Archive for May, 2012

Time capsule workshop

Workshop at Magne

As mentioned on April 11th, Magne is going collaborate with young students to create a special time capsule to be kept in the Norwegian National Archives.

On Tuesday this week, 17 students from selected schools across Norway, along with their teachers, took part in a workshop held at Magne’s own atelier in Asker.

“This is probably the first and last time I’m having visitors at my atelier. It feels a bit private”, Magne told the visiting guests before they entered, newspaper Budstikka reports.

The time capsule will be formed as a sculpture, and made up of a number of metal boxes. These boxes will contain letters where students have written down their thoughts on the July 22nd tragedy and the society we live in.

“I’m picturing an obelisk with words on it, maybe a sentence. You can write whatever you want – the more variation, the better”, he told his young collaborators.

At the workshop he showed the students how to punch words into soft metal, which is how the sculpture will be decorated on the outside. This technique is something they are later going to show their fellow students.

“You don’t often get the chance to engage people from all over the country like this. I’m a sort of facilitator here, not the creator. This is sensitive material, so I was a bit nervous. I agreed to do it because this isn’t mainly about the tragedy, but about the future. The focus here is that the students will send letters to the future, and that’s an interesting idea”, Magne says.

The time capsule, which is made in connection with the upcoming documentary film Til Ungdommen, will be opened in 2031 and is described as a gift to the youth of the future. More than 50.000 Norwegian students have signed up to take part in the time capsule project so far.

There is more info and a gallery from the workshop on the project’s own website at

Related articles:
Budstikka   Tidens Krav   Romerikes Blad   Jærbladet

Magne talks about Flø performance

Magne was interviewed in Sunnmørsposten’s paper edition on Friday, about the upcoming Go With the Flø festival on June 24th, where he will use the “Desibel” horn system to perform a specially made sound collage.

“It will be an opening fanfare based on sound recordings from the shipbuilding industry – made at the Kleven Verft shipyard, and sounds from the village of Flø. A collage of different sounds. I think this will be a radio hit on P3 this summer”, he jokes.

“The horns form a sort of sculpture of different frequencies. It’s a monumental way of spreading sound.”

The largest horn is 12 meters long. “Desibel” is currently being used at an art festival in Denmark, but will soon be on its way to Flø.

“People can expect a really powerful sound. The bass frequency is capable of physically moving a cow”, Magne says. Therefore he thinks it’s wise for people to bring ear protection to the festival.

“We will of course try to spread the sound carefully, but the sound collage is meant to give the audience both a mental and physical experience.”

This will be the fourth time Magne visits Flø with different art projects, following “Anticlimax” in 2008, “Camera” in 2009 and the Apparatjik concert in 2010.

“Flø is sort of addictive. It’s an incredibly great place to be. So when you first make a visit, you get addicted to the place”, he says.

KK interview

There is a 5-page interview with Morten in the current issue of Norwegian women’s magazine KK (week 21).

A small preview of the interview is available at, along with a video from the photo shoot on KK’s Facebook page.

There is also a selection of additional photos on photographer Charlotte Spetalen’s website.

Team Magne wins The Voice final

After 18 weeks of blind auditions, battle rounds and live shows – tonight it was time for the Norwegian final of The Voice, live from Chateau Neuf in Oslo.

The show opened with Magne and the other mentors performing the Patti Smith song “Because The Night”, where they were joined by the four finalists at the end. There’s a video clip of it here.

The finalists then did a song each:

Aleksander Åsgården (Team Sondre) performed “Finer Feelings”
Hege Øversveen (Team Hanne) performed “Are You Happy”
Martin Halla (Team Magne) performed “Take It With Me”
Leif Anders Wentzel (Team Yosef) performed “Feeling Good”

After all the votes had been collected, the winner turned out to be Martin and Team Magne – and that moment can be seen here.

“Magne has been an extremely supportive mentor. He’s been available at all hours of the day”, Martin told host Øyvind Mund on stage.

When asked what will happen with Martin now, Magne said:

“I’m sure a lot of people will have an opinion on that. But I will try to do my part, to make sure he gets the best possible conditions for further growth.”

As the winner, Martin gets a Lexus car and a record contract with Universal Music.

Magne is sure to be involved in some way with the album Martin is going to make. But he is also planning to keep working with several of the other talents on his team.

“I think we’ll make an album for people really interested in music, not an album that will be ready in time for the 2012 Christmas sale”, Magne said last week, about his plans for an album with Monika Blomeid.

Magne also has plans to work more with Tini Flaat Mykland. Next month, Magne and Martin Terefe will do some recording sessions with her in Martin’s studio in London.

Go With the Flø festival 2012

The mobile horn system "Desibel" at Vevring in 2009 
(Picture from Vikebladet)

The third annual Go With the Flø art festival is held on Sunday, June 24th this year, and once again Magne will play a central part in the proceedings, newspaper Vikebladet reports.

The festival is set to open with a new piece of music composed by Magne, which will be played on the world’s largest mobile horn loudspeaker system called “Desibel” – first used by composer Maja Ratkje at the Vevring exhibition in 2009.

Magne’s composition is based on sounds recorded at a local shipyard and in the village of Flø.

British musician Robyn Hitchcock will play a special concert at the festival, and will be joined by Magne on stage, in addition to Anne Lise Frøkedal og Frode Strømstad from the band I Was a King.

Magne is also one of the artists taking part in a group exhibition at Flø, along with Bjarne Melgaard, Damien Hirst, Jim Medway and others.

One section of the exhibition is called “Go With the Flø New Talents”, and is a chance for young artists to show their works. The artists have been selected by Magne, Paul Stolper and Håvard Vikhagen.

More info about Go With The Flø can be found at

Out Of My Hands enters UK album chart

Following a solid amount of promotion, Out Of My Hands has entered the official UK album chart at #37 in its first week, selling 3,455 copies. This is his first solo album to reach the UK top 40.

Additional radio interviews with Morten this past week include BBC Radio Scotland with Janice Forsyth on May 19th (starts at 0:19) and BBC Radio Lincolnshire with James Hoggarth on May 21st (starts at 3:25).

Exhibition opening

Magne at the opening, in conversation with museum director Tone Sinding Steinsvik 
(Picture from Drammens Tidende)

Around 600 people were present at Blaafarveværket on Saturday the 19th, as the museum opened its doors for the season. One of the main attractions this year is Magne’s partly retrospective exhibition in a timber barn at the Nyfossum area of the museum.

“It’s always exciting to hold an exhibition, especially with these works that haven’t been on display for a long time”, Magne told newspaper Drammens Tidende as he arrived.

Drammens Tidende also has a picture gallery from the opening, where the guests included former prime ministers Kåre Willoch and Kjell Magne Bondevik.

Last week, had another interview with Magne in connection with the exhibition (includes a video clip).

The exhibition is open until September 23rd.

The Voice – semifinal

Monika, Magne and Martin at rehearsals earlier in the week 
(Picture from Romerikes Blad)

Last night it was time for the semifinal in The Voice, with eight contestants remaining – two on each team.

First up on Magne’s team was Monika Blomeid, performing her own song “London Bound”.

“It’s extremely important for a vocalist and performer like Monika to become good through songwriting, write good melodies. That’s often the hard part. With this song, Monika shows that she does indeed excel in her songwriting, and that she has strength and integrity in her performance”, Magne said in his comments.

Next, it was Martin Halla performing “Release Me” by Swedish band Oh Laura.

When describing Martin’s performance, Magne decided to use the ultimate compliment at his disposal:

“The last time I encountered a voice that made the impossible seem possible, it was a young man in his early twenties – named Morten Harket. Martin is very different from him, but definitely in the same league.”

The decision on who would go through to next week’s final was once again spilt between the mentors and the TV audience. Magne had the chance of giving a certain percentage of votes to his two talents, but ended up giving Monika and Martin 50% each.

“For me, this is very simple. I have believed in Monika from the very beginning and she has proven her unique qualities. Martin has gradually taken off like a rocket. I’m not able to favor any of them, so I’ll leave the decision to the audience. They both deserve a future career, and I would like to keep following them. So I give them 50/50.”

The final decision showed that Martin received a big majority of the votes from the TV audience, and he is the one who will represent Magne’s team in the final next Friday.

He is joined in the final by Leif Anders Wentzel on Yosef’s team, Hege Øversveen on Hanne’s team and Aleksander W. Åsgården on Sondre’s team.

Morten on TV Total

Cologne, May 16th

Morten was in Cologne, Germany yesterday, to be a guest on Stefan Raab’s talkshow TV Total on ProSieben.

During the interview, Raab asked Morten what the album cover was all about:

“I was in the water. I was fed up doing the regular photo shoots, and I did that with a photographer, a brilliant guy, his name is Just Loomis. He photographed us with a-ha, for the first cover we did, Hunting High And Low. So there’s a lot of history there. I met up with him in Los Angeles last year and we went for a shoot. And we ended up in the water –  well, I did, anyway”, Morten said.

You can see the whole 10-minute interview at (without dubbing).

The lady and the tramp

Arriving at the party 
(Picture from

Magne and Heidi were among the celebrities who attended hotel investor Petter Stordalen’s annual theme party in Oslo yesterday. This year the party had a farmer theme.

“We’re the lady and the tramp”, Magne told the press as they arrived.

Earlier this month, Magne also attended Petter Stordalen’s opening party for the new Clarion Hotel & Congress in Trondheim, where he is one of the artists represented on the walls (see May 3rd story).

London and Birmingham concerts

London, May 13th

Morten’s European tour ended yesterday, with a concert at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham. The setlist seems to have been the same as it has been at 17 out of 18 concerts on this tour.

Only a couple of YouTube clips so far; Out Of Blue Comes Green and Take On Me. And there’s a review from the Shropshire Star.


There’s a lot more YouTube clips from Sunday’s concert at the indigO2 in London, though. And here are some other London links:

Flickr set by “jbevans2010” gallery review

More interviews

Taking a nap on the flight from Berlin to Brussels, May 7th 
(Picture from Dagens Næringsliv)

Morten was a guest on “Good Morning Sunday” with host Aled Jones on BBC Radio 2 this morning. The interview can be heard here (starts at 2:30).

And Friday’s interview on BBC Radio Manchester can be heard here (starts at 0:11).

But keep in mind that these BBC programmes are only available for a week or so.

Absolute Radio will broadcast a 1-hour special with Morten next Thursday, May 17th. More info at

Meanwhile, the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv had a 7-page article yesterday, which followed Morten on tour in Germany last week, travelling from Düsseldorf to Dortmund, and via Peine to Berlin.

Manchester concert, May 11th

Manchester, May 11th 
(Picture from

Morten started his 3-date tour of the UK at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester yesterday.

YouTube clips so far include Crying In The Rain, Stay On These Roads, Foot Of The Mountain and Take On Me.

And there is a photo gallery at

Tomorrow he’s playing at the indigO2 in London, before this first leg of the tour ends at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham on Monday.

The Voice – episode 16

Magne with his two semifinalists; Monika Blomeid and Martin Halla 
(Picture from

Magne had three talents left on his team in yesterday’s live episode of The Voice, but only two of them would go through to next week’s semifinal.

Here are last night’s performances:

Shaun Bartlett (performing his own song “Secret Mission”)
Monika Blomeid (performing “Blowin’ In The Wind”)
Martin Halla (performing “We Found Love”)

Martin received the most audience votes, and it was up to Magne who would join him in the semifinal; Shaun or Monika.

He ended up choosing Monika, who did an amazing version of “Blowin’ In The Wind”, but said afterwards that it had been a very difficult choice:

“Shaun has been one of the best, all along. So in some ways this is unfair, but I hope to make it up to Shaun at a later point. (…) I hope I’ll be able to give him what I have of contacts and inspiration in the future”, Magne told VG.

“You never know how the audience will vote. I have been lying awake for a few nights now, thinking about this. (…) I tried to picture who would have the most to gain from this show, that’s why I chose to keep Monika”, he added to Dagbladet.

Before the show, there was a video interview with Magne on Afterwards he was interviewed by both VGTV and backstage in the Red Room studio.

Morten interviewed on the BBC

Morten on BBC Breakfast, May 11th

Morten was a guest on BBC Breakfast this morning. A video clip of the interview can be seen here.

Yesterday he was interviewed by Alan Thompson on BBC Radio Wales, which can be heard here (Part one at 1:15 and Part two at 1:45).

Asked by a listener if there are any plans to record a live album, Morten answered:

“There are no plans at the moment, but it will happen. It’s a given, I think. But not right away, as we need to get warmed up first – which we are actually starting to, you know. The machinery is starting to get oiled. We’ve done about three to four weeks now on the road and the band is coming together.”

He also expressed an interest in playing countries that haven’t been a part of the current tour:

“There are in fact, a lot of places I would really want to visit. We’re doing a run, which is mainly the waterholes of a-ha over the past years, to start with. I would love to go in and do Spain and also Italy and a number of places. I am not doing Ireland now, for instance, which I would love to.”

He was also a guest on Alan Simpson’s show on BBC Radio Ulster yesterday, available here (starts at 1:10).

Other interviews coming up include Matt White’s show on BBC Radio Manchester tonight and “Good Morning Sunday” on BBC Radio 2 this Sunday, May 13th.

Paris concert, May 9th

Paris, May 9th

Wednesday’s concert at La Cigale in Paris included an unexpected moment, when – during “Forever Not Yours” – first the lights went out, followed by the sound disappearing. There’s a clip of it here.

Thankfully, the technical problems were sorted out shortly afterwards.

Check out some good quality video clips from YouTube user “vmandrant” here, and view a photo gallery from the show at

Magne prepares exhibition at Blaafarveværket

Installing the art at Blaafarveværket yesterday 
(Picture from Drammens Tidende)

Magne visited the Blaafarveværket museum yesterday, to prepare his big – partly retrospective – summer exhibition (see Dec. 15th story) which opens next Saturday, May 19th.

Today there are interviews with him in VG, Bygdeposten and Drammens Tidende. There is also an 8-minute video interview at, where you can see many examples of what will be on display – woodcuts, graphic prints, ceramic jars and more.

Picture from Bygdeposten

“The exhibition features a lot of art from the 1990s, including series of works that have never been exhibited in Norway or Europe before. It’s been really fun to bring this out of hiding, and combine it with some of my newest works”, Magne told Bygdeposten.

The exhibition is held in an old, wooden barn, which makes for a special experience.

“It’s both exciting and challenging to work in such buildings and surroundings. When it works, which I feel it does here, it creates a great connection between the room and the artwork. And the woodcuts fit naturally together with the timber walls”, Magne says.

There is more information (in English) about the museum and exhibition at

Brussels concert, May 8th

Brussels, May 8th

Morten played at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels yesterday.

There hasn’t been much info from this concert yet, except it was the standard setlist, but there is a video clip of “Out Of Blue Comes Green” on YouTube.

You know, I wasn’t sure if Morten would be able to sing “Out Of Blue Comes Green” night after night on this tour, considering how demanding it is vocally. But he keeps delivering amazing performances of the song, as you can see in the clip.

Tour update

Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt, May 3rd 
(Picture from

Morten’s European tour continued with concerts in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Berlin last week. The 19-song setlist remains the same.

Here are some links to videos, reviews and photos:

Frankfurt, May 3rd
YouTube clips
HR1 photo gallery review/gallery
Wiesbadener Kurier review

Düsseldorf, May 4th
YouTube clips
WDR2 review review/gallery review review

Berlin, May 6th
YouTube clips
Flickr photo set by Silvia


In the album charts, Out Of My Hands falls from #1 to #6 in Norway and from #13 to #20 in Germany in its third week.

Zurich concert, May 2nd

Zurich, May 2nd

Morten played at the Volkshaus venue in Zurich, Switzerland yesterday.

Video clips so far include Crying In The Rain and Lay Me Down Tonight.

There’s also good picture gallery on Flickr.

Magne attends hotel opening

Yesterday, Magne attended the opening of the new Clarion Hotel & Congress in Trondheim, which is situated next to the Rockheim museum. There’s a small picture of him at

The hotel has spent a lot of money on its art collection, and Magne is one of the artists represented on the walls.

Tomorrow he’ll be back in Oslo for the second live show of The Voice.

Rom 13 book now available

Magne, photographed by Marcel Leliënhof

The book Rom 13, which I mentioned here on March 6th, was published in Norway on April 20th.

In the book, 22 people talk about important turning points in their lives. There are four pages about Magne, who talks about how his focus gradually shifted from music to visual arts.

The text is accompanied by a picture of Magne, wearing a paper bag on his head with an Oscar Wilde quote; “No man is rich enough to buy back his past”.

Here’s a short excerpt from the book (translated):

“It all begins with an idea. It begins when Paul, as a kid, asks me what I want to be when I grow up. It begins when I reply that I want to be a musician. That’s where it all begins. You vocalize it. Say it out loud.

My musical activities were given such a huge outlet. I would do the other stuff alone at night, in my hotel room. I drew. Scribbled. On hotel stationary. In ring binders. Notepads.

When we moved to London, I tried to sell drawings on the street to make some extra money. a-ha found success, and I gradually became more and more tired of fame. I sensed a need to start creating artwork again. As a form of therapy.

A gallerist I knew from earlier, had run into Morten Harket and asked: When is Magne going to give up this music nonsense and start doing what he’s destined to do? When Morten told me that, it hit something in me, because I had already been thinking the same thing.”

There’s a video clip from the various Rom 13 photo shoots on vimeo. Magne can be seen at 01:28. All the photos from the book/exhibition are currently being auctioned off at

The book can be ordered from

Magne and Marcel Leliënhof

Munich concert, April 30th

No surprises in the setlist at the Kesselhaus venue in Munich on Monday, it seems.

There are some pictures from the concert on this blog.

YouTube clips

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