Various ‘Eh bien, la Norvège…’

Photo by stoStamps on CDPhoto by stoVISIT NORWAY! (Photo by sto)

Sigurd Berge (1)
01 Månelandskap 2:55
02 Munnharpe 2:04
03 Humoresque 3:38
04 Eg beisla min støvel 2:37
Bjørn Fongaard (1)
05  The Space Concerto 14:15
Alf Hurum (2)
‘Three Aquarelles for piano’
06 The Water Lilly 3:52
07 Miniature 1:26
08 Aquarelle 1:28
Arne Nordheim (1)
09 Fem Osaka-biter – a 4:27
10 Fem Osaka-biter – b 3:33
11 Fem Osaka-biter – c 3:43
12 Fem Osaka-biter – d 3:21
13 Fem Osaka-biter – e 3:14
Geir Jenssen (4)
14 ‘Shhoctavoski’ 14:30
Jøran Rudi & John Persen (3)
15 ‘Untitled 1’ 7:56
Sto (5)
16 ‘Spiegelei (åmmage)’ 6:41

(1) Contemporary Music from Norway, LP, Philips 6507 034 (1973) [+]
(2) Contemporary Music from Norway, LP, Philips 6507 004 (1971)
(3) Things Take Time, LP, Norwegian Composers label, ref NC4930 (1987)
(4) Personal live recording, 2009
(5) Unreleased, 2009

Total time 80mn
Track selection by sto, 2009

This compilation was specially selected for and offered to the readers of this blog by ‘sto’ (born 1965), a reader from Bergen, Norway, himself a scientist, photographer [+] and clarinet player. The selection includes some of our reader’s favorite electroacoustic and contemporary music tracks from Norwegian composers and can work as a fine introduction to this country’s avantgarde music output. He added some of his own photos and gave the whole package a facetious French title: ‘Eh bien, la Norvège…’, before sending it to my home. As sto is a vinyl aficonado, tracks were culled from various vinyls, including two rare Philips LPs from the 1970s, but also from personal recordings. Things start with powerful, monophonic electronic tonalities by Sigurd Berge (1929-2002), whose 4 tracks are build on long, fascinating sounds from vintage synth circa 1971, possibly an EMS Synthi AKS (see bio here). Bjørn Fongaard (1919-1980) was a microtonal composer and guitarist (see bio here) whose most famous piece is arguably ‘Galaxy’, 1965, for 3 self-build guitars in special tunings, featured on another Philips LP on their Prospective 21e Siècle series titled ‘Musique Electronique Norvégienne’ (read Lasse Marhaug’s enthusiast comments on the piece here). The Space Concerto, for piano and tape, is another great piece by Fongaard, a dialogue between atmospheric piano chords and gorgeous, pre-recorded electroacoustic sounds apparently entirely sourced from microtonal guitar. Alf Hurum (1882-1972) was a conductor in Bergen before relocating to Honolulu in 1924 (nice photo here). He ceased composing in 1930 to indulge into silk painting. ‘Three aquarelles’, published 1912, are short piano compositions inspired by French impressionism, particularly Debussy. Fem Osaka-biter (Five Osaka Fragments) is a musique concrète sound installation by Arne Nordheim (b.1931) which ran for 6 months during the Osaka World Fair in Japan, 1971 (where Stockhausen famously presented his entire work during a 51-hours performance in the much publicized spherical auditorium). The composition uses 6 continuously running cassettes of various lengths and contents: electronic sounds, field recordings, orchestra rehearsal, conversations, radio transmissions, etc. The vast yet aleatory sound collage of modern life thus created reminds of Walter Ruttmann’s Weekend and Edgar Varèse’s Electronic Poem, no less – though with Nordheim’s specific, atmospheric style. Next is ambient Shostakovich by Geir Jenssen aka Biosphere (b.1962). The latter was commissionned an orchestral score for the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and created it from Shostakovich samples and an electronic notation program. Critics were left unconvinced: ‘Sjostakovitsj-biter’, says this Norwegian article (or Shostakovich Fragments). This unreleased recording works fine as atmospheric orchestral music with its never ending crescendos. Jøran Rudi (b.1954) started recording electroacoustic music in 1986 (see bio here), teaming up with John Persen at the time. On the latter’s official website, the piece is titled 7’56”, its actual duration, and using: Roland Jupiter 6 and Korg synths plus TR 808 rhythm box. Through tape manipulation and sound effects, the composers constantly alter pitch and height, creating striking surreal effects. Sto himself contributes a collage piece from a live performance of the Bergen University Symphony Orchestra, including intermission audience noises, conversations, the orchestra tuning and various moments when you’re not sure the music has started. In this exquisite piece, non-music arises from musical samples.

A big THANK YOU to sto for the fantastic music!

Download from here or here.

7 Responses to “Various ‘Eh bien, la Norvège…’”

  1. 1 OV September 14, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    hey there thanks for the positive response to my posts. you also have a nice blog round here. i like that you have some rare european stuff on your page opposed to all the american music blogs that only feature their music.


  2. 2 continuo September 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    The Americans are actually secretly jealous of our European music, let me tell you. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. 3 Cesar September 14, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    On vient de créer un site où on s’occupe de musique et art en général. On essaye de faire de notre mieux pour le partage libre des connaissances sur internet. J’ai beaucoup aimé ton blog, je le trouve vraiment très profond et intéressant à niveau de contenu. On aimerait te linker dans notre site, si tu nous donnes le permis!

  4. 4 continuo September 15, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Bien sûr. Bonne chance.

  5. 5 trakl95 September 15, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Thanx a lot,but maybe you can give a mirror in a service which is dowloandable?
    SS deleted this. deposite is a sad joke.
    Is it possible to accept a mirror in some normal service?

  6. 6 continuo September 15, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Done. Now when do you move to a normal country?

  7. 7 trakl95 September 15, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    thanx a lot,and here and there i sucseeded to download from this deposit, but most of the time its impossible. and not because the country.but because i’m not premium user.
    anyway the download speed i accept from them is not more then 20-30 kb.
    and BTW i trayed before some minutes another time the deposit link… and…surprise!
    They also deleted the link….

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