Posts Tagged ‘magne furuholmen’

Magne and Queen Sonja open new exhibitions

Queen Sonja and Magne, 27 August 2020
(Screenshot from NRK)

Magne and Queen Sonja were at the Soli Brug Gallery yesterday, for a press preview of two new exhibitions that are opening today.

This time they are not exhibiting together, as in 2016, instead they each present a new solo exhibition. Magne’s is called Ornament, while the Queen’s is called Utsnitt. In total there are around 150 new pieces.

Magne has been an artistic mentor for Queen Sonja for a number of years now, and their joint projects have brought them to Denmark, Sweden and the USA. Last month they were on a trip to Northern Norway.

“We have travelled around together, and it’s really fun and inspiring for me to listen to him”, the Queen told the press yesterday.

“And it’s inspiring for me to see that it’s possible to have this level of energy when you’re past your fifties”, Magne (57) jokingly told the Queen (83).

“I was surprised to see how many new works she’s made, including a number of excellent graphic prints. So it’s great to see that she is continually coming up with new and interesting things.”

The Queen commends Magne on the new colourful works he’s got on display:

“I’m familiar with parts of Magne’s production, but this time I’ve noticed new and interesting details, including more use of colours. That’s something we’ve discussed, because he’s been more focused on a darker pallette.”

“The truth is rather that I used colours more sparsely when the Queen and I worked together in the past”, Magne replied. “Her use of colours has inspired me.”

See a selection of photos from the exhibitions on Soli Brug’s Facebook page here and here. The exhibitions are open from 28 August – 20 September.

Links:
Aftenposten: Dronningen og Magne Furuholmen inspirerer hverandre – åpner utstillinger sammen
NRK TV: Dronningen og Furuholmen stiller ut på Soli Brug

Magne interviewed on Viking TV

Magne on Viking TV, 18 August 2020

Magne was a guest on the online video channel viking.tv yesterday, where he was interviewed by the British photographer Alastair Miller.

The 47-minute interview – which is also available on YouTube – covered various topics, including the current a-ha tour, his working methods, the Imprints sculture park and more. Below are a few quotes.

On 2020 being a different year for the band:

“I think we cancelled 60 shows this year, due to the Covid situation. It was going to be a big worldwide tour with sellout concerts in LA. We were in Asia at the time, touring, when the lockdown happened. You know, everyone’s affected by this in different ways. We are fortunate in that we can push our concerts to whenever the situation allows. So I feel very privileged in that sense. But it’s become a very different year than we had planned.”

On writing new material for a-ha:

“Funnily enough, these days I’m back in the studio to see what it feels like to write something for a-ha. I wouldn’t hold my breath for it, but it’s something that may or may not happen.”

In conversation with Alastair Miller

On his current projects:

“Plans have changed, as we talked about earlier. This is a unique time, which is a time of reflection in many ways, if you’re in a position to do so. So for me it’s been quite a fertile time. I’m doing music projects, [although] some of them – concerts and stuff – have had to be cancelled. But I have exhibitions coming up, there’s a big retrospective coming up in a couple of years that we are preparing now.

And I’m also curating other artists, working on a very exciting project called REV Ocean, which is a huge research ship where 60 scientists will be focusing on oceanography. There’s artists involved, there’s art onboard. I’ve worked with a lady who’s employed by me, we’re curating the art onboard and we’re using young Norwegian artists. So I fall elegantly out of that category of course. And then there’s an ongoing dialogue with scientists and artists in residence onboard the ship, and possible exhibitions and networking into the international art world.

So there’s a lot of stuff going on, on both fronts, that are hugely exciting at this point in time. Other than that, I potter into my painting studio and my recording studio and I try to make something beautiful.”

Viking.tv is an online video channel, presented by the cruise line Viking. A selection of Magne’s artworks can be found onboard several of their cruise ships, including Viking Star, Viking Sky and Viking Orion.

Magne releases “Troubled Times”

Single cover

Magne has recorded a new cover version of the song “Troubled Times” as a tribute to Fountains Of Wayne and the recent passing of Adam Schlesinger, who died of COVID-19 complications on 1 April. The song was originally included on the American band’s second album Utopia Parkway in 1999.

Initially posted on Instagram as a preview on 24 April and full version on 8 May, Magne’s version was officially released last Friday, 19 June, along with a music video featuring contributions from fans.

To promote the song, Magne was a guest on the NRK P1 radio show Nitimen on Friday. The audio is available here (starts at 10:34), and a picture from his visit was posted on Instagram.

“Fountains Of Wayne is a band that I used to listen to a lot, and was inspired by as a songwriter. (…) When this happened, I went back and re-listened to many of those songs. “Troubled Times” is a beautiful song that in a way describes the situation that we’ve all found ourselves in”, Magne says in the interview.

In early May, Magne asked fans to help him put together a collage video for the song, which sparked a lot of creative feedback:

“I asked for short video clips, but ended up getting all kinds of stuff. I think we had to go through 500-600 submissions. (…) It was impossible to include all of them, but we’ve tried to put together something that reflects the times that we’ve been through – and still are in the middle of – and I think [the video] has turned out to be both touching and humorous.”

As we know, the a-ha tour was put on hold back in March because of the current pandemic:

“We were at the airport in New Zealand, ready to fly to Tokyo, when everything was shut down. Instead we had to fly back home [to Norway] on short notice, and went into a two-week quarantine. This was supposed to have been a big touring year for a-ha around the world, but that’s all been postponed now”, Magne says.

As for summer exhibitions, Magne will only be doing a couple of them this year, including a solo exhibition at Galleri Nicolines Hus in Kragerø from 18 July – 1 August.

He was also supposed to be this year’s festival artist during the annual Petter Dass literature festival in Alstahaug, Norway. But that festival, along with Magne’s participation, has been postponed to June 2021 instead.

Magne in Feelgood magazine

Magazine cover

Magne is on the cover of the latest issue of Norwegian culture magazine Feelgood (#1/2020).

Inside there’s a 12-page interview about his career within music and arts, written by Erik Valebrokk, which was done in late January.

Here are a few translated quotes regarding a-ha:
————–
Do you think [a-ha] will be recording any new music?

– Everybody keep asking about that, but I don’t see any need for that whatsoever. It’s the thing that wears us out. Having to collaborate on music pulls at the destructive sides of our relationship. We have come to have such different viewpoints and very diverging versions of our own history.

What do you think about Cast In Steel, the last a-ha album so far?

– To put it this way, I’m glad we made it. I really am. Then again, I tend to be happy about everything we’ve done together, regardless whether it was bad or good, because it always leads to something, it becomes a document of a certain time in some way or other.”
————–
Magne also mentions that he’s currently having “big ideas” about the Julia Pastrana opera that’s been in the works for quite some time. The song “Julia”, the first new Apparatjik release in eight years, was released on 20 March.

The magazine can be ordered from feelgoodmagasin.no. The price is 259 kr (£22), which includes shipping within Norway. It’s also available at Narvesen stores.

White Xmas Lies concert in Oslo

Magne live at Kulturkirken Jakob, 4 December

Magne performed an exclusive White Xmas Lies concert with his band at Kulturkirken Jakob in Oslo this afternoon. The 1-hour concert, which was Magne’s first proper solo concert since 2008, sounded really good and was attended by an appreciative audience of specially invited Salvation Army and a-ha.com guests.

When the doors opened, the audience were greeted with warm soup and bread inside the church, handed out by Magne himself and others.

Magne, who switched between piano, acoustic guitar and electric guitar, was joined by an 8-piece band on stage; Karl Oluf Wennerberg, Even Ormestad, Morten Qvenild, Tini Flaat Mykland, Madeleine Ossum, Emilie Heldal Lidsheim, Ingvild Nesdal Sandnes and Dan Sunhordvik. On the last song they were also joined by a horn section from the Salvation Army.

Ten of the songs were taken from White Xmas Lies, but in addition Tini performed “You Can’t Have it Both Ways” – written by Magne for her 2014 album Undo My Heart (which was given out for free after the show).

Here is the setlist:

1. Snow is Falling
2. The Light We Lost
3. A Wintry Silence
4. The Season to be Melancholy
5. Caprice Des Dieux
6. This is Now America
7. You Can’t Have it Both Ways (Tini)
8. So Cold It’s Hard to Think
9. White Xmas Lies
10. Revelation Song
11. There Goes Another Year

See a short video clip from the show posted by Magne’s label Drabant Music on Facebook.

The whole concert was filmed by a multi-camera production and may end up as a TV-special soon. And even if this was the only concert this year, Magne is planning more concerts for next year.

As a warm-up for today’s concert, Magne performed “There Goes Another Year” at the lighting of this year’s Christmas tree at the University Square in Oslo on Sunday, 1 December. A couple of video clips can be seen here and here. He was also a guest on NRK P1’s Nitimen on the same day, which is available at nrk.no (starts at 28:30).

Update: It seems Magne also did a second concert at Kulturkirken Jakob tonight, but this time it was more of a closed, corporate gig.

White Xmas Lies out now

Magne signing albums at Big Dipper, 23 October (Screenshot from Drabant Music on Instagram)

Magne’s new solo album White Xmas Lies is released by Drabant Music today, and is available on CD, vinyl and digitally. It can be streamed or downloaded here. Or you can support this fansite by ordering through the Amazon links on the right.

Positive album reviews have already come in from Musicvein and Essentially Pop in the UK and Bleistiftrocker in Germany.

The official music video for the new single “There Goes Another Year” is now up on YouTube. The Norwegian Salvation Army has also posted a video clip in connection with the song being released as a Christmas single in Norway.

Magne has given a number of interviews in the last week, to promote both White Xmas Lies and the HHAL Tour.

On Monday Magne was a guest on NRK P13’s Selskapssjuk. The 25-minute interview included the premiere of “There Goes Another Year”. Listen here (at 41:00).

Other Norwegian radio interviews include NRK P2’s Kulturstripa on 16 October (at 36:20) and NRK P1’s Ukeslutt on 19 October (at 49:00).

He also appeared on Lørdagsrevyen on NRK1 on 19 October (at 13:30), seen rehearsing with the a-ha backing band in Oslo.

There have been two extensive interviews in English, one with Altvenger Magazine and one with XS Noize. He also talked with The Industry Observer in Australia.

Aditionally, a long interview in French appeared in Rolling Stone France.

On Wednesday Magne did a signing session for White Xmas Lies at the Big Dipper record store in Oslo, where he was also interviewed by NTB.

Meanwhile, today a-ha will be starting production rehearsals for the Hunting High And Low Tour in the UK. Yesterday afternoon Paul was live on the air on The Lynette Fay Show on BBC Radio Ulster in Belfast. Listen here (at 34:20).

Paul has also been interviewed about the HHAL Tour by Eon Music.

Magne planning solo concert

Promotional photo by Nina Djærff for Drabant Music

Magne’s upcoming solo album White Xmas Lies can now be pre-ordered from Amazon UK (CD / 2LP), Amazon Germany (CD / 2LP), plus Tiger and Platekompaniet in Norway. Release date 25 October in Norway/Germany and 1 November in the UK.

The final album tracklist seems to have a different running order compared to the initital announcement. It also includes an additional song; a cover version of The Kink’s “Father Christmas”. So 17 tracks in total. A selection of pictures of the regular vinyl edition have been posted on Instagram by Magnus Rakeng, who designed the cover together with Magne.

A limited edition of the album on vinyl (200 copies), which includes an exclusive art print, is now sold out. A YouTube video filmed in August 2019 documents the process.

Single cover

The second single from the album, “The Light We Lost”, was released by Drabant Music on 4 October and can be streamed or downloaded here. There’s also another lyric music video.

In an interview with Dagsavisen (paywall) yesterday, Magne says that the album project started with the title track, which he originally had intended for a-ha.

“The songs were written during a-ha’s Electric Summer tour, and recorded during Christmas. I started out alone, not thinking that it would end up as a double album, but it just kept growing.”

“This is meant to be a melancholic winter album, which will hopefully be uplifting. Some songs are specifically about Christmas, while others are loosely connected to winter.”

According to the interview, Magne will do one exclusive solo concert in connection with the new album. The concert will be held for an audience especially invited by the Norwegian Salvation Army – plus a few lucky fans.

Single cover

“I didn’t intend to portray Christmas as all misery, but to make songs that can include everyone that aren’t as fortunate in life”, Magne says.

“I have an ambition to do the same in other cities later on. Meaning this project won’t come to an end once Christmas is over, but will return next year as well.”

The next and third single from the album seems to be “There Goes Another Year”, which is released in collaboration with the Norwegian Salvation Army on Magne’s birthday, 1 November.

No further details on the solo concert have been announced yet.

White Xmas Lies album tracklist

The cover art unwrapped

A press release quoted on Northern Irish music website xsnoize.com has revealed more details about Magne’s upcoming solo album:

“‘White Xmas Lies’ is the third solo album by A-ha co-founder and keyboard player Magne Furuholmen. As the title suggests, it is an album with a different take on Christmas. A melancholic winter album, it consists of fourteen original new songs and two surprising cover versions.”

Although the release date is not mentioned, it will apparently be out on 25 October.

Looking at the full tracklist, the album does include the current single “This Is Now America”, plus what could be a new version of “Differences” (originally recorded by a-ha in 2001) and a cover version of AC/DC’s “Hells Bells”:

  1. There Goes Another Year
  2. The Light We Lost
  3. A Punch-Up On Boxing Day
  4. Caprice Des Dieux
  5. This Is Now America
  6. White Xmas Lies
  7. Differences
  8. Revelation Song
  9. The Season To Be Melancholy
10. Snow Is Falling
11. Dark Days, Dark Nights
12. Hells Bells
13. So Cold It’s Hard To Think
14. A Wintry Silence
15. The Ghost Of Xmas Past
16. Come Back Home

“This is now America” available for streaming/purchase

Single cover

Eight days after posting the song on Instagram, Magne’s new single “This is now America” is now available for streaming and purchase through this link.

Magne has recently signed with Drabant Music, the Oslo-based label that already has Waaktaar & Zoe and Savoy among its roster of artists.

Drabant Music describes “This is now America” as “a single from an upcoming project by Magne Furuholmen”, but it’s not yet clear if this refers to his White Xmas Lies album or something else.

Magne posts new song “This is now America”

Screenshot from Instagram

Magne posted a new solo song called “This is now America” on his Instagram on Thursday, 22 August, along with a home-made lyric video.

The song is a melancholic and poignant look at what America used to be, and what it has become.

In a longer response to one of the Instagram comments, Magne explained some of the background for the song:

“(…) this song is an instinctive artistic response to my own growing concern about our drift towards division and entrenchment – happening all over the place, and on all sides of thinking. if we conclude that the ones who share our opinions are the good guys, and the ones who do not are bad, then we are on a dangerous path.
it could have been written about a great number of places, like my second home great britain, or indeed my native norway…i don’t care much for what is happening here either.
but truth is, what happens in america is just much more important to the world.
(…)
so it came out this way: a lament for an america i think a lot of us are still trying our best to dream about. both inside the country and out.
as an artist i cannot help but express how i feel – about everything around me. this does not mean there is an ambition to push a partiular political agenda, or even advance my own personal views – i am not even sure that i am right half the time. i do however believe in the power of art to open minds – my own as well as those of others.”

Magne’s entire response can be seen here.

The lyric video was directed and edited by Magne’s son Thomas Vincent, with artwork and concept by Magne.

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