing during the show is not known.

In April 2005, Morten performed the official UNICEF song “Children First” together with Hayley Westenra at an event in Copenhagen.

Magne visits Germany

Magne with fellow jury member Graham Hill
(Picture from

Magne has been in Germany this week, to attend a few different events.

On Tuesday, September 13th, he was at the Smart Urban Stage exhibition in Frankfurt, the last in a series of twelve exhibitions held by car manufacturer Smart in various cities across Europe.

As part of a three-member jury with Lidewij Edelkoort and Graham Hill, Magne had the honour of announcing the winners of the Smart Future Minds Award – the most innovative of 110 projects based around the “future of the city”

The two winning projects were The People’s Supermarket (UK) and Calle de Diversion (Italy).


On Wednesday, September 14th, Magne was in Berlin at the release party of the third issue of SOME Magazine.

This issue of the art magazine documents the workshop held by Magne and fellow Apparatjik member Jonas Bjerre at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design in Halle earlier this year (see May 25th news update).

A video clip from the release party can be seen here.

Paul turns 50

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy – the incredible songwriter and guitarist in a-ha, Savoy and now Weathervane, the live performer, vocalist, instrument collector, producer and visual artist – can celebrate his 50th birthday today, September 6th.

Happy Birthday, Paul!

(You can post your own birthday greetings to Paul on and on’s Facebook page)

a-ha to be inducted into Norwegian “Hall of Fame”

The Rockheim museum 
(Picture by Jakob)

Rockheim – the Norwegian museum of popular music in Trondheim – today announced the first five bands/artists to be inducted into the museum’s new “Hall of Fame”.

They are: a-ha, Alf Prøysen, Jokke & Valentinerne, Wenche Myhre and Åge Aleksandersen.

A jury consisting of 88 people from the music business and media held a vote to determine the final five from the inital list of fifteen nominees.

“These five are worthy members [of the Hall of Fame]. They are all equally worthy”, Petter Myhr – the director at Rockheim – said in a comment.

The induction ceremony will be held at the Rockheim museum on November 6th. (Rescheduled from August 21st due to the recent terror attacks).

Stolper + Friends opens in Oslo

Paul Stolper, Magne and Hugo Opdal in front of Damien Hirst's butterfly paintings 
(Picture from Dagsavisen)

The new gallery Stolper + Friends, which is owned by Paul Stolper, Magne Furuholmen and Hugo Opdal, opens at Tjuvholmen in Oslo tonight with the exhibition “The Souls” by Damien Hirst.

“The reason why I wanted to establish the gallery here, is that Tjuvholmen is a new district still in the making and in constant development. And with the Astrup Fearnley museum opening [next year] and the other galleries already here, I think we’ll get a nice dynamic which will attract many art fans to the area”, Magne told Aftenposten in an interview last week.

Magne’s own exhibition “Futura Plus”, which was supposed to open the gallery but was cancelled after the July 22nd tragedy, will instead be shown in Sweden sometime in November, he tells newspaper Dagsavisen today.

In an article at yesterday, Magne said “Futura Plus” features “words including ‘death’ and ‘accident’, painted on blood-stained sheets collected from hospital autopsy-rooms and similar.”

At Stolper + Friends, “The Souls” is on display until October 2nd and will be followed by an exhibition of sculptures.

More pictures from inside the gallery can be seen here.

Danish group samples TSASOTV

Single cover

The Danish electro-pop duo Electric Lady Lab released their new single “Touch Me” this week, which uses various samples from “The Sun Always Shines On TV” – including some of Morten’s original vocals.

There have been countless cover versions of a-ha songs over the years, but this is apparently the first time a-ha have officially allowed someone to sample one of their songs.

Danish music website reports that Electric Lady Lab members Martin Bøge Pedersen and Stine Hjelm Jacobsen wrote “Touch Me” together with Johan Wohlert (ex-Mew).

Only after recording it did they ask a-ha’s management for permission. And although he personally liked the song, a-ha manager Harald Wiik said it was almost 100 percent certain that they wouldn’t get permission to use the samples. But he would play it for the members of a-ha and get back to them.

After two weeks Wiik sent an e-mail saying that all three a-ha members had approved the song after all. “Touch Me” is available on iTunes now, at least in Scandinavia.

(Thanks to Christian)

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.

Magne’s summer reading

Dagbladet has asked a few people about what they’re reading this summer, in today’s paper edition.

Here’s Magne’s answer:

“At the moment I’m reading a few different books. I just started on “Sabbath’s Theater” by Philip Roth. I’m also reading a collection of short stories by the Norwegian author Edy Poppy. I usually prefer to read books in English, so Poppy’s “Sammen.Brudd” is a rare exception.”

Paul starts new project with Jimmy Gnecco

Weathervane: Jimmy Gnecco and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (Picture from VG)

Paul has been keeping very silent since December 4th, but today a new project is revealed in an interview with VG.

Together with his friend and Ours frontman Jimmy Gnecco, Paul has started the project Weathervane, which will provide the main song for the upcoming Norwegian thriller Hodejegerne (Headhunters). The movie is based on Jo Nesbø’s novel of the same name and will premiere on August 26th.

The single, also called “Weathervane”, is released in Norway today and is now available for listening on WiMP and can be downloaded from iTunes and It’s a song that keeps growing after several listens and features Gnecco on lead vocals.

“We got to know each other through a common friend right at the beginning of Savoy, around 1996, and he has contributed on songs like “The Breakers” (from the “Savoy” album in 2004) and supported a-ha on the farewell tour last fall. He impressed me greatly then as well, and even though we’ve occasionally been talking about doing something together, those discussions became more frequent since this was a-ha’s last tour”, Paul tells VG.

“Back around 2003/2004 I happened to be looking for something new, and I have always loved a-ha and Paul’s songwriting in particular. For a while there I was trying to figure out some way to become a vocalist in Savoy”, Gnecco laughs.

Cover of the single, which is released by Universal

For Paul, December 4th last year actually became the starting point of the next step in his career.

“That was more of a coincidence, but there’s something symbolic to that as well. We had this big farewell party at the town hall after the last concert in Oslo Spektrum. There I was approached by Morten Tyldum, the director of “Hodejegerne”, who asked me if I had something that he could use in the movie. At that point I had actually just written this song”, Paul smiles.

He admits that there was a very special feeling backstage after the last a-ha concert.

“It felt strange, still we didn’t get time to reflect much on it at that moment. We had just completed a really long tour and deserved a party for finishing the tour as well, not just 25 years of a-ha”.

Paul has been keeping in touch with Morten for the last six months, but he’s not sure what exactly the former a-ha vocalist is planning to do now.

According to VG, Paul has also been doing some writing and producing for others since January, without specifying who that is. And he admits that he originally expected to just remain in the background for quite a while from now on.

“But this chance to front a new project again was just too good to let go. I like the way this has evolved. Weathervane hasn’t been put together on a whim, we have known each other for a long time and Jimmy has just the right vocal range that my songs need to reach their full potential.”


VG’s reviewer Morten Ståle Nilsen gives the song 4 out of 6 and writes that Paul’s “songwriting signature is so distinct that it almost doesn’t matter who is singing his songs. (…) The beat is fierily electronic, the piano plays along resignedly, the tone is grandiosely sad – without becoming depressing. The weather is clouded, with showers developing. In other words, everything is as it should be in Waaktaar’s anxious universe.”


Update: A video interview with Paul and Jimmy, plus clips from the music video can now be seen at

Update 2: has also posted the full music video now.

Update 3: has also posted the music video on YouTube. The footage of Paul and Jimmy was directed by Lauren Savoy and shot in Woodstock, New York.

Magne presents “Futura Plus” at new gallery

Magne at Tjuvholmen in February 2009, working on "Confusion" for Bølgen & Moi.

Magne, Hugo Opdal and Paul Stolper have decided to open a new art gallery at Tjuvholmen in Oslo, Hugo Opdal announced in a press release today.

The gallery will be called “Stolper + Friends” and is set to open on September 1st with Magne’s new solo exhibition entitled “Futura Plus”.

“Stolper + Friends” will focus on artists from Norway and the UK, according to the press release.

Tjuvholmen is the same area where Magne decorated a new Bølgen & Moi Restaurant in early 2009.

Apparatjik to perform in Austria

Apparatjik have announced that they are playing a concert at the Steirischer Herbst Festival of new art in Graz, Austria on October 15th.

The festival’s website is available in English here.


Magne is also planning new solo exhibitions this fall. At the workshop in Halle last month he told a fan that there will be an exhibition in Oslo, followed by one in London. Sometime between September and November, but the exact dates had not been set.

The retrospective art book Magne Furuholmen – In Transit, which was originally to be published on May 31st, now has September 6th as a new publication date (in Norway) – possibly to coincide with the upcoming exhibition.

Morten at Bislett Games

Morten was in the audience at the annual Bislett Games track and field event in Oslo last night, where the highlight of the evening was Usain Bolt’s 200m victory with 19.86 seconds.

Interviewed in NRK’s broadcast from Bislett, Morten said:

It’s fun to be here. Usually I haven’t been able to attend, but this year I jumped at the chance. I’m here with a whole group, a lot of family, so it’s really fun.

Morten also said that within the world of sports, track and field is what has interested him the most. Although he hasn’t competed much himself.

The short interview with Morten can be seen on NRK’s web-TV here (starts after 5.40 minutes – and only available within Norway).

Update: I have now uploaded the interview on YouTube here.

Magne comments on “Hall of Fame” nomination

The list of nominees for the Rockheim museum’s “Hall of Fame” has already sparked a heated debate among so-called “music experts” in Norway. Still, at least everyone seem to agree that a-ha deserve their place on the list.

In a interview with the newspaper Dagbladet, Magne says that he appreciates the nomination:

“This is really great. a-ha is kind of existing in a “Hall of Fame” mode at the moment – after all we have nowhere else to be – so it’s a nice thing to be nominated.”

Dagbladet has also set up their own, highly unofficial, vote among their readers. a-ha is currently in second place, behind Jokke og Valentinerne.

“That’s cool, because I was certain that everyone were sick and tired of a-ha after everything that happened last year. So I would like to extend a big thank you to Dagbladet’s readers for their patience”, Magne says.

He doesn’t hide the fact that it’s good to be recognized:

“It’s important for us to feel represented in Norwegian music history, so in that sense it feels good.”

In other news, Morten apparently visited Moscow this weekend. He was there to speak/perform at a private event. Additional details were not available.

a-ha nominated for Norwegian “Hall of Fame”


Rockheim – the Norwegian museum of popular music in Trondheim – is planning to induct five bands and artists into a new “Hall of Fame” of Norwegian music later this year.

The first 15 nominees were revealed at a press conference at the National Library in Oslo today, and among them is a-ha. Other nominees include Alf Prøysen, Bjørn Eidsvåg, Åge Aleksandersen, Lars Lillo-Stenberg and Anne Grethe Preus. The whole list can be seen here.

In the jury that decided on the 15 nominees were the musicians Marit Larsen, Øystein Greni and Janove Ottesen, among others. To be considered, the band or artist needed to have their debut album released more than 25 years ago.

Another jury consisting of 100 people (60 musicians and 40 people from the music business and media) are now going to have a vote to determine the final five to be included in the “Hall of Fame”.

The induction ceremony will be held at Rockheim on August 21st this year.

Magne in Germany

Magne with students at the workshop in Halle, May 24th
(Picture from

Magne and fellow Apparatjik member Jonas Bjerre are in Germany this week, to hold a workshop for art students at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design in the city of Halle.

The workshop started on Monday, May 23rd, and will continue throughout the rest of this week.

The idea is apparently to create new objects by using auto parts from a Smart car – continuing Apparatjik’s ongoing collaboration with the German car manufacturer.

Daily updates from the workshop project can be found here.

There was also recently an Apparatjik workshop in Moscow, following their concert there on May 13th. Here is some info from the Strelka Institute website:

After the performance at Strelka, Apparatjik will lead a closed workshop with Russian artists and musicians. Together they will work on a new interactive installation, which will connect Apparatjik’s creative work with local Russian context. The results of this collaboration will be shown at the Yota Space Festival in St. Petersburg this fall.

(Thanks to Carmen and Maria)

Apparatjik in Moscow

The cube in Moscow
(Picture by Marina Lystseva)

Apparatjik played their first concert in Russia this Friday, May 13th, at the newly established Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow.

There were initially only 200 invitations available for two people each, by registering on the Strelka website, but this week anyone who added their name to the event on Apparatjik’s Facebook page were automatically added to the guestlist (which ended up being 188 people). So there must have been at least 600 people in the audience (a Russian fan claims there were as many as 1500-2000 people).

A selection of pictures from the Moscow performance can be seen here.

And here are some YouTube clips:
Deadbeat    Datascroller    Snow Crystals    Supersonic Sound    Look Kids    Quiz Show

Simen and Peder from Moods of Norway accompanied the other apparatjiks on the trip to Moscow, and a couple of pictures have been posted on their Facebook page, including one with Magne and Karl Oluf Wennerberg in front of the Bolshoi Theatre.

Update: Check out this cool video clip from the Moscow concert on Vimeo.

Ending On A High Note chart update

Ending On A High Note entered the UK album chart at #43 this week, with 2,966 copies sold. It was actually in the top 15 in the first midweek chart update, so there was a significant drop in sales later in the week. Still quite good though, considering there doesn’t seem to have been much promo for it in the UK so far.

In Germany EOAHN is at #9 this week, and has now spent an amazing four weeks in the top 10 on the album chart. And after dropping down to #7 last week, it climbs to #4 in Norway.

“zbig1” on the WOTM forum has put together the following list of all European countries where the live album has charted so far (Updated 15 May):

1. Norway – Best place #3, All places: 6-3-7-4-6 and 5 weeks in Top-10
2. Germany – Best place #3, All places: 3-7-8-9-14 and 5 weeks in Top-10
3. Poland – Best place #21, All places: 21-35-42-27-39 and 5 weeks in Top-50
4. Russia – Best place #24, All places: 24 and 1 week in Top-25
5. UK – Best place #43, All places: 43 and 1 week in Top-100
6. Switzerland – Best place #56, All places: 56-59-98 and 3 weeks in Top-100
7. Austria – Best place #61, All places: 61-72 and 2 weeks in Top-75
8. Belgium Wallonia – Best place #70, All places: 70 and 1 week in Top-100
9. Netherland – Best place #72, All places: 72-86 and 2 weeks in Top-100
10. Belgium Flanders – Best place #87, All places: 70 and 1 week in Top-100
11. Spain – Best place #92, All places: 92 and 1 week in Top-100
12. France – Best place #163, All places: 163 and 1 week in Top-200

And here’s how the DVD has performed in the music DVD charts around Europe
(Updated 15 May):

1. Norway – Best place #1, All places: 1-1-1 and 3 weeks in Top-10
2. Germany – Best place #1, All places: 1-1-1-1 and 4 weeks in Top-10
3. Austria – Best place #1, All places: 1-10-5 and 3 weeks in Top-10
4. Sweden – Best place #1, All places: 3-6-1-8-6 and 5 weeks in Top-20
5. Hungary – Best place #6, All places: 6-20 and 2 weeks in Top-20
6. Switzerland – Best place #6, All places: 6 and 1 week in Top-10
7. Ireland – Best place #7, All places: 7 and 1 week in Top-10
8. Netherland – Best place #11, All places: 20-11 and 2 weeks in Top-30

(Thanks to zbig1 and tryffel for the chart info)

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