Maja Ratkje and POING head out on tour in the U.S.

Composer/performer Maja Ratkje team up with with accordion-saxophone-string bass trio POING for a string of US concerts in December.

Maja Ratkje - All Ears 2005

Norwegian vocal performer and composer Maja Ratkje, with accordion-saxophone-string bass trio POING, will perform in San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Washington, DC, December 8-17. The concert on December 17 will be a part of the Norwegian Christmas celebration at Union Station.

Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje, composer and performer finished composition studies at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo in 2000. Her music has been heard all over Europe as well as in Japan, China, Canada, USA and eastern Russia.

Her composed works have been performed by Oslo Sinfonietta, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Arve Tellefsen, Cikada and Vertavo string quartets, Quatuor Renoir, Ticom, crashEnsemble, Torben Snekkestad, SPUNK and Frode Haltli among others. Portrait concerts with her music has been heard in Toronto and Vienna, and she has received many awards and commissions from throughout the world such as the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris for composers below 30 years of age, she has received 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 Arne Nordheim prize.

"Ratkje's voice is so gloriously possessed by the tongues of more split personalities than there are angels on the head of a pin," music magazine The Wire reports.

Her solo album ‘Voice’, made in collaboration with Jazzkammer, got a Distinction Award at Prix Ars Electronica in 2003.

Listen to excerpts from Maja Ratkje’s 2002 solo album ‘Voice’ here

Listen to and download Maja Ratkje audio here

POING started playing together in 1999, and has since then been one of the leading ensembles for contemporary music in Scandinavia, with more then 40 first performances by European and Asian composers. They have played in clubs and concert halls in most European countries as well as in China and Japan.

"This unusual Norwegian trio is doing interesting work off the beaten track. The unusual begins with the instrumentation..and display considerable technical depth and breadth, as well as strong ensemble identity," The Wire said of Poing.

The trio is set to tour North America in 2006. In 2003 and 2004, they toured Japan and China, where band members Håkon Thelin, Rolf-Erik Nystrøm and Frode Haltli worked with Japanese composers Sachiyo Tsurumi, Hiroyuki Yamamoto, Hideki Kozakura and Takmi Ikeda and Chinese composer Chan Hig-Yan.


Listen to excerpts from POING’s 2005 album ‘Planet POING’ here

Listen to and download POING audio here.

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