December 13, 2005
'Norwegian Voices' - or how to spoil a great opportunity

Last Thursday (8 Dec) Serious and the Norwegian Embassy had invited a selection of Norwegian artists ("some of the key elements that have distinguished the evolution of this unique music, and will include many of its most important figures as well as incorporating work representing present and future generations").

With a-ha having played in London the night before and a number of our top artists having recently participating at the London Jazz Festival (Tord Gustavsen, Wibutee etc), we headed over to the Barbican with very high expectations.

... only to get severely disappointed: never have I seen fellow concert-goers laugh after numerous performances!

Staples Brazz Brothers cheered everyone up, as did Ketil Bjornstad's excellent pianos. Others, however, like Terje Isungsset - scratching his pieces of stone and shaking pieces of wood - and Sidsel Endresen howling a piece commissioned especially for the event - brought listeners' faces to grimaces... At the end, Supersilent forced a large chunk of the public to leave before the concert was finished.

Doing a reality check as we got out (all 5 of us agreed this was rubbish/noise) and got our hearing back we could only laugh or be embarrassed on behalf of our country. We have all this great music and all those talented artists back home, yet choose to present this as the 'crème de la crème' of Norwegian music.

Quote of the day (referring to Sissel Endresen's performance):

That union with Sweden must have been really painful

Should this not scare you off, tune in to BBC Radio 3 (or online here) 10pm - midnight GMT on Wednesday 4 January 2006. May the force be with you.

Further references: Norwegian voices Norwegian voices

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Well, I like the percussion of Terje Isungset, but him playing the same concert as Brazz Bros is poor event design. About like playing a soprano recorder at a military tattoo. Add an audience expecting a-Ha...

Btw: Burzum is in jail, but were where Gorgoroth?

Posted by: Jan Egil Kristiansen on December 14, 2005 12:05 PM

Full support for your point of view in the Times, it seems: . As usual the Norwegian artist in question, Terje Rypdal, blames it on an ignorant critic. Me, I've always found Rypdal to be pompous and conceited. ;-)

Posted by: Eirik on December 19, 2005 06:53 AM

Good stuff

Posted by: dustin dunn on December 29, 2005 11:26 AM

Hi guys. Really neat. Nana will get a kick out of it when I show her.

Posted by: Phill on January 27, 2006 06:11 PM
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