Song Circus www.songcircus.no is a Norwegian chamber ensemble consisting of five professional vocalists, led by Liv Runesdatter. The ensemble specialize in contemporary music and improvisation. Song Circus has established close and enduring relationships with several composers and creating artists. The ensemble has given life to an unusual and fascinating vocabulary of sound combined with rare musical precision, and their concerts have been broadcasted by radio- and TV stations in Norway and Germany.

Song Circus has achieved The Governmental Ensemble Work Grant 2012-2017 (NO). Their album Anatomy of Sound, presenting new classical music by Ruben Sverre Gjertsen (NO) and Ole-Henrik Moe (NO), was produced by multiple Grammy nominee surround sound producer Morten Lindberg i 2015. The album has achieved outstanding reviews and was nominated Norwegian Grammy.

Physical album and Pure Audio Blu-ray: https://shop.klicktrack.com/2l/1001457
All digital services: http://phonofile.link/anatomy-of-sound


Liv Runesdatter • Eva Bjerga Haugen • Ingeborg Dalheim • Stine Janvin Motland • Signe Irene Time


Liv Runesdatter
+47 93243789

An EP with vocal excerpts and a film from the project Anatomy of Sound was released summer 2016:


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.

ruben_sverre_gjertsenOle_Henrik_Moebilde wishart

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:

OS SC EggenOS SC Eggen 2OS SC Eggen 3


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!



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.



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




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.


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”.

anonymia_bryne_FEV8070cropanonymia_bryne_kunstforening_DSC0062_webcrop2anonymia_bryneFEV8047BILDE MIDT I BLANT OSS 2bMIDT I BLANT OSS BILDE !



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:

June 2010:

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!
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.

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