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Songs Around The World, by and with Lina Nyberg and Josefine Lindstrand for Trondheim Voices and Michala Østergård-Nielsen

Two of Sweden’s most influential and innovative vocalists and composers; Lina Nyberg and Josefine Lindstrand have together created a completely new work called Songs around the world. Songs around the world is a dizzying concert experience, specially composed for the spectacular Norwegian voice ensemble Trondheim Voices and the danish percussionist Michala Östergaard-Nielsen. Lina and Josefine also participate themselves. The music contains composed and improvised parts that reflect collected moments from around the world.

It all started with an idea to collect text fragments from people around the globe, colleagues of Lina and Josefine in the musicbusiness. These people have been asked a number of questions about their immediate experiences at a specific moment. What does it look like outside your window? What are your worries and longings? What was your last dream?

Based on these quotes, lyrics are created and impulses are given to musical processes and melodies that Nyberg and Lindstrand skillfully weave together to take the audience on a journey around the world.

Songs Around The World premiered at Umeå Jazz Festival October 2021.

A beautiful concert!  
salt peanuts, Jan Granlie

It is moving, enchanting and extremely talented.
Västerbottens-Kuriren, Adam Olofsson

A great and heartfelt experience
Nettavisen, Tor Hammerø

Lina Nyberg
Josefine Lindstrand

Trondheim Voices:
Heidi Skjerve
Tone Åse
Siri Gjære
Ingrid Lode
Anita Kaasbøll
Siril Malmedal Hauge

Michala Østergaard-Nielsen

About Lina Nyberg:
Lina is one of Swedens foremost jazz singers and composers. Born in Stockholm in 1970 and educated at the Royal Academy of Music. Since her record debut with Esbjörn Svensson in 1993, she has produced 20 albums in her own name. She has toured the world, in recent years in addition to Scandinavia, also in Canada, Portugal, Germany, Argentina and Brazil. “The Swedish vocalists writing is stunning, especially for strings, and her singing is more personal than ever.” DownBeat magazine (5/5)

About Josefine Lindstrand:
Josefine Lindstrand is a highly acclaimed jazzsinger, composer, and pianist living in Stockholm Sweden. For more than 15 years she has been one of the leading singers on the jazzscene in Scandinavia, but also around Europe. A part from making her own music, touring around the world with her mesmerizing band, she has written commissions for choir, big band and movies. For over 10 years she has been the singer in british pianoplayer Django Bates Band Human Chain, and has performed and recorded with US-pianist Uri Caine. “She is something of a phenomenon, with her fabulously imaginative songs, her theatrical performance as well as her phenomenally exciting voice”, press quote from her last record “While we sleep”.

About Michala Østergaard Nielsen:
Michala Østergaard-Nielsen is a drummer / percussionist and composer from Copenhagen. She has a very personal expression and is described as having an almost Zen Buddhist relationship to drumming, improvisation and music. She explores the drums both as a rhythm instrument and sound wise with great sensitivity and presence. She has participated in countless recordings with various bands, and also runs her own projects such as “Østergaard Art Quartet”. In 2018, Michala was awarded the prize “Jazzkannan” from the Swedish Jazz Association: “This year’s ”Jazzkannan” award goes to a spiritual and responsive composer and musician, whose universe is filled with poetic vibrations that lead to instant love.”

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Folklore by Helge Sten and Ståle Storløkken

(traditional customs, tales, sayings, dances, or art forms preserved among a people).

Monumental vocal

Get ready for an extraordinary concert performance when two of Norway’s most distinguished sound artists, writes music for some of their countrys finest experimental vocalists.

What happens when 2/3 of the Norwegian power-trio “Supersilent” use Trondheim Voices as a living breathing instrument?

In this work, the pioneering vocal ensemble uses its voices as one massive microtonal instrument – replacing words with tones, exploring multi-voice drones and sounds in a timeless chant-like manner. 

Folklore draws on inspiration from medieval times, ancient rituals and the art of folklore.  

The expression folklore is a collective term for tradition-led art and knowledge, which is shared between generations through actions from human to human. It has often belonged in the informal, non-commercial part of culture.

Helge Sten and Ståle Storløkken’s work Folklore explores the distance between acoustic and electronic sound, harmonic and microtonal music, the known and unknown. Time ceases and opens up for new ways of listening.


Sissel Vera Pettersen
Anita Kaasbøll
Tone Åse
Kari Eskild Havenstrøm
Natali Abrahamsen Garner
Heidi Skjerve
Torunn Sævik
Ingrid Lode
Siri Gjære

Light design: Ingrid Skanke Høsøien
Costumes & styling: Sissel Vera Pettersen/Ida Eilertsen


Video: André Løyning

Photo: André Løyning

Photo: Thor-Egil Leirtrø

Photo: Thor-Egil Leirtrø

Photo: Thor-Egil Leirtrø

Photo: Thor-Egil Leirtrø

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Trondheim Voices and Asle Karstad – ROOMS & RITUALS

In Rooms & Rituals each singer’s extended vocal techniques, individuality and timbre results in a unique quality to the groups collective tone. Through the use of their unique effect controllers “Maccatrols”, they create wide electroacoustic soundscapes, subtle noise, hauntingly beautiful chorales, and ambient beats. Free improvisation plays a vital part in their concerts, but also incorporating original compositions from the group members and music written for the ensemble by composers such as Jon Balke, Ståle Storløkken and Christian Wallumrød.

About the artistic collaboration with Asle Karstad
Norways leading sound designer Asle Karstad has exclusively developed and designed the effect controller ”Maccatrol” for the ensemble: a small wireless box carried on the body, enabling each singer to move freely, individually processing themselves in the room, using effects and loops. The singers perform within a surround setup, sharing space with the audience and breaking down the barrier of the conventional stage setting. This gives the audience a unique listening experience.

Richard Williams, music publicist, about Trondheim Voices and Asle Karstad: Rooms & Rituals
These voices are like no choir you ever heard. They can form pale clouds of sound, or pools of glowing light, or bright shafts of pure sound. Phrases can soar before suddenly reversing direction and travelling backwards, but along a different tangent. Rising from the luminous sound beds — sometimes lush, sometimes austere – float a disembodied melody from an ancient world, an overheard conversation, a whisper from the past, the rumblings of a distant storm, the babble of children, or something that sounds like the ambient chatter of an asteroid belt.

For both the singers and their audience, this is music in a constant state of discovery.

-This is art., GB

-Founded on creativity, bravery and great vocal skills – it makes up a triumph of true originality. Terje Mosnes, NO

-Dramatic, theatrical, daring. Musikkultur, DE

-A hurricane of creativity.. A real rough diamond, FR

-Extremely good listeners discover ways to new worlds, Morgenbladet, NO

Rooms & Rituals
Costume design: Henrik Vibskov
Photo: Martynas Milkevicius

Rooms & Rituals
Costume design: Henrik Vibskov
Photo: Martynas Milkevicius

Rooms & Rituals
Costume design: Henrik Vibskov
Photo: Martynas Milkevicius

Trondheim VoicesPhoto: Peter Adamik
Jazzfest Berlin 2017, Berlin Festspiele

Photo: Thor Egil Leirtrø
Dokkhuset, Trondheim. Fall 2017

Asle Karstad
Photo: Hanne Hvattum

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Ekkokammer 2.0 by Maja S.K. Ratkje and Trondheim Voices

Det är inte alls ovanligt att män har erektil dysfunktion i 20- eller 30-årsåldern, även om de annars är friska. Det är då vanligtvis en psykogen potensstörning. Den sexuella förstärkaren Viagra används för erektil dysfunktion (ED). Om du har fått läkemedel förskrivna av en läkare kan du beställa dem med hemleverans på uten resept. ED är när erektionen inte är tillräcklig för tillfredsställande sexuellt umgänge. Den aktiva ingrediensen i Viagra – Sildenafil – är en PDE-5-hämmare och säkerställer en stark och långvarig erektion vid sexuell upphetsning.

The voice is a unique instrument, inevitably connected to the body. Everybody has a voice – that can be shared and interpreted among all who can hear. A voice can soothe or shake, in recognition or provocation. Never boring! The music of the vocal cords has direct access to the human soul. Ekkokammer 2.0 is all about what it means to have a voice, metaphorically as well as physically. What do you wish to express with your voice? The singers’ own answers and thoughts to this question comes through in this piece. All spoken text is exact transcriptions from interviews with performers in Trondheim Voices, but the lines are spread among the singers, and we no longer remember who said what in the first place. But that doesn’t matter now.

The performance have played in theatres and festivals throughout Norway to raving reviews.
(Read Adressaavisa’s 6 starred review here: adresseavisen-20150928 EKKOkammer 2.0).

In addition to being one of today’s most celebrated Scandinavian contemporary composers, Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje uses her voice as the main instrument in and of itself. Learn more about Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje by clicking here or read Maja’s thoughts on the project here: Programtekst Ekkokammer 2.0.

Ekkokammer is also poetry. Find more info on the book “Av og til så kan det bli kunst” by Maja Ratjke and Trondheim Voices published by Trondheim Beijing by clicking here.

Autumn 2020 Echo Chamber was released on MNJ Records. Reed more here.

Video: Ole Martin Wold

Photo: Christina Undrum

Photo: Christina Undrum

Photo: Christina Undrum

Photo: Christina Undrum

Photo: Christina Undrum

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Trondheim Voices, Jon Balke, Asle Karstad

A World of Daughters: Trondheim Voices, Jon Balke, Asle Karstad and strings

The woman’s role as creative and supporting force throughout history forms the basis when Trondheim Voices, Jon Balke, Asle Karstad and the strings sets music to the words of the poet Yusef Komunyakaa. “A World of Daughters” premiered October 2019 in Munich, as a collaborative project between Trondheim Voices, Jon Balke and the Munich Chamber Orchestra. Based on the poem of the same name by Yusef Komunyakaa, Balke has composed a piece of music for strings, voices and electronics that illuminates the poem from several angles. The poem is written in a semi-abstract tradition, using images to describe the role of women as a creative force throughout human history. Pulitzer Prize winner Komunyakaa, with his African-American background, is a distinctive musical and rhythmic poet who writes in a pulsating language. The work is written as a framework for the dialogue between the string ensemble and the singers, and allows for Trondheim Voices’ unique abilities as improvisers and sound painters.

In the concerts at Moldejazz 2020 and Olavsfestdagene 2020, the first part of the music also includes a “remixed” version of the previous collaboration between Balke and Trondheim Voices: “On anodyne. ” Similarly this collaboration based on a poem by Komunyakaa, but then written for percussion and voices. This work is presented here in a new version for strings, voices and electronics, which together makes a rich presentation of Komunyaka’s musical poetry.

As an important part of the piece, Trondheim Voices uses the wireless controller, maccatrol, made by Norway’s leading sound designer Asle Karstad. He has with his deep knowledge of the ensemble and its individual performers, designed and tailored the maccatrol; small boxes that are carried on the body and allow singers to manipulate their voices electronically and wirelessly. The sound comes from the voices, and magnificent ambient landscapes, beautiful melodies and abstract soundscapes are improvised in the moment, intuitively and as if the singers were a common breathing organism. Karstad puts the finishing touches on the momentary music, creating a space within the room through his surround mix.

Jon Balke – composer and electronics
Asle Karstad – maccatrol and sound design
Trondheim Voices:
Sissel Vera Pettersen (artistic leader)
Siri Gjære
Tone Åse
Live Maria Roggen
Kari Eskild Havenstrøm
Anita Kaasbøll
Torunn Sævik
Heidi Skjerve

Munich 2019:
Clemens Hagen, conductor
Munich Chamber Orchestra

Moldejazz 2020 and Olavsfestdagene 2020:
Christian Eggen, conductor
Trondheim Soloists

A World of Daughters 

By Yusef Komunyakaa 

Say licked clean at birth. Say
weeping in the tall grass, where
this tantalizing song begins,
birds perched on a crooked branch
over a grave of an unending trek
into the valley of cooling waters.
The soil’s thirst, lessons of earth
unmoor the first tongue. Say
I have gone back, says the oracle,
counting seasons & centuries, undoing fault
lines between one generation & next,
as she twirls sackcloth edged with pollen,
& one glimpses what one did not know. Say
this is where the goat spoke legends ago
in the ring of fire to deliver a sacrifice.
To feel signs depends on how & why
the singer’s song puckers the mouth.
Well, I believe the borrowed rib
story is the other way round, entangled
in decree, blessing, law & myth. One
only has to listen to nightlong pleas
of a mother who used all thousand
chants & prayers of clay, red ocher
blown from the mouth onto the high
stone wall, retracing land bridge
to wishbone. My own two daughters
& granddaughter, the three know how
to work praise & lament, ready to sprout
wings of naked flight & labor. Yes,
hinged into earth, we rose from Lucy
to clan, from clan to tribe, & today
we worship her sun-polished bones,
remembering she is made of questions.
No, mama is not always the first word
before counting eggs in the cowbird’s
nest. It begins in memory. Now, say
her name, say Dinknesh, mother of us all.

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