Composer, performer and writer Jenny Hval has been a distinct voice on the Norwegian scene, having released a string of strong solo albums, played countless gigs at home and abroad and published a controversial but also celebrated novel.
Her Live At The Office concert, held at Bergen’s youth organization Ervigen, featured the premiere of a brand new song, The Seer; a song that the artist describes as ‘…Jenny Hval goes electric.’
Says Hval: ‘We just rehearsed this tune at our soundcheck, in honour of Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday.’ Dylan is a relatively newfound fascination for Hval, who previously associated the singer-songwriter with ‘grumpy old men and music journalists with hats’. ‘He’s part of the song as a involuntary, golden bronze statue’, says Hval. ‘He’s written so many fantastic songs, and for many he epitomises the very symbol of a true artist.’
Jenny Hval - Live At The Office from MICnorway on Vimeo.
In 2006, Hval released her debut album “To Sing You Apple Trees” under the moniker Rockettothesky. The album received rave reviews and became a surprise hit with its mix of pop, poetry and rampant sexuality. It was nominated for a Spellemannspris – the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammy - in the Best New Act category. The same year also saw Hval playing most of the big Norwegian festivals in 2007, as well as shows and small festivals in UK and Europe.
Hval’s second album, ‘Medea’ (2008, also as Rockettothesky), was set in a more experimental tone. On the album, Hval invoked the greek tragic heroine Medea – the monstrous mother, powerful sorceress, and foreign woman – through spoken word and improvised sound textures. 2008 also saw Hval starting to play live with free improv musicians Håvard Volden (guitar) and Kyrre Laastad (drums & percussion).
Since the release of ‘Medea’, Hval has completed several other projects as well as playing a high number of international events: composing and performing the commissioned piece “Meshes of Voice” with singer and composer Susanna Wallumrød (Susanna and the Magical Orchestra) for Ladyfest 2009, composing and performing at the Ultima Festival for Contemporary Music, published the slightly controversial novel “Perlebryggeriet” (“The Pearl Brewery”, 2009) and started a free folk/improv duo with Håvard Volden (Nude on Sand).
Spring 2011 saw the release of Hval’s new album, ‘Viscera’. ‘Viscera’ reflects upon all these projects as well as creates a distinct sonic space of its own.
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Rune Grammofon (Record Companies)
Jenny Hval, Artist