Geir Bøhren (born June 9, 1951) and Bent Åserud (born April 5, 1950) graduated from the Norwegian State Academy of Music in 1977 and have in the course of the last two decades established themselves as Norway's, if not Scandinavia's, leading film music composers. Despite the fact that Bøhren and Åserud spend most of their musical energy composing for films, they are known for their versatility and are much sought after in other areas of Scandinavian film and television. In addition to having written music to 29 feature films, Geir Bøhren and Bent Åserud have also been responsible for the music for a number of television documentaries, series, and vignettes both in Norway and abroad.
Even though not everyone in Norway has heard of Bøhren and Åserud, most people are familiar with their music in one form or another, for they have been active on the Norwegian music scene for over thirty years. Such an achievement is no less impressive considering the variety of genres they have worked in with such great enthusiasm.
When rock was rolling over the world in the 1960s Bøhren and Åserud made their first appearance on the Norwegian music scene with the band Junipher Greene. This was one of the leading bands in Norway on the experimental/progressive rock scene. Junipher Greene had a successful career throughout the 1970s, by which time, after having released five albums, Bøhren and Åserud felt the time had come to move on to something new. With their combination of expertise in the field of electronic sounds and a solid grounding in orchestration, it was not surprising that they chose to turn to the film industry.
They worked together on film music for the first time in 1981, a successful collaboration which gave them a taste for more, and which also resulted in more commissions. It was therefore only a question of time before they made their major breakthrough as film music composers - in 1985 they gained international recognition and two prestigious national awards in Norway for the film score (their fourth until then) to 'Orion's Belt'.
With this achievement Bøhren and Åserud now enjoyed a similar position as film music composers to the one they had held as rock musicians some fifteen years previously. In 1988 they were awarded the international film prize 'The Impact of Music on Film' in Belgium, and in 1992 received the highest of all Norwegian film awards, the 'Aamotstatutten', The Prize of Honour in Norwegian Film'.
It is no coincidence that Bøhren and Åserud have been the most active film music composers over the past twenty years. Their versatility, varied musical background and ability to work with large and small ensembles in their studio has resulted in a distinct form of expression well suited to the films they work on.
So far they have written music to twenty-nine films; the music to eleven of these has been released on CD. This alone is an impressive achievement, but Bøhren and Åserud's tireless capacity for work has also resulted in a musical as well as music to several television series, documentaries and short films during the 1990s. It was therefore hardly a surprise that Bøhren and Åserud were commissioned to compose the television fanfare for the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994.
It was not of course Bøhren and Åserud's contribution alone which sealed the success of the Lillehammer Winter Olympics, but it was proof that no task was too daunting for them.
Films to which Bøhren and Åserud have composed the music include:
Orion's Belt (1985)
Directed by Ola Solum (English version by Tristian DeVere Cole),
featuring Sverre Anker Ousdal
The Ice Palace (1987)
Directed by Per Blom
The Polar Bear King (1991)
Directed by Ola Solum
The Warrior's Heart (1992)
Directed by Leidulv Risan
The Dive (1989)
Directed by Tristian DeVere Cole
Waiting for Sunset (1995)
Directed by Leidulv Risan, featuring Robert Mitchum, Cliff Robertson and Espen Skjønberg
The Other Side of Sunday (1996)
Directed by Berit Nesheim, Academy Award-nominated for Best Foreign Film
Directed by Alexander Røssler
The Last Contract (1998)
Directed by Kjell Sundvall, fearturing Michael Kitchen, Mikael
Persbrandt and Pernilla August
Eye of Eve (1999)
Directed by Berit Nesheim
Mr. Fumblebody (1999)
Directed by Petter Fastvold
Directed by Kjell Sundvall
The Wedding (2000)
Directed by Leidulv Risan
Destination Paradise (directed by Eldar Einarsson, 1981), Hockeyfever (directed by Oddvar Bull Tuhus, 1982), The Head Man (directed by Terje Kristiansen, 1984), Burning Flowers (directed by Eva Dahr/Eva Isaksen, 1985), The Magic Bag (directed by Hans Otto Nicolayssen, 1986), Night Voyager (directed by Thor M. Toerstad, 1986), The Wild One (directed by Vibeke Løkkeberg, 1986), Rubicon (directed by Leidulv Risan, 1987), Hair of the Dog (directed by Solve Skagen, 1988), Viva Villaveien (directed by Thor M. Toerstad, 1988), For the Days are Evil (directed by Eldar Einarsson, 1990), Frida - Straight from the Heart (directed by Berit Nesheim, 1991), Beyond the Sky (directed by Berit Nesheim, 1993), Where Gods are Dead (directed by Vibeke Løkkeberg, 1994) and The Successor (directed by Thor M. Toerstad, 1997).
Television documentaries and series:
Fram - One Ship-Three Journeys (about Roald Amundsen, 1992), Sonia Henie - Queen of the Ice (1994), Kagge - Solo South Pole (1993), Kon-Tiki - In the Light of Time (1997), Liv Ullman - Scenes from a Life (1997), and Jul i Blåfjell (1999).
1985: Amanda Best Music Score (Orions' Belt)
1986: The Film Critics' Prize (Orions' Belt)
1988: The Impact of Music on Film, Gent, Belgium (The Ice Palace)
1992: Aamotstatuetten, The Prize of Honour in Norwegian Film
1999: Spellemannsprisen - Norwegian Grammy
2001: Edvard Prize - Annual Work Award of the Norwergian Performing Right's Society, Society of Norwgian Composers and NOPA
Geir Bøhren and Bent Åserud may be contacted at the following numbers:
tel.: +47 22 22 24 86
fax: +47 22 22 52 69
Their recorded music is released by:
MTG Records Norway
Tel.: +47 32 89 34 50
Fax: +47 32 89 35 35
The Norwegian Music Information Centre
Tel: +47 22 42 90 90
Fax: +47 22 42 90 91
Geir Bøhren, Composer
Bent Åserud, Composer