“Hunting High And Low – The Early Alternate Mixes” vinyl release

Album cover

A special a-ha vinyl album, Hunting High And Low – The Early Alternate Mixes, will be released in connection with the upcoming Record Store Day 2019 on April 13th.

The 10-track album (1LP, black vinyl) will include the same alternate mixes first released on disc 4 of the 30th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition of Hunting High And Low in 2015, and comes with an alternate cover image from the original album cover shoot by Just Loomis.

According to the Record Store Day website, the release will be limited to 6000 copies worldwide.

Tracklist:
1. Take On Me (Video Version) [2015 Remastered]
2. Train Of Thought (Early Mix) [2015 Remastered]
3. Hunting High And Low (Early Mix) [2015 Remastered]
4. The Blue Sky (Alternate Long Mix) [2015 Remastered]
5. Living A Boy’s Adventure Tale (Early Mix) [2015 Remastered]
6. The Sun Always Shines On T.V. (Alternate Early Mix) [2015 Remastered]
7. And You Tell Me (Early Mix) [2015 Remastered]
8. Love Is Reason (Early Mix) [2015 Remastered]
9. Dream Myself Alive (Early “NYC” Mix) [2015 Remastered]
10. Here I Stand And Face The Rain (Early Mix) [2015 Remastered]

This will be third a-ha release in connection with Record Store Day, following the “Take On Me” 7″ picture disc in 2015 and the a-ha hits South America 12″ live EP in 2016, which were limited to 3000 copies each.

See a list of participating record stores in your area here.

The Voice: week 2 and 3

Morten and Yosef in last Friday’s episode

Over the last couple of weeks, seven new talents have joined Team Morten. They are:

Marie Øvstebø
Sebastian Hågensen
Cecilie Haukland
Marta Hagen
June Salomonsen
Hanna Solemdal
Trina Coleman

Trina Coleman in particular, could turn out to be one of the favorites this season.

When discussing how the various song choices during the blind auditions could impact their decisions, Morten said that he had an advantage over the other mentors:

“My great advantage is that I rarely listen to music at all. So for me, all the songs are more or less unknown.”

To see video clips of all the performances so far, go to TV2’s YouTube channel.

The Voice: week 1

Back in the red chair

The fifth season of The Voice started airing on TV2 this week, with the first two blind audition episodes on Monday and Friday.

So far Morten has ended up with three talents for his team, Lene has five, while Yosef and Martin both have two.

As with the previous season, TV2 will be posting all the performances on YouTube. Here are the video clips of this week’s talents, backed by a band featuring a-ha’s Karl Oluf Wennerberg on drums:

Helene Seljehaug – Yosef
Silje Rubin – Lene
Carl-Christian Grimstad – Martin
Marius Brynjulfsen – Lene
Martine Kristofa Rygvold – none
Steffi Jo Buie – Morten

Kristin Husøy – Yosef
Martin Løvereide Lindtner – none
Ida Ganes – Lene
Edward Mustad – Morten
Oline Rørstad Bredeli – none
Charlotte Marie Hjelmeland – Lene
Ray Hardy Johansen – Morten
Amanda Rusti – Martin
Mina Lund – Lene

Magne working on new solo album

Left to right: Thomas Vincent Furuholmen, Even Ormestad, Morten Qvenild, Tor Einar Jensen, Bjarne Stensli and Magne F. (See large version on Karl Oluf’s Instagram)

Magne has been up in the mountains at Norefjell this past week, to work on what seems to be a new solo album. Norefjell is an area where he owns two cabins, and it looks like he may have converted one of them into a recording studio.

He was joined by the whole a-ha backing band from last year’s Electric Summer tour, including the string trio, the only difference being that Ingvild Nesdal Sandnes played the cello instead of Tove Margrethe Erikstad. Magne’s son Thomas Vincent was also there, along with Magne’s ever-present assistant Tor Einar Jensen.

“It’s new Magne F Music. Really good songs!”, Karl Oluf Wennerberg said in an Instagram comment.

According to a Facebook post by catering firm Food Occasion, which delivered food to the recording session, Magne’s solo album will be released sometime in 2020.

Sound engineer Bjarne Stensli was also part of the recording session. He is the former drummer of Harrys Gym, whose original debut album was co-produced by Magne at Kensaltown back in 2006/07 (that version of the album ended up being shelved, as the band re-recorded the whole album themselves).

Several pictures from the recording session at Norefjell have been posted on Instagram by Karl Oluf Wennerberg, Madeleine Ossum and Emilie Heldal Lidsheim.

The Voice: Fifth season premiere date

From the new season: Martin Bjercke, Yosef Wolde-Mariam, Lene Marlin and Morten Harket with host Øyvind Mund. (Picture: TV2)

The fifth season of the Norwegian version of The Voice, where Morten returns as one of the four mentors, will premiere on TV2 on Monday, 14 January.

A short promo clip has been posted on the show’s Instagram.

Blind audition episodes will air both Mondays and Fridays for the first five weeks. After that, starting on 22 February, the show will only air on Fridays – up until the season finale on 31 May.

Meanwhile, eight studio tapings of the upcoming Knockout and Battle rounds will take place at Nydalen Studios in Oslo in the coming weeks, starting this Wednesday:

9 January: 16:00 and 19:00 (Knockout)
12 January: 16:00 and 19:00 (Knockout)
23 January: 16:00 and 18:15 (Battle)
25 January: 16:00 and 18:15 (Battle)

Free audience tickets are available through universe.com.

a-ha on BBC’s The One Show

a-ha on The One Show, November 9th

a-ha made an appearance on BBC’s The One Show on Friday night, performing “Take On Me” live with an orchestra outside the BBC Broadcasting House in London.

The performance, for which both Magne and Paul had brought out their custom Everly Brothers acoustic guitars, can be seen on YouTube.

This was in connection with tickets for next year’s Hunting High and Low tour going on sale, as well as the release of a new compilation album called 80’s Symphonic, on which “Take On Me” is one of 15 songs from the 80’s where the original vocal track has been combined with new string arrangements, recorded at Abbey Road by the 50-piece London Studio Orchestra.

The 80’s Symphonic album is available now from amazon.co.uk and amazon.de.

While in London, Magne also attended the Queen Sonja Print Award 2018 ceremony at the Royal Academy of Arts on Thursday night. Magne is on the board of directors of the award, which was presented to Canadian artist Emma Nishimura this year.

2019 tour will focus on Hunting High and Low

New promo shot by Stian Andersen

Today it was announced that next year’s 15-date a-ha tour will focus on playing their debut album Hunting High and Low in full, along with a selection of other songs. And thereby crushing any hopes of a new a-ha studio album next year.

“Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy will be performing in An Evening With format, with an interval. For the first half of the concert, they will play new and old, familiar and less-familiar songs. Then, after returning to the stage, they will play the ten songs of their 1985 debut album Hunting High And Low in the running order of the original release.”

Some fans may feel this is quite an unimaginative move, considering this will be the third tour in a row not supporting a new studio album and the fact they’ve already done Hunting High and Low-concerts in Oslo and London back in 2010, while others – who perhaps missed out the first time – will be looking forward to hearing some songs that are seldom played live.

The full list of tour dates:

29 October: 3Arena, Dublin, Ireland
30 October: SSE Arena, Belfast, UK
01 November: The Armadillo, Glasgow, UK
02 November: First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK
05 November: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK
06 November: Brighton Centre, Brighton, UK
08 November: AFAS Live, Amsterdam, Netherlands
09 November: Seine Musicale, Paris, France
12 November: SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany
13 November: Leipzig Arena, Leipzig, Germany
15 November: König Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Germany
16 November: ÖVB Arena, Bremen, Germany
18 November: Torwar Arena, Warsaw, Poland
20 November: Ice Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia
22 November: Crocus City Hall, Moscow, Russia

There will be a fan presale later this week, before the general ticket sale starts on November 9th.

New a-ha tour in 2019

Back on the road in 2019

Although a-ha have done two major tours this year; the MTV Unplugged Tour and the Electric Summer Tour, the band will be going on the road again in October and November 2019, the official site announced on Friday:

The tour will take place in October and November of 2019. We will be announcing all the dates and cities at once, several days in advance of the ticket on sale, which starts November 9th. The venues will be all seated. And the band will be returning to a few cities they haven’t played in over 15 years!

Over the coming days, we will reveal a new tour city each day on Instagram and Twitter. Be sure to follow along and share in the excitement as we count down to the full announcement in early November!

Four cities have already been announced: Dublin, Bremen, Glasgow and Paris, with more cities to follow in the coming days.

But what kind of tour is it? Will it be in connection with a new a-ha album?

No one knows for sure yet, but Morten was at Peter Kvint’s Studio Brun in Stockholm earlier this month. In addition to being the place where Morten has recorded much of his solo work in recent years, Studio Brun is also where parts of a-ha’s Cast In Steel album was recorded in 2014/15.

Meanwhile, Paul has been working in the studio in New York with engineer Chuck Zwicky. In addition to assisting on Savoy and Waaktaar & Zoe projects, Zwicky also worked on the Cast In Steel album.

Magne in 55pluss magazine

Magazine cover

Magne is on the cover of the latest issue of 55pluss, a Norwegian magazine for – you guessed it – people over the age of 55.

Inside there is an 8-page interview about his art career, in which he talks about past projects such as “Payne’s Gray” and “Climax”, as well as new series of artworks including “Stigma” (woodcuts), “Spina” (etchings) and “Queen vs Queen” (sculptures).

The interview was done before the opening of his solo exhibition of new works at Bærum Kunstforening on 3 May this year.

A shortened version of the same interview has previously been published by the online art magazine PLNTY.

This summer, in between a-ha concerts, Magne held three further solo exhibitions around Norway:

23 June – 5 August: “Sorgenfrei”, Galleri Jennestad, Sortland
16 August – 16 September: “Stigma”, Galleri Ismene, Trondheim
19 August – 16 September: “Icon”, Haugesund Billedgalleri, Haugesund

The Voice tickets now available

Ready for another season

Morten has signed on for another season of The Voice, with blind auditions starting at H3 Arena in Oslo in November.

Free tickets for 8 different tapings are now available through universe.com.

Here are the blind audition taping dates:
15 November: 16:00 and 19:00
18 November: 16:00 and 19:00
22 November: 16:00 and 19:00
25 November: 16:00 and 19:00

The fifth season will probably start airing on TV2 sometime in January/February 2019, with live shows starting in April and the final sometime in May/June.

The same four mentors will return this season, meaning Morten will be joined once again by Lene Marlin, Yosef Wolde-Mariam and Martin Bjercke.

Powered by WordPress