One of 2010’s biggest events for the Norwegian folk music scene was without doubt the upcoming Spotlight Norway at Showcase Scotland in Glasgow.
The 28th of January 2010 marked the start of Showcase Scotland’s “Spotlight on Norway” event which presented five Norwegian artists chosen in partnership with the Norwegian Traditional Music Agency and Celtic Connection. Representing Norway was a veritable Premier Division of the nation’s folk music elite: Valkyrien Allstars, Majorstuen, Skaidi, Gjermund Larsen Trio, Synnøve S. Bjørset and Unni Boksasp Ensemble.
Showcase Scotland, a division of the massive Celtic Connection festival, is the largest gathering of the international music community in the Scottish calendar. A chance for promoters, record labels, agents and festival organisers to meet both the Scottish industry and each other, and an opening to see, firsthand, a vast display of performances from the cream of Scottish talent.
Each year Showcase Scotland also invites another country or region to present their music at the same venues. This has given the Norwegian Traditional Music Agency, Music Export Norway and the Norwegian Embassy in London the opportunity to sign a partnership agreement with Showcase Scotland in 2010. Norway receives the handover from Quebec who is partner in 2009. The agreement gives Norwegian artists a significant opportunity to play for a global audience, eager to discover new music to bring back home.
Says the Norwegian Traditional Music Agency’s Silje Førland Erdal: ‘This initiative presents Norway’s prime folk performers with a unique opportunity to present themselves on one of the scene’s major showcasing arenas and to network with key international reps. ‘Spotlight on Norway’ also represents a strengthened status and increased international focus on traditional Norwegian folk music.’
As a lead up to the Spotlight Norway at the Celtic Connections festival, Valkyrien Allstars, Gjemund Larsen Trio and Synnøve S. Bjørset performed at Foyles, Charing Cross on the 26th of January.
Spotlight on Norway profiles and artist interviews:
The artist interviews above are included in a special Showcase Scotland edition of MIC's 'Listen to Norway' magazine which can be viewed as a PDF here.