In november 2017 I presented the final performance with my doctoral artistic research project Orchestra of Speech. The performance consisted of three parts: a self-playing sound installation, an improvised solo set, and an ensemble improvisation. Video recordings of all three parts are available on my research project documentation site: http://orchestraofspeech.com/results/music/final-musical-results/
I have already played a couple of shows with the new project that the excellent bassist and composer Ole Morten Vågan has made as the new leader/artistic director of the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, both at the Illios festival in Harstad, Norway, and at Reykjavik Jazz Festival in Iceland. The video below is from a performance at the Skopje Jazz Festival in Macedonia.
I was invited to contribute with a school workshop for a project with the Trondheim Sinfonietta, based on the work I am doing in my doctoral artistic research project Orchestra of Speech. The whole research project is based on improvisation, so I did not compose a finished piece but tried to find a way to let the school children make musical ideas based on different speech genres. As a part of the workshop I made a short piece with graphical scores, that was also included in next days evening performance at Trondheim Kunsthall. This performance can be viewed on my research blog: https://orchestraofspeech.com/blog/sinfonietta-piece/
Me and my wife Heidi Skjerve got a commission to arrange the music of a local pop group of choice for the NTNU Jazz Ensemble, an ensemble consisting of students at the jazz department of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. We chose the music of the pop trio “Tre Små Kinesere”, and arranged a selection of their classic tunes for the ensemble. The music was performed at the Trondheim Jazz Festival in May 2017, with Ulf Risnes and Øystein Hegge from Tre Små present in the audience.
Dedicated music photographer Thor Egil Leirtrø took som great photos of the performance available at his blog:
In December 2016 I organized an international symposium in Trondheim on the subject of Speech and Music, more specifically on music based on speech. The event featured performances and talks by composers and musicians such as Trevor Wishart, Alessandro Bosetti, Alex Nowitz in addition to myself (unfortunately Sten Sandell had to cancel). This symposium was organized as a part of my doctoral research fellowship, and is documented in full on my research project site at http://orchestraofspeech.com/blog/music-speech-symposium
I am part of a new trio with Håvard Stubø on guitar and Torstein Lofthus on drums, originally put together for the Arctic Arts Festival (Festspillene i Nordnorge) in Harstad this summer. The clip below is from a performance at Circa in Tromsø in November.
I was glad to be invited back to Stavanger Concert Hall by house organist Nils Henrik Asheim for another round of “Organ Night”, this time as a part of a celebration of the writer Obstfelder. In addition to Nils Henrik on the grand pipe organ both me and Ståle Storløkken joined in on two additional Hammond B3 organs for a mighty organ trio to fill the concert hall.
I was really happy to be invited to Harpefoss Poetry Festival, to perform with my solo concept “Orchestra of Speech”. This is the result of my ongoing doctoral artistic research project into the relationship between speech and music, and the performance at Harpefoss was one of the first performances with a full setup of 16 channel hybrid electroacoustic transducer/instrument orchestra. The performance can be viewed in full at my project blog: http://orchestraofspeech.com/blog/harpefoss-poetry-festival/
Together with vocalist Tone Åse I was invited to perform with the electro-noir-metal duo Soundbyte for the Festival Internacional Chihuahua in Mexico. We were to play a huge outdoor stage in Chihuahua, but unfortunately the worst rainfall for ages hit just as we were getting ready to play and the whole show had to be cancelled. But we did a successful performance in Ciudad Juárez the day before so the trip was not completely in vain.
In June I am playing with the Great Learning Orchestra, a Swedish ensemble collective that has been performing various contemporary classics for the ast 17 years. During 10 days we will perform the whole choral work “The Great Learning” by British composer Cornelius Cardew with performances in Trondheim, Stockholm and Helsinki. This 7 part 9 hour work is seldom performed in its entirety, and all parts have probably never been performed like this in the nordic countries at least.
The Trondheim performances of paragraph 3 and 4 was organized as part of a symposium on Cardew and the Scratch Orchestra, with living legends of the AMM John Tilbury, Keith Rowe and Howard Skempton visiting to talk about their experiences with playing this music and working with Cardew.
Below is a video of paragraph 3 and 4, performed in Lademoen Church in Trondheim:
Great to be part of violinist Ola Kvernberg’s new project called “Steamdome”, a rhythmical machine featuring three drummers, two organs, bass, guitars and violin. Coming out of Ola’s work with music for movies, this steam engine of a group is painting wide horizons with it’s cinematic music. Premiered at Trondheim Jazz Festival in May 2016 and to be played at Molde Int. Jazzfestival in July as well as a planned recording session and tour during the coming year.
Clip from Troneheim Jazz Fest:
Did a great premiere of a new work co-composed by saxophonist Sissel Vera Pettersen and american drummer John Hollenbeck, written for the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and performed at the Trondheim Jazz festival may 2016. Will be performed at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in July as well, hopefully with more performances coming up!
Here is a short clip from the Trondheim performance.
I was asked to put together a group for a performance in Bergen as a tribute to the legendary Blue Note album “Unity”, recorded by Larry Young, Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw and Elvin Jones in 1965 and released in 1966.
This record is one of the few alternative references for jazz organ besides the ever present bluesy style of Jimmy Smith and the likes.
Joining me on this performance I had Kjetil Møster on sax, Tancred Husø on trumpet and Espen Aalberg on drums.
Below is a video from the performance of the tune ‘Monk’s Dream’ by Thelonious Monk.
The new record “Amor & Labor” by Formo Tre & Metall is now available as CD and download!
The recording was listed on Europe Jazz Media Chart for october, and a nice early review in Bergens Tidende describes the music as a “vital and engaging drive of improvisation” by a “strong and original band”
Some more nice reviews:
AllAboutJazz.com: “Formo Tre & Metall is an excellent quartet with a bold vision.”
Adresseavisen: “He plays the B3 with a scope and a melodic sensitivity that makes it a joy to listen to”
Dagsavisen: “Det er ei sprudlande oppkome av eit album”
Side2.no: “Formo has created a band and a sound unlike anything else on the musical horizon”
Dag og Tid: “Det er noko stoffleg og handgripeleg i musikken som er både uvanleg og tankevekkjande”
Great music last night with Nils Henrik Asheim playing the huge organ in the newly finished Stavanger Concert Hall, beautifully lit with live video projections. I also had the best view with my hammond placed neatly on the balcony. Also playing this evening was Adrian Tvedten on synthesizers, Pål Asle Pettersen on electronics, and Unni Løvlied singing with Liv Runesdatter and Stine Janvin Motland accompanying on glass. More at Stavanger aftenblad
After a great debut tour my new quartet “Formo Tre&Metall” will be recording its first album in march. For now, you can check out some live recordings
In february 2013 I will tour in Norway and Sweden with my new quartet called Formo Tre&Metall featuring Mattias Ståhl on vibraphone, Eirik Hegdal on saxophone and Erik Nylander on drums and wood chops. At the same time I will release a triple album based on my work with the Hammond Dialogues project, containing a solo Hammond recording, a live duo recording with Nils Henrik Asheim on church organ, and another live recording featuring Lene Grenager on cello, Michael Duch on double bass and Bergmund Skaslien on viola.
I will play a series of concerts during the spring of 2012 entitled ‘hammond dialogues’, engaging many different musicians playing instruments not usually heard accompanying the hammond organ. Performances will be based on improvisation and the aim is to put myself in situations where I can explore the new sonic and instrumental possibilities that occur when meeting these different instruments and personalities. See the calendar for exact dates, which will include duo performances with musicians such as Nils Henrik Asheim on church organ, Sidsel Endresen on vocals, Kresten Osgood on drums, and with a string trio consisting of Lene Grenager on cello, Bergmund Skaslien on Viola, Michael Duch on contrabass, and a wind trio with Rudi Mahall on bass clarinet, Bjørnar Habbestad on flute and Eirik Hegdal on saxophone.