Magne to take part in literature festivals

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In connection with the Norwegian Festival of Literature, Magne will hold a retrospective solo exhibition called “Monologue” at Galleri Zink in Lillehammer from 25 May – 13 June.

As this year’s festival artist Magne has chosen a selection of sculptures, paintings and graphic prints that have been influenced by literature.

Ahead of the opening, Magne will join musician Morten Qvenild for an artist talk with Marte Spurkland at Verdensteateret in Lillehammer, on 25 May from 16:00 to 16:50.

“Magne Furuholmen and Morten Qvenild have previously worked together on music projects, now they meet again to talk about how they relate to literature and its influence on their artistic work”, the festival website says.

Tickets for the event are available from litteraturfestival.no, along with digital festival passes which will presumably give access to a live video stream.


Then, from 11 – 13 June, Magne will be this year’s festival artist during the biennial Petter Dass literature festival in Alstahaug. This was supposed to happen last year, but was postponed due to Covid.

The exhibition is held at the main building of the Petter Dass Museum and the opening will be streamed online at petterdass.no on 11 June from 18:30.


Recently Magne has also been busy creating custom artwork for the restaurant Schlägergården, located at Lilleaker in Oslo, which is set to reopen with renowned chef Björn Svensson as the new owner once the Covid-restrictions are lifted.

“I’ve really studied the history of this place, and my artwork will contain stories and symbols that are connected to it. It’s a great place and with Björn as the chef I think it will attract people from a wide area”, Magne told local newspaper Akersposten last week.

New songs from Magne

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Magne continues to post new solo recordings on Instagram. Half an album’s worth of songs so far, with the latest being “Between the Halo and the Horn” which was uploaded on 2 May.

“(…) i have decided to share with you some new songs (…) songs which may or may not find their way into the fray later. presently though, these are demos, unfinished, even with the odd emergency rhyme thrown in here and there – much like early drawings in a sketch-book, but written, produced, and performed by yours truly”, Magne wrote when he posted the first one.

Here is an overview of all the songs so far:

21/12/20: I’m In
26/12/20: God is in the Details
21/01/21: Time is on Your Side
24/02/21: Bluest of Blue
04/04/21: You Have What it Takes
02/05/21: Between the Halo and the Horn

a-ha – The Movie to premiere in June

Directed by Thomas Robsahm and Aslaug Holm.

After several postponements and much back and forth, the highly anticipated documentary film a-ha – The Movie is now finally set to premiere, at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in June 2021.

The festival is held from 9 – 20 June, and the movie will be shown as part of the “Spotlight Documentary” section. Producer and co-director Thomas Robsahm says it will be extra special to have the world premiere in New York, only a few blocks from where Paul Waaktaar-Savoy lived for many years.

The movie will also premiere in Norway during the same month, on 18 June. It will also be distributed by First Hand Films in a number of other countries, including Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Israel, Sweden and South Korea.

The running time may end up varying in different markets, as in addition to the 1 hour 39 minute version planned for Norwegian cinemas, there is also mention of a 90-minute version and a 52-minute version.

Other links:
World premiere for a-ha – The Movie at Tribeca
Anthony Bourdain, A-ha docs among 2021 Tribeca Festival feature line-up

Update 5/5:
It looks like the world premiere will happen at Brookfield Place in New York on June 12th. Tickets go on sale May 10th, while tickets for the virtual screening (starting June 13th – US only) are available now at tribecafilm.com.

Los Angeles concerts rescheduled

The three a-ha concerts at The Wiltern in Los Angeles are the latest to be rescheduled for next year. Here are the new dates:

07 April 2022: The Wiltern, Los Angeles, USA
08 April 2022: The Wiltern, Los Angeles, USA
09 April 2022: The Wiltern, Los Angeles, USA

Original tickets remain valid.

New tour dates for Japan

The seven a-ha concerts in Japan have now been rescheduled again, to January 2022. Here are the new dates:

13 January: Civic Hall, Fukuoka, Japan
15 January: Tokyo Dome City Hall, Tokyo, Japan
16 January: Tokyo Dome City Hall, Tokyo, Japan
18 January: Aichi Arts Center, Nagoya, Japan
19 January: Grand Cube Osaka, Osaka, Japan
21 January: Tokyo Dome City Hall, Tokyo, Japan
22 January: City Culture Hall, Shizuoka, Japan

Original tickets for all shows are still valid – except for the concert in Osaka, where the venue has been changed from Festival Hall to Grand Cube Osaka. All original Osaka tickets will be refunded and new tickets put on sale soon. More info on the website of Japanese concert promoter Creativeman.

Meanwhile in Portugal, the Rock in Rio Lisboa Festival has been postponed once again – to June 2022. It remains to be seen if a-ha will still be a part of the lineup for a third time.

European tour rescheduled for 2022

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As expected, the European Hunting High and Low tour planned for April and May this year has now officially been rescheduled for 2022, due to Covid-19.

Here are the new dates, as announced on a-ha.com:

28 April: Partille Arena, Gothenburg, Sweden
29 April: Royal Arena, Copenhagen, Denmark
01 May: O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
04 May: AFAS Live, Amsterdam, Netherlands
05 May: Forest National, Brussels, Belgium
07 May: Le Zenith, Paris, France
09 May: Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany
11 May: Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin, Germany
12 May: Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg, Germany
14 May: Arena Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
15 May: Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany
18 May: DNB Arena, Stavanger, Norway
20 May: Oslo Spektrum, Oslo, Norway
21 May: Oslo Spektrum, Oslo, Norway
24 May: BIC, Bournemouth, UK
25 May: M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, UK
27 May: The SSE Arena, Wembley, London, UK
28 May: Utilita Arena, Birmingham, UK

Original tickets remain valid. See a list of all upcoming dates here.

Update: The special screening of a-ha – The Movie has also been rescheduled accordingly. The new date is 19 May 2022 at Colosseum Cinema in Oslo. Original tickets remain valid for this screening as well.

Please note that the world premiere of a-ha – The Movie is now planned for sometime in 2021, meaning 19 May 2022 is now billed as a “special screening” instead.

Morten guest on This Morning

On ‘This Morning’, 1 February 2021

Morten was a guest on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ today, joining in live from Norway, to talk about his time on The Masked Singer. The whole interview can be seen on YouTube.

“I needed to get out of my comfort zone, and this was a good way of doing that”, he said of why he chose to take part.

On the Masked Singer panel not recognizing him, even as he sang “Take On Me”:
“I thought it was blatantly obvious, [even] before then, that it was me.”

On singing inside the costume:
“My personal sound system was failing me, so it was very confusing. That made it harder. It also made it impossible for me to dodge my voice or to play with it in other ways, because I had no center.”

On the a-ha tour being postponed:
“We had to pull the plug on a big tour, because of the pandemic, like a lot of my peers have had to do. The fortunate thing for people like myself is that you would use this period as a hiatus and that means you can write songs and do other things that we would have been doing in off-times anyway.”

Morten was also a guest on Heart Breakfast today. A video clip of that interview is available here.

There were also additional comments in interviews with RadioTimes and Mirror.

Morten is unmasked on The Masked Singer

This viking has broken records and forged his own way.

After appearing in four episodes of The Masked Singer UK, tonight it was time for Viking to take off his mask. And as most people had guessed for weeks, it turned out to be Morten Harket under the helmet.

The song he performed tonight was “The Scientist” by Coldplay, but he received the fewest votes from the studio audience and had to be unmasked.
Here is the moment when his identity is finally revealed:

 
“My main reason for joining was that I knew how much I would be exposed to performing conditions of which I would have very little control. It’s the complete opposite of my usual mindset. Knowing I would hate that, was an excellent reason”, Morten says in an interview with a-ha.com.

He admits that performing inside the viking costume was quite challenging:

“It was decidedly uncomfortable to navigate, especially as my sound system was getting wonky… that and the confines of the helmet sometimes reaching my elbows. At times I kind of felt like a drunk trying to cross the M4. To be inside the costume made my movements even clumsier than my usual standard :)”

Morten was also interviewed by Will Njobvu on Unmasked on ITV Hub.

Before the unmasking, one of the additional clues on tonight’s episode was Viking quoting a lyric from one of Morten’s solo songs: “I cannot take what you cannot give” from “I’m The One” (2012).

Updates from Magne and Paul

A moment from the 2017 documentary a-ha Unplugged – På innsiden

Magne posted another new demo recording on Instagram last Thursday, which appears to be called “Time is on Your Side”.

This is the third new song he’s posted during the last month, following “I’m In” and “God is in the Details”.

Meanwhile, Paul has been sharing some newly drawn sketches on his Instagram, which can be seen here, here, here and here.
Paul has also been known to make paintings on canvas, some of which were part of his solo exhibition “Rammer” at Lillehammer in 1998. A selection of his paintings can be seen in this picture, posted by Augie some years ago.

As for new music, Savoy-drummer Frode Unneland was interviewed on the radio earlier this month, saying that Paul is working on lots of new songs at the moment. And according to last year’s Down To The Tracks-book, Paul already has a solo double album just waiting to be released.

Viking sings “Take On Me”

Viking on The Masked Singer, 23 January

The viking was back for his third appearance on The Masked Singer on ITV yesterday, as all eight remaining singers competed against each other for the first time. This time, each song would be a clue to the singer’s identity.

In a surprising move, Viking got on stage and performed the acoustic version of “Take On Me”, perhaps the most obvious clue ever presented on The Masked Singer.

Anyone with functioning ears would by now have worked out that Morten is behind the mask – apart from the show’s panel, consisting of Mo Gilligan, Davina McCall, Rita Ora and Jonathan Ross. They keep coming up with entirely random and bizarre guesses.

As Viking himself puts it: “One thing’s for sure; this panel has no clue as to who I am”. But much of their dialogue is obviously scripted, so they have probably been asked to keep the suspense by not naming Morten.

New clues from Viking on this episode:
“Vikings might have been around for millennia, but my career has been one of billions. It was over a billion people who watched me do my thing” = “Take On Me” reached a billion views on YouTube last year.
“As a viking I rely on tools I was born with and tools I can create. Like my sword for example, which was forged in the silver mines of my homeland” = the “sword” is his voice, which he was born with in Kongsberg, a town known for its silver mines.
“As precious metals go, steel has proved rather useful in my career” = a-ha’s last studioalbum was Cast In Steel (2015).

This time Morten was among those chosen to go directly to the next episode, so he will be back on 30 January for a new performance.
Meanwhile, Bush Baby was unmasked and turned out to be actor/comedian John Thomson. The complete episode from yesterday can be seen here.

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