Posts Tagged ‘magne furuholmen’

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.

VG interview: a-ha are open for more

Munich, April 6th (Picture by Nicole Mikolai)

Munich, April 6th
(Picture by Nicole Mikolai)

VG has published a new interview with a-ha today, which was done after the concert in Berlin on Wednesday.

Asked about last week’s much debated Blick-interview, Morten says the comment about a-ha being a finished chapter was taken completely out of context:

“I don’t mean what’s written in there at all. I’m on tour with the band, having a great time and thinking that we should really be grateful that we get to experience this. Why would I have kept going together with the other two if it wasn’t meaningful to me? It’s been 30 years since we started and the fact that we still get to do it is not something you can take for granted”, Morten tells VG backstage in Berlin.

Magne describes the controversy surrounding the Blick-interview as a “storm in a teacup”, but he also feels it was necessary to set things straight with an official statement:

“That was mostly directed at the fans, as we don’t want them to believe that we don’t appreciate them. Because we do. It’s an incredible privilege to be able to embark on a tour and get such a fantastic reception, after 30 years. We may have taken this for granted in the past, but when you’ve been away from it for a while you’re more humbled by it”, Magne says.

Munich, April 6th (Picture by Nicole Mikolai)

Munich, April 6th
(Picture by Nicole Mikolai)

After the tour ends in Bergen on May 7th, Magne will be busy finishing his sculpture park at Fornebuporten, which should be ready by June 9th, Paul will release the new Savoy album, while Morten will take a long holiday.

Manager Harald Wiik says Morten may release new music and do solo concerts in 2017, although there are no specific plans at the moment. There are also some non-music related projects in the works.

Munich, April 6th (Picture by Nicole Mikolai)

Munich, April 6th
(Picture by Nicole Mikolai)

All three of them are open to the idea of more a-ha at some point down the line:

Morten: “That’s open for speculation, of course. When you’ve been working with music almost non-stop since the late 70s, the likelihood of it continuing is greater than the opposite.”

Magne: “I said I wasn’t open for anything five years ago, and I have been proven wrong. I haven’t thought of this as a farewell tour, as we’ve already done that. After this tour ends we don’t have any plans. So that leaves an open book. But we’re constantly getting lots of new requests and offers. Sometimes it’s easy to say no, while other times it’s very difficult.”

Paul: “One thing you can be sure of; if we get excited about a new song, we’re back in business. Regardless of what may have been said before.”

“Marginalia” opens in Oslo

Magne and Lars Saabye Christensen have collaborated on 27 monotypes together

Magne and Lars Saabye Christensen have collaborated on 27 monotypes together

Magne’s latest exhibition Marginalia, for which he has collaborated with renowned Norwegian author Lars Saabye Christensen, opened on Thursday 4 February at Galleri Norske Grafikere in Oslo.

Marginalia consists of a selection of monotypes on paper they have worked on together, where Saabye Christensen has contributed sentences in Norwegian, plus Magne’s own larger monotypes on canvas, where he has used words in English.

The artist and the author

The artist and the author in front of their works
(Picture by NTB Scanpix)

“We speak the same language. We wanted to do something together in the same room, combining Magne’s visual world and my own literary world”, Saabye Christensen says in an interview with NTB.

The idea for the exhibition came about through what they call a “common grieving process”, after the film version of Saabye Christensen’s book Beatles didn’t end up as they had hoped. “Not all visions were realized”, Magne says dryly.

This is not the first time the two of them have worked together. In addition to composing the score for Beatles in 2014, Magne composed the score for Ti Kniver i Hjertet (with Kjetil Bjerkestrand) in 1994, which was based on a book by Saabye Christensen.

When Magne held his Foci exhibition in 2004, Saabye Christensen wrote the foreword in the exhibition catalogue. And in 1991 he collaborated with a-ha on the NRK TV special Østenfor sol og vestenfor måne.

Marginalia is open until 28 February.

Media coverage:
TV: NRK Østlandssendingen
Radio: P2-portrettet (25-minute interview with Magne)
Instagram: Picture 1    Picture 2

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

“Flags In The Air”

Cover artwork

Cover artwork

Magne’s youngest son Filip Clements has recently been posting some of his own music on Soundcloud. The latest track “Flags In The Air” is a song written by Magne, and recorded as a duet between the two of them.

Magne posted a link to the song on Instagram today:

“hohoho…as a little yule-tide treat, head over to soundcloud – for a father/son duet of ‘flags in the air’. i originally wrote this song for the a-ha album, but no one else wanted it on the record, so instead here is a demo to complete(?) your happy holidays. 🎅 merry xmas to my loyal insta-followers!”

a-ha.com has additional info about the song, including the lyrics.

‘Beatles’ released on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD

Blu-ray cover

Blu-ray cover

The Norwegian movie Beatles, for which Magne composed the score, is finally being released on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow, November 9th.

Update: The movie is also available as Video on Demand (VOD) in Norway through iTunes, Google Play, Altibox, Viaplay, SF Anytime, Canal Digital, Riks TV, Homebase, Get and NextGenTel.

The movie, which premiered in August 2014, was originally scheduled for a home video release last year, but with box office results weaker than expected the release was delayed until now.

The bonus material consists of a 10-minute visit on the set and a 30-minute “making-of”, which includes a few minutes about Magne’s work on the score and the recording process at Abbey Road Studios.

The Blu-ray and DVD are now available to order from platekompaniet.no (ships within Norway) and CDON.com (ships within Europe). But the movie does not have English subtitles, only Norwegian and Danish.

Update: However, Beatles will also be released internationally as VOD on iTunes and Google Play (with English subtitles) on 9 January 2016.

Magne’s score was released digitally as a 17-track album in September 2014 and is available on iTunes. Magne’s own thoughts on the movie, which he wasn’t entirely happy with, can be read in a transcript from last year’s a-ha fan convention in Oslo.

Magne on Lindmo

Magne on Lindmo, 24 October

Magne on Lindmo, 24 October

Magne was a guest on the NRK1 talkshow Lindmo tonight, to talk about his upcoming sculpture park and a-ha’s recent tour in South America.

“The South American tour was overwhelming, but somewhat touching as well. You don’t expect that kind of reception, after having been apart for years. There was a surprising level of interest from the audience. Even Morten said that he hadn’t experienced anything like it since the 1980s”, Magne said.

The episode can be seen at tv.nrk.no.

Magne in ‘Datoen’ documentary

Magne returns to Manglerud where he grew up

Magne returns to Manglerud where he grew up

The previously mentioned episode of Datoen where Magne appears, aired on NRK1 in Norway last Sunday.

Each episode of the documentary series follows three different people who were born on the same date, and shows us how their lives took different paths.

Magne talks about some of the events that shaped his life; the death of his father, meeting Paul and later Morten, the early years with a-ha in the UK, and his relationship with Heidi. He also makes a visit to the house at Manglerud where he grew up, for the first time since he was 13-14 years old.

The whole one-hour episode is available to watch at tv.nrk.no.

a-ha to end ‘Cast In Steel’ Tour in Oslo

a-ha in Oslo Spektrum, December 2010

a-ha in Oslo Spektrum, December 2010
(Picture by Jakob)

A concert at Oslo Spektrum on Saturday 30 April 2016, was announced today. This will be the last concert of the Cast In Steel Tour according to the official site, and is to be held on the same day as the next a-ha fan convention in Oslo.

“It would have been very strange not to bring the tour back home to Norway. After all we’re touring with a big arena production and there have been lots of offers coming in here at home”, Magne tells VG today.

This will be a-ha’s ninth concert at Oslo Spektrum, and marks the 25th anniversary of their two opening concerts of the then-brand-new venue in January 1991.

“We have basically done it all in Norway; there isn’t much we haven’t tried, after having played everything from the gigantic concert at Frognerparken to small club gigs. Therefore it was natural to connect this to another anniversary”, he says.

Magne also says he’s really pleased with how the new album has been received:

“It’s fantastic to have the album go top 10 both in the UK, Germany and here at home, and it’s so exciting to see all the interest surrounding the band, 30 years after we started. We took nothing for granted in the years we were gone, but we’re sensing a very positive vibe around the band. This is the rewarding part of being an a-ha member; sold out venues, big enthusiasm and much affection from the fans”.

The a-ha.com member pre-sale for Oslo Spektrum begins Wednesday September 16 at 9am, while general tickets go on sale Friday September 18 at 9am.

Surprisingly, it looks like the concert will be seated audience only, with tickets for the first three rows costing 1500 kroner (£120). a-ha have never played a concert for an all-seated audience in Norway before, apart from the HHAL/SD concert with the Oslo Philharmonics in 2010. Not very rock n’ roll…

Magne to appear in new documentary series

Magne appears in one of the hour-long episodes

Magne appears in one of the hour-long episodes

Magne is one of the participants in a new six-part documentary series on NRK1 in Norway called Datoen (The date), according to Dagbladet.

Each episode will focus on three people; one well-known person and two ordinary people. Here’s NRK’s own description of the series:

“Three people born on the exact same date. Born in the same country and at the same time, but still their lives are going to take completely different turns. Three lives intertwined by small and major historic events. Maybe the lives of these three people can say something about all of us? About our country? About who we were and who we became?”

Datoen will premiere on NRK1 in Norway on September 6th. The airdate for the episode with Magne is not yet known.

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