Scene Norway

This November, London’s iconic new creative centre Kings Place will be hosting a special eight day celebration of Norwegian music, film, theatre, literature and dance; Scene Norway will present a mini festival within the London Jazz Festival.

Arve Henriksen 2007 (foto: Oliver Heisch)

Kings Place, the iconic new creative centre in London’s Kings Cross, will be hosting a special eight day celebration of Norwegian music, film, theatre, literature and dance curated by Fiona Talkington. Scene Norway presents a mini festival within the capital wide London Jazz Festival in association with BBC Radio 3, encompassing a specially imported version of Kristiansand’s Punkt Festival.

Beginning on Fri 14th of November and ending on the 22nd, Scene Norway expands on the high profile enjoyed by Norwegian jazz over the past eight years, drawing in literature, theatre and film to present some of Norway’s most creative figures. The event opens with the world premiere of new commissions by UK saxophonist and composer Iain Ballamy and Norwegian electronics artist Jan Bang, The new works have been written for teh evocative sound of Arve henriksen – who plays trumpet with a breathy quality reminiscent of the Japanese shakuhachi flute and vocalises with an ethereal beauty – together with players from London Sinfonietta. This BBC Radio 3 commission for Iain Ballamy rekindles a relationship between Arve and the orchestra from two years ago and highlights the warm cultural ties between the UK and Norway.

Scene Norway’s programme brings together musicians including Sámi singer Mari Boine, Morten Qvenild, Bugge Wesseltoft, Karl Seglen and Terje Isungset, with a selection of writers including Jo Nesbø, Merete Morken Andersen and Tore Renberg. These are artists who capture the special spirit of Norway, drawing on ancient traditions and an awe-inspiring landscape to inform work that is both contemporary and timeless.

Scene Norway culminates in a three day focus on the exciting Norwegian festival, Punkt. Set in the gorgeous harbour town of Kristiansand in late summer, Punkt was founded in 2004 by sampling wizards Jan Bang and Erik Honoré. It takes the idea of live remixing to a new level, occupying two spaces in Kings Place to create back-to-back concerts which audiences can move between. In the live room, musicians including Nils Petter Molvær, Sidsel Endresen and Eivind Aarset combine in various formations to create stunning sonic landscapes. After these 45 minute sets, the audience cross the foyer to the ‘Alpha Room’ (Hall 2) where these sets will be fed through to Erik Honoré, who together with other participating musicians, will take the original material and completely re-invent it with additional live contributions. Reflective acoustic sets can be transformed into pumped up electronic, whilst high density, full on performances can become stripped down to the essence of their idea and re-mixed into intimate solos or duos. The audience hears the core material re-sampled, cut and spliced and transformed into a completely new set.

There are a host of inspiring activities for families over the first weekend. A musical performance of The Little Prince brings to life Saint Exupéry’s well-loved story, with musicians and dancers performing traditional Norwegian music with an English narrator. Terje Isungset and Karl Seglem will work with audiences of all ages to create a unique improvised performance, whilst SVIV perform an exhilarating, acrobatic interpretation of traditional Norwegian dance.

A rare performance of Ice Music will take place in the St Panras room, where percussionist Terje Isungset will use sculpted ice to create extraordinary instruments that conjure the stark landscape of northern Norway. Throughout the day on 15 November you can explore the links between the area and Norwegian ice.

Scene Norway at Kings Cross: Friday 14 – Saturday 22 November 2008

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