Triptikon: Three nights of Magnet at Blå

Oslo’s favourite club-venue Blå launches the concept Triptikon, a tri-partite unity of music.

Magnet_trevegg (Foto: Jo Metson Scott)

Triptikon: Originally signifying the constellation of the crucified Christ with two other crosses on either side, the term has become an expression in art where a major piece is flanked by lesser ones to form a unity; the Triptikon. Blå’s version of this entails a concept where three concerts by the same performer on consecutive nights constitute an exploration of both the locale and of the potential range and diversity of an artist’s music. The one asked to inaugurate Triptikon is Magnet, aka Even Johansen, -an artist loved and esteemed for his wonderfully detailed, nuanced and non-conform music.

According to Blå’s people Magnet was an obvious first choice due to his consistent willingness to alter and vary his expression and thus cover a wide range of interpretations of the same “subject matter”. Magnet’s solo concerts are never the same; few shun formula to the degree that he does, and with his latest album The Simple Life he re-interpreted his expression also in the studio. Thus the timing is perfect, and so is the place, according to Magnet, who confesses his love for the venue which he deems perfect for the concept now being instigated.

The three concerts will take place on consecutive nights from this Sunday (May 13th) through Tuesday. The same place, the same time, and three nights in a row: the idea is to let the artists explore diverse aural aspects; of instrumentation and the room itself, and of course to let the audience experience their favourite music in new ways.
-Not many artists would be up to this challenge says head of booking at Blå, Einar Idsøe Eidsvåg, but for Magnet it appears to be just a facilitation and extension of something he does anyway.

Still, it is no doubting that Triptikon is a challenge: The first night will be an orchestral evening, featuring Magnet’s full band accompanied by strings. The following night will be one of choral exploration, Magnet performing with the choir Improviza from Askøy outside Bergen. And then the finale will be a solo concert. Magnet confesses that it is this show that demands the most preparations from him personally, brushing up on the skills needed when he is to alternate between several different instruments unaccompanied.

The rehearsals with the classical musicians and with the choir apparently went very smoothly -Regarding the choir, I just gave them the songs and a lot of leeway, says Magnet. I know these guys personally and really enjoy their attitude; it is supposed to be beautiful and it is supposed to be fun. That is my basic take on making and performing music too, and it is nice to be reminded of it. Regarding the classical musicians they are so professional so there was never a question of making it work. But I do think that my latest songs are particularly well suited for strings.

Asked which concert he looks forward to the most he answers that it is the three taken together that makes Triptikon special. And for the audience, those returning each night that is, it is a unique way of “spending time” with an artist, and going deeper into the music’s dynamism and inner life.. This is the idea behind Triptikon, and other promising names will duly follow in Magnets footsteps.

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