Archive for February, 2012

Morten and Tomine to appear in Mirror Mirror movie

The new fantasy movie Mirror Mirror, based on the story of Snow White and starring Julia Roberts and Lily Collins, is set to premiere on March 30th.

According to, both Morten and his 18 year old daughter Tomine are part of the cast that will provide the voices for the Norwegian-language version, entitled Lille speil på veggen der.

But which of the original characters they will lend their voices to, is not yet known. The trailer of the Norwegian version can be seen here.

Morten has previously appeared in the movies Kamilla og Tyven (1988), Kamilla og Tyven II (1989) and Yohan – Barnevandrer (2010), while Tomine is a veteran voice-over actress, having dubbed hundreds of cartoons and live-action shows over the years.

Morten appears in Stargate documentary

Morten made a small appearance in a new documentary about Stargate that aired on NRK1 in Norway last night.

But those of you now eager to hear Morten’s views on the Goa’uld System Lords or Samantha Carter’s theories on wormhole physics, will be disappointed.

The documentary was actually about the Norwegian producer duo Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel Eriksen, also known as Stargate. Based in New York, they have enjoyed big success in the US in recent years, becoming the first Norwegians to top the Billboard Hot 100 since a-ha. Stargate have written and produced such #1 hits as “Irreplaceable” (Beyoncé), “Firework” (Katy Perry), “Rude Boy”, “Only Girl (In the World)” and “S&M” (Rihanna) and “Black and Yellow” (Wiz Khalifa).

“When these guys manage to top that chart, which is the most difficult chart in the world to enter and which is based on airplay/sales statistics among an enormous amount of people – that’s like the ultimate achievement, in competition with everyone else”, Morten says in the documentary.

“They’ve done something formidable, which should be celebrated”, he added.

As some of you may remember though, Morten and Magne have made less favourable comments on Stargate in the past.

“Personally, this is not music that I’ll care to spend any time on. Success on its own doesn’t impress me, but if on the other hand you’re successfull with something good, that will really impress me”, Magne told VG in 2006.

“There’s one side of the music business that’s pure industry, and one side that’s more focused on the musical content, and then you find yourself situated somewhere between those two extremes. a-ha and Stargate aren’t exactly positioned in the same place on that scale”, Morten said in the same 2006 interview.

As for Paul; as a fellow New Yorker, he is a good friend of the guys in Stargate. The song “Shadowside” on Foot Of The Mountain was written specifically for one of Stargate’s artists. Eventually it ended up as an a-ha song instead.

“But without Stargate I wouldn’t have written that song. I’m looking for challenges like that, as I’ll come up with material that I otherwise wouldn’t have written”, Paul said in 2009.

The Stargate documentary can now be seen on NRK’s web-TV, but only within Norway.

Interview with Just Loomis

Acclaimed photographer Just Loomis, known for his past work with a-ha, teamed up with Morten again in Los Angeles last year to take the cover- and press photos in connection with Morten’s upcoming solo album Out Of My Hands.

I recently had the chance to ask him some questions about those photo sessions. Loomis also shared his thoughts on the trip he did with Morten to Jamaica, seeing a-ha live on the Farewell Tour and visiting Norway for the first time last year.

Read the full interview here.

Square Peg… final draft now available as MP3, WAV and CD

The final draft of Apparatjik’s Square Peg in a Round Hole album was released on Tuesday, February 21st.

Featuring new mixes, some new songs and a new cover, the album is now available for purchase in three formats at; MP3, WAV and CD. The digital formats can be downloaded right away, while the CD starts shipping on March 19th.

The tracklist:

1. timepoLice (feat. Auto Goon)
2. cervux seQuential (feat. Lisa A)
3. tell the bAbes
4. signs of waking uP
5. do IT myself (feat. Auto Goon)
6. BlastLOCKet (feat. Ceto A and L Gortex A)
7. pakt
8. COmbat disco music
9. your voice needS SUBtitles
10. (don’t Eat The whole) banana
11. gzMO
12. superpositions
13. control Park

There will also be an Apparatjik “Augmented Reality” app available for iPhone and iPad on March 19th, which will apparently provide you with a special experience when used together with the CD cover.


Apparatjik have now also set up a page on NRK P3’s Urørt community, which is a sort of Norwegian MySpace for young, unsigned musicians.

“Urørt is the place in Norway where those most interested in music get together, and therefore the most exciting community for us to turn our attention to”, Magne says in an article on

The article also mentions that Apparatjik have been invited to perform on the Orange Stage at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark this summer. But this is yet to be officially confirmed.

Message from Just Loomis

Photographer Just Loomis recently got in touch to share the following info:

“I am moving and clearing out my space and so will be offering my book, “Aha, the photographs” at a special price. I will be selling signed versions with a signed 8×10 print for $200. Including shipping. The old price was $300.”

The book can be ordered from his official website at

The Voice – episode 4

Magne got one new talent for his team in Friday’s episode of The Voice; Kjell Ove Knudsen, who performed Coldplay’s “Fix You”.

Commenting on the performance, Magne said:

“That was a very fun little journey. The thing about Coldplay… [At Yosef:] I assume you’ll come up with a joke about how I’m friends with Coldplay. But that has nothing to do with it. I’m actually very sceptical when people attempt cover versions of songs like that, but you managed to add a certain desperation to it that touched me. There is a potential in you, and I would really like to come along on your journey, if you’ll let me.”

Magne now has nine talents on his team.


In other news, Magne is on the cover of gossip magazine Se og Hør’s weekend edition. Inside there is a 4-page article about his “dramatic life”.

Album tracklist

The tracklist for Out Of My Hands has now been posted on Morten’s official site:

1. Scared of Heights 
2. Keep the Sun Away 
3. Lightning 
4. I’m the One 
5. Quiet 
6. Burn Money Burn 
7. When I Reached the Moon 
8. Listening 
9. Just Believe it 
10. Out of my Hands 

“When I Reached The Moon” (aka. “When I Reach The Moon”) is a previously unreleased song from the Wild Seed-era that Morten has performed live on occasion.

More album and single info

Album cover, with photo by Just Loomis 

The Out Of My Hands album cover was revealed on today, along with the single cover of “Scared of Heights” and a press release. The photos have been taken by Just Loomis.

“Scared of Heights”, the cover version of Espen Lind’s 2008 hit song, will apparently be the first single in countries outside of Norway (instead of “Lightning”), and is released on March 23rd. There will also be a music video for it.


The album’s title track, “Out Of My Hands”, has been written by Morten together with Norwegian producer Lars Hustoft – who posted a picture from the recording sessions on Facebook today. “I can promise you a VERY good pop album from the best vocalist we have in this country”, he says.


Meanwhile, an audio sample of “Lightning” has been posted on YouTube by Universal Norway.

The single has been getting mixed reviews, and Aftenposten‘s reviewer Svein Andersen isn’t particularly impressed by it, giving it a 2 out of 6 rating:


“With a title like this, one might expect some rumble and noise, but there is a surprising lack of energy here. “You would hit me like lightning”, he chants, and one can sense some kind of desperation in the lyrics, but musically you’re instead lulled to sleep. The melody is wrapped in an atmospheric production that rolls ahead in a monotonous drive without much drama or power.

It’s as if you don’t want to disturb. Even though Harket sings that he would have done anything to get his love back – we remain untouched. He sings with his characteristic voice, albeit in a restrained tone, but the vocals alone can’t make the song fly. Quite simply because the song is neither catchy nor interesting and doesn’t manage to take hold of you.

The feelings are sparkling and the blood is racing, he sings, but there’s no trace of Kent’s well-known darkness or a singer that does anything out of the ordinary here.

a-ha is history. Morten Harket continues his solo career, but this offering is too tame. After having heard “Lightning”, Coldplay (who consider a-ha a great influence) now seems almost like pure Metallica in comparison.”

Morten’s new single “Lightning” premieres

Single cover, with photo by Just Loomis 

The first single from Morten’s upcoming solo album is called “Lightning” and premiered on several Norwegian radio stations today. If you haven’t heard it yet, it’s the same song as the first preview clip that was played in Rio.

“Lightning” was written by Morten together with Joakim Berg and Martin Sköld from Swedish band Kent, and produced by Steve Osborne and Erik Ljunggren. I have posted the lyrics here.

The collaboration with Kent was Morten’s own idea, Joakim Berg wrote in a post on the official Kent forum last week.

As previously mentioned, the album will also include an English version of the Kent hit song “Kärleken Väntar” from 2002. In addition, Morten wanted to do an English version of another Kent hit from 2002, “Dom Andra”, but that was eventually dropped because of a tight schedule and difficulties in writing English lyrics that matched the original.

“He loved those songs and wanted to test out English versions”, Berg says.

An additional song that Joakim Berg has written together with Jonas Quant may also end up on the album.


“Lightning” gets a 4 out of 6 rating from VG’s reviewer Stein Østbø:

“The song is missing a stronger grip, even when the drums kick in after the first 70 seconds. Harket is only barely present in between all the electronic effects and doesn’t dominate in the way Morten Harket’s voice normally does – and should do. But what could easily have turned into a song rejected by New Order years ago, eventually evolves into an attention-grabbing earworm after all”, Østbø writes.


“Lightning” will be available for download on March 9th, while the album Out Of My Hands is released on April 13th (at least in Norway).

The Voice – episode 3

Three new talents joined Team Magne in the third episode of The Voice on Friday.

Their blind auditions can be seen here: 
Heidi   Ruben   Tini

Magne has proven to be popular among the contestants and has ended up with 8 talents on his team so far. Hanne has 6, while Sondre and Yosef both have 5 talents on their teams.

Håvard Rem book launch

Morten and Håvard at Rockefeller last night 
(Picture from Schibsted Forlag's Facebook page)

Håvard Rem, known for his collaborations with Morten in the 1990s, presented his new book 30-40-50 yesterday – his first collection of poems in 13 years.

To celebrate the event, various Norwegian musicians that Rem has worked with over the years took part in a release concert at Rockefeller in Oslo last night, including Kari Bremnes, Magnus Grønneberg and Silje Nergaard.

Morten also appeared on stage, as a surprise guest.

Håvard Rem has written some of the lyrics on Morten’s new album, which is now scheduled for release sometime in April.

Update: There is another picture of Morten and Håvard Rem at Rockefeller on the Facebook page of Sønn Av En Sønn – a new music project Rem has started together with his son Simen.

The Voice – episode 2

Magne ended up with four contestants for his team in last night’s episode of The Voice. One of them, Monika Blomeid, almost moved him to tears with her version of Adele’s “Someone Like You”.

“I am stunned, this is not what I had expected. We hear a lot of good vocalists on this show, but you are in a class of your own”, Magne told her after the performance.

The blind auditions of Magne’s four new team members can be seen here:

Knut Anders  Marius  Yvonne  Monika

I’m not sure if the whole episode will be online for free this time – it might have been just for the premiere.

“I’m not very fond of the way talents are being developed these days, where they can sing opera one night and soul the next. I’m looking for a voice that sounds unique and has a powerful expression that I can believe in.

(…) If a voice gives me goosebumps, I’m not interested to know what else it can do. Then I just want for that person to continue doing the same thing that gives me that feeling. And that’s what I think is a problem with most talent shows today, they don’t focus enough on supporting that uniqueness. I always judge music by what I hear and not what I see”, Magne told magazine Her og Nå this week.

More tour dates

Seven new tour dates in Russia, Belarus, Brazil, Argentina and Chile have now been announced through Morten’s Facebook page:

19 April: Venue TBC, Tomsk, Russia 
25 April: Palace of Sport, Minsk, Belarus

22 September: Citibank Hall, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 
23 September: Chevrolet Hall, Belo Horizonte, Brazil 
26 September: Credicard Hall, Sao Paulo, Brazil 
28 September: Gran Rex, Buenos Aires, Argentina 
30 September: Caupolican, Santiago, Chile

Please note that the dates in Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo are now switched around, compared to the earlier announcement from Rio.

And unfortunately, the two previously announced Russian dates in Omsk and Tyumen on April 20th and 21st have been cancelled.

To keep track of all the dates, click here.


Update: Over on Morten’s official website, it’s been revealed that the winning song of the recent setlist contest is “Out Of Blue Comes Green” – which will be performed live on his upcoming solo tour.

Powered by WordPress