Posts Tagged ‘jonas bjerre’

Apparatjik releases new song “Julia”

Apparatjik has released a new song called “Julia” today. It’s an homage to Julia Pastrana and their first new release since 2012. The lead vocals are by Jonas Bjerre, while Martin Terefe sings the second verse and Magne the last verse.

“it’s 10 yrs since apparatjik made our first album apparently (tsk,tsk), so we (rather apptly) celebrate with a new song from our ongoing julia pastrana project…”, Magne wrote on Instagram when he posted a short teaser for the song last month.

“Julia” can be streamed and purchased here.

TV2 report from Abbey Road Studios

Magne at the mixing desk

Magne at the mixing desk

Two different news reports about Magne’s Beatles film score sessions at Abbey Road Studios in London have aired on TV2 in Norway over the last couple of days. The first one can be seen at

Among other things we could see a blues instrumental being recorded for one scene, with Magne on harmonica, Jonas Bjerre on piano and Martin Terefe on guitar. Magne was also recording piano and organ parts together with Kjetil Bjerkestrand and could be heard playing “Stay On These Roads” on the original “Lady Madonna” piano.

Recording a blues instrumental with Bjerre and Terefe

Recording a blues instrumental with Jonas Bjerre, Martin Terefe and others

As we know, Magne is using original instruments, microphones and other recording equipment used by The Beatles for these sessions.

“It’s mostly for the music nerds, including myself, that we decided to do it like this. The idea of creating a sort of time machine and walking into a room from the late 60s. It’s almost like a theatrical setup of the whole recording session”, Magne told TV2.

“I don’t want it to become too big and symphonic. I feel like I’m the unknown, melancholic member of The Beatles”, Magne said when he was interviewed at the by:Larm festival in Oslo last week.

Playing "Stay On These Roads" on the original "Lady Madonna" piano

Playing “Stay On These Roads” on the original “Lady Madonna” piano

When asked, Magne said that he hadn’t sought the advice of Paul McCartney:

“But I have informed him about it! He’s a thumbs-up guy, but it would only have scared me even more if I’d asked him to help out. It’s very different to write film music without lyrics, which is what normally drives me to release solo stuff.”

Apparatjik in Copenhagen, May 3rd

Copenhagen, May 3rd

Copenhagen, May 3rd

Magne, Martin and Jonas did their first Apparatjik concert of the year on Friday, May 3rd, with a 14-song set at the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) in Copenhagen.

A reviewer at Danish music website Gaffa praises the “extremely well planned audiovisual bombardment of the senses” and gives the concert 5 out of 6 stars. Although he feels the music lacks an emotional quality, he says the show “worked incredibly well throughout its compact 49 minutes”.

Guy Berryman attended Magne’s exhibition opening in London on Thursday, but did not join the others for the concert in Copenhagen. The busy Coldplay-bassist last performed with Apparatjik in March 2011, and has been replaced with a stand-in at every performance since then.

Lowell had taken the trip over from Canada, though, and came on stage to do her two songs “Shake Him Off” and “The Birds”.

YouTube videos (by Carlos and others):
Intro / Josie   Do It Myself   Supersonic Sound   Tell The Babes (w/ Magne on vocals)
Shake Him Off   The Birds   Deadbeat

Meanwhile in Oslo, a new sculpture by Apparatjik has apparently been installed outdoors at Tjuvholmen.

Apparatjik to play in Copenhagen

The cube is coming to Copenhagen

The cube is coming to Copenhagen

Apparatjik will play at the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen on May 3rd, reports.

Last summer the band presented a spectacular show for an audience of 50.000 people at Denmark’s Roskilde Festival, but this time they’ll be playing inside the cube.

Tickets are available now, from

In other Magne news, he presented In Transit at Tronsmo bookstore in Oslo last week (February 13th) with his right arm in a sling.

He didn’t say what had happened, but he has previously broken his left arm in three separate snowboard accidents.

Luckily Magne is left-handed, so he had no problems signing the book.

Apparatjik Suite opens at The Thief

The so-called Apparatjik Suite, which has been designed by Magne and the other members of Apparatjik, opened at the new luxury hotel The Thief in Oslo on Friday, 8 February. Tini Flaat has posted an instagram photo of Magne, Jonas and Martin at the opening.

“Apparatjik’s music and art, with its creativity and positive madness, appeals to us at The Thief. We let them do whatever they wanted when designing the suite, and the result is impressive”, Marcus Majewski (The Thief executive officer) says.

The suite’s interior includes pixelated carpets, video installations, antlers on the walls and a mirror ball in the bathroom.

“We have created a small corner of the Apparatjik World”, Magne says in a press release. “We wanted to design a room that would make whoever stays here smile and shake their heads at the same time. One thing that the members of Apparatjik have in common is that we have all used a disproportionate amount of our lives staying in hotel rooms. With the Apparatjik Suite at The Thief, our starting point was that it isn’t necessarily the hallmark of a good hotel that all the rooms are identical.”

The suite also includes music by Apparatjik and a large selection of their own favorite albums.

“Everyone thinks their personal taste in music is the best in the world, and we’re no exception. We’re also hoping to eventually offer a growing selection of music that you won’t be able to hear anywhere else – maybe some material that hasn’t been released yet, and obscure projects that we feel deserve more attention. In that respect, the Apparatjik Suite is guaranteed to be the radio station with the fewest listeners anywhere in the world. Now, that’s what we call exclusive”, Magne says.

Visitors to the The Thief can also try out Magne’s Climax Cardgame from 2007, of which the hotel has bought 7 of the 20 copies in existence. There will also be a copy of Magne’s new book In Transit in every room.

“There are some hotels around the world that have made a serious effort to create an arena for experiencing art, and when it works it’s a win-win situation”, Magne says.

If you would like a stay in the Apparatjik Suite, the suite is now open for booking on The Thief’s website.

Magne planning opera about Julia Pastrana

Ceremony for Julia Pastrana

Magne Furuholmen, Ute Meta Bauer, Laura Anderson Barbata and Jonas Bjerre standing by Julia Pastrana’s coffin.
Oslo, 7 February 2013.

Magne is now planning an opera based on the tragic story of Julia Pastrana. She was a Mexican woman, born in 1834, who suffered from hypertrichosis, a syndrome that gave her a very unusual appearance.

She would eventually be exhibited at sideshows around the world as “Bearded and Hairy Lady” and “The Apewoman”, until her death in 1860. Bizarrely, her body was then mummified and would continue to be displayed in public for more than one hundred years, until it somehow ended up in storage in Oslo. Now, in 2013, Julia’s remains are finally being returned from Norway to Mexico, where she will have a proper funeral.

Magne has personally gotten involved in the process of returning Julia Pastrana to Mexico. Yesterday he took part in a closed ceremony at Oslo University Hospital, along with Jonas Bjerre, Ute Meta Bauer and Mexican artist Laura Anderson Barbata, where the coffin was formally handed over to Mexican authorities, represented by ambassador Martha Barcena Coqui. The funeral will be held in Sinaloa, Mexico on Tuesday next week.

Julia Pastrana

Julia Pastrana

“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 tells VG.

Together with Laura Anderson Barbata he is now planning to turn Julia Pastrana’s story into an opera:

“We want to make a rich, proud and ambitious production. We’re aware that there’s also a Hollywood movie being planned, but we’re hoping to tell the story in our own way. This is about how society responds to unusual people, how we treat people with handicaps. It’s such a strong story that an opera would be appropriate. It will be a celebration of her”, Magne says.

“Julia Pastrana used to sing opera, so I think it’s a good idea if they make this a worthy tribute to her”, ambassador Barcena Coqui says.

Article in English:
TV report from yesterday’s ceremony: Østlandssendingen

Apparatjik in Aftenposten K magazine

The cover of Aftenposten K, January 2013

Magazine cover

Magne and a few other Apparatjiks are on the cover of the January 2013 issue of Norwegian culture magazine Aftenposten K. Inside there is an 8-page interview with Magne, Martin Terefe and Jonas Bjerre, which was done in connection with the apparatjik xmess extravaganza performance in Oslo last month.

According to the magazine, Apparatjik were recently asked to do a tour of the U.S., but they declined the offer.

“That’s because we only do the projects that we want to. Agreeing to do a tour means that you also have to be interviewed, you have to sell yourself, promote heavily. But then you’re suddenly doing what you wanted to break away from in the first place”, Magne says.

In the interview he also talks about how they prepared for the festival concert at Roskilde, by imagining that this was the first time anyone had come up with the radical idea of performing on stage in front of an audience.

But as we know, they have later played inside the cube again.

“The cube still exists. It’s a kind of refuge that we sometimes escape into. But it shouldn’t become an institution. It was exciting to see the [audience] reactions in the beginning, but now it’s become just another tool”, Martin Terefe says.

“That’s true. But I think that if we hadn’t performed inside the cube to start with, Roskilde would never have turned out as it did either. (…) Roskilde felt incredibly new and unconventional, because we emerged from the cube. However strange that may seem”, Magne says.

The magazine is now available on Norwegian newsstands and as an iPad edition.

Picture from Aftenposten K, January 2013

Magne, Jonas, Martin, Lowell and Rudolph
(Picture from Aftenposten K)

Mixed reviews for Roskilde concert

Magne Furuholmen and Martin Terefe at Roskilde, July 5th

Apparatjik entered the Orange Stage at Roskilde like this last night, wearing bodybuilder suits, with silver capes and Martin Terefe masks.

“Considering our experience with fame, this is interesting to explore. Martin is the least famous of us. Therefore we’ll all go on stage looking like him tonight”, Magne and Jonas told Dagsavisen in an interview before the concert.

Starting out in silhouette behind four large screens, before moving onto the stage, the band performed songs like “Time Police” and “Do It Myself” for the first half hour. Then DJ Aretïve appeared on top of a cube out amongst the audience, doing a 20-minute set accompanied by the alien fashion show that Magne mentioned in Wednesday’s interview. This was followed by a guest appearance by Lowell, a young Canadian singer who has been working in the studio with Apparatjik lately (more info on that collaboration here). By now, the guys had changed into their combat disco uniforms, and the concert ended with songs like “Tell The Babes” and “Blastlocket”.

Other songs played during the show apparently included “Combat Disco Music” and “That’s The Thing About Us”.

Magne on stage at Roskilde 
(Picture from

Apparatjik are getting mixed reviews in social media and in the press after last night’s unique performance.

Reactions on Twitter ranged from “who can review this bizarre concert without getting nightmares?” to “the most amazing thing the world has ever seen” to “mega fail”.

Here are some quotes from the various press reviews that have been posted so far:

“One of the most ambitious “concerts” you can imagine. Visually an amazing experience, musically more uneven, but when it worked it was actually really great.”

“Something was constantly happening on and around the stage. Furuholmen doesn’t spare any expenses when he invites the audience to party – and it was fun while it lasted. It was generous and playful, but unfortunately also easily forgotten.”

“More circus and show than real content.” (3/6)

“Giving a summary of the events that took place Thursday night on the Orange Stage would take at least a few pages, but describing it as a concert would definitely be an understatement. It was more similar to performance theater or an art installation.” (3/6)

“Apparatjik’s show was quite spectacular, but too often seemed like a Nintendo game out of control.” (3/6)

“The spaced-out effects often appeared too messy and incoherent, and rarely contributed to creating the artistic total experience that had been prepared.” (3/6)

“Apparatjik are known for their unique visual style and well-made music videos. But their music is less fascinating.” (2/6)

mö (3/5) (audio review) (gallery) (gallery)

Apparatjik ready for Roskilde, planning “spectacular” Oslo performance

Rehearsing for Roskilde last week; Magne, Jonas and Martin (plus Tor Einar Jensen on the drums?) 
(Picture posted by Aretiive on Twitter)

Apparatjik are set to perform at Roskilde’s main stage tomorrow night. This will be the first time Magne performs at the festival, previously he’s only been there as a guest.

In an interview with Aftenposten today, Magne says that this will be an opportunity to present Apparatjik’s music to a broader audience than before:

“The Orange Stage at Roskilde is an iconic arena for everyone who’s into music. We see this as an opportunity to further expand on our format. The music has always been a natural part of Apparatjik, but has until now been integrated in an audiovisual language and hasn’t been allowed to play the leading role. This time it will get a more natural main focus.”

“It will be quite a multifaceted performance, in which we want to use the cube in new ways. I think I can say that we have a fair amount of madness planned.”


This will include guest-appearances by fans and new artists who are collaborating with the band.

“We have also entered into a collaboration with the renowned Danish visual artist Tal R, who will create a sort of absurd fashion show/costume parade for tomorrow night. It will be a lovely chaos.”

Magne feels that Apparatjik now are ready to reach a larger audience:

“The music we make isn’t particularly demanding. It has a typical pop-melodic structure and can even be quite catchy at times. The experimental part lies perhaps in the fact that we don’t adapt the material to any existing formats.”

But he admits that he doesn’t like all the music that Apparatjik have created:

“I don’t feel that I necessarily have to like all the music we’re performing. Why do I have to like everything we do? We all have to perform tasks that we are more or less comfortable with here in life.”

Still, they are in the process of opening up a bit more:

“It’s not like we’re going on a strike if someone decides to play our music on the radio, it’s just that we don’t promote our material through normal releases, so the chances of that happening are considerably smaller.”

There will be more Apparatjik concerts later this year, including a big event in Oslo:

“We have been invited to make an installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art [in Oslo] in the autumn, which will be accompanied by a slightly absurd choral work. We are also planning quite a spectacular outdoor performance in the middle of Oslo city at the end of September, which I can’t go into detail about yet”, Magne says.

Apparatjik are scheduled to go on stage at Roskilde late tomorrow night, at 1:00 am. Guy Berryman is on tour with Coldplay in the US at the moment, and won’t able to join the others this time.

Update: In an interview with VG, Magne provides more details about the Oslo concert – which will be free and take place by the Astrup Fearnley Museum at Tjuvholmen on September 29th.

Apparatjik perform in Graz

Apparatjik did their sixth performance of the year last Saturday at the Orpheum in Graz, Austria, as part of the Steirischer Herbst Festival.

This time, only Magne and Jonas were present of the original Apparatjik members. Instead of Guy and Martin, they were joined by Tobias Wilner (vocals) and Bo Rande (trumpet) from the Danish band Blue Foundation. A picture of the quartet in “combat disco” outfits has been posted on Facebook.

The set included a few new songs, which can be heard on YouTube:
Clip 1    Clip 2    Clip 3    Clip 4

More video clips are available here, here and here.

According to a fan on the apparatchick forum, Magne told her that this was probably the last time they performed inside the cube. He also said that musically he’ll only be focusing on Apparatjik in the coming year, although it will be a while until the four of them meet up to work together again.

BTW, earlier in the week, Magne did an e-mail interview (in his usual “witty” style) with Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung, which has been posted here.

(Thanks to “Mortianas” and Denise for videos and info)

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