Susanna, S. J. Motland and others to perform at Skaņu Mežs’2015

On October 9 and 10, the program of Skaņu Mežs’2015 will include many musicians from the Norwegian experimental music scene. These have been selected for the festival in collaboration with the Norwegian festival Insomnia. The performances will occur at the music house Daile.

Hild Sofie Tafjord has re-written the sonic possibilities of the French Horn and established herself as one of Norway’s most arresting musicians.  Pushing the limits of her instrument for years, whether acoustically or electronically, she has made her mark as composer, performer and improvisor. Her signature is present in her group playing in SPUNK, Fe-mail, Zeitkratzer and LEMUR, but takes front row in her solo work. She has played and collaborated with numerous mucisians and artists in Europe, America, Canada and Asia, like Fred Frith, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Evan Parker, Matmos, Wolf Eyes and others.

Stine Janvin Motland (b.1985) is a performer and composer based in Stavanger, Oslo and Berlin. With an instrumental and physical approach, she explores and pushes the limits of the natural acoustics of the voice, and what a singer can, and cannot be. Her work involves elements of conceptual and spontaneous composition, structured improvisation, performance, and sound poetry. Her solo piece In Labour is a live version of material from the LP In Labour, where the voice plays an (inter)active role in a selection of enviroments. With an omni-directional wireless microphone, the perfomer moves between spaces outside and around the stage. The voice, as well as the ambience of the surroundings, are transmitted live into the concert space. Aiming to challenge the concert format and raising questions about the way one listens and perform, the concert In Labour is performed as a sort of live radio play with an abstract narrator.

Paal Nilssen-Love (b. 1974.) is an improviser from Norway. Having recently been dubbed by The Guardian as one of the best drummers in the world, he has indeed established himself on the international scene as a powerful drummer with high energy and creativity. He is well known for being a member of the Scandinavian trio The Thing as well as for frequently collaborating with such musicians as Joe McPhee, Peter Brötzmann, Akira Sakata, Arto Lindsay, Ken Vandermark and many, many more. So far, he has released five solo recordings and often performs solo shows. Recently, he formed his own orchestra – a 12-piece band, called Large Unit. “I enjoy palying music with a very high level of energy,” he says. “I see music as something that should be very physical, even though it can sometimes be mentally exhausting.”At Skaņu Mežs, he will be performing both solo and in a duo with the British saxophonist John Butcher.

Lemur is a Norwegian all star quartet consisting of composers and improvisers. The four instrumentalists combine their work from classic composition, noise, chamber music and free jazz making a highly surprising and unique blend of contemporary sound and attitude. The group consists of Bjørnar Habbestad (flutes), Hild Sofie Tafjord (french horn), Lene Grenager (cello) and Michael Duch (double bass).



Susanna (Susanna Wallumrød) grew up as the youngest child in her family, with sisters and brothers all singing and playing an instrument. After years of studying music and working by herself and with others in longer and shorter lasting projects and bands, she started her duo Susanna And The Magical Orchestra with keyboard-player Morten Qvenild in 2000. The duo started working with other people’s songs, like Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen and Jolene by Dolly Parton, and after a while they began writing their own music. List Of Lights And Buoys was the duo´s first album, released in 2004, which they made together with the producers Andreas Mjoes and Deathprod. The album was called “a magical debut” and “a stunning piece of work”, highly acclaimed in press all over Europe and the US. At the same time Susanna started to write music for a new project, which turned out to be called Susanna with the album Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos in 2007. She worked with a lot of different musicians on the album, and to play these songs live she started a trio with Paal Hausken (Music for a while/In the Country) on drums and Helge Sten (Deathprod/Supersilent/Motorpsycho) on guitar, where she plays the piano herself and sings. In 2014, Susanna collaborated with singer-songwriter Jenny Hval, and the two created the album Meshes of Voice.

The aforementioned performances are part of the project „ Experimental Music Lighthouses: Riga – Tromsø” which benefits from a 99 000 € grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants. The project foresees a collaboration of two festivals: Riga’s Skaņu Mežs and Tromsø’s Insomnia. While the Norwegian musicians are performing in Latvia this week, a group of Latvian musicians will also be travelling to perform at Insomnia. They include beatmaker Oriole, the audio-visual duo of Gas of Latvia and Katrīna Neiburga and experimental techno producer Mārtiņš Roķis a.k.a. N1L.

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