søndag 3. oktober 2010

Bjørn Fongaard: Elektrofoni 3CD/1DVD Box-Set

Prisma Records 711
Releasedate 13.09.2010
Distributed by Musikkoperatørene

Elektrofoni is a 3CD / 1DVD box-set which for the first time presents the ground-breaking works by Norwegian experimental composer, guitarist and micro-tonal music pioneer Bjørn Fongaard (1919-1980). The box-set is produced by Lars Mørch Finborud og Lasse Marhaug of Prisma Records.

The seeds to the Elektrofoni box-set began when Lasse Marhaug a few years ago found a copy of the old Electronic Music From Norway LP compilation at a second-hand record store in Stockholm. The LP contained the Galaxy track by Bjørn Fongaard. Marhaug couldn’t believe his ears – that this incredible music was from 1966 and Norway. It sounded like it was recorded yesterday. The music was clearly made by someone with a strong passion and clear vision of his music. Except from Arne Nordheim very little experimental/electronic music from Norway was documented on vinyl, so hearing the Galaxy track led Marhaug to start investigating. After writing about the piece in a column for a UK website, Lasse was contacted by Fongaard’s daughter Lis Fongaard Seim. Lasse was thrilled to hear that she had kept all of her father’s documents, photos and tapes. Together with his partner in Prisma Records Lars Mørch Finborud they set out to produce the extensive box-set that is now ready as Elektrofoni.

Bjørn Fongaard was a known guitar-player in Norway, performing frequently in radio- and TV-shows and as side-kick/studiomusician for famous Norwegian singer-songwriters such as Alf Prøysen and Søstrene Bjørklund. He was also a known guitar-pedagogue for guitarists like Terje Rypdal and Egil Kapstad. But Elektrofoni focuses on Fongaard’s ground-breaking micro-tonal works recorded in the years 1965-1978, performed by himself on his custom-made electric micro-intervallic guitar. The 3 CD’s features a broad selection of Fongaard’s earliest pieces such as Galaxy, Homo Sapiens and Epos as well as the complete Elektrofonia and Sinfonia Microtonalis series – showing Fongaard as a forefather of Norwegian electronic, experimental and improvised music.

The DVD contains TV appearances, radio interview and ballets that Fongaard composed music for, unearthed from the NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Bureau) archives. Also included is a booklet with new essays on Fongaard by Lasse Thoresen, Kjell Tore Innervik and Lars Mørch Finborud. The booklet also contains photos, graphic scores and press-clippings.

The recordings themselves has been carefully restored and mastered by Helge Sten (aka Deathprod), which says that ”Bjørn Fongaard have composed some of the most fantastic and entrancing music from Norway in modern times. His music is no less than cosmic”.

In many ways the release of Elektrofoni adds a whole new chapter to the documented history of Norwegian experimental music, as 90% of the material is released here for the first time.

The release is celebrated with a Bjørn Fongaard concert in collaboration with the Ultima Festival and NOTAM at the Henie Onstad Art Centre 12th September 2010. Pierre Henry will also perform on the same day.

onsdag 29. september 2010

Fongaard review at Kunstkritikk


Merzbow: Live At Henie Onstad Art Centre CD

Masami Akita’s Merzbow project is the biggest name in noise music. Few other artist enjoys the kind of respect within their fields as Merzbow does within the noise scene. If talking about noise music there is simply no way getting around Merzbow. Since 1979 Akita has worked relentlessly producing hundreds of records. He also has a long list of collaboraters: Richard Pinhas, Sunn 0))), Autechre, Pan Sonic, Jim O’Rourke, Boris, Gore Beyond Necropsy, Smegma and many others.

Merzbow performed at the Henie Onstad Art Centre on October 11th 2009. This performance was for the exhibition ”Kurt Schwitters in Norway”. Since Akita has sited Kurt Schwitters as one of his main influences for his music, and took his name from Schwitters’ Merzbau sculpture, it was a natural choice to have Merzbow perform at the centre on the opening weekend of the exhibition. The complete 40 minute performance is presented on the ”Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre” CD.

Musically this is classic Merzbow; hypnotic loops, layers of white noise and massive sweeps of sonic overload. Akita performed using two computers, synthesizer, custom-made metal objects and a host of effect pedals.

The CD is mixed and mastered by Lasse Marhaug and the inner sleeve features a unique photo of Masami Akita inside Scwitters’ Merzbau. Merzbow in Merzbau.

Limited edition of 500 copies.

Sigurd Berge: Early Electronic Works CD

Prisma Records 708
Releasedate 04.10.2010
Distributed exclusively by Musikkoperatørene

Prisma Records is proud to present the first release dedicated to the music by the late Norwegian experimental composer and electronic music pioneer, Sigurd Berge (1929-2002). This release shows some of Berge`s earliest experiments with tape-machines and early synthesizers and is taken from three reels found in the Henie Onstad Art Centre music archives in 2009. The reason why these tapes are located here are probably because Berge worked for several years at the Norwegian Studio for Electronic Music, located at the art centre. Berge also was a part of the electronic music concert-series Elektrofoni which took part at the centre from 1968 until 1983.

On the first tape we found the unreleased pieces Preludium, Ritual & Sørgemusikk and the previously released pieces Erupsjon and Eg beisla min støvel. On a different tape we found the musique concrète piece Delta, which Berge also used in a collaboration with the avant-garde jazz trio Svein Finnerud in 1970.

The second part of this release is dedicated to one of Norway`s first multimedia art installations entitled BLIKK. The work was commissioned for the Henie Onstad Art Centre in 1970 and created by the artists Irma Salo Jæger, Jan Erik Vold and Sigurd Berge. The installation consisted of Jæger`s kinetic sculptures, Vold`s abstract poetry and Berge`s electronic music, all blended together with one of Norway`s first computer generated laser-light shows. The multimedia piece was so complicated to produce that the engineeers Halvor Heier, Birger Komedal & Harald Schiøtz was hired for technical assistance. The pioneering work BLIKK was exhibited at the Henie Onstad Art Centre between April-May 1970.

Prisma Records is proud to one of Norway`s most famous and acclaimed experimental composers and electronic music pioneers for the first time on a complete CD release.

Tanja Orning: Hommage À Anna-Eva Bergman CD

Prisma Records 709
Releasedate 04.10.2010
Distributed exclusively by Musikkoperatørene

In 2002 the performer and cello player, Tanja Orning, was asked by the director of the Henie Onstad Art Centre, Karin Hellandsjø, to play at the opening of an Anna-Eva Bergman exhibition. Tanja Orning decided to compose a completely new piece inspired and dedicated to Bergman`s art. The piece was entitled Hommage À Anna-Eva Bergman.

In February 2009, the large retrospective exhibition Surrealism, line and form – Anna-Eva Bergman`s formative years 1949-52, opened at the Henie Onstad Art Centre. Once again Tanja performed and a couple of months later she was invited by the art centre to record the piece for the in-house label Prisma Records. On April the 13th Tanja Orning and sound technician Thomas Hukkelberg came together in the centre`s Studiohall, to record the piece.

Tanja Orning is a performer, improviser and composer. After studies in Oslo, London, and Indiana University, she held the position as a co-principal cellist in the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra for 5 years until she left for Oslo in order to realise a number of projects. She is currently playing with groups such as Christian Wallumrød Ensemble, asamisimasa, Dr.Ox and Polygon as well as her solo-project Cellotronics which resulted in a CD in 2005. Orning is currently undertaking research in contemporary performance practice at the Norwegian Academy of Music.

Prisma Records is proud to present this entrancing and lyrical composition on a single track CD release, pressed in a limited edition of only 300 copies.

lørdag 6. mars 2010

John Cage: In Norway [CD + book]

CD in 64-page hardcover book with photos, interviews with the musicans and a transcription of Cage's Q&A at the Oslo Art Academy.

Press release:

Having received an invitation from Ole Henrik Moe, the Director of the Henie Onstad Art Centre, John Cage arrived at Fornebu Airport one November day in 1983 and was quickly lodged into a guest apartment in the basement of the museum. Cage had brought with him to Norway a heavy suitcase containing amongst other things a water distiller, a selection of fungi and grains needed for his macrobiotic diet, a pocket chess set and a strong wish to get to meet the Norwegian fungi experts Finn-Egil Eckblad and Gro Gulden.

The programme for the first half of “Cage Week” focused on Cage’s lectures and other text-pieces. He performed Composition in Retrospect at the Norwegian Academy of Music, held a previously unpublished lecture called Duchamp, Johns, Rauschenberg, Tobey, Graves at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, and performed the text pieces James Joyce, Marcel Duchamp, Erik Satie and Alphabet and Muoyce at the Henie Onstad Art Centre. The second half of the week focused on a programme of concerts held at the art centre, with a percussion orchestra conducted by Christian Eggen. The ensemble was to perform, in various constellations, the pieces First, Second & Third Construction, Branches and Music for Marcel Duchamp. On Cage’s own request the Swedish pianist Mats Persson and the French violinist Ami Flammer were invited to perform Freeman Etudes and Sonatas and Interludes.

Cage was very active during his days in Norway, even outside of the official programme. He finished an eight-part Haiku-poem, which he presented as a gift to Ole Henrik Moe. At the museum he also made a series of drawings, tracing the outline of stones that he had brought with him, onto sheets of paper laid out onto the floor. He also got to play several games of chess with some of the musicians, and he went on a failed mushroom hunt at Frognerseteren on a cold November morning.

Cage’s visit was well documented in photo, video and audio recordings, he was interviewed by all the major newspapers, as well as by Eivind Solås for NRK Television. A special pamphlet was printed for the event, containing articles by amongst others Kåre Kolberg and Kjell Samkopf. Shortly after his stay the Norwegian journal of new music, Ballade, published a special Cage edition. Recordings of the event were published in 1984 as an unusual 10-tape suitcase “John Cage in Norway”.

Today in 2010, on the occasion of this exhibition, Henie Onstad Art Centre has published a book and CD also titled “John Cage in Norway”. This publication incorporates the sounds, photographs and articles that document the important Cage visit, which echoed in Norway’s musical and cultural life for years to follow.