Thursday, March 22, 2012

Voices That Matter

Spring is on it´s way they say, and the festival season too.
If you are heading towards the west coast of Norway in May, you better check out the program for the Bergen International Festival.
Maja Ratkje is curating a concert series called "Voices That Matter".

I steal her own words from the festival web site (read more over there!):

"Without breath we cease to exist. Without voices that matter, we are also poorly equipped for survival. The English improvisation artist Phil Minton says that anyone with breath can join his Feral Choir. Everyone is equal, regardless of background, class or musical skills. Who will take part in Bergen is a surprise. Experience a concert with the Feral Choir in Logen on 1 June, and you will carry a smile around with you for a long time afterwards. In the same concert, which has been titled New Concept of Choirs, the vocal artist Stine Janvin Motland will premiere a new work by Øyvind Torvund, commissioned for the occasion, and the Norwegian Girls’ Choir will perform my stage work Ro–Uro ('Calmness-Agitation'), inspired by folk music and the history of despots.

One of the greatest voices of our era is David Moss. It is a great honour to present the American during the Bergen International Festival – don’t miss him in Logen on 31 May. There will be more powerful solos on 2 June, also in Logen, with the controversial unbridled noise artist Dave Phillips, the virtuoso of voice and theremin Koichi Makigami (known for collaborating with John Zorn and Otomo Yoshihide amongst others) and Tone Åse, who will perform a 'sound novel' in Bergen dialect!

The English viol consort Fretwork draws a connection between times ancient and modern in works by composers ranging from Purcell and Gesualdo to Tan Dun and Ratkje. The Norwegian author Karin Sveen, known for her incisive political contributions to left-wing newspapers, will also be presented reading her own poem ET OS, which was a direct source of inspiration for my work River Mouth Echoes.

I have invited the artist HC Gilje to join me to create a special room of sound and light for the first concert of the series in Johanneskirken (St John’s Church) on 25 May, my only contribution to the series as a musician".

And suddenly I start wondering: Are there any improv vocalists of the male gender in Norway? I don´t think so, but I hope I´m wrong again.

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