Posts Tagged ‘magne furuholmen’

Norse mythology inspires Magne’s latest project

At work in his art studio in Asker

Magne recently opened two solo exhibitions in the Ålesund area on June 13th; Extra Super Plus at Khåk Kunsthall in Ålesund and Völuspá in the visitors center at Alnes Fyr.

Völuspá is believed to be the world’s longest graphic print, with a length of 25 meters. It’s inspired by the famous 10th century poem of the same name from the Poetic Edda, and in particular the first English translation of it from the 1800s. Here is a picture of Magne in front of Völuspá.

“I’ve visited Alnes before, and have dreamt of hanging such an image on this particular wall since I first came here. You may call it Corona-madness, the idea of creating such a large continuous graphic print from one roll of paper. It took five printmakers five days to make it, followed by a month of drying. I am very pleased to see it up on the wall now. An entire roll of this paper is 90 meters long, so perhaps that will be the ambition for my next project”, Magne told newspaper Sunnmørsposten (paywall) with a laugh.

Details from Völuspá

“These are two seperate exhibitions, but there is a dialogue between them. The exhibition at Khåk has been carefully planned, and includes a selection of works that I’ve been working on for the last one and a half years, and during the entire corona period. It’s a large exhibition and the most important for me this summer. The exhibition at Alnes is inspired by me binge-watching Vikings and a fascination for the tales in old norse literature, combined with the fact that this area carries a lot of history from that era”, Magne says.

Extra Super Plus includes a selection of oil paintings, woodcut monotypes, ceramic works and a smaller, 4-meter version of Völuspá. It will remain open until August 15th. An online exhibition catalogue is available here. The main version of Völuspá at Alnes Fyr can be seen until August 8th.

The day before, June 11th, another Furuholmen exhibition opened as part of the Petter Dass literature festival in Alstahaug. A video of the opening, with Magne joining via videolink (at 18:50), has been posted on Vimeo.

There is also a new video about Magne’s printmaking process, posted by Queen Sonja Print Award, which can be seen on Facebook.

And another summer exhibition of his art will be held at Galleri Sagesund in Tvedestrand from 18 July – 8 August.

Movie trailer now available

The official trailer for a-ha: The Movie premiered yesterday, via articles posted by Variety in the US and VG in Norway.

It has also been posted by the production company on YouTube:

“I wanted to tell a story about their boyhood dream, and how incredibly difficult it really was to achieve an international breakthrough back then. About the future of a-ha. If there will be more music. I hope you’ll get to know them better as individuals and get a deeper understanding of the mechanisms within the band. This is not just a film about a-ha, but above all a film about Paul, Magne and Morten”, director Thomas Robsahm tells VG.

a-ha: The Movie will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on June 12th – tickets for the outdoor screening are sold out, but streaming access can be purchased here (US only).

Meanwhile, the Norwegian premiere has been pushed back to September 3rd. Theatrical deals are also in place for Japan, Korea, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, according to Variety.

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

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.

White Xmas Lies concert to be streamed

Magne at the piano in Oslo last year

Magne’s White Xmas Lies solo concert at Kulturkirken Jakob in Oslo last year will be streamed on Facebook on Boxing Day, 26 December at 5pm CET. He will also be chatting live with fans during the concert. Read all the details about the event on a-ha.com.

During the 11-song set on 4 December 2019 he was joined by the following musicians on stage; Karl Oluf Wennerberg, Even Ormestad, Morten Qvenild, Tini Flaat Mykland, Madeleine Ossum, Emilie Heldal Lidsheim, Ingvild Nesdal Sandnes and Dan Sunhordvik.

Although Magne was planning four additional White Xmas Lies concerts this year; London, Berlin and two dates in Oslo, they had to be put on hold because of the pandemic.

A preview of the concert video can be seen on Magne’s YouTube channel.

Update: Magne will also be posting some of his new demo recordings for us to hear on Instagram this Christmas. Listen to the first song “I’m In” here (21/12) and the second song “God is in the Details” here (26/12).

Magne writes short stories for Juleroser

Magazine cover

Magne makes his debut as a fiction writer in the 2020 issue of Norwegian Christmas magazine Juleroser, with a collection of short stories inspired by his own song “So Cold It’s Hard To Think” from last year’s White Xmas Lies album.

The stories are written in Norwegian and spread across eight pages, interspersed with accompanying song lyrics in English and illustrated by two woodcuts from the Stigma series. Written in Magne’s trademark all-lowercase font, the stories revolve around relationships, work experiences, John Lennon, living through the pandemic and other things.

The magazine also includes the lyrics for “A Wintry Silence”, reinterpreted and translated into Norwegian (nynorsk) by Brit Bildøen.

Magne was asked to contribute by Juleroser editor and singer Herborg Kråkevik:

“I heard a song that made a real impression on me, and then I read an interview with Magne where he talked about it. He didn’t quite call it an anti-Christmas song, but that it was about reclaiming Christmas from what it’s become. And Juleroser is intended to be an alternative to superficial things”, Herborg tells VG.

Magne and Herborg recently visited Lysebu Hotel in Oslo to promote the magazine and shoot some video clips.

Update (28/11): A video clip of the two of them performing “Vinterstilla” has now been posted on Facebook.

This is not the first time the two of them collaborate. Back in 1998, Magne and Kjetil Bjerkestrand composed the melody for the song “Ein Strek – Nokon Fargar”, which was performed by Herborg Kråkevik. It can be heard on YouTube.

Juleroser is published by Det Norske Samlaget and is available in stores across Norway now.

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.

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