Posts Tagged ‘morten harket’

‘The Voice’ taping dates announced

“There’s a lot of undiscovered talent out there – this could be interesting!”, Morten said last month

Last month it was revealed that Morten will be one of the mentors on the fourth season of The Voice in Norway, following in the footsteps of Magne, who lead his team and Martin Halla to victory in the show’s first season back in 2012.

Morten will be joined by Lene Marlin, Yosef Wolde-Mariam (Madcon) and Martin Danielle (CLMD) as mentors this year.

The taping dates for the initial blind auditions have now been announced. Eight episodes will be recorded at H3 Arena in Oslo in late April, across four dates:

21 April (16:00)
21 April (19:00)
25 April (16:00)
25 April (19:00)
27 April (16:00)
27 April (19:00)
29 April (16:00)
29 April (19:00)

Tickets are free, and available at shortaudition.com now. Needless to say, this is primarily for people who live in the Oslo area. The show will start airing on TV2 this autumn, probably sometime in August or September.

Update 10 April: Additional taping dates have been announced on a-ha.com:

Battle rounds:
22 May (16:15)
22 May (19:00)
24 May (16:15)
24 May (19:00)

Knockout rounds:
1 June (16:00)
1 June (19:00)
2 June (16:00)
2 June (19:00)

Songwriting session in Lillehammer

Morten with his trusted Everly Brothers guitar
(Picture by Peter Kvint on Facebook)

Morten and producer Peter Kvint have been spending some time at a mountain cabin in the Lillehammer area this week, working on new songs. Kvint has posted some pictures from their stay on Facebook.

“This week I’ve been on a cabin trip with Morten Harket in Lillehammer. We had fun and it turned out well!”, Kvint wrote.

Time will tell if the songs end up on Morten’s next solo album or if they will be used for a-ha.
“We’ll see”, Kvint said in the Facebook comments.

When asked by a fan if it’s hard to come up with new songs, Kvint said; “It’s quite easy, we just have to make sure to set time aside and choose the right environment.”

Tomine on ‘Stjernekamp’

Tomine performing on Stjernekamp, 27 August

Tomine performing on Stjernekamp, 27 August

The fifth season of NRK1’s popular singing contest Stjernekamp kicked off tonight, with Tomine Harket as one of the contestants.

Morten in the audience

Morten in the audience

Stjernekamp is a live show where established artists and younger talents perform songs from a different music genre each week. The theme this week was Norwegian rock and Tomine had chosen to perform “Hjerteknuser” by Kaizers Orchestra.

Morten was in the audience to show his support, like he’s been on several occasions before.

The theme next week is country music, and Tomine will be performing “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash. Tonight’s episode is available to watch at nrk.no.

In addition to Stjernekamp, Tomine is currently enjoying success together with the rapper Unge Ferrari. Watch the music video for their latest single “Iblindeserenbedre” on YouTube.

Morten performs in Russia

Rehearsing at Music House in Copenhagen this week (Picture from Music House on Facebook)

Rehearsing at Music House in Copenhagen this week
(Picture from Facebook)

[Updated]: Morten travelled to Russia this weekend, to perform at two separate events in Yekaterinburg with his solo band.

The first concert was apparently held at the Pine Creek golf resort on Friday, 22 July, and seems to have been in connection with the Day of Metallurgist, which is a Russian holiday celebrating workers in the metallurgical industry. The logo on stage says Russian Copper Company, so that may be the company that’s hired him.

Setlist 22 July (with links to video clips):
1. Foot Of The Mountain
2. Stay On These Roads
3. Spanish Steps
4. Crying In The Rain
5. Brother
6. A Kind Of Christmas Card
7. Did I Leave You Behind
– – – – – – – – – – –
8. Let It Be Me

The second concert was held at the Hyatt Regency in Yekaterinburg on Sunday, 24 July, as part of the award ceremony of Eurasia Extreme Open 2016, a week-long handgun shooting tournament. The setlist included two additional songs; “Safe With Me” and “Wild Seed”.

Setlist 24 July (with links to video clips):
1. Foot Of The Mountain
2. Stay On These Roads
3. Spanish Steps
4. Safe With Me
5. Wild Seed
6. Crying In The Rain
7. Did I Leave You Behind
8. Brother
9. A Kind Of Christmas Card
– – – – – – – – – – –
10. Let It Be Me

These were Morten’s first solo performances since November 2014. It was also the first time he has played a-ha songs with his Brother backing band. On the 2014 tour he only played his own solo songs.

Pictures from Yekaterinburg:
The band backstage   Morten with his son Jonathan   Morten with a fan at the airport

Earlier this week, Morten was rehearsing with the band at the Music House venue in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The musicians were mostly the same as on the Brother tour in 2014; Vicky Singh on guitar, Lars Danielsson on bass, Per Lindvall on drums, but with Kjetil Bjerkestrand on keyboard instead of Christer Karlsson.

Music House has posted a few pictures from the Copenhagen rehearsals on their Facebook page.

Morten records song for Bendik Hofseth tribute album

The 'IX' box set

The ‘IX’ box set

Morten is one of the artists who have contributed to a new 25th anniversary box set of Bendik Hofseth‘s 1991 album ‘IX’.

Bendik Hofseth is an acclaimed saxophone player, who has played in Mike Mainieri’s jazz fusion group Steps Ahead and appeared on more than 100 albums in Norway and abroad. He has also released 10 solo albums. In 1995 Hofseth played saxophone on Morten’s album ‘Wild Seed’.

In addition to the original album remastered, the 3CD/1DVD ‘IX’ box set will also include a tribute CD with the whole album reinterpreted by Norwegian artists, among them Nils Petter Molvær, Silje Nergaard, Knut Reiersrud and Jarle Bernhoft.

Morten’s track is called “The Boy From Port Manteau”, and is a collaboration with saxophone player Håkon Kornstad and Norwegian producer Peder Kjellsby.

A sample of the track can be heard on Soundcloud.

This is the first time Morten has participated on a tribute album.

The exclusive box set, which will only be available as 500 numbered copies, can now be pre-ordered from newjelly.com. If you’re outside Norway, choose the €75 option which includes worldwide shipping.

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.”

a-ha.com issues clarifying statement

The recent interview with Morten on Swiss news site Blick, in which he supposedly said that “a-ha is a finished chapter” for him and that next month’s tour finale in Bergen “will probably be the definitive end” of a-ha, has caused much debate within the fan community.

After the interview also reached the Norwegian press yesterday, a-ha’s management was forced to do some damage control and has issued a clarifying statement on a-ha.com today:

We are sorry that the interview published on Sunday April 10 in Blick has caused confusion.

In the interview Morten is quoted as saying several things which lead readers to believe that a-ha is ending after the last ‘Cast In Steel’ tour date on May 7 in Bergen, and that Morten does not find working with a-ha to be spiritually fulfilling for him anymore. Another quote seemed to imply that Morten does not appreciate support and attention from the fans.

None of this is correct, but please accept our apology for this misunderstanding, largely due to some of Morten’s remarks not being presented with the complete context.

In a conversation with Morten yesterday, he said that he had been asked about the possibility of a-ha making another album. His answer related to the time consuming nature of working on an album together, and that everyone’s heart has to be in it to get through the process. This is not news to anyone who has followed the band for any length of time, as all three of the band members have said that writing albums together is a very challenging process for them.

‘Cast In Steel’ was announced as a ‘one album, one tour’ project, and his remarks simply confirmed this. That doesn’t mean that there cannot be other projects, but nothing is planned at the moment.

Read the entire statement on a-ha.com.

Morten: “a-ha is a finished chapter for me”

Morten on stage in Leipzig, April 7th

Morten on stage in Leipzig, April 7th

Morten’s new autobiography My Take On Me is officially released in Germany tomorrow. The German edition is released first, to coincide with the current tour, but other languages will follow later (dates TBC).

To promote the book, Morten has been doing several interviews recently. An interview with the Swiss newspaper Blick, which was done before the concert in Zurich one week ago, was published today. In it, Morten says the concert in Bergen next month will probably mark the end of a-ha…again.

Below are a few translated quotes from the Blick interview (but bear in mind this has been translated from English to German and back to English):

“a-ha is now a finished chapter for me. I have had some wonderful years with this band. But after the current tour, it will probably be the definitive end. The three of us are simply not close enough anymore to continue recording albums, travelling around the world and playing concerts.”

– But do you have to be close friends to keep doing that?

“No, but working with a-ha needs to be fulfilling for me on a spiritual level as well. And that is not the case anymore. Maybe the whole thing just wore itself out over the last 30 years.”

– And the money won’t make you stay together?

“Oh, I have been richly rewarded enough by a-ha. I don’t have to keep doing something that I don’t necessarily want to do.”

– Won’t you miss all the fame?

“Not at all! Success and power never interested me. I don’t like to watch myself on TV. I don’t like that guy with the microphone. Moreover; what is so great about it, when you have to spend hours hiding in your hotel room because hundreds of screaming fans are waiting outside? I prefer to meet people individually rather than in masses. But I don’t have the emotional capacity or time to meet everyone individually. In the end, I’m only one person.”

– What are you going to do after a-ha?

“I will return to the simple life with my girlfriend and my 7-year old daughter. That is where my heart is. After our last concert in Norway on May 7th I will walk away barefoot and turn off the lights.”

Morten’s new autobiography My Take On Me can be ordered from Amazon.de.

Tickets for the May 7th concert in Bergen are available from Ticketmaster.no.

Video: Morten at The Batcave in 1983

Morten dancing at The Batcave, 1983

Morten dancing at The Batcave, 1983

A very early video clip, quite possibly Morten’s first TV-appearance, is currently making the rounds among a-ha fans.

The clip in question is taken from a 7-minute report about The Batcave nighclub in Soho, London, which is considered to have been the “birthplace of the Southern English goth subculture”. The report aired sometime in 1983 on the programme “Reporting London” on London Weekend Television (LWT).

Although the clip was uploaded to YouTube in 2010, it wasn’t discovered until recently that Morten appears in it. He can be seen for a few seconds on the dancefloor, wearing one of his self-designed outlandish outfits from that time. All three a-ha members were frequent guests on the London club scene in the early a-ha years.

The clip can be seen on YouTube here. Morten appears at 5:35.

Morten’s autobiography coming in March

Cover of the German edition

Cover of the German edition

Last year, Morten revealed in an interview with the Sunday Mercury that he was working on his autobiography together with British writer Tom Bromley:

“Morten is currently working with writer Tom Bromley on his biography and says “It’s been very good, he’s a really nice guy and we have had some interesting sessions. He makes me remember things, makes me see things again”.

He chuckles: “I then read his interpretation of me and attack that and then resurrect it.”

The book does not have a title as yet, although Morten laughingly promises it will have one.”

The book now seems to be finished, and has been given the title Morten Harket: My Take On Me.

The 256-page German language edition is now available for pre-order from amazon.de, with a March 14th release date. No word yet on when the British or Norwegian editions can be pre-ordered.

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