Photo: Julia Marie Naglestad

Maja Ratkje UK tour

Composer and vocal performer Maja Ratkje teams up with Ikue Mori for a string of UK appearances in March.

For their first ever duo performances together, the electrifying improvisers Ikue Mori and Maja S.K. Ratkje, join forces for a UK tour in March. This un-missable string of dates brings together two truly iconic female figures of high-grade musical experimentation. Having pursued unseen angles in rock music in the late-seventies with the legendary DNA, the Japanese-born Mori has become one of the world’s most celebrated and respected improv auteurs, while since the turn of the century the Ratkje has dazzled with her maverick vocal work, feted compositions and thrilling explorations of pure noise. These four events will be filled with wild sonic colours, forged by a pair of musicians who span two generations of fearlessly inventive soundcraft.

Maja Ratkje has performed all over the world with her fascinating sound. Blurring the boundaries between sound and music, with the only distinction being the human ear as audience and the conscious creation and placement of sounds, Maja Ratkje challenges the listener in every possible way.

Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje, composer and performer, finished composition studies at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo in 2000. Her music is performed worldwide by performers such as Klangforum Wien, Oslo Sinfonietta, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Fretwork, TM+, Cikada and Vertavo string quartets, Quatuor Renoir, Ticom, crashEnsemble, Pearls for Swine Experience, Torben Snekkestad, Marianne Beate Kielland, SPUNK, Frode Haltli, POING and many more. Portrait concerts with her music has been heard in Toronto and Vienna, she has been composer in residence at festivals like Other Minds in San Francisco, Nordland Music Festival in Bodø and Avanti! Summer Festival in Finland.

Ratkje has received awards such as the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris for composers below 30 years of age, the Norwegian Edvard prize (work of the year) twice, second prize at the Russolo Foundation, and in 2001 she was the first composer ever to receive the Norwegian Arne Nordheim prize. Her solo album «Voice», made in collaboration with Jazzkammer, got a Distinction Award at Prix Ars Electronica in 2003.

Ratkje is active as a singer/voice user and electronics player as well as studio engineer, as a soloist or in groups such as SPUNK or Agrare. Other collaborations are with Jaap Blonk, Joëlle Léandre, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Stian Westerhus, Stephen O’Malley, Lasse Marhaug, POING and the metal band Trinacria. Ratkje has performed her own music for films, dance and theatre, installations, and numerous other projects. She has made music for a radio play by Elfriede Jelinek, and in 2003, she played a leading part in her own opera, based on the texts from the Nag Hammadi Library. In 2005 she performed the voice solo part of her first big work for orchestra, commissioned by Radio France. She has also been soloist with Klangforum Wien and Oslo Sinfonietta.

Ikue Mori left Tokyo for New York in 1977, began playing the drums and soon formed the legendary No Wave band DNA with Arto Lindsay and Tim Wright, appearing on the highly influential compilation No New York. DNA dissolved in the early 80s and Mori began experimenting with drum machines, developing a singular improv style with an instrument people rarely associate with instant composition. As her technique evolved, she moved onto working with a laptop around 2000. Over the past 3 decades, Mori has accrued an impressive reputation as an improvisor, testified by her stellar cast of collaborators, including John Zorn, Kim Gordon, Jim O’Rourke, Zeena Parkins, Mike Patton, Thurston Moore and an impressive discography courtesy of labels such as Tzadik and Mego. She regularly performs with Parkins as the duo Phantom Orchard and in various combinations with Zorn, and is a member of the trio Death Ambient with Fred Frith and Kato Hideki.

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