- Well, I must say I hope that people will not fall asleep, says musician Geir Jenssen. – I do wish for them to listen to my music! But it sounds like a really exciting concert concept I will be taking part in, he adds.
Geir Jenssen is one of Norway’s most important artists within electronic music, and is one of the founders of the ambient genre. Jenssen is also known to a lot of people as part of the synth trio Bel Canto in the mid-80ies.
When NO+CH kicks off in China 24 October, the festival will be a meeting place for Nordic and Chinese artists for the fourth year in a row. Bugge Wesseltoft, one of the highest profiled Norwegian jazz musicians abroad, took the initiative to the NO+CH festival together with a group of Chinese musicians and friends. The basic idea was an ambulating electronica- and DJ concept that would take place simultaneously in the three big cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Now the festival has expanded into including also design, architecture and visual arts.
Bugge Wesseltoft pulls the strings
This year’s theme is identity, and the festival’s goal is to generate creative processes across disciplines as music, arts, design and architecture. Last year 30 Nordic and 20 Chinese artists took part in some fifty concerts for an audience of approximately 20.000. Bugge Wesseltoft still has a hand in the project as a producer, in cooperation with Concerts Norway/Rikskonsertene.
- I am very proud of having taken part in creating this festival, says Wesseltoft. – The festival has received a lot of attention in China, and has meant a great deal to Norwegian and Chinese musicians. This is an important meeting ground for musicians from two different continents who experience that they extremely much in common, he adds.
NO+CH an important part of Norwegian foreign policy
The group of Norwegian musicians who will play at NO+CH also includes jazz- and electronica artists MoHa, Food, Ost & Kjex, VJ Pekka, Mental Overdrive and Femme Digitale. NO+CH is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is a cooperation with Concerts Norway.
NO+CH is part of a larger cultural and artistic cooperation between Norway and China. Collectively, Concerts Norway through the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs operates a number of cooperation projects with different cities and organisers in China. Among them is the great Shanghai Arts Festival, where Norwegian and Chinese musicians play together and individually in schools and concert halls. Artistic and executive director of Concerts Norway, Åse Kleveland, emphasizes NO+CH as an important part of Concerts Norway’s music cooperation with China in a Norwegian cultural- and foreign policy context. – NO+CH is a powerful enhancement of the cultural cooperation between Norway and China, she says. - The cultural cooperation between our two nations is quite extensive; it spans from traditional music to the most intense contemporary expressions, and involves both children, young people and grown-ups, Kleveland adds.
* NO+CH takes place between 24 October till the end of November in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou
* NO+CH is a compound of Nordic + China, but the plus sign may also be read as a ‘t’. Hence the name connotes high quality or ‘top notch’ musicians
* NO+CH is a part of Concerts Norway’s area of commitment concerning the music cooperation between Norway and China
* Supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
* Night life guide Time Out Beijing ranked NO+CH one of the top 5 concert experiences in 2006
(Source: Concerts Norway: www.concertsnorway.no)sd
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