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Thread: AAJ Op-Ed: Music from Norway: Just How Important Is It, Really?

  1. #1

    AAJ Op-Ed: Music from Norway: Just How Important Is It, Really?

    My recent op-ed for Music Norway, Music From Norway: Just How Important Is It, Really?, republished today at All About Jazz.

    When asked, by the newly minted Music Norway, which brought two separate organizations together at the beginning of 2013—Music Export Norway (responsible for exporting the country's music to the world) and Music Information Center (responsible, for many things, including acting as an archive/information source)—to write a piece about the Norwegian music scene from an outsider's perspective, it seemed, at first, to be a truly daunting challenge...and no small honour. The music scene in Norway is so rich, so diverse, so huge that trying to answer some of the obvious questions and capture what the essence of this music is, seemed an almost impossible task in the space of but a few thousand words. But after spending the last eight years traveling the country, from Kristiansand to Svalbard, from Molde to Oslo, from Bergen to Kongsberg and from Trondheim to Stavanger, I've been fortunate enough (with the kind support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Music Norway and more people than I can list here) to have been afforded a rare opportunity to gain exposure to a scene few (if any) from my neck of the woods have.

    Why and how has the Norwegian scene managed to build such a reputation, not just on its own turf but around the world? There are a number of answers to that question, but first and foremost is a commitment to the arts that began more than 40 years ago and which has, unlike so many other countries, remained a priority ever since. When Sverre Lunde, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spoke at the 2013 Punkt Festival in Kristiansand—announcing that, after nine years, the Ministry would be providing some well-deserved (and much needed) financial support to the festival, and that Punkt was now considered amongst the country's elite events—what was, perhaps, an even more compelling statement was that the country's goal has been to devote a full one percent of its budget to culture. That means that last year, in 2012, ten billion Norwegian Kroners—nearly 1.7 billion US dollars—was devoted to the arts. As a Canadian in a bilingual country, there's a French word to describe this: incroyable!

    But while many people at home and abroad say, when it comes to the way Norway supports culture, "Well, they have oil money," the sad but true obvious response is: "Yes, but were Canada to come into the same per capita money, they would absolutely not spend it the way the Norwegians have."

    Continue reading here....

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Thomas Strønen · Ståle Storløkken

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post


    Thomas Strønen · Ståle Storløkken
    Great stuff! I've saw them a few times, back in my globe-trotting days. I've reviewed three Humcrush releases, you can find them here. Here's a live review of their collaboration with Sidsel Endresen
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  4. #4
    Here's what a Jaga Jazzist gig at Rockefeller here in Oslo looked like only last Saturday:

    Jaga.jpg

    But today the city council elected to close down all pubs and venues, and restaurants won't be allowed to serve alcohol. No further concerts of any kind until mid-December, at earliest.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Here's what a Jaga Jazzist gig at Rockefeller here in Oslo looked like only last Saturday:

    Jaga.jpg

    But today the city council elected to close down all pubs and venues, and restaurants won't be allowed to serve alcohol. No further concerts of any kind until mid-December, at earliest.
    Damn. I was there for the Jaga/Britten Sinfonia show at the same venue. Great place, great vibe!
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

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