onsdag 22. august 2012


This 2LP is a reissue of the holy grail of Norwegian free-jazz and electronic music, Popofoni, released by Sonet in 1973. It features compositions by Arne Nordheim, Terje Rypdal, Kåre Kolberg, Gunnar Sønstevold and Alfred Janson played by an extended Jan Garbarek Quintet. 

The Popofoni-project was initiated after a heated debate on Haagen Ringnes’ TV-show Åpen Post in autumn 1969, which dealt with the subject popmusic. Standing on one side you found the defenders of pop, actress and singer Elisabeth Grannemann, comedian and record producer Rolv Wesenlund and artist and record label owner Arne Bendiksen – who defended his 1969 Eurovision winner Oj oj oj så glad jeg skal bli. In the other corner was the “cultural elite” represented by literature researcher Erling Nielsen and pianist and Beethoven-expert Amalie Christie. Both sides expressed grave concerns about that their opponent’s music impaired their listeners abilities. During the broadcast, Grannemann performed a parody of an avant garde-composition which included throwing dishes and yelling, with direct reference to composer Arne Nordheims music. Some weeks later Nordheim picked up the handkerchief and responded by composing a pop song with avant garde qualities, Solar Plexus, performed by an expanded Jan Garbarek Quartet. Because of the great media attention this quarrel attracted, the organization Ny Musikk (IRCM) and Henie Onstad Kunstsenter decided to ask the experimental composers Kåre Kolberg, Alfred Janson, Gunnar Sønstevold, Terje Rypdal and Arne Nordheim to write new compositions in the meeting point be- tween pop and avant garde – hence the name Popofoni

The result was performed at a concert at the art centre in april 1970 and later documented on a double LP release on Sonet in 1973. It was pressed in 500 copies, and is now one of Norway’s rarest records.
This reissue is produced by Lars Mørch Finborud and Lasse Marhaug for Prisma Records, 2012. The release comes in a limited edition of 500 copies,

New release: KÅRE KOLBERG: ELECTRONIC WORKS 1970-1973 [LP]

Kåre Kolberg (b.1936) is one of Norway’s foremost contemporary composers and is regarded as one of the pioneers of early electronic music and cross-disciplinary art in Scandinavia. He has composed music for film, theatre and chamber orchestras to jazz acts such as Svein Finnerud Trio and Jan Garbarek. This LP contains three early electronic pieces by Kolberg and comes in a limited edition of 300 copies. 

The electronic tape composition Nova was made by Kåre Kolberg for the visual artist Anders Kjær’s multimedia-installation of the same title, exhibited at Henie Onstad Art Centre between 2–22 of august in 1972. The installation included a specially designed light-show and music playing from tapemachine in a loop – blended together with a huge 13x19 meter installation consisting of glass, rubber tires and piles of paper that the audience could walk through. Nova dealt directly with contemporary society’s destruction of nature and the glooming environmental threats of the 70s. It is regarded as one of Norway’s first examples of installation art. The sound was recorded in Polish Radio Experimental Studio in Warsaw, with the help of technician Bogdan Mazurek. The Polish Radio Experimental Studio was founded by Józef Patkowski in 1957. Kolberg was not the only Norwegian to use it; Arne Nordheim also went there to record his electronic music, including the famous Solitaire, which was presented at the opening of the Henie Onstad Art Centre in 1968.

Omgivelser (Enviroments) was a commissioned piece made for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) in 1970. It was composed as a soundtrack for a short film directed by Jan Horne. The idea was to melt abstract film impressions that showcased different sides of the environmental debate of the 1970s, together with experimental electronic music in order to create a singular expression. This piece was also recorded in Studio Eksperymentalne in Warsaw, together with sound engineer Bohdan Mazurek. Kolberg crafted the piece using the studio’s vast sound archives and two pre-recorded tapes. One tape consisted of different recordings Kolberg had made with jazz singer Karin Krog, and the other different field recordings by Kolberg, including Norwegian nursery rhymes sung by Kolberg’s oldest son. In the studio the material was treated with ring modulators and different filters. The result was broadcast in 1970. Since the standard TV-volume levels at the time were so low-fidelity, the dynamic range of Kolberg’s piece didn’t come out right. Kolberg therefore over the years re-presented the piece several times at various concerts.

The title translates to The Emperor’s New Tie. This piece was composed and recorded in 1973 at EMS (Electronic Music Studios) in Stockholm, using a PDP 15/40 computer. It was programmed in the EMS-1 computer language developed in the same studio. Keiserens nye slips was commissioned by Fylkingen, Stockholm.