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.
Anders Jacobsen |