Wednesday, December 31, 2014

World of Glass

Today being the last day of 2014 I guess quite a lot of you will raise a few glasses for the new year that´s on it´s way. Good for you, and a happy new year to all!

My drinking days are over, so I am enjoying some glass music instead.

Drummer and percussionist Terje Isungset and trumpeter Arve Henriksen have been cooperating several times on instruments made of ice, making beautiful and warm music, and on the album "World of glass" (All Ice 2014) they do the same with glass instruments and vocals (Henriksen).

The project was a part of Tallin being European Capital of Culture in 2011, and all instruments were made for this happening.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

John Russell´s 60th birthday concert

Guitarist John Russell celebrated his 60th birthday concert at Cafe Oto (London) on the 19th December 2014.

This was happening:

- Set 1. Trio with Satoko Fukuda (violin) and Henry Lowther (trumpet)

- Set 2. Duo with Phil Minton (voice)

- Set 3. Trio with Evan Parker (saxophones) and John Edwards (bass)

- Set 4. Electric guitar duo with Thurston Moore

You will find videos from all sets over at Helen Petts´ YouTube channel.

The video in this blog post is from Set 1.

Friday, December 26, 2014

1982 at Inage Candy (Japan)

1982 at Jazz Spot Candy, Inage, Chiba (Japan), 17th October 2013 (via EigenKino on YouTube).

Musicians: Sigbjørn Apeland (piano), Nils Økland (Hardanger fiddle) and Øyvind Skarbø (percussion).

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays To All Of You

I am not much of a believer, but when Jesus comes to town for Christmas what can you do?

He´s wearing his Easter crown of thorns, but still!

Billy Bragg - A New England (XFM Winner / Winter Wonderland 2014)

Billy Bragg´s "A New England" - one of my favorite songs ever, and now I see that "Life's A Riot With Spy Vs Spy - Special 30th. Anniversary Edition" was released last autumn!

Monday, December 22, 2014


"KitsuNe", a "new" piece by Robert Wyatt and The Future Eve is out.
Three versions are on iTunes ready to be downloaded already, named 01.01, 02.03 and 03.01.

"Ring version", "narrative work of eight pieces" will be let loose on the world in 2015.

"Received a tape from Robert Wyatt in 1998. The title was "Brian The Fox" and four takes were recorded.
We chose one take from it and started working on it.
I first dubbed layers of sounds to it and Takaaki Han-ya took over the piece afterwards.
The piece was dramatically changed and completed after a total of two years."

"Brian the fox" is a track on Wyatt´s album "Cuckooland" (2003).

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Robert Wyatt and Benign Dictatorships

I seem to have missed (or forgotten) Marcus O´Dair´s piece "Robert Wyatt and Benign Dictatorships", published in Drowned in Sound (November 5th 2014). It is about Robert Wyatt´s contributions to other people´s records, a selection of which makes the second part of the Domino collection "Different Every Time", named "Benign Dictatorships".

O´Dair: "Although it’s often forgotten, there’s a side of Wyatt’s discography that is more session musician than solo artist. He has appeared on a surprising number of other people's records – among them, records by Brian Eno, Paul Weller, Björk and Hot Chip. Typically, these collaborations are not equal partnerships, but instead, essentially, a host and a guest; hence Wyatt’s reference to ‘benign dictatorships’".

If you are really interested in diving into Wyatt´s discography, and his works with other people, "Une Discographie De Robert Wyatt" is the best place to start!

On top here a couple that didn´t make it to the Domino sampler.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Top Gear Choral Society

How about a Christmas Carol today? Here is "Good King Wenceslas" by Top Gear Choral Society (recorded 8 December for BBC Top Gear and broadcasted 26 December 1970), being Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge, Marc Bolan, John Peel, Ivor Cutler, Sonja Kristina, Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagen.

The happening is mentioned in Michael King´s "Wrong Movements" (1994), Graham Bennet´s "Soft Machine Out Bloody Rageous" (2005) and Marcus O´Dair´s: "Different every time" (2014). And all musicians with names mentioned above seem to have been present.

On YouTube one Sheila, June Child and David Bedford are mentioned, Michael King mentions a "Faces roadie" and a friend of Sonja Kristina and Marcus O´Dair might just have mistaken Ivor Cutler for being Lol Coxhill!

Other songs recorded during the same session: "Silent Night, "Away In a Manger" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen".

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mount The Air

A signed copy of the new The Unthanks 10" single "Mount the air/"Died for love" (Rabble Rouser 2014, 500 copies) is in da house!

"Mount the air" is a short version of the title track of The Unthanks album that will be released in February 2015, and "Died for love" is a demo version of a track from the same album.

Great songs as always!

Artwork: Natalie Rae Reid.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Strings & Timpani

Talk about being slow, but here is finally a post on the final release from the Bergen kraut-noise-rock duo The Sweetest Thrill. And it´s no less than a limited cassette (100 copies?), but also available digitally (iTunes, eMusic, streaming services)!

The Sweetest Thrill is Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (drums) and Stephan Meidell (guitar), both hard working guys on the Bergen scene, and they called it a day (for The Sweetest Thrill) this spring with "Strings and Timpani" (Klangkollektivet 2014).

While their previous release "Jewellery" (PlayDate / Klangkollektivet 2012) was a duo album, they have several guests on the new one, and some of the names should be familiar to readers of this blog. They are: Mari Kvien Brunvoll, Espen Sommer Eide, Kristian Stockhaus, Bjørn Torske, Bjørnar Habbestad, Per Zanussi, John Hegre and Jørgen Træen.

Highly recommended!

It even seems like it still is possible to order cassettes (100 NOK), and the Norwegian krone is low these days too, just saying.

Maja Ratkje live at Constellation November 2014

Maja S. K. Ratkje live at Constellation 11.23.14 from Experimental Sound Studio on Vimeo.

Maja Ratkje performing at Constellation (Chicago) 23 November 2014.An Experimental Sound Studio & Frequency Series presentation (Vimeo).

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Three Rune Albums You Might Like

Damn! Time flies and it seems like I have a hard time catching up with the blogging.

That´s why you get this collection of three albums from Rune Grammofon that you should check out.
What they have in common? The music is good and they are on the same label!

- "Supersilent 12" was recorded during three different sessions in 2011. Dark and stunning improv from Arve Henriksen, Helge Sten and Ståle Storløkken.

- Sidsel Endresen & Stian Westerhus: "Bonita" - A studio recording this time, and an "Essential listening for the adventurous music lover"

- Albatrosh: "Night Owl"- Eyolf Dale (p) and André Roligheten (sax). This must be jazz, and it smells good!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Robert Wyatt and Alfreda Benge on Freak Zone

Robert Wyatt and Alfreda Benge talk about their creative partnership with Wyatt's biographer Marcus O'Dair on Stuart Maconie´s "Freak Zone" (BBC 3).

Release date: 07 Dec 2014 (3 weeks left to listen!).

Whole show here.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Spit Three Times

This song is so good! Neneh Cherry´s "Spit Three Times" from the "Blank Project" album (Smalltown 2014).

She told Fader about the song: "When I wrote it, I had been through a terrible trauma in my life (my mother passed away suddenly, which literally broke my heart and took me down down down into a huge black hole of despair). I am being very specific when I talk about the 'black dog' which was Winston Churchill's name for his dark depressions".

If I post a "Best of 2014" list, you might find "Blank Project" there.

Find info on the video on YouTube.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A mug with beard and a piece in The Irish Times

Afraid of beard with your cocoa?

If not, you might want a Robert Wyatt mug from Raw Art!

And with a mug of whatever, you also may want to read Marcus O´Dair´s piece "Why Robert Wyatt’s wife Alfie is his most important collaborator" in The Irish Times (10/12 2014).

O´Dair says that his book "Different Every Time" should perhaps have been subtitled “The authorised biography of Robert Wyatt and Alfreda Benge”.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


A new book to read for Christmas? How about "Litpop: Writing and Popular Music", Edited by Rachel Carroll, Teesside University, UK and Adam Hansen, Northumbria University, UK (Farnham: Ashgate, December 2014).

One of the chapters is called "You can’t just say “words”’: Literature and Nonsense in the Work of Robert Wyatt", and is written by Richard Elliott.

You may read a PDF of the article on Wyatt (pre-publication draft).

From page 1: "Both solo work and collaborations have strengthened Wyatt’s connection to a variety of art worlds – literary, musical, visual, avant-garde – influenced by the linguistic turn of the twentieth century.
This chapter offers a selective assessment of such art worlds by examining connections between Wyatt’s work and a range of literary voices, particularly those associated with nursery rhyme, nonsense verse and absurdism. A further aim is to explore the role of sense and nonsense in popular music."

Christmas To Be Announced

I´m not that wild about Christmas calendars, but I Check a few, even if they don´t have any chocolate surprises.

On Soundcloud you may find an alternative calendar with Norwegian artists, and today´s surprise was The Big Almost, with Alexander Simm (g) Jacob Öhrvall (b, keyb) and Bergen´s own drummer Øyvind Hegg-Lunde. Two Swedes and one Norwegian there, and they are in a quite noisy festive mood today.

Check out their album "Mouth"(2014) too!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Soft Machine on French TV 1969

Cool video of Soft Machine doing "Pigling Bland" and "Facelift" on the French TV show "L'invite du Dimanche"!

I posted another part of this show last year, all thanks to BassLudeman on YouTube.

The band:

Mike Ratledge - Organ, Electric Piano
Hugh Hopper - Bass
Robert Wyatt - Drums
Elton Dean - Alto sax
Lyn Dobson - Soprano and Tenor Saxes
Marc Charig - Cornet
Nick Evans - Trombone

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Maria Due

Rumors, aka tweets from the music library in Trondheim (@musikkavdelinga - tweets in Norwegian), tell that the singer Maria Due is doing Robert Wyatt´s "Alliance" on her forthcoming album.

The album will be released in February 2015, so enjoy her version of Peter Hammill / Van Der Graaf Generator´s "My Rom (Waiting for Wonderland)" while you are waiting.

Sonny Rollins, Norway 1971

Arild Andersen keeps uploading fine videos on his YouTube channel.

Check out this one, Sonny Rollins from Kongsberg Jazz Festival (June 25 1971), with Bobo Stenson (piano), Arild Andersen (bass) and Jon Christensen (drums).

Friday, December 5, 2014

Street Art Auction For Palestine

On the 6th of December the Bergen gallery Bart will organize a street art auction in support of "Aesthetic Prosthetic", a project aiming to raise money for the only prosthetic workshop in Gaza.

The auction is now open for bidding, and you may find pictures of the works over here, but please note there are more to come.

If your Norwegian is a bit rusty, roll a bit down for some English info with contact e-mails and all.

Art by Mode 2 and DotDotDot here in this post, and I have some more from the exhibition on Flickr.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Soft Machine Live In 1970

We had a blog post back in May already on a compilation box set called "Soft Machine Live In 1970".

Now it seems ready for release 8 December on Edifying Records.

The five LP set has liner notes by Brian Hopper.

Only 500 copies, all hand numbered.

Musicians: Mike Ratledge,Robert Wyatt,Hugh Hopper, Elton Dean and Lyn Dobson.

Track list and all over at What Records.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December Video Festival 2014

- Evan Parker, Peter Evans, Charles Evans @ The Stone 9-10-14
- Frode Gjerstad Trio (Gjerstad, Strøm, Nilssen-Love) @ Inage Candy 24 May 2014
- Supersilent @ Dokkhuset (Trondheim) 2014-11-17
- The Thing & Ken Vandermark @ Music Unlimited Wels, Austria, 2014-11-08
- Paal Nilssen-Love, Jim O'Rourke, Lasse Marhaug @ Inage Candy 19 January 2013
- Alan Silva, Mette Rasmussen, Ståle Liavik Solberg @ Dome of Visions, Copenhagen, October 23rd, 2014
- George Russell and the Big Bang Band of 1967 @ Circus in Stockholm (1), !Sweden
What an intro! What a gang! Jump to next video after 29 min.!
- George Russell and the Big Bang Band of 1967 @ Circus in Stockholm (2), Sweden
- Vashti Bunyan & Gareth Dickson @ Jazzhouse, Copenhagen, 18 November, 2014
- Charles Bradley in the backyard of Daptone's House of Soul, featuring Menahan Street Band
- Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings - "White Christmas"

Monday, December 1, 2014

Vilde & Inga

Vilde & Inga is a Norwegian impro duo with Vilde Sandve Alnæs (violin) and Inga Margrete Aas (bass).

I have already mentioned their "Makrofauna" on ECM (2014).

Saturday afternoon I heard them play a great gig at the Bergen Public Library, and if slow growing (album titles mostly concerning flora and fauna) impro might be your thing, just check them out!

They are also working with Ingar Zach.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Robert Wyatt: Different Every Time

If you still haven´t read Marcus O´Dair´s Robert Wyatt biography, Domino´s compilation album(s) "Different Every Time" is the perfect soundtrack while reading it.
And if you already have read it, it is probably a great soundtrack to your life too.

The compilation is curated by Robert Wyatt together with Domino and biographer Marcus O’Dair. The first part (‘Ex Machina’) collects tracks from Robert Wyatt´s own records (solo and bands) and the second part ("Benign Dictatorships") has tracks from his collaborations and guest appearances.

Any such collection of tracks from an artist is bound to create discussions among fans about the selection, and specially about the tracks missing, but I guess few will disagree that this is a very good sampler and a fine introduction to Wyatt´s work for those who do not know him that well.

According to the liner notes (written by Marcus O´Dair) this is how is how the selections were done:

"The criteria were simple: individual tracks were chosen simply on aesthetic grounds, but the compilation also had to work as a coherent sequence of music. Where possible, we also chose tracks that had a particular personal resonance for Robert. The selection was intended to be representative, but only up to a point."
The last point there explains why there are only one Soft Machine track, and two by Matching Mole, and nothing from "Rock Bottom" and "The end of an ear".

Me, I´m really happy to see Michael Mantler´s name more than once and the inclusion of a John Cage piece from Eno´s Obscure label.
The ones I might be missing (Eno´s own albums, Kevin Ayers, John Greaves, Ultramarine, Wyatt/Atzmon/Stephens "For the ghosts within") is no big problem for me, since I have got them anyway! But on the next sampler perhaps!?

The collection is available as a double CD and as two double LPs (with download codes).
The double LPs have the same liner notes, but different collections of small pictures from the biography. The same liner notes are in the CD together with all the small pictures found on the LPs.

For every track you get a list of musicians and producers, but unfortunately not the records they are taken from.

Cover photograph: Renaud Monfourny.

And read Ian Penman´s Review of the biography in The Guardian 26 November 2014.

This has been quite a good Robert Wyatt year!

Terrie Hessels & Peter Zegveld - Music Unlimited Wels

Check out Jazz Explorer´s videos of Terrie Hessels and Peter Zegveld performing at this year´s Music Unlimited Wels, Austria, 7 November.

I know Terrie Hessels from The Ex, but Peter Zegveld, a Dutch artist, perfomer, musician (?) is new to me. Anyway, they are smoking good!

If you don´t want to watch the first 20 min. long piece here, at least see the encore.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Low Frequency In Stereo Feat. Kjetil Møster

Here is a nice one with one of of my favorite Norwegian rock bands, The Low Frequency In Stereo, paired with a favorite saxophone player, Kjetil Møster, recorded during my favorite Jazz festival in Molde in 2009: "Live at Moldejazz" (Long Branch Records 2014)!

The live recording is starting off with an eight minute long sax solo from Møster before you get rockers (or is it post rockers?) like "Texas Fox" and "Man Don´t Walk" and longer psychedelic space rockers like "Desert" and "Solar System", Møster adding jazz spices through most of it. Cool!

The musicians:

Per Steinar Lie (bass and vocals), Ørjan Haaland (drums), Hanne Eidsvåg Andersen (vocals, organs and guitar), Linn Frøkedal (organs and vocals), Njål Leinan Clementsen (guitars and vocals) and Kjetil Møster (saxophone). You might recognize Lie and Haaland from the Lumen Drones blog post a couple of days ago.

The album comes as a nice double package with colored vinyl and you have to play it really loud!

Cover photos by *cough* me!

All Ears 2015

The programme for Oslo´s All Ears festival for improvised music (8 - 11 January 2015) is here,
and it´s looking good!


Erwan Keravec SOLO

Eivind Lønning/Enrico Malatesta DUO

Nils Henrik Asheim SOLO


(Skrap: Anja Lauvdal/Heida Karine Mobeck / G.e.k. : Johannes Lund, Maria Bertel

Trevor Watts, Veryan Weston, Dominic Lash, Terry Day TRIO

Lasse Marhaug, Okkyung Lee, Spencer Yeh TRIO



Joelle Leandre, Michael Duch DUO

Lucio Capece/ Morten Olsen/ Valerio Tricoli

Barcode (UK)

Stephen O ́Malley/Steve Noble

Pain Jerk + Russell Haswell


Anthony Pateras

Spunk + Joelle Leandre

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lindsay Cooper Memorial Concerts

A re-formed Henry Cow and other musicians have been playing three memorial concerts for Lindsay Cooper in November:

21 Nov. Barbican Center, London

22 Nov. Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

23 Nov. Teatro Diego Fabbri, Forlí, Italy

In the video of this blog post Phil Minton and John Greaves do "Forgotten Fruit" from "Oh Moscow" at the Barbican.

There are more videos on YouTube if you want to do some research, but most of them are quite shaky. Let´s hope some half professional (or better!) footage pops up!

Musicians involved:

Alfred Harth
Anne-Marie Roelofs
Chris Cutler
Dagmar Krause
Fred Frith
John Greaves
Michel Berckmans from Univers Zero (bassoon)
Phil Minton
Sally Potter
Tim Hodgkinson
Veryan Weston
Zeena Parkins

Added 28 November:

Sally Potter: "Lindsay Cooper: a rebel with applause" (The Guardian 20 November 2014).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cuneiform Turns 30

The Cuneiform label turns 30 and they offer a digital album with 20 tracks from this year´s releases at "name your price" over on Bandcamp.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lumen Drones

Nils Økland plays fiddles, Per Steinar Lie guitars and Ørjan Haaland drums, and they make the most beautiful psychedelic drone folk on their new "Lumen Drones" album (ECM 2014)!
As usual I won´t say much else than - listen to this!, but you should read the fine review on Dalston Sound at least.

On the ECM site they claim to be influenced by the Doors, The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, Durutti Column and “the jazz of the Dave Pike set” (Lie and Haaland both play in the Norwegian band Low Frequency In Stereo), and Dalston Sound can hear some Dirty Three in there. And Nils Økland is weaving folk through and around the rock.

Listening to the slowest pieces (like "Dark Sea") I started to think of Earth with fiddles added, not that these guys are copying anybody.

Just get this one!

An evening with Robert Wyatt (Queen Elizabeth Hall)

You will find a review of "Different Every Time; an evening with Robert Wyatt" at Queen Elizabeth Hall, 23rd November 2014 (EFG London Jazz Festival), over at London Jazz News.

"Wyatt admitted that nervousness made him talkative, but that was to our advantage: for more than an hour we were treated to a delightful stream of anecdote, opinions, confessions, thumbnail portraits, digressions and heartfelt statements, initially coaxed by his biographer and then in response to a diverse series of questions from the devoted audience. The subject matter ranged from Kevin Coyne to Ukraine; from Henry Cow to hip-hop, and Wyatt handled his interlocutors with grace, good humour and insight".

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sharon Gal, Steve Noble and Alex Ward

Holy macaroni! Check out Sharon Gal, Steve Noble and Alex Ward at Cafe OTO in March 2014, recently uploaded on YouTube!

What a powerful performance!

We already had a post on Sharon Gal covering Robert Wyatt´s "Sea Song", but I think it will be just fine to listen to that version once more after the Cafe OTO video.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Signed album cover art

Several of you probably remember the blog post on the signed Alfreda Benge album artworks for Robert Wyatt´s "Rock Bottom" and "Ruth is stranger than Richard", that were for sale over at Hypergallery?

Now the nice folks at the gallery sent me some photos from Alfreda Benge´s and Robert Wyatt´s signing session!

Photos ©hypergallery

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Off The Page - Oslo 2015

Marcus O´Dair will present his work with the Robert Wyatt Biography "Different every time" (2014) at the one day festival, Off The Page 2015, in Oslo 25 January 2015.

Also coming (more to be announced later probably): Arto Lindsay, Savage Pencil aka Edwin Pouncey and Sarah Angliss.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


It has been some years since I have posted from Bergen´s PIKSEL festival now.
The 2014 festival is probably over when you read this, but this is what it´s about:

"Piksel is an annual event for artists and developers working with free and open source software, hardware and art. Part workshop, part festival, it is organized in Bergen, Norway, and involves participants from more than a dozen countries exchanging ideas, coding, presenting art and software projects, doing workshops, performances and discussions on the aesthetics and politics of free and open source software".

Most of this go way over my head, and I usually go to see the exhibitions, and talk a bit with these strange people.

Are you one of the people who might be interested in using air as a transmitting medium for binary codes (sending smoke signals and decoding them!), using Thorium (radioactive) for generating random numbers (for cryptographic keys) and and making "glasses" for ultrasonic vision (I tested them as you may see!)? Well this is the festival for you, and you find more info here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Robert Wyatt Pitchfork Interview

Robert Wyatt "talks about politics, pride, and living a full life outside of the mainstream" in an interview with Ryan Dombal in Pitchfork (14 Nov. 2014).

On his biography:
- “I thought, ‘Well, it's none of my business,’” he says of his own life story. “If I were going to write a book, it wouldn't be about me. I have many interests, but I am not one of them.”

On pop songs:
- There are a lot of composers who were fantastic, but I challenge them to write a record that you could play five times a day for two months on the radio, songs that people will want to dance to on a Saturday night. That's an enormous skill!

On life these days:
-I'm not out there in the world anymore, but I'm watching.


How about this student work!?

Students at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design have been working for a couple of weeks on this bridge, and it seemed almost ready this Friday afternoon.

More wood pictures here if you like.

And what will happen tonight? There are several drinking places near by this bridge, so a couple of guards would be nice.

Added the morning after:

Reading in the Bergen newspapers with my morning coffee now that several drunk people had to be stopped from climbing the bridge. Of course!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Trance Map for hcmf

You may join Evan Parker in backing Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (hcmf) to award an new commission to be performed at the 2015 festival.

Parker has given the festival limited edition CD-Rs (only 100 copies made, all signed and numbered) of previously unreleased material by Trance Map (Evan Parker, Matt Wright and Toma Gouband).

If you want one of the records, donate a minimum of 20 pounds on IndieGogo.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wyatt in Jazzwise

It´s Dr John on the cover, but there are four pages of Robert Wyatt in the November issue of Jazzwise.

The piece "I´m a believer" focuses on Robert Wyatt and jazz, and is written by biographer Marcus O´Dair.

When Marcus O´Dair asked Wyatt if he would let him write the biography, Wyatt said yes partly because O´Dair in a previous interview hadn´t asked him whether Syd Barrett was mad, but he had asked him about jazz.

The Unthanks: Mount The Air

Enjoy the music and the video to "Mount the air", the title track of The Unthanks´ new album on RabbleRouser (December 2014).

It looks like it is still possible to order the limited edition 10 inch vinyl (500 copies) from The Unthanks.

Video animator: Nick Murray Willis.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Maja Ratkje Residency At The Stone

WOW! What a programme for Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje´s residency at The stone!
I wouldn´t mind seeing more than a couple of these concerts!
How about Ratkje and Mori with Peter Evans, Spunk with Joëlle Léandre and Ratkje with Ches Smith, to name a few?

SPUNK with Joëlle Léandre photo from Moldejazz 2011.


11/25 Tuesday (KR)
8 pm
Solo Pieces and more
Jeffrey Ziegler (cello) Håkon Thelin (double bass) Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice) Torben Snekkestad
Performing solo pieces written by Maja S. K. Ratkje, followed by improvisations.

10 pm
Music for String Quartet and Accordion
The MIVOS Quartet (strings) Frode Haltli (accordion) Håkon Thelin (double bass) Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice)
Frode Haltli and Mivos performing “gagaku variations” and other composed pieces by Maja S. K. Ratkje before Håkon Thelin and Ratkje will join in on Ratkje/Haltli's “Three tangos…”

11/26 Wednesday (BLG)
8 pm
Håkon Thelin (double bass) Rolf-Erik Nystrøm (saxes) Frode Haltli (accordion) Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice)
POING performing the first piece written for them, ”essential extensions”, and other pieces by Ratkje, some joined by the composer on vocals.

10 pm
Håkon Thelin (double bass) Rolf-Erik Nystrøm (saxes) Frode Haltli (accordion) Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice)
POING performing more music written to them by Maja S. K. Ratkje, some joined by the composer on vocals.

11/27 Thursday (LC)
8 pm
Wach Auf! Revolutionary Thanksgiving, Part 1
Håkon Thelin (double bass) Rolf-Erik Nystrøm (saxes) Frode Haltli (accordion) Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice)
POING and Maja S. K. Ratkje from their repertoire on the record “Wach auf!”, all arranged and performed by POING and Maja S. K. Ratkje.

10 pm
Wach Auf! Revolutionary Thanksgiving, Part 2
Håkon Thelin (double bass) Rolf-Erik Nystrøm (saxes) Frode Haltli (accordion) Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice) Yumiko Tanaka
POING and Maja S. K. Ratkje from their repertoire NOT on the record “Wach auf!”, all arranged and performed by POING and Maja S. K. Ratkje.

11/28 Friday (KR)
8 pm
Maja S. K. Ratkje solo (voice, live electronics)

10 pm
Noise: Ches Smith and Maja S. K. Ratkje
Maja S. K. Ratkje solo (voice, electronics) Ches Smith (drums)

11/29 Saturday (AV)
8 pm
Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje (voice, various, electronics) Hild Sofie Tafjord (french horn, electronics) Lene Grenager (cello) Kristin Andersen (trumpet, recorder)

10 pm
SPUNK with Joëlle Léandre
Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje (voice, various, electronics) Hild Sofie Tafjord (french horn, electronics) Lene Grenager (cello) Kristin Andersen (trumpet, recorder) Joëlle Léandre (bass)

11/30 Sunday (KR)
8 pm
Maja S. K. Ratkje & Ikue Mori Duo with Peter Evans
Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice, electronics) Ikue Mori (electronics) Peter Evans (trumpet)

10 pm
Maja S. K. Ratkje & Ikue Mori Duo with Sylvie Courvoiseier
Maja S. K. Ratkje (voice, electronics) Ikue Mori (electronics) Sylvie Courvoisier (piano)

Peter Blegvad: Kew. Rhone. (book)

It´s time to listen to Peter Blegvad & John Greaves´ "Kew. Rhone." (1977) again folks. Well, my guess is that some of you never stopped listening to it! Performed by Blegvad, Greaves and Lisa Herman, with a bunch of others helping (Carla Bley, Michael Mantler a. o.) it is one of the really great albums.

And in a couple of weeks Peter Blegvad´s book "Kew. Rhone." is being published by Uniformbooks, where: "Peter Blegvad, Kew. Rhone.’s lyricist and illustrator, excavates each song in turn, uncovering themes and sources. In the second part of the book, a consortium of writers and artists respond to the album in various ways, illuminating without dispelling the mystery of a work designed to resist interpretation even as it invites it".

In the consortium of writers you will find John Greaves, Lisa Herman, Robert Wyatt, Jonathan Coe, Karen Mantler + + +).

Sunday, November 9, 2014

King Magnus

Any of you interested in chess, and following the World Chess Championship match between reigning champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and Vishwanathan Anand (India) in Sochi?

Thanks to street artist La Staa, Magnus Carlsen is in Bergen too during the championship!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

An Audience With Robert Wyatt (Audio)

We have of course already had a blog post on Marcus O´Dair´s talk with Robert Wyatt at the Off The Page festival in Bristol in September.

Now you may listen to (and download) the full conversation on The Wire´s site.

The next talk will be "An evening with Robert Wyatt" at Southbank Centre 23 November 2014.

The Thing - Call the Police

It´s Saturday evening, and here they come, The Thing playing the zydeco tune "Call the police" at DOM Cultural Centre (Moscow) on 7 November 2014.

And if you don´t know how to move your body to this one, read "How to Do the Zydeco Dance" over at eHow.

Friday, November 7, 2014

UNCUT (Dec. 2014)

You have probably read this already, but anyway look up The December issue (no 211) of Uncut (I never quite understand why the December issues of magazines are released in November, but me and logic, I know!).

On page 8: "End of an ear. Robert Wyatt calls a halt to his musical career." He has not retired, it´s more like he has stopped making music.

On pages 60 to 63: Wyatt talks about his back catalogue: "The Soft Machine" (1968), Soft Machine "3" (1970), "Matching Mole" (1972), "Rock Bottom" (1974), "Ruth is stranger than Richard" (1975), "Nothing can stop us" (1982), "Shleep" (1997), "Cuckooland" (2003) and "Comicopera" (2007).

RW about "Ruth is stranger than Richard": "On "Team Spirit", George Khan, a wonderful tenor player, does the solo, and I got Brian Eno in, who hates jazz, to try and fuck it up as it went on...".

On page 97: The Domino sampler "Different Every Time" gets a 9/10 score!

As if this wasn´t enough, there is also a (very short, but still!) "How to buy Ivor Cutler" and a review (9/10 again!) of a reissue of the 1978 album "Life in a Scotch Sitting-Room Vol 2".

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Josephine Foster & Victor Herrero - Blue Roses

I watched this video of Josephine Foster & Victor Herrero doing "Blue Roses" last week, and was deeply fascinated by Foster´s voice and singing.

I downloaded her "Little Life" from 2001 immediatly, a nice one too, but with straighter folky songs. Must check more of her records!

Recommendations anyone?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Soft Machine: Out-Bloody-Rageous: Revised

OK we have hardly got hold of (and read!) Marcus O´Dair´s Robert Wyatt biography, and here is Graham Bennet: "Soft Machine: Out-Bloody-Rageous: Revised and Updated Edition" (2014, first ed. 2005).

Read a message from Graham Bennett on "What´s Rattlin´". I was tipped by Sergio Amadori´s "Hibou Anemone & Bear" blog (still not possible to link to single posts).

Only as e-book this time. Buy from Smashwords or Amazon.

Street Art Bergen

You may already have noticed that I´m interested in street art, and have tried to document what´s happening in Bergen since around 2007, uploading all of it on Flickr.

Now you may try to get hold of the new book "Street Art Bergen" (Kontur 2014), edited by street artists Argus and John_XC and street art blogger Walter Wehus (his Mot Veggen blog).

What makes this book different from most street art books, is that the editors have managed to contact several of Bergen´s artists, and they write about their thoughts on street art themselves.
Please note: Only in Norwegian!

(My own pictures on Flickr are not very well organized unfortunately, and the keywords won´t make me librarian of the year, but please dive into my albums if you want to!)

I went to the book release party last week, and it was great to see the works made by Argus and John_XC for the happening, exhibited on walls and in windows.
You may call street artists vandals, but lots of them have big hearts. These exhibited works are to be auctioned, together with works by lots of international artists, in Bergen in the beginning of December. This being the third auction in a very short period donating money for good causes.

All money from the December auction is going to "Aesthetic Prosthetic", a Project aiming to raise money for the only prosthetic workshop in Gaza.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Amazing Band: Roar

Not only is Marcus O´Dair´s Robert Wyatt biography "Different every time" (Serpent´s Tail 2014) a great read, but several readers (like me) seem to have used it to play and rediscover old records in the Wyatt discography.

See "Pieces of Robert Wyatt" over at Richard Williams´ "" on The Amazing Band and the album "Roar", recorded in 1970 and released on Future Music in 1997.
An album for the improv - free jazz fan.

Credits (from Discogs):

Acoustic Bass, Harmonica – Jim Mullen
Alto Saxophone – Chris Francis (3) (tracks: 2)
Alto Saxophone, Piano – Mick Brannan
Coordinator [Release Coordinated By], Remastered By [Tapes] – Mike King*
Design [Sleeve Design] – Ewan Rigg
Percussion, Voice, Keyboards – Robert Wyatt
Producer – Mark Wastell
Remastered By [Tapes] – Joao Carvalho
Trumpet – Mal Dean
Violin, Accordion, Flute – Veleroy Spall*
Voice – Maia Spall

Next one to listen to while reading the biography:

Lol Coxhill / Charles Hayward / Hugh Hopper / Orphy Robinson: "Clear Frame" (R&R Megacorp 2008) (AAJ review)!

Remembered For A While

"Remebered for a while", a new book on Nick Drake by Cally Callomon and Gabrielle Drake, is out in a few days.

You may want the signature box edition (at 150 GBP) containing:
"- Hardback and quarter-bound in cloth, with a printed acetate cover
- An exclusive 10ʺ vinyl of an unreleased recording of five Nick Drake tracks from a 1969 BBC John Peel session: ‘Time Of No Reply’, ‘River Man’, ‘Three Hours’, ‘Bryter Layter’ and ‘Cello Song’
- A portfolio containing three photographs of Nick taken by Julian Lloyd in 1967. Each portfolio will have a numbered authentication certificate signed by Julian Lloyd
- Over 380 full-colour pages
- Each copy signed by Gabrielle Drake and Cally Callomon
- All the contents will be housed in a cloth-covered box".

Or you may want the hardcover, straight version.

Not a biography they say, but "rather, an attempt to cast a few shards of light on Nick Drake the poet, the musician, the singer, the friend, son and brother, who was also more than all of these".

Guitar amateurs may be happy to find this in the book:
"A short musical guide to each song's key and tuning to accompany the lyrics, together with an explanatory interpretation of Nick's guitar performance, the result of several years close study by singer-songwriter Chris Healey".

Friday, October 31, 2014

Action Jazz, Copenhagen

It is 31 October and halloween folks, and I have had two big pieces of pumpkin pie with my tea to celebrate.

It is also the last night of Paal Nilssen-Love´s series "Action Jazz" at Jazzhouse, Copenhagen.

We already had a post on Digital Primitives from "Action Jazz" and turns up the volume on a night like this, with The Thing and PNL Large Unit. See more videos from the Jazzhouse on Jazz Peter´s YouTube.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

SPUNK: Adventura Botanica

You must not forget to get Spunk´s new album "Adventura Botanica" on Rune Grammofon (2014).
The limited vinyl versions were unfortunately gone in no time though.

The music is based on a commissioned work for choreographer and dancer Odd Johan Fritzøe. Fritzøe´s performance is inspired by the works of Charles Darwin, and here is what is written on his Vimeo: "In the same way as Darwin studied coevolution between plants and insects, Frtitzøe´s ensembly has been inspired by the Darwin ´s theories. The quartet SPUNK has created potent noise poetry provided from five sound sculptures".

The tracks are named after plants: White Water Lily, Mountain Clover and Common Hepatica. Quite an organic and evolutionary album from SPUNK this time.

Have a listen on Rune Grammofon´s Soundcloud, and watch the video from Fritzøe´s performance below.

SPUNK is: Kristin Andersen (trumpet, flutes), Lene Grenager (cello), Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje (voice) and Hild Sofie Tafjord (french horn).

Cover: Kim Hiorthøy.

Also well worth checking out: Maja Ratkje´s "Adventura Anatomica" (Semishigure 2006) for another Odd Johan Fritzøe piece.

Adventura botanica from Odd Johan Fritzøe on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The walls of Bergen again

Some colorful Bergen graffiti for you today, to raise your spirits.

I guess I will be back with more street art before the weekend. A releaseparty for the book "Street Art Bergen" is happening Thursday evening.