Posts Tagged ‘morten harket’

Book release in Oslo

Morten and Ørjan signing books at Tanum

Ørjan Nilsson’s book Hjemkomst, about Morten’s solo projects from 1993 – 1998, was published on Thursday, 26 September. Ørjan and Morten marked the book release with an hour-long conversation with Audun Vinger at Tanum Karl Johan in Oslo, followed by an extensive signing session.

One of Vinger’s questions was about how it felt for Morten, who is used to being misquoted, to let someone else write about this important period of his life and career:

“I liked Ørjan’s approach to this project. I also liked the fact that he had written the book about Paul, and thought that he could do the same with me. Then both books would have one thing in common, and any differences would appear naturally. That’s important to any book. So we met up and talked, and took it from there. It’s been a lot of work. We had quite a lot of interview sessions, and that was something I pushed for in particular. Because if I’m going to do something like this, I want it to be as thorough as possible. It’s also been vital for me that Ørjan has to write his own parts, and I have to speak my own parts. So whenever I’m quoted in the book, I have often added my own written quotes afterwards to supplement the interview sessions. The rest has been up to Ørjan and the various other people who have been interviewed for the book. Just having it properly organized like this, that’s been important to me”, Morten said.

Dagsavisen’s reviewer Geir Rakvaag has written quite a positive review (paywall) of the book:

“Morten Harket has just turned 60 years old. The new book Hjemkomst provides an interesting look at six of those years, when his life and career took a new turn. (…) Much of the content is detailed info for those with a particular interest in Morten Harket as a musician, about other musicians he has worked with, producers, studios and record labels. (…) But Hjemkomst is just as much about Morten Harket as a person as it is about music. In particular his activism for East-Timor. (…) With this, Ørjan Nilsson has completed solid books about Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Morten Harket. It’s fair to assume the next one will be about Magne Furuholmen.”

Morgenbladet’s reviewer Ando Woltmann also likes the book (paywall), although he’s not really a fan of Morten’s solo music:

“Nilsson’s book is full of lively interview subjects, often with opposing views, and is a good example of a topic that’s more fun to read about than listen to. Still, Morten Harket remains an enigma in Norwegian pop as he turns 60 – he’s a dreamer we all should be grateful to share this ride through the cosmos together with.”

To promote the book Morten was a guest on the NRK talkshow Lindmo on Friday night. The episode can be viewed here (starts at 19:30).

Ørjan Nilsson also appeared on NRK’s Nyhetsmorgen to talk about the book (starts at 01:49:00), as well as Kulturstripa.

Hjemkomst book launch

Book cover
(Photo by Julian Broad)

Ørjan Nilsson’s new book Hjemkomst – Morten Harket 1993-1998 will be launched with an event at the Tanum Karl Johan bookstore in Oslo on Thursday 26 September, where Ørjan and Morten will talk about the book with music writer Audun Vinger. There will be a signing session afterwards.

Ørjan and Morten will also discuss the book at the literature house in Bergen on Friday 27 September, as part of the Vill Vill Vest music conference.

There will be a number of additional media appearances as well.

Hjemkomst delves deep into the making of Poetenes Evangelium, Wild Seed and Vogts Villa, as well as unreleased projects such as Morten’s 1993 solo album produced by Alan Tarney and his 1998 collaboration with Swedish-Irish drum’n’bass duo Boolaboss.

In addition to extensive interview sessions with Morten, Ørjan Nilsson has talked with a large number of key players from this period, including Håvard Rem, Ole Sverre Olsen and Kjetil Bjerkestrand.

The book also goes into detail about Morten’s work to shed light on the conflict in East Timor and his passion for renewable energy solutions.

Hjemkomst can be pre-ordered from Norwegian book stores such as Tanum, Norli, Haugenbok and Bokkilden.

Morten turns 60

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Morten Harket, who turns 60 today, September 14th!

In connection with his birthday and the new book Hjemkomst, he’s on the cover of VG’s weekend magazine today. Inside there’s a 9-page interview by Stein Østbø, with new pictures by Janne Møller-Hansen.

“How I feel about [turning 60]… It’s an inherent process, the body keeps renewing itself. At the same time there’s a program in our system that controls aging. And that program hasn’t been written by us. I have just asked my body to delay the aging process until I’m a bit wiser”, he jokingly tells VG in the interview.

The interview is also available online here (paywall).

New book about Morten coming in September

Picture by Jakob

A new book about Morten Harket, written by Norwegian journalist Ørjan Nilsson, is set to be published in September 2019.

The book is called Hjemkomst (Morten Harket årene 1993 – 1998) [Homecoming (Morten Harket in the years 1993 – 1998)] and will focus on this particular period of the 1990s, which were Morten’s most busy years in terms of solo projects and political activism.

“I have long wanted to explore what happened to the activist and politically involved Morten Harket – the one who appeared when a-ha took a break and seemingly disappeared again when the band reunited. During those years he was everywhere, he had an entirely different edge than he’s had before or since”, Nilsson told VG in an article yesterday.

“It seems to me that he wants to speak in detail about these years – years that are important for him to shed a light on. He has become extremely involved in the book project and wants the end result to be good. I had envisioned three or four interview rounds, but by now it’s become more like 25.”

Among the other topics covered in the book will be Morten’s unreleased solo album from 1993, which was produced by Alan Tarney. It was eventually abandoned, in favour of Wild Seed. Although Morten has talked about the unreleased album in past interviews and two of the songs were leaked online fifteen years ago – “A Place I Know” and “Sounds of Rain” – the new book goes into more detail about the songs and recording process than ever before. Nilsson was even granted a listening session in Alan Tarney’s studio outside London.

Ørjan Nilsson has previously written Tårer fra en stein [Tears From a Stone] about Paul Waaktaar-Savoy’s life and music, which was published in Norway in 2017 and Germany in 2018.

Maria on Team Morten wins The Voice 2019

Morten and Maria Engås Halsne, preparing for last night’s season finale

Maria Engås Halsne on Team Morten is the winner of The Voice 2019, after two solid performances in the season finale last night.

The 22-year-old medical student was originally on Lene’s Team, but Morten seized the opportunity to “steal” her to his own team during the battle episodes back in April, after Maria had performed “Shallow” together with Oskar Øiestad.

Morten performing “Broken” together with Lene Marlin

Last night’s finale opened with the four mentors performing Isak Danielson’s song “Broken”, followed by each finalist doing one song:

1. Edward Mustad (Team Morten): “October 8” YouTube / TV2.no
2. Steffi Buie (Team Lene): “Kan Du Lære Mæ?” YouTube / TV2.no
3. Maria Engås Halsne (Team Morten): “Go Your Own Way” YouTube / TV2.no
4. Oskar Øiestad (Team Lene): “Kings and Queens” YouTube / TV2.no

The two finalists with the most votes would go on to the so-called “super final”, and it turned out to be Edward and Maria. They both did an additional song to determine who would be the winner:

1. Edward Mustad (Team Morten): “I’m On Fire” YouTube / TV2.no
2. Maria Engås Halsne (Team Morten): “Strong” YouTube / TV2.no

“You have so many qualities, Maria. I decided to bring you further along, and it turns out I was right. This was one of your best performances on The Voice this year”, Morten said after Maria’s version of London Grammar’s “Strong”.

Maria got the most votes from the viewers and is the winner of The Voice 2019. She gets a record contract with Universal Music.

“This is fantastic. It’s difficult to favor one talent over someone else, I’m not able to do that. But I have believed in my whole team and tried to bring out the best in them. And it’s been really fun to be a part of. So congratulations Maria! It’s well deserved”, Morten said after the victory.

The Voice: Semi-final

Morten applauding Maria on The Voice, 24 May

Six talents remained in the contest before the semi-final of The Voice on Friday 24 May, including Maria and Edward on Team Morten.

Here are the live performances from H3 Arena on Friday night:

1. Oskar Øiestad (Team Lene) YouTube / TV2.no
2. Maria Engås Halsne (Team Morten) YouTube / TV2.no
3. Endre Gryting (Team Yosef) YouTube / TV2.no
4. Amanda Rusti (Team Martin) YouTube / TV2.no
5. Steffi Buie (Team Lene) YouTube / TV2.no
6. Edward Mustad (Team Morten) YouTube / TV2.no

“There’s a great musicality in your performance”, Morten told Maria after her version of Sia’s “Bird Set Free”, while he commended Edward on having “an incredible voice” after hearing his take on Madrugada’s “Majesty”.

Ultimately, the two performers who received the fewest votes from the viewers were Endre and Amanda, which means Yosef and Martin are left without any of their talents in next week’s season finale.

Maria and Edward on Team Morten will compete against Oskar and Steffi on Team Lene in the season finale, which airs live on TV2 next Friday, 31 May at 20:00. The winner gets a recording contract with Universal Music.

The Voice: Live show 3

Morten and Yosef on The Voice, 10 May 2019

The fifth season of The Voice continued with the third live show last night.

Here are all the eight performances, with video links to both YouTube and TV2.no (the YouTube clips are blocked in some areas outside of Norway, it seems):

1. Endre Gryting (Team Yosef) YouTube / TV2.no
2. Oskar Øiestad (Team Lene) YouTube / TV2.no
3. Amalie Hamborgstrøm (Team Martin) YouTube / TV2.no
4. Edward Mustad (Team Morten) YouTube TV2.no
5. Amanda Rusti (Team Martin) YouTube / TV2.no
6. Kristoffer Edvardsen (Team Yosef) YouTube / TV2.no
7. Steffi Buie (Team Lene) YouTube / TV2.no
8. Maria Engås Halsne (Team Morten) YouTube / TV2.no

“You have a fantastic tone and range in your voice”, Morten told Edward after his performance, while he described Maria as being “musically very sharp and steady”.

At the end, each mentor was able to choose one of their talents to go through to the semi-final in two weeks.

Morten decided to be tactical in his choice:

“Last Friday three of my talents disappeared from the show. It was brutal for all of us. We were already at a stage where it was very, very even. Today we’re one performance further on, and we’re approaching the craziest part of this show where anything can happen. All of you, Maria, Edward, and the rest of you, have come a long way. You have gained a lot of experience from this, and are definitely all winners. I don’t want to lose any more talents, I want both of you to continue. The only way I can make a choice now, is that I know that the viewers have voted for Edward in the previous two live shows. That’s what I’m counting on this time as well, which means I’m choosing Maria.”

After Morten had chosen Maria, Yosef chose Endre, Lene chose Oskar and Martin chose Amanda.

The last two semi-finalists were decided by viewer votes and turned out to be Edward and Steffi.

So both talents on Team Morten are ready for the semi-final on 24 May. See pictures of all the mentors and their remaining talents on the shows’s official Instagram.

The Voice update

Morten on The Voice, 3 May 2019

After 11 blind audition episodes, 5 knockout episodes and 3 battle episodes, it was time for the first of 5 live shows on Friday 26 April, with Team Lene vs Team Yosef.

In the first two live shows, a total of 19 remaining talents would be reduced to 8 (it was supposed to be 20, but Mina Lund on Team Lene – one of the favorites – decided to withdraw from the competition to focus on her studies).

In the second live show this past Friday, 3 May, the focus shifted to Team Morten vs Team Martin.

Here are the performances of the five remaining talents on Team Morten on Friday:
Henrik Fuglem
Maria Engås Halsne
Edward Mustad
Sindre Steig
Hanna Solemdal

The two talents on Team Morten who ended up going through to the next live show were Edward (viewer votes) and Maria (Morten’s pick). Here’s a picture of Morten with Edward and Maria after the show.

They will compete against Steffi Buie and Oskar Øiestad (Team Lene), Kristoffer Edvardsen and Endre Gryting (Team Yosef) and Amalie Hamborgstrøm and Amanda Rusti (Team Martin).

The live shows continue at H3 Arena on 10 May, 24 May and 31 May (final). Tickets are available through eventim.no.

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

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