Vokalist, komponist og produsent

VOCALIST, COMPOSER and PRODUCER

Song Circus recording Ruben Sverre Gjertsen’s “Landscape with Figures” and Ole-Henrik Moe’s “Persefone” in 9.1 Auro-3D to be released on Pure Audio Blu-Ray by 2L.
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Music film “So ro”

https://vimeo.com/12154235

I made this music film back in 2009, and I still love Martin Hawkes photographing. Martin and Frank Shortt rented a caravan and visited some of the most beautiful spots in Rogaland. “So, ro snubberusken min” is based on three traditional lullabies from home (Vestfold, Norway, after Ola Gabriel Yndestad).

Cinematography: Martin Hawkes
Voice: Liv Runesdatter
Baglama: Vidar Skrede
Edit: Jon Garcia De Presno
Concept & Direction: Liv Runesdatter & Martin Hawkes
Produced by Saft Film. Supported by Filmkraft Rogaland.

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Song Circus is signed to 2L / Lindberg Lyd

Song Circus has been collaborating with Lindberg Lyd (Morten Lindberg / Jørn Simenstad) since summer 2013. In April we are recording music by the Norwegian composers Ole-Henrik Moe and Ruben Sverre Gjertsen in Uranienborg Church, Oslo. Feel free to read more about the projects in our websites. We will record the music in 8 channels surround format and release it on Pure Audio Blu-ray in combination with SACD. Morten is among the worlds top Recording Engineers / Producers when it comes to surround format. In 2015 Lindberg Lyd got their 20th Grammy Nomination. Song Circus are thrilled about the project, the music and our collaborators.

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VERLAIN PROSJEKT

Liv Runesdatter – mezzo soprano
Lena Wegemo – piano

THE TELEMANN CANTATAS

Liv Runesdatter – mezzo soprano
Nora Asheim – violin
Maja Wagner – violin
Olav Stener Olsen – cello
Vidar Vikøren – organ

Song Circus Programme 2015 release

Song Circus has recently released the concert programme for the 2015-2016 season, “Anatomy of Sound”.

In 2015 Song Circus present ten unique projects, invoving ten contemporary composers: Programme 2015 (plain text)

“Through minutiae explorations into the very microlevels of sound anatomy, through vocal investigations as vell as the activation of spatial premises and the discovery of timbral qualities of objects, Song Circus masters an unusual audial vocabulary that expands the idea of what music can be.”

Illustrations by Nina Elisabeth Børke, Werksemd (NO).

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Contemporary Music for Meditation

In Desember, January and February Song Circus did a concert tour with musical meditations, interventions and yoga concerts based on their own compositions and music by Cornelius Cardew with text by Confusius. The ensemble visited drug rehab centers, psychiatric institutions, asylum for immigrants and related measures. We have also performed in yoga festivals and performed for people at work. It was a wonderful and different experience for us both artistically and on the human level…

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Rehab intervention

Autumn News

It is autumn, and even though I am working a lot, it seems like the season makes everything just a little smoother, slower and more quiet.

Some highlights from the past four months:

Summer was festival time. The most charming of them all was the Dragon Festival in Jæren, with their 25th anniversary. We did a concert for the festival volunteers and partners in a cottage on Ølberg Beach. Outside the wind howled, and inside were the dragon enthusiasts, sitting close together in the tiny concert venue, listening to traditional Norwegian music arranged for voice, piano, accordion and an orchestra of wine glasses. It was as if I could breath them in, and after the concert I met them all personally. What a lovely bunch of people!

In August, September and October I had the pleasure of doing concerts in collaboration with a culture network organizing and financing culture events for elderly people. It was an enriching experience. I also had some deeply fascinating personal meetings on the way.

Before the summer I was assigned to write a piece for solo flute, and during the summer months I studied flute mechanics and technique, and rediscovered the instrument. I worked closely together with the Norwegian flutist Elisabeth Barstad and the first première took place in Stavanger on the 22nd of October. I am planning to publish a video performance of the piece later this year.

I have also had the pleasure of working with the pianist Lena Wegemo (Sweden / Norway). Together we rehearsed and performed music written to poems by the French poet and symbolist Paul Verlaine. The project is developing steadily in new directions. What a joy!

I am recording a new cd this autumn, Dette er verda, based on a commissioned piece I wrote for ICORN and Kapittel International Festival of Litterature and Freedom of Speech in 2012. The text is written by the wonderful poet Mansur Rajih (Yemen / NO). Read more about the projects here: http://runesdatter.no/category/projects/?lang=en ).  The cd will be released next year. Participating musicians are Abdulrahman Surizehi (benju), Snorre Bjerck (percussion), Tor Yttredal (saxophones), Henning Rød Haugland (piano, accordion and percussion), Ilmari Hopkins (cello), Ivan Zavgorodniy and Roar Skjelbred (double bass).

And then my chamber ensemble Song Circus: In October we guested the GAS Festival and Levande Musik in Gothenburg. And in December we will be doing a tour in Rogaland with a music project that is new for us: meditation concerts and live contemporary music for yoga. The project is done in collaboration with Satya Yoga. In spring we will record a Blueray in cooperation with Lindberg Lyd / 2L, with music by Ole-Henrik Moe and Ruben Sverre Gjertsen.

I have been teaching cultural entrepreneurship at the University of Stavanger this autumn too. I also moved into a new studio this month: “Absinthen” –  a newly renovated former cannery, the perfect working space for me.

I wish you all a lovely autumn!

Liv

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Spring News

2014 is the 200 year anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution, celebrated all over the country. My contribution is the performance “Til Norge” (To Norway). The project was comissioned by Eldrerådet (The Council for Elderly). I invited the Norwegian poet Jan Erik Vold into the project, together with the pianist and percussionist Henning Rød Haugland.

During 25 years Jan Erik Wold has written more political poems than probably any other Scandinavian poets. This year he celebrates his 75th birthday. With a sharp eye and an eloquent tongue he considers the nation and the Norwegian society. Vold is a poet I have returned to many times and it has been a privilege to dive into his authorship again. It is not unproblematic to compose music to lyrics that are so strong in itself. http://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/poet/item/21631/17166/jan-erik-vold)

The first premiére of “Til Norge” was at the 9th of May during the MaiJazz Festival www.maijazz.no . The concert was a great sucsess, the litterature house was completely crowded with audience, and the atmosphere was electric. The project is now awailable for booking!

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March 16th 2014: First premiére “Landscape with figures IIa”

On the 17th of March was the first premiére of “Landscapes with figures IIa” by the Norwegian composer Ruben Sverre Gjertsen. Song Circus and Gjertsen have collaborated since 2010.

The name and music of Ruben Sverre Gjertsen surfaced internationally in 2006 when his work ‘Circles’ was commissioned and performed by Pierre Boulez and the Lucerne Festival Academy. He is one of the most articulate compositional voices of his generation. His work is characterised by a virtuosity on the micro level that distorts expectations as to how instruments and ensembles should sound. The minute detail in his scores evoke a particularly vibrant musical material, where the richly textures appear almost as solid objects, tempting us to reach out and touch them. The music appeals to many aspects of our senses, not only to that of listening, as the sound revolves around rubbing, rasping, and scratching sounds. Sometimes these rough, grainy sounds are violent and intense, at other times they are fragile and tender or sparkling and transparent.

In this Norwegian interview Gjertsen speaks about “Landscape with figures” and his approach to composing music:

http://www.ballade.no/nmi.nsf/doc/art2012032009361766061341

Listen:

http://songcircus.no/?page_id=17

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of you who have given colours to my life this past year!

“Dette er verda”, the concert work that was commissioned by ICORN and first performed at Kapittel, Stavanger International Festival of Literature and Freedom of Speech, will be recorded this year. More info about that project will come soon!

Before Christmas, it was confirmed that the Norwegian Council continues the ensemble support for Song Circus in 2014. We are very grateful!

This winter we will start recording works by Trevor Wishart, Ruben Sverre Gjertsen and Ole-Henrik Moe. It will be recorded and released in surround format by Lindberg Lyd / 2L.

About Lindberg Lyd / 2L:
2L emphasize surround sound with Pure Audio Blu-ray and HiRes file distribution, and have garnered no less than 14 American GRAMMY nominations since 2006. Nine of these in categories “Best Engineered Album” and “Best Surround Sound Album”.

SONG CIRCUS & OSLO SINFONIETTA PRESENTING GJERTSEN AT ULTIMA

The premiere of ”Landscape with Figures II” took place on the 7th of September.  “Landscape with figures is a concert piece written for Song Circus and Oslo Sinfonietta. The venue for the performance was Dansens Hus in Oslo, during one of Scandinavia’s premier festivals for contemporary music, www.ultima.no.

Song Circus is performing a related piece by Gjertsen on the 16th of March 2014.

We consider Gjertsen to be one of the foremost Nordic contemporary composers. Rubens website.

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In 2014 we will start recording works by Trevor Wishart and Ole-Henrik Moe. This is music we have been working on for a long time and they have become two of our signature pieces. We will also record a brand new piece by Ruben Sverre Gjertsen. The recording will be released by Lindberg Lyd / 2L.

About Lindberg Lyd / 2L:
2L emphasize surround sound with Pure Audio Blu-ray and HiRes file distribution, and have garnered no less than 14 American GRAMMY nominations since 2006. Nine of these in categories “Best Engineered Album” and “Best Surround Sound Album”.

Song Circus is thankful to the Norwegian Arts Council for supporting us.

Concert pictures from Ultima, by photographer Henrik Beck:

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27th of October

The design office Werksemd (Nina Elisabeht Børke) has developed our new design profil. And our new websites are made by Jonas Ersland. We love it!

www.songcircus.no

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Listen to Song Circus: https://soundcloud.com/song-circus

 

25 of October

I have just finished a tour with “Den Kulturelle Skolesekken”. 20 concerts for children in Rogaland.

The 23rd of September was the first premiére of my new concert piece: “Dette er verda”, at Maskinhallen / Tou Scene. What a joy! “Dette er verda” was commissioned by ICORN and a part of Kapittel, Stavanger International Festival of Literature and Freedom of Speech.

http://www.kapittel.no/program/urpremiere-dette-er-verda/

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The 14th of September was the grand opening of Stavanger Consert Hall. I performed “Lydsafari”, composed by Nils Henrik Asheim:

http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/distrikt/rogaland/1.8322900

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyN0vku_hCI

 

20th of September

Welcome to the first premiére of “DETTE ER VERDA”

 

Kapittel 12 concludes with a musical and poetic world premiere: a newly written concert work by the award-winning composer and singer Liv Runesdatter, with lyrics by Mansur Rajih (Jemen / NO).

 

Vocalist and composer: Liv Runesdatter.
Benju: Abdulrahman Surizehi.
Lyrics: Mansur Rajih.
Saxophones: Inge Breistein.
Cello: Ilmari Hopkins
Accordion, keyboards and percussion: Henning Rød Haugland.
Bass: Roar Skjelbred.

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15th of June:

“Anonymia” was exhibited at Bryne Kunstforening in January and February.

We had a great cooperation with the curator and head of Bryne Art Association, Karin Sunderø. Journalist Leif Tore Sædberg wrote an very nice and insightful article for  the newspaper “Jærbladet”, and art critic in Stavanger Aftenblad, Trond Borgen, wrote a great review. You are welcome to read more about “Anonymia” under “Projects”.

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June

It is going to be a busy autumn. Here are some of my favourite upcoming concerts:

2nd of September: Song Circus Concert at Skur 2, Stavanger. Music by Cage and Cardew. Arr. CARMA Contemporary Art Music & Dance.

13th & 14 th of September: Opening the new Consert House in Stavanger. Impro-based music by the Norwegian composer Nils Henrik Asheim for The Kitchen Orchestra with guests. Arr. Stavanger Concert House.

23rd of September, Kapittel Stavanger International Festival for Literature and Freedom of Speech: First premiere “Dette er verda”. Music by Liv Runesdatter. Text by Mansur Rajih. Prod.: ICORN International Cities of Refuge Network. Musicians:

Vocalist and multi instrumentalist: Liv Runesdatter. Benju: Abdulrahman Surizehi. Poet and voice: Mansur Rajih. Saxophones: Inge Breistein. Violin: TBA. Piano, accordion and percussion: Henning Rød Haugland. Double bass: Roar Skjelbred.

1st – 23rd of Oktober: Tour “Latinamerikanske Eventyr” in Rogaland. Arr: Den Kulturelle Skolesekken.

18th of November, Skur 2 Stavanger: Consert Song Circus and Kari Rønnekleiv.  Music composed by Ole-Henrik Moe og Trevor Wishart. Arr. Ny Musikk Stavanger.

17th, 19th. and 20th of November: Song Circus mini tour in Oslo, Trondheim and Bodø. Music by Ole-Henrik Moe and Trevor Wishart. TBA.

26th – 30th of November: Skápmajienat – sapmi music meets norwegian traditional music. Concerts in Finnmark, Finnland og Rogaland. Ulla Pirttijärvi, Liv Runesdatter, Frode Fjellheim with ensemble. Arr. Scene Finnmark.

7 th – 9th of Desember: Song Circus & Ruben Sverre Gjertsen Project in Bergen. TBA.

25th of Desember: Chamber music in St Petri Church, Stavanger.

5th – 6st of January, Stavanger Art Museum: The Art Conference “Sound of a Cage”. Arr. CARMA Contemporary Art, Music & Dance

February 2012:

2011 has been a very good and productive year, with lots of concerts and with the first premiéres on four new productions. I have had the honour of receiving the National work grant from the Arts Council Norway (2011).

My chamber ensemble Song Circus has presented several new productions and performed pieces by composers such as Trevor Wishart, John Cage, Christian Wolff og Jaap Blonk. We have been teaching vocal workshops and we had two first premières: “Hat Piece”, with music created for the exhibition of modist (hat maker) Kirsti Nordberg Moes. And the lavvo concert production “MembrainCity”. We have been rehearsing the beautiful and complex microtonal vocal piece “Persefone Perceptions”, by the Norwegian composer Ole Henrik Moe. (Première summer 2012.) Our main project this year and next year is the development and first performance of a new piece written for Song Circus, Oslo Sinfonietta and electrophonics, by the Norwegian composer Ruben Sverre Gjertsen. In 2013 Song Circus is releasing our first cd with music by Wishart and Moe.

Song Circus has achieved the prestigious national “ensemble stipendium” from the Arts Council Norway (2012). We are grateful and excited about the opportunities this offers!

“MembrainCity” was an interdisciplinary concert and workshop program dedicated to the themes: sustainability, ecology and innovation. For the occasion, a Sami tent was constructed outside of Tou Scene. Among the contributors were professional biologists, geologists, farmers, chefs, engineers, and a multidisciplinary artist panel. The project was curated by CARMA (by Liv Runesdatter) and Randy Naylor, and was presented in Stavanger in August 2011.

The 1st of December was the premiere of “Anonymia”, in the crypt of St Petri Church. Anonymia consisted of two multi-channel sound installations (Liv Runesdatter), a text piece (Runesdatter) and two projected photographic series (Signe Christine Urdal). The project was developed and is now exhibited at Bryne Art Center (21 January-26. February). The exhibition has attracted great attention and reviews.

The 2nd of Desember was the première of “Skápmajienat – Lyd i mørketid”, Finnmark’s annual celebration of the mid-night sun (Aurora Polaris). The production was based on music by three key Norwegian and Saami musicians & improvisers: Liv Runesdatter, Frode Fjellheim and Ulla Pirttijärvi. The music was newly assigned to the project and the artists expressions were closely integrated. The sacred, the spiritual perspective of musical presence, was a key for this year’s project. Other contributing musicians are strings instrumentalists from the Ensemble Noor, Harald Devold (saxophone), Michael Kontochristus (percussion), Asbjørn Ruud (guitar) and Marianne Halmrast (bass). This year’s production has received great receptions in Finnmark, with sold-out concerts followed by very good reviews. In May 2012, the production is on the road again, with concerts in Finnmark and Rogaland.

 

October 2010:
28th – 30th of October: Attending WOMEX, Copenhagen.
I am a participant at the Norwegian WOMEX stand. You are most welcome to visit!

September 2010:
SOUND OF A CAGE – art conference and five days concert marathon with “Song Circus”
Song Circus: Liv Runesdatter, Anita Kaasbøll, Eva Bjerga Haugen, Rønnaug Bakke, Maria Norseth Garli, Signe Irene Time. Special guests: Else Olsen Storesund (prepared piano), Sigyn Fossnes (violin), Jonas Rogne Skartveit (conductor), Marit Sandsmark (dancers, coreographer), Pål Asle Pettersen (electrophonic music), Iversen / Bjerga (electrophonic music).

May and July 2010:
SARI GELIN WITH PREMIÈRE AND CONCERTS,
AZERBAIJAN STATE PHILHARMONY AND SHEKI 1ST INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL.
LIV RUNESDATTER AND ELSHAN MANSUROV WERE PRIZED BY THE AZERI GOVERNMENT.

June 2010:
SPOR – TRACES, PASSIONS KIRCHE BERLIN, GERMANY.

26th of Desember 2009:
Folkforum.nl has chosen “Syng hjerte” to be one of the finest cd´s of the year 2009.

The review (folkforum october):
Among new Scandinavian releases I´ve chosen Liv Runesdatter with the fascinating and quiet cd “Syng hjerte”.
The album sounds distinctive, exciting and subdued. What a voice! She is a true promotor of Norwegian tradition, but it is also “improvisational music in it´s heart”. Her solo debut gives the accordion and the Hardanger fiddle an important role, but also two saxophones, played by biggies from the Norwegian jazz and improvisational music: Rolf-Erik Nystrøm and Trygve Seim. But instead of technical “showoff” the cd offers dreamily caresses. Have a listen to the traditional lyrical interpretation of “Jeg har en venn”. Listen to track 2 on Womex (womex.com)

Super-nice review of “Syng hjerte” in FolkWold issue #40!
http://www.folkworld.eu/40/e/cds.html
The second album in this review is Syng hjerte by singer Liv Runesdatter. It’s her first solo album, but she is far from unknown in her home country. She has been part in many projects and her work has been awarded several times. She studied, and sings, chamber and early music and collaborated with national and international known artists in many genres. Runesdatter shows to belong at the top of Norwegian music. Although her music breaths the Norwegian air, it also has something modern and unique. Her voice is warm and has a natural peacefulness. She search for simplicity in her music, like in Jeg er nå så glad which is a duet between her voice and the subtle saxophone played by Rolf erik Nystrøm. It reminds me of the ice cold traditional jazz of Jan Garbarek, without being a copy of his style. When Runesdatter sings one of the many psalms on this album, I feel the ancientness of these songs and when she is backed by the Hardingfele, she brings the dales of South-Norway to live. Two albums from Norway, two solo debuts and two albums that are worth having in your CD collection.
Eelco Schilder: Reviewer, Author. (Based in Malden, Netherlands. Contributor to Dutch folk magazine New Folk Sounds)

18th of October 2009:
September and the first two weeks of October has been both busy and fun. In September I visited Orkdal, a small village one hour away from Trondheim. The local chamber choir Cantilena performed a choir composition of mine and we played a concert at Orkdal Culture House with “Syng hjerte”. We stayed at the historical hotel Bårdshaug Herregård, a very beautiful small hotel with a long history.. Different and fun was the collaboration with the Deutch artist Jaap Blonk a week later. My vocal ensemble Song Circus was invited to work with him and to perform his piece “Frictional”. A fascinating and inspiring experience. Others? Folk Music Mass in Revheim Kirke together with my fiddle player Tuva Bolstad and organ player Anne Mundal, performing at The National day of Norwegian Heritage, producing the program for Forum for freelance musicians and New Music, premiere and two concerts together with saxophoneplayer Inge Breistein (new music piece based on a dance from Våler), developing new projects, rehearsing, collecting/ recording folk songs in Eastern Norway…

On the 28th of October I am leaving for Copenhagen and Womex, and in November I wil stay in Germany, going on a one month promo-tour with “Syng hjerte”. In Berlin I will also meet the Norwegian photographer Per Christian Brown, one of my favourites among young Norwegian artists, collaborating on the next Song Circus project.

Song Circus (contemporary music for 6 voices) on myspace: www.myspace.com/songcircus
Syng hjerte on myspace: www.myspace.com/livrunesdatter

11th of August 2009:
It has been a wonderful summer! The Olsok-tour and the concert at Vikedal Roots Festival was among the best moments this year. In Olsok the Norwegians are celebrating the St. Olav (“King Olav the sacred”). King Olav Tryggvason (995-1030) is the most well known Norwegian religious crusader. Concerts sold out, and a beautiful audience..

This autumn I am engaged to write music for a video- and sound installation made by the Norwegian artist Eli Glader. First premiere 2010 at International Festival of Literature, Kapittel (Chapter), a Norwegian festival celebrating literature and freedom of speech. I am also engaged to make music inspired by drawings, installations and paintings by the artists Snøfrid Hunsbeth Eiene and Ingrid Toogood Hovland. Premiere october the 8th in Stavanger Kunstforening.

In october I am also travelling to Baku, Azerbajdsjan, to play concerts together with my wonderful accordion player Alfred Janson and folk musicians from Baku.

The solist ensemble Cantilena will perform three of my choral works in Trøndelag in september, and in Nowember I am lucky to have an “artist in residens” stay in Berlin, promoting my cd in Germany and composing new music. I am also attending Womex this autumn, the most important international professional market of world music, located in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Song Circus & Oslo Sinfonietta med urframføring på Ultimafestivalen

30. oktober

7. september hadde Song Circus première på Landscape with Figures II, komponert for oss og Oslo Sinfonietta av Ruben Sverre Gjertsen. Konserten ble fremført på Dansens Hus, i Oslo, under Ultimafestivalen. Her kan du se bilder fra konserten. Fotograf er Henrik Beck.

Ruben Sverre Gjertsen har allerede gjort seg bemerket internasjonalt med flere større prestisjetunge oppdrag. Hans verk er preget av en virtuositet på mikroplan som vrenger forventningene om hvordan instrumenter og ensembler kan låte. I sitt nye verk, Landscape with figures II, tas rommet i bruk på forskjellige måter, musikere og sangere er plassert rundt publikum, og elektroakustisk lyd fordeles over et stort høyttaleroppsett som fyller rommet og skaper et tredimensjonalt terreng.