Yearly Archives: 2016
FIVE STAR REVIEW IN THE SCOTSMAN!
“the three ensembles closed with a blisteringly visceral account of the budgeoning dissonances of Louis Andriessen’s notorious De Staat. It proved a fittingly powerful, provocative and confident, internationally focused conclusion to sound’s thrillingly ambitious weekend.”
FREEDOM O(R) SPEECH
Angela Merkel is a Wagner enthusiast, Barack Obama listens to Bob Dylan and Vladimir Putin enjoys Russian folk music. Still sounds are seldomly a point of concern for politicians. But if choirs can topple a government and symphonies can discourage an army, then music is more than purely pleasure. In ancient China the first emperor of a new dynasty determined which pitch was in harmony with the cosmos. And in his ‘Republic’ Plato regarded only Phrygian and Doric scales to be politically correct: all others threatened the ideal civilisation.
Dutch composer Louis Andriessen took Plato’s text as the initial concept for a cantata which forms a fist against rigid forms of government with energetic rhythms and recalcitrant chords. Andriessen’s ‘De Staat’ (The Republic) is both a accusation against the soulless and suffocating totalitarianism which Plato defends and a reflection on his musical convictions. Andriessen seems to say with his explosive minimalism: everything a composer puts to paper is filled with political, social or religious meaning.
Thereof Mauricio Kagel was also convinced. Everything this Argentinian German composed is a politically tinged mockery of musical history. In ‘Der Tribune’ (The Tribune) – an audio play for political orator, marching sounds and speakerphone – Kagel twists Andriessen’s rhythmical tightness to a virtuously absurdist monologue, soaked with comical rage and disdainful indignation. Demagogy, misleading the people and egotripping are merged with marching band music with oom-pah-pah coppers and tickling woods.
We place both these analyses of the political system – one razor sharp, the other viciously joyful – right next to each other. A new text by writer Dimitri Verhulst to Kagel’s music hurrays the dawn of a new political age with malicious merriment: ‘The future beckons, the sky is clearing and even the roses are turning blue. Tomorrow, tomorrow is mine and yours.’
A production of I Solisti del Vento in collaboration with Red Note Ensemble, Song Circus and Sound Festival with concerts Scotland, Belgium and The Netherlands
YET ANOTHER LOVELY REVIEW OF OUR ALBUM!
This time in German Magazine Bad Alchemy:
“An extraordinary work. What impressed me immediately is the immensely detailed and microtonal spectrum. A world full of nuances and small gestures that make up one giant musical construction in twelve movements. One can dwell endlessly in this strange world. Complex, and above all utterly beautiful.”
I am curating Sound of a Cage. The triennale is build up around the legacy of John Cage and his fellows, and it combines presentations of art, music, design, performance, workshops, lectures and topical discussions. This third edition of set focus on sound poetry. Sound of a Cage take place at Tou Scene on 6.- 8. of October. Welcome to Stavanger!
“A simply unique performance by Song Circus on this album, “Anatomy of Sound”. Years of preparation is presented to us this incredible piece, and in such an exemplary manner. This piece requires an incredible amount of these five vocalists. There is alternately sung and spoken, but the human voice is also used by all other means, literally as an instrument. From whisper soft to icy raw and between all possible nuances, an unreal diverse spectrum of tone colours. A whole fairytale; poetic, terrifying and ghostly time. As a musical poem in which each note will be extremely detailed in the spotlight. Gjertsen’s music sounds remarkably transparent, and his musical language very detailed and full of nuances. This is music that begs to be listened extremely concentrated. Only then his world reveals itself fully…”
Listen to the music: http://phonofile.link/anatomy-of-sound
Hybrid SACD and Pure Audio Blu-ray: https://shop.klicktrack.com/2l/1001457
I am the curator of Sound of a Cage, a triennial is build up around the legacy of John Cage and his fellows. SOAC combines art, music, design, performance, workshops, lectures and topical discussions. This third edition of Sound of a Cage set focus on sound poetry.
Sound poetry is an artistic form bridging literary and musical composition, in which the phonetic aspects of human speech are foregrounded instead of more conventional semantic and syntactic values; “verse without words”.
Vocal excerpts from ANATOMY OF SOUND by Song Circus and 2L.
Pure Audio Blu-ray with 9.0 Auro-3D: https://shop.klicktrack.com/2l/1001457
Song Circus had an amazing and busy week during Rotterdam in May, attending seminars and meetings, establishing new collaborations, booking concerts and performing a successful showcase concert in deDoelen! Thank you for inviting us Classical:NEXT!
I am so proud to present our new video “Anatomy of Sound”!
Concept & idea: Maja Friis and Liv Runesdatter
Film director: Maja Friis
All sound performed by Song Circus (songcircus.no)
Music composed by: Ruben Sverre Gjertsen
Sound production: 2L / Lindberg Lyd (Morten Morten Lindberg and Jørn Simenstad)
Producer: Liv Runesdatter
Cinematographer: Anders Nydam
Visual consultant: Lys og Trolddom / Rasmus Møbius
The video is awailable in different formats and can be customized for screening. The music is originally recorded and produced in Auro 3D.
Contact for screening: Song Circus / Liv Runesdatter – email@example.com
Upsweep-Whistle-Bloop at Nordischer Klang, Greifswald. Concept, visuals and music by Jasmijn Visser and Stine Janvin Motland. Performed and created with Song Circus (Liv Runesdatter, Signe Irene Stangborli Time, Anita Kaasbøll, Eva Bjerga Haugen, Stine Javel), Costumes by Altinstark(Esra Altin, Samy Celler) photos by Eva-Fiore Kovacovsky
Unforgettable, beautiful and outrageous at the same time. Touching and thought-provoking meetings, especially among people in Askar Refugee Camp. Adults and children living in anything but security and hope for the future, and who struggle for dignity and freedom every single day. I am deeply grateful that I got to experience this, thankful for the people I´ve met and can I can not wait to go back.
A very good documentary about Palestina and factors that makes a sustainable development of the Palestinian state extremely difficult. In English. https://tv.nrk.no/program/KOID28002115/gazas-upaalitelige-hjelpere
Thank you Nablus Culture Festival / Hakim – Project Hope, Nablusforeningen and The Municipality of Stavanger.
Le groupe vocal Song Circus composé de six artistes, Stine Janvin Motland, Maria Norseth Garli, Liv Runesdatter, Anita Kaasbell, Eva Bjerga Haugen et Ronnaug Bakke, est spécialisé dans la musique contemporaine et l’improvisation. Il propose ici deux œuvres, « Landscape With Figures » de Ruben Sverre Gjertsen, sur des textes de Damian Vitanza et James Joyce, puis « Persefone » de Ole-Henrik Moe JR. Ruben Sverre Gjersten a étudié la composition à l’Académie Grieg de Bergen auprès de Morten Eide Pedersen et James Clapperton avant de suivre les Masters classes de notamment Brian Ferneyhough, Klaus Huber, Salvatore Sciarrino, Philippe Hurel. Ole-Henrik Moe JR fit ses études de violon et de composition en Norvège, en France et en Allemagne. Sa rencontre avec Iannis Xenakis, à la Sorbonne à Paris fut, pour lui, déterminante. Comme au temps de la chanteuse et muse de Luciano Berio, Cathy Berberian dans les années soixante, c’est une technique vocale nouvelle que l’on aborde ici, faisant la part belle à la virtuosité. Dans une mise en espace particulière, la musique se déploie avec rigueur et force, laissant l’auditeur à la fois spectateur et acteur d’un univers aux repères déplacés qu’il faut reconsidérer à l’aune d’un partage émotionnel totalement nouveau lui aussi. Avis aux amateurs.
We are very proud to share with you all that Song Circus is selected as one of six curated showcases at Classical:NEXT in May 2016!
“Norwegian ensemble Song Circus is comprised of five vocalists, and the music they make is thrilling, demanding, and light-years removed from traditional choral music. ‘Anatomy of Sound’ showcases the work of two composers, Ruben Sverre Gjertsen and Ole-Henrik Moe. Their pieces are jangled and nervous. Thick vocal textures are interwoven with washes of digital sound. A singer’s whisper morphs into a full-throated roar, then yields to near-subliminal mouth percussion. Just as unique, Song Circus’ stage setup surrounds the audience, positioning them within the ensemble so they can act as co-conspirators in the performance.”
The triennial Sound of a Cage is a collaboration of an interdisciplinary and professional art field. The event will take place in Stavanger, and curator is Liv Runesdatter/CARMA Contemporary Art, Music and Dance. The triennial is built up around the legacy of John Cage and his contemporaries and it combines art, music, design, performance, workshops, lectures and topical discussions. This third edition set focus on sound poetry.
The idea of “texts without words”, text as phonetic sound, detached from semantics, can be traced back to the Futurist and Dada movements in the 1920s and 30s. Kurt Schwitter’s Ursonata is one of the first known examples of sound poetry. The art form developed into different categories, such as simulateous poetry, concrete poetry, abstract poetry and visual poetry. In the beat cultures well-known names such as Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Brion Gysin started using cassette recordings. European examples were found in France, Italy and United Kingdom, and names such as Bob Cobbing in the UK and Henri Chopin in France were significant figures. In Sweden a peculiar form of sound poetry developed, known as “text-sound-composition”. Behind it were persons with links to Radio Sweden and Fylkingen-groups. Important names are Åke Hodell and Sten Hanson.
The Song Circus album “Anatomy of Sound”, with music by Ruben Sverre Gjertsen and Ole-Henrik Moe is nominated Spellemann 2015 (Norwegian Grammy). We are so proud and honored.
“Anatomy of Sound” is the concept that permeates all of Song Circus´ artistic work during the period 2014-2018, and it contains eight projects and fifteen composers. The repertoire focuses on the expansion of the register of expression and sound available to the human voice. In addition, Anatomy of Sound suggests a multitude of potential historical, theoretical, phenomenological and artistic angles.
The album “Anatomy of Sound” was nominated Norwegian Grammy (Spellemann). The album contain new music written by the Norwegian composers Ruben Sverre Gjertsen and Ole-Henrik Moe. Anatomy of Sound was recorded in Uranienborg Church by Lindberg Lyd in 9.0 Auro-3D and released on Pure Audio Blu-ray and hybrid SACD by 2L.
The film “Anatomy of Sound” was made in collaboration with the Danish film director, Maja Friis: