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.

Apparatjik events in Sweden and Poland

Exhibition poster

This month marks the 10th anniversary of Apparatjik, as their very first single “Ferreting” was released in September 2008.

Tomorrow a retrospective exhibition of Apparatjik’s various projects over the years, with graphic prints and video installations, will open at Pumphuset gallery in Landskrona, Sweden. The exhibition will also feature new graphic prints, created in collaboration with the New York-based artist Foxito.

Magne, Martin and Jonas was at the gallery yesterday to meet the local press. A picture was posted on Magne’s Instagram and articles later appeared on the websites of Helsingborgs Dagblad and Landskrona Direkt.

The Pumphuset exhibition will be on display until 28 October.

There will also be a retrospective Apparatjik exhibition as part of the MDF Festival in Szczecin, Poland, opening on 19 September:

This exhibition presents a retrospective look at visual works, objects, books and films from the Apparatjik oeuvre. Part of the exhibition is an experimental typographic poster wall by students of Prof. Sven Völker from the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam. Using words and sentences from old newspaper articles about Julia Pastrana, the work creates a fresh portrait of the life and death of an exceptional woman.

And as previously mentioned, Apparatjik will also be performing during the MDF Festival, on Sunday 23 September at the Szczecin Philharmonic Hall.

The first part of the concert is called “The Sound of Szczecin”, and has been created in a partly similar way as “The Sound of Fosnavåg” four years ago, in collaboration with Audiokolor:

This composition is the result of an exceptional project carried out on 17th and 18th April 2018 in Szczecin. The city streets were cruised by specially marked cars equipped with devices collecting geodata from the streets, which were later transformed into binary codes, and these – into music codes. (…) The piece will be performed for the first time during the final of the MUSIC.DESIGN.FORM festival by the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and the synth-pop group Apparatjik. It will be a unique opportunity to hear how Szczecin sounds.

The second part of the concert is called “A Heroine for our time – the artist Julia Pastrana”, and will once again feature special guest Concha Buika on vocals:

“A Heroine for our time – artist Julia Pastrana” is the world premiere of the orchestral version of the song “Heroine of our time”, based on musical material for an upcoming opera detailing the tragic life of Mexican circus artist Julia Pastrana. The story of a peculiar woman with a beard, her fate and loneliness, will be told by music and light images created jointly by Apparatjik, Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, as well as Concha Buika – a Spanish vocalist and composer.

A video clip of Rune Bergmann and Magne talking about the upcoming Szczecin performance can be seen here.

The story of Julia Pastrana was also the inspiration for Apparatjik’s “Day of the Dead”-performance with Buika in Bergen two years ago. Buika’s latest single “Deadbeat”, released in June, is a cover version of the Apparatjik song from 2010.

Bridges album release in Trondheim

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Viggo Bondi, Magne Furuholmen and Øystein Jevanord at the “Våkenatt” album launch in Trondheim yesterday

All four members of Bridges were at the Rockheim museum of popular Norwegian music in Trondheim yesterday, for the official release of their second album Våkenatt. Originally intended for release in 1981, as the follow-up to 1980’s Fakkeltog, the album is finally seeing the light of day this week, 37 years later.

The band members talked to the press and signed copies of the vinyl box set for fans who had pre-ordered it. An NRK TV news report from the event can be seen here (starts at 04:12).

“For me this is not just an historical document, but a new release. When I sat down to have a proper listen to the music again a couple of years ago, I was shocked by how good it sounded. We were an incredibly tight band, and this was music recorded live by four guys in a studio. We would often nail a song on the first or second take”, Paul told Aftenposten in an interview last week.

Mixing the album was done over a few days in Paul’s New York studio, and he wanted to keep things simple.

“I didn’t want the music to sound too modern, even if that would have been possible now. That’s why I came up with a dogma that only equipment invented and available pre-1981 could by used when doing the mix. That became my way of doing it. To make the album sound as good as possible, but not by cheating.”

 
When asked if there’s more to come from Bridges, Paul says:

“There are a few more songs [in the archives], but they didn’t fit in and would have been wrong to include on this album. Playing this material live again would have been cool, obviously, but it would be quite an undertaking to pull it off.”

“In any event, it feels really good and fitting to release it now. Many will view this as the story of an album being released 38 years later, but personally I’m just a really big fan of the album itself”, Paul told Aftenposten.

900 vinyl copies of the Våkenatt album have been pressed in total, of which 700 numbered copies are available for sale. The album can be ordered from Rockheim Musical Archives.

The album has already received in-depth reviews in English by Greg Lansdowne for The Electricity Club and by Christopher Hopkins for Campaign For More a-ha Remastered Deluxes.

Links:
NRK: Forgjengeren til A-ha ute med skjult album – 38 år etter at de laget det
Dagsavisen: Broen over til a-ha (paywall)
Aftenposten: Forløperen til A-ha slippes nå – etter 38 år (paywall)
Adresseavisen: – De prøvde å ta musikken vår til utlandet. Vi burde jo bare ha dytta etter (paywall)

a-ha in Hamar, 14 August

Hamar, 14 August 2018
(Picture by Jakob)

a-ha were back in Norway yesterday, to play in front of 10.000 people at the main square in Hamar – the first of four outdoor shows in their home country this week.

The setlist included the same 18 songs that have been played at almost every show on the summer tour, but the song order in the first half of the set had been shuffled around compared to last month.

The band was in fine form and there was a great energy coming from the crowd. Here’s a video clip of Minor Earth Major Sky live in Hamar.

Morten struggled with some sound issues and at one point told the FOH engineer that he couldn’t hear himself due to “strange frequencies” at the front. Magne jokingly suggested the whole audience could all move one metre to the side to correct the issue.

The tour continues in Trondheim tonight, with two festivals in Ålesund and Bodø to follow this weekend.

 
Hamar setlist:
1. Cry Wolf
2. The Blood That Moves The Body
3. The Weight of the Wind
4. Minor Earth Major Sky
5. Crying in the Rain
6. Foot of the Mountain
7. Analogue
8. Lifelines
9. Train of Thought
10. Stay on These Roads
11. Sycamore Leaves
12. Manhattan Skyline
13. Hunting High and Low
14. I’ve Been Losing You
15. The Sun Always Shines on TV
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
16. Scoundrel Days
17. The Living Daylights
18. Take on Me

Links:
Stangeavisa: a-ha fenget fansen

Electric Summer video playlist

Ra’anana Park Amphitheater in Tel Aviv on 21 June
(Screenshot from YouTube video by Yuval Erel)

The Electric Summer tour resumes tomorrow night, at the unique Dalhalla outdoor venue in Sweden, followed by Kongsberg Jazz Festival in Norway on Friday.

Here’s a collection of good quality YouTube-videos from the Electric Summer tour in June. Includes all 19 songs performed so far, taken from all of the eight cities visited, from Canterbury to Tel Aviv:

1. Cry Wolf – live in Tel Aviv
2. The Blood That Moves The Body – live in Canterbury
3. Minor Earth Major Sky – live in Doncaster
4. Lifelines – live in Yeovil
5. The Weight of the Wind – live in Blackpool
6. Crying in the Rain – live in Cork
7. Foot of the Mountain – live in Tel Aviv
8. Analogue – live in Blackpool
9. Train of Thought – live in Doncaster
10. Stay on These Roads – live in Tel Aviv
11a. This is Our Home – live in Yeovil
11b. Sycamore Leaves – live in Blackpool
12. Manhattan Skyline – live in Cork
13. Hunting High and Low – live in Tel Aviv
14. I’ve Been Losing You – live in Tel Aviv
15. The Sun Always Shines on TV – live in Darlington
16. Scoundrel Days – live in Blackpool
17. The Living Daylights – live in Cambridge
18. Take On Me – live in Darlington

There are also a few compilation videos worth checking out; from Cork and Tel Aviv.

Thanks to the uploaders.

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