A touring mini-festival, Midnight Sun brings Supersilent, DJ Strangefruit, Arve Henriksen and Sidsel Endresen to the UK audience.
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A touring micro-festival, Midnight Sun takes audiences on an electro ambient journey straight to the heart of the hip and distinctive sounds of Oslo, featuring DJ Strangefruit, the ethereal trumpet of Arve Henriksen, the extraordinary Sidsel Endresen Trio and one of the most widely respected bands of the Norwegian electronic scene, Supersilent.
Thanks to CMN Tours and mactwo:sound (the brains behind the brilliant Fertiliser festival in London’s East End last year), UK music lovers can experience the hugely influential electro jazz scene of Oslo without having to scour travel pages for cheap flights or endure beer prices that would make even Londoners wince. Midnight Sun captures the essence of this forward-thinking movement drawing on the close alliances between live musicians, DJs and electronic artists to reveal a fresh new sound of the moment and for the future. The programme kicks off with the idiosyncratic sounds of DJ Strangefruit, followed by delicate trumpeter Arve Henriksen (rune grammofon), and the haunting beauty of vocalist Sidsel Endresen (Jazzland/ECM) with her trio. The intuitive ambience and grooves of Supersilent bring the evening to a close making this fascinating journey into the world of Oslo’s achingly hip music scene complete.
Over the past five years Norway has been hot-housing a wealth of new talent, talent that has had a symbiotic effect on its dance music, jazz, hip hop and even folk scene. Drawing much of its energy from the use of electronics and underground dance music, a vibrant jazz scene has emerged in which musicians from disparate musical worlds come together to create some of the most infectious sounds in Europe. Midnight Sun brings together some of the most important artists working at the forefront of this scene on tour in the UK.
Renowned for his dark, subterranean sound walls featured in Nils Petter Molvær's band, DJ Strangefruit brings a whole new meaning to the word DJ. Having worked so frequently with live musicians, Strangefruit's own work is often based around recordings of music he has written in this context. Over this music Strangefruit layers industrial sounds and dirty beats to produce complex and mesmerizing tracks.
The hauntingly beautiful trumpet sound of Arve Henriksen is immediately identifiable with such innovative groups as Supersilent and Food (with Iain Ballamy). Arve’s study of the Shakuhachi flute, plus a unique method of speaking into the trumpet whilst playing, has characterised his inimitable atmospheric style which is superbly illustrated on his debut solo album Sakuteki on rune grammofon. He has also played extensively with other ECM musicians (including Nils Petter Molvaer, Marc Ducret and Ketil Bjornstad) and works in a broad range of contexts, ranging from collaborations with koto player Satsuki Odamura to the rock band Motorpsycho.
Sidsel Endresen follows Arve with her trio comprising Christian Wallomrød on keyboards and drummer Jan Bang. Sidsel has an extraordinary voice, possessing the same half spoken/half sung, husky qualities that characterise Björk’s. Her stunning releases on Jazzland, Undertow and Out here. In there, have firmly established her as an utterly memorable composer and vocalist.
Midnight Sun culminates with the absorbing soundworld created by Supersilent, whose music defies archetypal genres, drawing instead from ‘arctic ambient’ music, rock, electronic music, jazz, modern composition, ‘musique concrete’ and raw, bloody noise. As Supersilent, Arve Henriksen (trumpet), Jarle Vespestad (drums), Helge Sten (electronics) and Ståle Storlokken (keyboards) are not concerned with being avant garde or intellectual but instead their priority is to communicate with people. This directness manifests itself both in the music itself and how they package it; their CDs are stripped of any information and anything that could complicate listening. Through layers of acoustic and electronic sound, Supersilent possess a remarkable ability to reflect the context and atmosphere of each performance, taking audiences through a diverse range of moods from tender soundscapes to raw grooves.
The Arts Council England's Contemporary Music Network, CMN Tours, has been at the forefront of the new music touring scene for over 30 years. Throughout this time it has presented a dazzling array of world-class artists to audiences across the country. CMN aims to present projects that not only have a brilliant take on contemporary culture but also offer a glimpse into the future of music, covering the widest range of genres from classical to jazz, world music to electronica, experimental to improvised, avant folk to avant pop and collaborative projects.
Midnight Sun is produced by mactwo:sound for CMN Tours. Visit CMN’s site to find out more about this and other CMN Tours. The Wire Magazine is media sponsor for CMN's current season