søndag 3. oktober 2010

Bjørn Fongaard: Elektrofoni 3CD/1DVD Box-Set

Prisma Records 711
Releasedate 13.09.2010
Distributed by Musikkoperatørene

Elektrofoni is a 3CD / 1DVD box-set which for the first time presents the ground-breaking works by Norwegian experimental composer, guitarist and micro-tonal music pioneer Bjørn Fongaard (1919-1980). The box-set is produced by Lars Mørch Finborud og Lasse Marhaug of Prisma Records.

The seeds to the Elektrofoni box-set began when Lasse Marhaug a few years ago found a copy of the old Electronic Music From Norway LP compilation at a second-hand record store in Stockholm. The LP contained the Galaxy track by Bjørn Fongaard. Marhaug couldn’t believe his ears – that this incredible music was from 1966 and Norway. It sounded like it was recorded yesterday. The music was clearly made by someone with a strong passion and clear vision of his music. Except from Arne Nordheim very little experimental/electronic music from Norway was documented on vinyl, so hearing the Galaxy track led Marhaug to start investigating. After writing about the piece in a column for a UK website, Lasse was contacted by Fongaard’s daughter Lis Fongaard Seim. Lasse was thrilled to hear that she had kept all of her father’s documents, photos and tapes. Together with his partner in Prisma Records Lars Mørch Finborud they set out to produce the extensive box-set that is now ready as Elektrofoni.

Bjørn Fongaard was a known guitar-player in Norway, performing frequently in radio- and TV-shows and as side-kick/studiomusician for famous Norwegian singer-songwriters such as Alf Prøysen and Søstrene Bjørklund. He was also a known guitar-pedagogue for guitarists like Terje Rypdal and Egil Kapstad. But Elektrofoni focuses on Fongaard’s ground-breaking micro-tonal works recorded in the years 1965-1978, performed by himself on his custom-made electric micro-intervallic guitar. The 3 CD’s features a broad selection of Fongaard’s earliest pieces such as Galaxy, Homo Sapiens and Epos as well as the complete Elektrofonia and Sinfonia Microtonalis series – showing Fongaard as a forefather of Norwegian electronic, experimental and improvised music.

The DVD contains TV appearances, radio interview and ballets that Fongaard composed music for, unearthed from the NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Bureau) archives. Also included is a booklet with new essays on Fongaard by Lasse Thoresen, Kjell Tore Innervik and Lars Mørch Finborud. The booklet also contains photos, graphic scores and press-clippings.

The recordings themselves has been carefully restored and mastered by Helge Sten (aka Deathprod), which says that ”Bjørn Fongaard have composed some of the most fantastic and entrancing music from Norway in modern times. His music is no less than cosmic”.

In many ways the release of Elektrofoni adds a whole new chapter to the documented history of Norwegian experimental music, as 90% of the material is released here for the first time.

The release is celebrated with a Bjørn Fongaard concert in collaboration with the Ultima Festival and NOTAM at the Henie Onstad Art Centre 12th September 2010. Pierre Henry will also perform on the same day.