Norway's unconventional improvising quartet SPUNK with Maja S. K. Ratkje, Hild Sofie Tafjord, Lene Grenager and Kristin Andersen are heard live at Nasjonal Jazzscene in Oslo, Norway in 2015, capturing these two sets of uniquely unexpected and jaw-dropping recordings from a band on the cutting edge of avant improvisation.
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Label: Rune Grammofon
Catalog ID: RCD 2188CD
Squidco Product Code: 23986
Recorded live at Nasjonal Jazzscene in Oslo, Norway, in December 2015.
Hild Sofie Tafjord-French horn
Kristin Andersen-trumpet, recorder
Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje-voice, Theremin
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1. SPUNK 20 First Set 43:55
2. SPUNK 20 Second Set 35:09
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"Formed in 1995, Spunk comprises four of Norway's most innovative musicians: Kristin Andersen - trumpet and recorders; Hild Sofie Tafjord - french horn, toys, live processing and sampling; Maja S. K. Ratkje - voice, theremin, oscillators, live processing and sampling; Lene Grenager - cello. For their 20th anniversary concert in December 2015, they moved to the exotic concert sites of Oslo's Nasjonal Jazzscene, home of the most interesting local and international jazz and improvisation concerts in the capital. Still Eating Ginger Bread For Breakfast is a recording of that concert - divided into two sets - as on the evening. It is also Spunk's ninth album since their 1999 debut Det Eneste Jeg Vet Er At Det Ikke Er En Stovsuger, all on Rune Grammofon. "Last time I heard Spunk was phenomenal! They are among the most exciting improvising groups in the world right now."-Fred Frith.
• Show Bio for Lene Grenager
"Lene Grenager studied composition and the cello at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo under Aage Kvalbein (cello), Olav Anton Thommessen and Alfred Janson (composition). She has also attended seminars and lectures with the following composers: Louis Andriessen, Gerard Grisey, George Benjamin, Brian Ferneyhough, Magnus Lindberg, Philip Manoury, Iannis Xenakis, Tristan Murail, Klas Torstensson, Alejandro Vinao, Bent Sørensen, James Dillon, Trevor Wishart and Judith Weir.
Currently (2009-2013) she holds a five year work grant from the Norwegian State, and the same institution awarded her a three year work grant (2002-2004) for Young Artists. She has also been awarded grants from Fegerstens Legat, Komponistenes vederlagsfond and TONO. In 2002 she was awarded the Lindeman Prize for young composers. From 1999 till 2001 she held a scholarship position in composition at Agder University College. From 1998 she is a member of the Norwegian Society of Composers.
Grenager works both as composer and musician. She has been working professionally since 1995 with commissions from a.o. Cikada, Ensemble Ernst, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Bodø Sinfonietta, Nordic Music Days, Fylkingen and Affinis ensemble. She has had portrait concerts at the festivals Ultima, Borealis and Ilios and her works has been performed at festivals and concerts all over Europe. She finds it important that the musicians own voices and choices are reflected in the performances of her works but simultaneously that the core of the work is clearly defined from her hand. This has resulted in a great variety of notational techniques and richness in detail in the different scores. Grenager"s work as performing improvisational musician has also influenced her compositions. She tours extensively all over the world with the improvisation bandsSPUNK, Lemur and with Sofia Jernberg. She has also cooperated closely with dancers, visual artists and actors.
Grenager participates on some 20 recordings as composer, musician and producer a.o. "Affinis-suite" (+3db), "Slåtter, slag og slark" (Euridice) og "Systema naturae" (Øra), and with SPUNK (Rune Grammofon), Lemur (+3db) og Jernberg/Grenager (olofbright)."-Lene Grenager Website (http://www.grenager.no/index.php?id=abo_eng)
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• Show Bio for Hild Sofie Tafjord
"Hild Sofie Tafjord has re-written the sonic possibilities of the French Horn and established herself as one of Norway's most arresting musicians. Pushing the limits of her instrument for years, whether acoustically or electronically, she has made her mark as composer, performer and improvisor. Her signature is present in her group playing in SPUNK and LEMUR, Zeitkratzer but takes front row in her solo work.
Tafjord is active as a solo performer and in groups like SPUNK, Lemur, Agrare, Zeitkratzer Ensemble, Trinacria, Phantom Orchard Orchestra a.o. She has a broad range as an artist and has made music for dance, film, theater, installations and sculptures. She has also worked with performances, given workshops and site specific concerts. She has played and collaborated with numerous mucisians and artists in Europe, Amerika, Canada and Asia, like Fred Frith, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Evan Parker, Matmos, Wolf Eyes a.o. Hild Sofie participates on more than 40 releases, and her first solo album Kama is out on Picadisk."-+3dB (http://plus3db.net/artists/hild_sofie_tafjord/)
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• Show Bio for Kristin Andersen
"Kristin Andersen (born 1973) is a Norwegian trumpeter and composer. She educated at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. Her music has been performed all over Scandinavia. In addition to SPUNK Kristin Andersen can often be heard in various free improvised constellations. Kristin also works as a studio technician and producer, as well as with writing and web design."-Panrec (http://www.panrec.com/artists/kristin_andersen)
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• Show Bio for Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje
"Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje, composer and performer (born Dec. 29th 1973 in Trondheim, Norway), finished composition studies at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo in 2000. Her music is performed worldwide by performers such as Ensemble Intercontemporain, Klangforum Wien, Oslo Sinfonietta, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Fretwork, TM+, Cikada, Mivos and Bozzini string quartets, Quatuor Renoir, crashEnsemble, Pearls for Swine Experience, Torben Snekkestad, Marianne Beate Kielland, SPUNK, Frode Haltli, POING and many more. Portrait concerts with her music has been heard in Toronto and Vienna, she has been composer in residence at festivals like Other Minds in San Francisco, Trondheim Chamber Music Festival, Nordland Music Festival in Bodø, Avanti! Summer Festival in Finland, Båstad Chamber Music Festival and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
Ratkje has received awards such as the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris for composers below 30 years of age, the Norwegian Edvard prize (work of the year) twice, second prize at the Russolo Foundation, and in 2001 she was the first composer ever to receive the Norwegian Arne Nordheim prize. Her solo album Voice, made in collaboration with Jazzkammer, got a Distinction Award at Prix Ars Electronica in 2003. In 2013 she was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize for her vocal work.
Ratkje is active as a singer/voice user and electronics performer and engineer, as a soloist or in groups such as SPUNK and BRAK RUG. She has been soloist with orchestras such as The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Klangforum Wien, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Other collaborations are with Jaap Blonk, Joëlle Léandre, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Stephen O'Malley, Lasse Marhaug, POING and many more. Ratkje has performed her own music for films, dance and theatre, installations, and numerous other projects. Visual art or text material is often a part of her own work, in installations or staged works. She has made large gallery works with SPUNK, she has made music for a radio play by Elfriede Jelinek, and in 2003, she played a part in her own opera, based on the texts from the Nag Hammadi Library.
Her scores are found at the National Library of Norway's publishing service, NB noter, and her records are released on Tzadik, Rune Grammofon, 2L, ECM, Important Records and many other labels."-Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje Website (http://ratkje.no/bio/short-bio/)
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