Posts Tagged ‘bergen’

Magne appears on new Janove Ottesen album

Janove Ottesen and Magne in Bergen, May 2016.
(Posted by Ottesen on Instagram)

Kaizers Orchestra vocalist Janove Ottesen released his second solo album Artisten & Marlene in Norway on 10 February.

According to a review of the album in newspaper Fædrelandsvennen (for subscribers only), Magne makes a guest appearance on one of the songs:

“[The song] ‘I Natt Blir Du Fri’ includes some very a-ha sounding synths, played by none other than Magne Furuholmen.”

The album was recorded at Duper Studio in Bergen last year.

Ottesen posted a picture of himself and Magne on Instagram last year, in connection with the a-ha concert in Bergen in May. He also attended Apparatjik’s Day of the Dead performance the following month.

The 15-track Artisten & Marlene album is available on CD, double vinyl and digitally.

In other news, Magne appeared at the Stockholm Furniture Fair on Friday, to present his new “Imprints” limited edition rug collection. See some pictures from the furniture fair here and here.

For more info on the rug collection, check out a new interview with Magne by Architectural Digest.

Magne presents new exhibition and art book with Queen Sonja

Magne and Queen Sonja in front of one of the prints they have made together

Magne and Queen Sonja in front of one of the prints they have made together

Magne was in Bergen last weekend, to present a joint exhibition with Her Majesty Queen Sonja. The two of them have been collaborating on a new series of prints over the last year and a half, which has resulted in an exhibition called Texture.

Their work on Texture started in New York in April 2015, when they did three days of experimenting at the Universal Limited Art Editions workshop on Long Island.

“The Queen and I met about thirteen years ago at one of my exhibitions”, Magne said in an interview with Scandinavian Traveler last month. “I found her curiosity inspiring. She is dedicated in ways I rarely see in others, with an elastic and inquisitive mind. It was her curiosity that formed the basis of our artistic relationship.”

“Her personality and dedication to printmaking has allowed me to relate to her as a colleague and not as a queen. When we collaborated on prints, there was never any need to establish a set of roles. At the same time she wanted me to give her honest feedback”, Magne told A-magasinet on Friday, which featured a 12-page article about the project.

As well as opening the exhibition, they could present a brand new coffe-table book about their artistic collaboration called Grafikkens vinger. The Norwegian edition of the book, which features text by Lars Saabye Christensen, can be ordered from bokkilden.no. The book will also be released internationally.

The Texture exhibition is on display at Grieghallen in Bergen until 3 September, and can later be seen in several other cities:

– Galleri Ismene, Trondheim (23 September–23 October 2016)
– The Paul Stolper Gallery, London (27 September–23 October 2016)
– Ålesund Kunstforening, Ålesund (5 November–4 December 2016)
– Bodø Kunstforening, Bodø (9 March–2 April 2017)
– Gulden Kunstverk, Steinberg (22 April–14 May 2017)

Video clips:
Working on Texture – official video
Vestlandsrevyen – from the opening in Bergen (starts at 8 minutes)

Articles:
NRK Hordaland     Bergens Tidende     Dagbladet
Aftenposten     Budstikka     Kongehuset.no     TV2/Kongebloggen
Paris Match     A-magasinet (subscribers only)

Apparatjik’s “Day of the Dead” in Bergen

Apparatjik in Bergen, with striking visuals by Void (Picture by Thor Brødreskift)

Apparatjik in Bergen, with striking visuals by Void
(Picture by Thor Brødreskift)

Apparatjik presented a unique and captivating “Day of the Dead” performance at Grieghallen in Bergen on Friday, June 3rd, as part of Festspillene i Bergen (Bergen International Festival).

Magne Furuholmen, Martin Terefe and Jonas Bjerre were joined on stage by Spanish singer Concha Buika, a string quartet, plus Karl Oluf Wennerberg on drums and Even Ormestad on bass – all of them in appropriate face paint.

Songs played included “Deadbeat”, “Quiz Show”, “Look Kids”, “Arrow and Bow”, “Snow Crystals”, some new songs and songs by Buika in Spanish. Among the highlights was a Spanish version of Magne’s “In a Quiet Corner” – here is a little sample of it:

 
Buika’s intense presence and vocal delivery really took the show to another level, enhanced by the four solid musicians on string instruments.

The scenography by Void was amazing, with projections onto layers of see-through fabric on stage creating a stunning 3D-effect. Whereas the visuals Void created for a-ha’s “Afterglow” concert didn’t live up to the expectations, this time it really worked wonderfully.

Near the end of the show, Magne strapped on his electric guitar and rocked out with Karl Oluf and Even – listen here:

 
Although the Julia Pastrana story was merely hinted at, this was a spectacular, bizarre, funny, innovative and moving performance which will probably never be seen again in this form.

“Normally, a production like this would have been set up as a tour to try and make money on it. But we’d rather spend all the money and then some, to make it as cool as possible for one single night”, Magne told Bergensavisen.

Watch a short video clip from “Day of the Dead” on the Facebook page of Festspillene i Bergen. There’s also a photo gallery.

Earlier in the day, Magne, Martin and Jonas took a stroll around Bergen in full Apparatjik costume, together with Buika, inviting people to the concert. Bergensavisen has pictures from this and an interview with Magne. There’s also a video clip by Festspillene on Facebook.

Bergens Tidende had an interview with Buika on Friday (subscribers only), where she talked about her work with Apparatjik.

“I love this collaboration. The guys are crazy. This is one of the most incredible things I’ve done in recent years”, she says.

Buika, who first performed with Apparatjik at the opening of Fosnavåg Kulturhus in October 2014, got involved with the guys through Martin Terefe who produced her latest album.

“Martin asked me. And then Magne called. We met, and there was an instant chemistry. Magne is a maestro, a master. He is full of ideas and is able to change direction in seconds. That’s how I love to work.”

Cast In Steel tour finale in Bergen

The final concert of the Cast In Steel tour ended with fireworks

The final concert of the Cast In Steel tour ended with fireworks
(Picture by Jakob)

a-ha ended their Cast In Steel tour in Bergen on Saturday, 7 May, with an outdoor concert in front of 16,000 people at Bergenhus Festning.

The organizers took a risk when deciding to have the concert outdoors so early in the season, in a city known for getting a lot of rain, but luckily the weather turned out to be warm and sunny – something Magne joked about when he spoke to the crowd:

“Hello Bergen! This is fantastic. Welcome to the final a-ha concert……on this tour. Very nice to be invited here. And for all you who don’t speak Norwegian, who have travelled to this beautiful city; I just want to tell you that this is absolutely an ordinary spring day in Bergen. This is what it’s like all the time. You can come whenever and it will be like this. It’s a beautiful place and you need to come here more often.”

The band put on an energetic performance for an appreciative audience, making this concert a worthy ending of the Cast In Steel tour. After “Take On Me”, the night was topped off with a big display of fireworks above the stage.

The 21-song setlist was the same as it had been at every concert since early April:

1. I’ve Been Losing You
2. Cry Wolf
3. Move to Memphis
4. Stay on These Roads
5. The Swing of Things
6. Cast in Steel
7. Crying in the Rain (Morten/Anneli)
8. Mother Nature Goes to Heaven
9. We’re Looking for the Whales
10. Velvet (Paul)
11. Lifelines (Magne)
12. Here I Stand and Face the Rain (Anneli/Morten)
13. Scoundrel Days
14. Sycamore Leaves
15. She’s Humming a Tune
16. Foot of the Mountain
17. Hunting High and Low
——————
18. The Sun Always Shines on TV
19. Under the Makeup
20. The Living Daylights
——————
21. Take on Me

Magne promises a real celebration in Bergen

Picture by Nicole Mikolai

Picture by Nicole Mikolai

Bergens Tidende has an interview with Magne today, where he talks about the upcoming concert in Bergen on May 7th, which he promises will be special.

“We want to make the last concert in Bergen a real celebration. We’re planning to invite an international “mystery”-artist that people will have heard of, and we’ll also include a local hero as support act. There’s so much happening in Bergen, so we would like to find an artist that we haven’t used as support before. After Bergen there are no plans for a-ha, so this is an opportunity to really make our mark”, Magne says on the phone from Hamburg.

The “local hero” that Magne is referring to is 19-year-old singer-songwriter dePresno, while the international “mystery”-artist is yet to be announced.

“According to our own management, we’ve sold 30 percent more tickets on this tour than we did on the proper Farewell Tour in 2010. The fact that we’re able to fill the O2 in London, playing to 17,000 Englishmen, is a reminder that people still appreciate us. It’s obvious that a-ha need to disband more often.”

Picture by Nicole Mikolai

Picture by Nicole Mikolai

“Playing to full venues gives you an energy boost. There have been periods where we only played to half-full venues. That’s much sadder. But in this business you never know in advance how the turnout will be.”

On the setlist being static:

“I don’t feel that it is. It’s hard to avoid playing the biggest hits, but on the current tour we’re playing songs that we’ve never or barely played before. We have also cut “Summer Moved On” and “Manhattan Skyline”, to mention two of the more well-known songs. I feel the current setlist is significantly darker than in 2010. We have to find the right balance. A song will improve when performed often, but we should also be careful not to fall asleep at the wheel.”

On his and Paul’s solo section:

“That was a conscious decision. On this tour we’re doing more than 50 shows. We felt that Morten’s voice needed to withstand the strain, so halfway through the show Paul sings “Velvet” and I sing “Lifelines”. That way Morten gets to rest his voice.”

On the Blick interview:

“Even on a good day Morten is very unpredictable in interview settings. That interview came out wrong. Because nothing has changed. We’re touring until Bergen, then it’s over. We have no musical plans together after that. But we will never say never again.”

Around 15,000 tickets have been sold for the Bergen concert on May 7th so far, although the Bergenhus Festning outdoor venue has a capacity of 22,000. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.no.

Apparatjik to perform at Bergen International Festival in June

Magne Furuholmen, Martin Terefe, Concha Buika and Jonas Bjerre, as they are presented on the Bergen International Festival's website

Magne Furuholmen, Martin Terefe, Concha Buika and Jonas Bjerre, as they are presented on the Bergen International Festival’s website

In addition to being the new chairman for Bergen International Festival, Magne will also be performing at this year’s festival together with Apparatjik.

This will be a special performance, inspired by the true story of “the ape woman” Julia Pastrana, where Magne, Jonas Bjerre and Martin Terefe will be joined by Concha Buika and Void. Some info from the festival’s website:

The Day of the Dead is a colorful Mexican festival that eases the spiritual passing of those who have died. This festival is central when Apparatjik, in collaboration with Void and Mexican artists Laura Anderson Barbata and Concha Buika, present a staged concert production to honor Julia Pastrana both as an individual and an artist.

“The story of Julia Pastrana is one of the most fascinating stories I have ever come across, both as an artist and as a fellow human being”, Magne said back in 2013, when he announced plans of an opera based on the Julia Pastrana story.

The Apparatjik performance will be held at Grieghallen on 3 June 2016. Tickets are available now from billettservice.no.

Magne appointed new chairman for Bergen International Festival

Magne interviewed in Bergen, 2 February

Magne interviewed in Bergen, 2 February

Magne Furuholmen has been appointed new chairman for Festspillene i Bergen (Bergen International Festival), for the period 2016 – 2019.

This was announced at a press conference in Bergen today, where Magne was present alongside the festival’s artistic director Anders Beyer.

For two weeks in May and June each year, Bergen International Festival presents a variety of performances within music, theatre, dance, opera and visual art. Being the chairman is a prestigious position, which will take up much of Magne’s time in the coming years.

The Norwegian Minister of Culture, Linda Hofstad Helleland, says in a press release posted on a-ha.com:

Bergen International Festival is a central power source in Norwegian art and culture, and I am pleased that one of Norway’s foremost and versatile artists has accepted the important position of chairman. With his international network and wide experience, Magne Furuholmen will strengthen the Festival in the years to come.

Magne himself says he is honoured to accept the new position:

The position as chairman for Bergen International Festival is a great honour and a prestigious national responsibility. The high level of artistic quality maintained throughout the years is very impressive. My role as chairman will be to facilitate further development of the festival’s international orientation, and build on the good work by the administration and former chairman.

Magne tells Bergensavisen that he was surprised when he was asked to take the position a few weeks ago:

“I didn’t say yes right away. This was a question that I needed some time to think about. I was worried whether I was ready for such a big task. At the same time I felt I would have been a coward if I declined.”

Bergen International Festival 2016 is held from 25 May to 8 June.

Links to Norwegian media coverage:
NRK Hordaland: Vil gjøre Festspillene til verdens viktigste festival
Bergensavisen: – Ville vært feigt å si nei
Bergens Tidende: A-ha-Magne blir ny leder for Festspillene
Vårt Land: Furuholmen: – Ville vært feigt å si nei
Dagbladet: A-ha-stjerne blir styreleder for Festspillene i Bergen
Budstikka: a-ha-Furuholmen ny styreleder for Festspillene

Video: NRK Vestlandsrevyen

a-ha interviewed by Bergensavisen

One of the reporters who interviewed a-ha at the press conference in Bergen last week was Ørjan Nilsson from Bergensavisen (BA). Below are a few translated quotes from that interview. The original video can be seen at ba.no.

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BA: Morten, you’re the one who’s been closest to the a-ha material during the last five years, as you played a selection of a-ha songs on your solo tour in 2012. What’s the biggest difference between playing a-ha songs with Paul and Magne and playing without them?

Morten: I might be tempted to say something funny here (laughs). No, but playing without them will never be a-ha for me, or anyone else. If I’m backed by another band on stage, that’s not a-ha. Not today and not tomorrow. That’s just how it is. At the same time, a-ha is a big part of my identity, so it isn’t necessarily wrong to play those songs [at solo concerts]. In certain settings it could be the right thing to do.

When I was planning my first solo tour [after a-ha split up] in 2012, there was a lot of pressure from promoters who wanted me to play a-ha songs, as they felt that the audience would expect that. I disagreed with them, as we had already toured a lot with a-ha [in the years prior]. It’s not like the fans don’t want to hear the a-ha songs, but when I go on a solo tour they’re coming to hear my solo material.

So that was a difficult decision to make, because it’s not wrong to play the songs per se, they are important songs to me. At the same time, there needs to be a solid identity to what you’re doing. So I let go of that on the next tour, with the Brother album, and that is the right thing to do. But exceptions may occur. There may be situations where it feels appropriate [to do a-ha songs].

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BA: 2015 is quite an anniversary year for a-ha, in connection with Hunting High and Low and “Take On Me”. But you have also released new deluxe editions of Memorial Beach and East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon. What’s it been like to revisit that material, which fans don’t get to hear too often at concerts?

Magne: Well, I wouldn’t say that it’s something we have released, it’s rather Warner Brothers who have chosen to put together these reissues. But there aren’t too many albums that get such a treatment, so I’d have to say that I’m proud that they’re celebrating material that we did 30 years ago. And they’re not doing this just to be nice, it’s because they see that there’s still a lot of love for the band, around the world.

And of course a lot of demos and unreleased material has been added. For each new reissue, increasingly more obscure things are uncovered. I can imagine the 50th anniversary, when we begin to search the very bottom of our drawers for unreleased stuff (laughs). But it’s definitely an honour for us.

Morten: That is a dilemma for us as a band, though. I think all three of us would like to play other songs than just the most well-known. At the same time, people are going to a concert with certain expectations, and it would be wrong not to cater to that. But we would gladly have done a tour where we only play the more “hidden” songs. That would have been an exciting tour.

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Paul: We have done deluxe editions before, and now we’re even releasing super deluxe editions (laughs). But I actually think it’s very cool, because a lot of those old demos, even if they aren’t that fancy, they contain the very core of a-ha – often more so than the finished versions.

BA: It’s been 28 years since your first concert in Bergen, at Bergenshallen on 1 February 1987. What do you remember from back then?

Morten: I’m drawing a complete blank here.

Magne: I can’t say that I remember much details.

Paul: I remember playing tennis before the concert.

Morten: You remember that?!

Paul: Yeah, I actually do (laughs).

Morten: You’re fucking weird.

Magne: So that was apparently the highlight for you – nailing that serve (laughs).

Paul: Yes!

Concerts announced in Stavanger and Bergen

a-ha in Bergen, 8 December

a-ha meeting the press in Bergen, 8 December

a-ha were in Bergen today, to announce the final concert of the Cast In Steel Tour, which will be held at the 22,000-capacity outdoor venue Koengen on 7 May 2016.

They will also do a concert in Stavanger on 6 May 2016, at the 4,500-capacity indoor arena DNB Arena. Update (9 Dec.): Due to high demand, an extra concert has been added in Stavanger on 5 May.

“Bergen is an important city where we’ve always had a good time, so this time we decided to end the tour here”, Magne said.

“We won’t have the opportunity to tour Norway more extensively this time around, but what we’ve been able to do is extend the tour by one week. Initially we booked the two nights at Oslo Spektrum and now we’ve added these two shows. But beyond that our schedules won’t allow us to add any more”, Morten added.

A video of the Bergen press conference + an interview with the guys can be seen at ba.no. There is also another press conference/interview video at bt.no and a radio interview at nrk.no.

Following the Bergen press conference, the guys headed for Stavanger to meet the local media there as well. A video from their visit at the DNB Arena this afternoon can be seen at aftenbladet.no.

The fan presale started earlier today. Ticket prices in Bergen are 685 kroner (£52) for standing tickets and 1250 kr (£95) for golden circle tickets.

Stavanger will be all-seated, with ticket prices ranging between 680 kr (£52) to 1540 kr (£118).

Tickets for all three concerts go on general sale on Thursday, 10 December at 9am CET through Billettservice.

Morten back in the studio

Haugesund, September 26th (From YouTube video by Iwona Magdzinska)

Morten on stage in Haugesund, September 26th
(From YouTube video by Iwona Magdzinska)

Morten was back in Sweden last week, working on new music with Peter Kvint.

“I’m back in the studio with Peter and we’re trying out some stuff. I can’t say that much about it now, but it will be out at some point”, Morten told Radio 102 ahead of his concert in Haugesund.

Peter Kvint also joined Morten at the concerts in Norway this weekend, filling in for Vicky Singh on guitar, while Rickard Nilsson filled in for Christer Karlsson on keyboard.

In the Radio 102 interview, Morten also mentioned that he’s keen on more touring:

“I’m proud of my band, they are excellent musicians. And they have chosen to go on tour with me, even though they could have played with anyone they wanted. They really want to do this, so I would have liked to play even more together with them. I would actually have preferred to do a more extensive tour than we’ve done so far”.

The studio session was also mentioned in an interview with Fædrelandsvennen (subscribers only), in connection with his concert in Kristiansand.

Recent Norwegian concerts – media links:

Bergen, 19 September:
YouTube videos   Bergensavisen review   Hissig.no review
Musikknyheter.no review   Gaffa.no review

Stavanger, 20 September:
YouTube videos   Rogalands Avis article

Haugesund, 26 September:
“Spanish Steps” live   Morten arriving at the airport
Haugesunds Avis interview

Kristiansand, 27 September:
“Los Angeles” live

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