MICs Listen to Norway series continues with Maja Ratkje: Voice. Ratkje was the first Norwegian composer to receive the Arne Nordheim Prize in 2001.
On Ratkje’s solo debut album the human voice (in this case, the composer’s own) gets a thorough makeover. Filled to the brim with creative madness, “Voice” sees Ratkje exploring the outer limits of her voice and then manipulating the sonic outbursts in her studio. Jazzkammer supply production assistance, and the end result is a hyper-creative, direct and unmediated, warmly affecting and startlingly vital album. On “Voice” Ratkje displays a musically warped split personality that never seizes to surprise the listener as she displays moods that scuttle from silly girlish to dreamy melancholy as well as angstridden madness. After the initial shock wears off, one is left with a numbed feeling of having experienced a total creative blow-out that is not for the faint-hearted.