On a nationwide cinema tour with the Norwegian silent movie classic “Brudeferden i Hardanger” (1926), Ugress, Krakow, 9 grader nord, Nasra Ali Omar and Annlaug Børsheim aim to redefine romantic nationalism: What does being “Norwegian” mean in 2020? This will be a grand new musical work, performed by a superband from Western Norway, commissioned by Cinemateket USF, that premieres at BIFF and Vill Vill Vest in September 2019. In BEK’s sound studio, Gisle Martens Meyer (Ugress) together with the musicians will make recordings, which he will later compose the new musical work from.
Brudeferden i Hardanger is a magnificent 1926 film production by Rasmus Breistein, who started a romantic nationalistic period in Norwegian film. Bridal journey and bunad are, of course, important elements in the film, but it also encompasses everyday life for rural people during a period when emigration, development and urbanization was redefining Norwegian culture. The painting Brudeferd i Hardanger by Tidemand and Gude from 1848 has also defined our national culture. “Norwegianness” is constantly evolving; through migration, globalization, open borders with Europe, and a digital, worldwide culture. We exist more as complex individuals in a global, mediated reality, than as localized ethnic beings.
What is it to be “Norwegian” today, and what is “Norwegian music” now? This is investigated by building a live music work that redefines the “romantic nationalistic” by putting together an ensemble of artists with different backgrounds. The artists both contrast and complement Norwegian cultural heritage; they are all representative of Norwegian music in 2018; and, like the film and the painting, they have a heavy anchoring in Western Norway.
Read more about the project on Gisle Martens Meyer’s website here.
Image above from the movie Brudeferden i Hardanger.
About Ugress (Gisle Martens Meyer)
Ugress is a composer and artist from Bergen, who has won international awards for his work within music and new media in the European contemporary art field. Martens Meyer was nominated for Amanda for the film music of “Pushwagner”, Spellemannsprisen for best newcomer with Ugress, and has previously made new music for three silent films. He has also done several works with close ties to Western Norway: Works based on Western artists Enslaved, Real Ones and Harald Sæverud for the Bergen International Festival, based on ferries and tractors for Bygdalarm, based on Hardangerfjord for the Norwegian Constitution anniversary, and he has made major productions with BIT 20 Ensemble, Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester, Carte Blanche and BIT Teatergarasjen.