The Norwegian comedians the Ylvis Brothers are asking a genuin question, I love this!
The Norwegian Royal Order of St. Olav is awarded for distinguished services for Norway and mankind. Each of the three members of a-ha, Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen and Pål Waaktaar Savoy will, after a proposition by Music Export Norway, receive this Royal Order for their outstanding musical contribution.
a-ha has a unique position in Norway, with an unprecedented international success. The group has sold 35 million albums worldwide and is the first and still remains the only Norwegian band that has topped the U.S. Billboard list. This happened with “Take On Me” in 1985. They have had 15 singles in the top ten list in the UK, received eight Norwegian Grammy Awards and been nominated for, and won, a number of others.
In addition, a-ha obtained an entry in the Guinness World Records after a concert in Rio de Janeiro in 1991, where they performed in front of nearly 200 000 people.
Aha has also a unique position in my personal memory of early youth hood. I had my first real big concert debut at age 14, when a-ha played in my hometown Kristiansand. I still remember my friends and I planning our concert outfits for weeks, and leaving home six hours prior to get in a scene close position during the concert.
The group has also been an inspiration for several generations of artists, both at home and abroad. The a-ha members have on several occasions contributed to charity. They have played charity concerts for both Mercy Ships and Live 8, and the they have been involved in bringing attention to the situation in Haiti and East Timor.
In 2010 the group wanted to support Norwegian talent with International potential. This resulted in the artists Casiokids, Moddi, Shining and Susanne Sundfør receiveing a grant of one million Norwegian kroner each, paid solely by a-ha.
The official ceremony will take place on November 6th.
Photos: Universal Music and Historic Photograps
Some 40,000 people gathered today on an Oslo square to sing a popular peace song which mass killer Anders Behring Breivik condemned at his trial.
The terrorist has accused the singer of Children Of The Rainbow, Lillebjørn Nilsen, of being a Marxist who sought to brainwash children. Lillebjørn Nilsen, is a Norwegian artist that put Norwegian words to “My Rainbow Race” originally by Pete Seeger, from 1967. The song was really popular in the 70s, and ABB used this song as an example of our society brainwashing our children. And the response came today!
LilleBjørn Nilsen led the crowd on in singing the song on Youngstorget Square, close to the courthouse.
Inside, the trial heard testimony from survivors of the Oslo bomb attack.
It is the ninth day of Breivik’s trial for the killing of eight people in Oslo and 69 on the island of Utoeya, as well as the wounding of more than 200 others.
He admits the attacks on 22 July last year but denies guilt or insanity.
The five-strong panel of judges at Breivik’s trial will make a ruling on his sanity at the verdict in July.
Breivik may eventually face a term of 21 years in jail, which could be extended if he is thought to be a continuing danger to society.
ABB says he launched his attacks to defend Norway from multiculturalism, and Muslim immigration in particular.
In court last Friday, Breivik attacked Norway’s educational system and singled out Nilsen as a “good example of a Marxist who infiltrated the cultural sector, [who] writes music that is used to brainwash children”.
Nilsen led the singing in the square of Children Of The Rainbow, a Norwegian version of US folk singer Pete Seeger’s My Rainbow Race, which is an anti-war song from his 1973 album of the same name.
Standing under umbrellas in the rain, the crowd sang both the Norwegian and English versions of the song.
Its lyrics include the lines: “Some want to take the easy way/Poisons, bombs! They think we need ’em./Don’t they know you can’t kill all the unbelievers./There’s no shortcut to freedom.”
Singers later headed to the courthouse where the trial was under way, to attach flowers to the security barriers. The hope of the crowd was that people could hear the song inside.
While the song might be Utopian, the message is far from cheesy. ABB thinks we’re brainwashed anyway, but it’s important to show our distance, and support the survivors that testified today.
People also gathered in other towns to perform the song, with the event promoted on social media. I believe todays gatherings have been important for our society, as a response to the trial were we get the horrible actions from last summer analysed and retold. Tonight I feel the need to repeat the end of king Harald speech from last July:
I firmly believe that freedom is stronger than fear.
I firmly believe in an open Norwegian democracy and society
I firmly believe that we will uphold our ability to live freely and securely in our own country
Did you have a ballerina music box when you grew up? I did, I got it for my seventh birthday, and it was my treasure box for years. I realise now, that with all the pink girl décor you can have in a little girl’s room, the ballerina box will probably just be one of many things girls today have in their room. But in the 70ties, there were not many of us that had access to any pink accessories, especially for the room. The colours of the hour were yellow, orange, brown and red, certainly not pink. I remember I cut out the pink labels from my mums perfume ads, and when we redecorated the living room, I was happy when my dad came home with a lot of samples for the paint, because there were several pink little squares, and I cut them all out, and kept them in my ballerina music box.
Maybe it is the lack of pink in my childhood that enforces my love for pink even today?
Anyway, I loved my little ballerina music box, and it stands for me as the treasure holder of my childhood. My beautiful white stone from the beach near Narbonne was stored in the box; the same was my first earrings and a broken collier I got from my friend. I also had a little silver spoon, with William Shakespeare on, which my friend Caroline had sent me from Stratford upon Avon. Later, the box had my first little love poem in it, and the name of the boys I thought were cute. And even later, it had the code for my visa card and the combination for my suitcase.
It’s not every day that we have a Norwegian visiting Ellen DeGeneres. The one-man band and YouTube sensation came all the way from Norway to perform his song “C’mon Talk” on the show. You’ll be singing it for days and wondering how he did it for even longer. Watch here!
I also love how the interview went, looks like he had a great time. And why wouldn’t he?
A few nights ago, I watched the national Tv news, and they had an intervju with the young rising star Ragnhild Hemsing. The Norwegian Broadcasting Corp followed her debut CD release, and it was so great to see that they presented her as a remarkably poised artist.
I’ve met Ragnhild Hemsing from time to time, since she was a little girl, and had the pleasure of following her great career, while she has been swiftly emerging as a unique classical violin talent.
I’ve bought her CD, and Ragnhild Hemsings playing is supreme! Ragnhild’s unique upbringing, deeply immersed in the rich folk music traditions of Norway enables her to be one of the first artists to successfully merge the instantly identifiable characteristics of Norwegian folk and classical performance in a young, fresh and entirely contemporary fashion.
Ragnhild Hemsing was born in 1988 into the heart of the Norwegian folk region, Valdres. She began to play the violin at 5 years of age and, showing exceptional talent, was invited to enroll at the prestigious Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo at the age of nine. Ragnhild is currently taking violin lessons in Vienna from the renowned teacher Prof. Boris Kuschnir. Ragnhild performs a broad range of repertoire and is already an artist of astonishing versatility, she is in demand across the full range of repertoire as a concerto artist, recitalist and chamber musician. She supplements her large repertoire of standard solo classical works for violin with more unusual and complex works written for the Hardanger fiddle. In addition she actively seeks opportunities to perform works by contemporary Norwegian composers who specifically draw on folk traditions in their music. Ragnhild’s most notable contemporary collaboration is her work with the young Norwegian choreographer, Hallgrim Hansegård. Ragnhild and Hallgrim have performed ‘YR’, by Norwegian composer Lasse Thoresen, throughout Norway and it is this work she now has recorded for Simax records.
At only 13 years of age Ragnhild made her debut with the Bergen Philharmonic where she performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. She made her debut with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra that same year, and the following year was invited to make her debut with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. Since then she has also performed abroad with orchestras including the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ukrainian National Philharmonic Orchestra, Kazan State Orchestra in Russia, St Marks Symphony Orchestra in Italy and Ashland Symphony Orchestra in the USA.
Hemsing has given guest appearances at all of the major Festivals and concert halls across Norway including recent appearances at the Bergen International Festival, the Oslo Chamber Music Festivals, Hardingtonar Festival and Førde International World Music Festival where she has been combining folk programmes with classical repertoire, often sharing the stage with well-known artists from across the world. As a recitalist she has also performed at the Wigmore Hall, the Verbier Festival, Bellerive Festival in Switzerland and AlpenKlassisk in Germany, amongst others. In 2011 she will debut with the Minnesota Orchestra and at the Cheltenham Festival.
Ragnhild has been the recipient of many prizes, including First Prize and European Union Prize at the Kocian International Violin Competition in the Czech Republic, First Prize and Special Prize at the 2003 European Music Prize for Youth (Chamber Music), held in Austria, as well as winning all of Norway’s major youth competitions. A well-known artist on Norwegian radio and TV, Ragnhild’s professionalism and versatility means she is a natural choice for a wide range of appearances with recent high profile engagements including the Nobel Peace Prize Concert and at the Spellemann prize award (Norwegian Grammy Awards). During 2010 she and her sister, Eldbjørg Hemsing recorded a 60 minute documentary together with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation on the life of the famous Norwegian violinist Ole Bull.
Ragnhild Hemsing plays on a Francesco Ruggeri Violin built in Cremona in 1694 kindly on loan from the Dextra Musica Foundation.
Ragnhild Hemsing is influenced by Classical European, classical Norwegian and traditional Norwegian music. To listen to her CD, is in a way listening to all at once. Enjoy!