Incredibly inspiring to have my first effort at a chamber ensemble piece featuring puppetry – "Wecarryus" (2023) – premiered in the stunning Grünewaldsalen in Konserthuset Stockholm by Damkapellet (long time dream collaboration come true) thanks to a commission from Konstmusiksystrar (who work to create a sisterhood in music, I admire them a lot). I was also lucky to meet and have a concert pre-talk with writer and critic Hedvig Ljungar and composer Tove Kättström (her beautiful piece "Map of Lost Sisters" was also premiered). Warm thanks to the musicians Nadia Okrusko (piano), Tove Bagge (viola), Hannah-Rae Hampson (cello), Irene Bianco (percussion) – and special thanks to Josefine Weber Hansen (soprano) for taking on the role of singer–puppeteer so gracefully. Sarah Buchner is the creator of the Little Sister puppet, without whom the piece would be nothing. Thanks to everyone involved and to everyone who came to hear on the 17 September 2023. // Photos by Timjan Wall
My piece “INNI” (2019) for solo percussion will be performed by Anders Kregnes Hansen on September 8th at Friscena, Gjøvik, Norway – as part of the festival Inn:pust 2023. Programme
Photo by Nat Johns
SONO FIGURES SOCIETY is the newly founded group of the two artists, composer/performer Marte Røyeng and vocalist/composer Sarah Buchner. They met over their shared fascination for contemporary puppet theater and experimental sound, aiming to contribute through cross-disciplinary artistic innovation within the Copenhagen scene for experimental music. Aesthetically dedicated towards punk surrealism their work explores different methods to connect sound and puppet from improvisation, to composed theater over composition for a visual element as it would be an instrument. The group is on a long term journey to research what different meanings the term sound-puppetry can hold. They debuted in Copenhagen with their first piece ‘Kumulus Morpho’, showcasing a larger-than-life figure at Ubåden in Nyhavn April this year.
For the ILK summer sessions they will invite improviser and composer Michaela Turcerová for a collaboration of electro-acoustic sounds, small and big figures.…
Line up: Sarah Buchner, Marte Røyeng, Michaela Turcerová (all: puppets, instruments, tape)
The performance happened at ILK Sessions Sunday 9 July.
The Blomsterbed collective was interviewed on Spillerom Søndag about who they are and their staircase performance "Rite of Passage" in the Munch museum on Only Connect Festival of Sound.
Spillerom is a radio show devoted to contemporary music from the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.
Blomsterbed is a collective of four composers based in Oslo – Marte Røyeng, Astrid Solberg, Elias Nurmi Schomers and Guoste Tamulynaite.
Marte's piece BeneVolant within the collective performance Rite of Passage as part of the nyMusikk festival Only Connect on April 28, 2022 at MUNCH museum.
Foto: Signe Luksengård
«STUP» is a visual concert project with music by Malm & Eng (Marte Røyeng and Siril Malmedal Hauge) and visual theatre by Ellen Jerstad & Vega Drake Carlsson. Featuring the percussion duo Rattlebelles (Nora Sjøgren and Ylva Bråten Rian) and performer Victoria Gulliksen. «STUP» is about the high-intensity sensation of standing on a diving board. Will you jump?
LOWAL, a duo piece composed by Marte for violinist Larissa Terescenko and guitarist Tormund Blikra Vea, premiered in November at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. "LOWAL is about efforts to be self-sufficient and escaping external influence. It is also about allowing the other to enter and allowing parts of oneself to be shared instead of guarded"
Marte was featured as one of three composers in a portrait interview on Spillerom Søndag, a radio show devoted to contemporary music from the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.
«Møt tre komposisjonsstudenter på Norges musikkhøgskole, og tre nye stemmer i norsk musikkliv - Marte Røyeng, Anna Berg og Maia Viken. Hva fikk dem til å satse på komposisjon og hvor har det ført dem musikalsk?»
Listen here (Norwegian).
Marte's composition for solo piano has been selected to be performed at the Ung Nordisk Musik festival in Aarhus, Denmark in August 2021.
Sounds from tourists on a whale watching tour are juxtaposed with underwater recordings of killer whales and pilot whales. The whale sounds might remind one of singing, cries or a baby cooing, and give associations to human emotions. Connections rise up, if only as fantasies of something common. A whale is different from us. As is a machine. All the same, we might listen to both to find signs of life that are similar to our own. The sound of whale clicks is a pulse without breath. A boat motor humming is a presence with changing intensity.
The piano might be heard as a foreign element among these sounds. Or as a link. The instrument contains bonds to the mechanical, to the human body, and to neutral sounds in nature (like the tinkling of a water surface). The piano plays several roles: as an imitator of real world sounds, as an instrumental sound with its own unique associations, and as a translator – creating abstractions of the experience of diving or soaring. It absorbs parts of the rest of what we hear, and creates its own signs out of sounds that move through water, air, flesh and metal.
Review of "Reach" in Nettavisen / Tor de Jazz (in Norwegian)
«Hun synger fint, arrangementene er sofistikerte og særdeles smakfulle, produksjonen til Even Ormestad (Jaga Jazzist, aha) er nydelig og det musikalske tonefølget fra en rekke sjangerfrie, unge jazzmusikanter som Ivar Myrset Asheim, Magnus Murphy Joelson, Jenny Berger Myhre og Sander Eriksen Nordahl er av det flotte og empatiske slaget. Til sammen har det ført til et møte med en svært så lovende og særegen artist som det skal bli veldig spennende å følge i åra som kommer, det være seg som popartist eller samtidskomponist. Marte Røyeng er ei flott stemme som har kommet for å bli - veldig lenge.»
In a new live session video of her song "Shake Yourself Awake», Norwegian singer/songwriter Marte Røyeng displays timeless musical storytelling on loss and human resilience.
«On this haunted beach / I leave my dreams behind»
These are the opening lines of Marte Røyeng’s modern-yet-timeless travelling song «Shake Yourself Awake», taken from her debut album "Reach" that was released earlier this year. Marte recently posted a live session video of the song, performing alongside guitarist Bendik Bergestig in an Oslo apartment. The duo carefully builds around the evocative lyrics, moving from a gentle simplicity into a striking musical exclamation.
«I was washed up on the shore / my dreams lay scattered around me / too wild to carry with me into foreign land»
The song was written through perspective of a boat refugee, who arrives on a foreign shore and takes to the road, accompanied only by the ghosts of a previous life. Yet the urge to continue forwards is stronger than the temptation of escaping backwards into past dreams. From the depths of Røyeng's sombre and poetic lyrics arises a striking hommage to the grit of the human spirit.
«So I shake myself awake / some dreams you’re meant to follow / Some the waves will break»
This fragile yet forceful performance takes us into the mind and memory of a persistent walker. Someone who is embracing the changes that has forced them to break up from all they had known, but who is determined to reach towards a new life.
Photo: Erlend Sæverud
"Shake Yourself Awake", from Marte Røyeng's debut album "Reach" (2019).
Recorded live in Oslo, featuring Bendik Bergestig on electric guitar.
Shot and directed by Alvilde H. Naterstad
Marte Røyeng – Reach
available now on all digital music services including:
Norwegian singer, songwriter and composer Marte Røyeng's debut as an album artist comes with «Reach» (Oslo Session Recordings). Produced by Even Ormestad, the album was recorded in Albatross Recorders, Oslo, and in the analogue atmosphere of Athletic Sound in the town of Halden, Norway. It includes ten original tracks written by Røyeng.
Marte's album debut comes out 24 May on Oslo Session Recordings. It will be available for purchase on vinyl, CD as well as digital streaming.
The first single off the album will be out on 3 May!
From Herr Nilsen, Oslo, January 2018.
Photo: John Nordahl
"Wherever You Are" on September 8 2017 in Oslo.
With Bendik Bergestig on electric guitar.
Directed, shot and edited by Malin Christin Longva
Animations by Sunniva Mellbye (Release date: June 30th 2017)
While You Can (No One Visual EP pt. 3)
Powerful finale of Marte Røyeng's music video trilogy
Activism, marching soldiers, a lake being sprayed with poison.
Ghosts of the past from archive film blends into modern people.
A woman's silhouette is filled with a glittering cosmos.
What comes after fear? What is next, when you are finally ready to meet the world? After the lonely and introspective passivity in the visual EP's first part, No One, and the movement in the journey away from self-absorbation in part two, The Key, this is the question posed in part three, While You Can.
The video for While You Can is striking in the way it merges together past and present, extreme situations and small everyday joys, nature and industry, and the petals of a flower with the entire universe. "You have so much inside you", the images seem to say.
The trilogy is about breaking out of the idea of being "no one" – about growth, and realizing that where you used to feel afraid and alone, there is now the bigger picture and the sensation of all the powerful things you are capable of doing.
Perhaps "art films with music" fits better than "music videos" as a description for No One Visual EP. Marte Røyeng's motivation to create visual companions for all three tracks on her debut EP came from the opportunity to tell more than the music alone can do. She gave the director free rein to elaborate on the EP's theme of transitioning from "no one" into "someone".
"The title alone, While You Can, gave me a lot to work with," says Malin Christin Longva, who has directed, shot and edited all the videos in the trilogy – a work that began in the fall of 2016. "While You Can is a call to action, encouraging people to do lots of things: to be an activist, to love, to create. It's not really important what it is, only that you do it," says the filmmaker.
Longva continues: "I wanted pictures of activism, war, submission, and portraits of people. I've used archive films from different wars, in Africa, the First World War and D-Day." In While You Can we see environmental destruction alongside subtle hints towards the climate change crisis. "I have wished to bring forward the environmental debate from a new perspective, with a new point of view. In poetry, people are able to say things in a new manner, creating new images. I believe in my own ability to tell something in a new way," she says.
"I see No One Visual EP just as much an independent work of film art, as a trilogy of music videos for me as a pop artist," says Marte Røyeng. "The video for While You Can, for example, is much more charged with optimism than the song lyrics are." In the song, Røyeng bittersweetly depicts that which is about to sink. The video, on the other hand, focuses on encouraging people to stand up. "Speak while you can."
Filmmaker Longva concludes: "When it comes to choices you have to make in life, it is not about what you believe you'll never be able to do. It is about doing something. Not getting stuck in a thought about what it is supposed to lead to. Finding out 'what is vital, what do I believe in?'. And then a change may happen. But whether it does is beyond our control. I just have to do what I believe in."
No One, Marte Røyeng's debut-EP, was released in January 2017 (Groundling), is produced by Thom Hell and recorded in Fersk Lyd. While You Can features Olaf Olsen on drums and Ole-Henrik Moe on strings. Marte Røyeng has written the lyrics, music and string arrangements.
WHILE YOU CAN (No One Visuell EP del 3)
Kraftfull avslutning på Marte Røyengs musikkvideo-trilogi
No One Visual EP part 3: While You Can
Slippes fredag 30. juni.
Regi, klipp, foto: Malin Christin Longva
Animasjon: Sunniva Mellbye.
Se del 1 "No One" og del 2 "The Key"
Aktivisme, marsjerende soldater, innsjøer som giftsprøytes.
Fortidsskikkelser fra arkivklipp glir sammen med moderne mennesker.
En kvinnesilhuett fylles av et stjernestrødd kosmos.
Hva kommer etter frykt? Hva er det neste, når du endelig kan møte verden? Etter den ensomme og innesluttede stillstanden i del 1, "No One", og reisen og bevegelsen ut av det selvfokuserte i del 2, "The Key", er det dette spørsmålet "While You Can" stiller.
"While You Can" er slående i måten den fletter sammen nåtid og fortid, hverdagslykke med ekstremsituasjoner, natur med industri, og kronblader på en blomst med hele universet. "Det bor så mye i deg", er det som om bildene sier.
Trilogien handler om å bryte ut av ideen om å være "ingen" – om å vokse, og se at der du før var redd og følte deg alene, finnes nå det store bildet med følelsen av alt du kan gjøre, og makten du faktisk har.
Kanskje er "kunstfilmer med musikk" mer passende enn "musikkvideoer" som beskrivelse på "No One" Visuell EP. Marte Røyengs motivasjon for å få laget videoer til de alle tre låtene på debut-EPen, var å kunne fortelle mer enn musikken alene kan gjøre. Regissøren fikk frie tøyler til å utdype den røde tråden på EP'en om veien fra "ingen" til "noen".
«Bare tittelen "While You Can" ga meg masse å jobbe med», forteller Malin Christin Longva, som har fotografert, klippet og regissert samtlige filmer i trilogien – et arbeid som startet høsten 2016. «"While You Can" er en oppfordring til så mange ting», sier Longva. «Være aktivist, elske, skape. Det er ikke så farlig hva, men gjør det».
Longva forteller: «Jeg ville ha bilder av aktivisme, krig, lydighet og portretteringer av mennesker. Noen av arkivbildene er fra mange forskjellige typer kriger, fra kriger i Afrika, første verdenskrig og D-dagen». Videoen viser miljøødeleggelser og hinter til klimaendringer. «Jeg har hatt et ønske om å få frem miljødebatten fra en ny side, med en ny vinkling. I lyrikk sier folk ting på en ny måte, lager et nytt bilde. Film og musikk har kraft til å fortelle ting på en ny måte», sier hun.
«Den visuelle EP'en er etter min mening vel så mye et selvstendig verk som musikkvideoer for meg som artist», sier Marte Røyeng. «Videoen til "While You Can" er for eksempel mye mer optimistisk ladet enn det sangteksten er». I sangen snakker Røyeng bittersøtt om det som er i ferd med å synke, mens videoen er et sterkt rop om å reise seg. Speak while you can.
Filmskaper Longva avslutter: «Med tanke på valgene man skal ta i livet, handler det ikke om hva man tror man ikke kan få til. Det handler om å gjøre noe. Ikke henge fast i en tanke om at man skal få til noe med det. Finne ut "hva er viktig, hva er det jeg tror på?" og så kan det hende det skjer en forandring. Men det kan vi ikke kontrollere. Jeg må bare gjøre det jeg har tro på.»
"No One", Marte Røyengs debut-EP, ble utgitt januar 2017 (Groundling), er produsert av Thom Hell og innspilt i Fersk Lyd. På "While You Can" høres Olaf Olsen på trommer og Ole-Henrik Moe på stryk. Marte Røyeng står bak tekst, musikk og strykearrangementer.
Mer om EPen og anmeldelser: www.marteroyeng.com/info – Kontakt: firstname.lastname@example.org
Directed and edited by Malin Christin Longva
Directed and edited by Malin Christin Longva
Illustration by Sunniva Mellbye
Part 1 of 3 of full visual EP for 'No One' EP.
Being "no one" could imply an unwanted solitude (as on the title track). It could mean hiding safely in the shadows (as on the second track "The Key"), in an effort to become invulnerable which does not necessarily prevent one from getting hurt. Or it could point to bittersweet endings, when becoming no one to one another turns out to be inevitable and necessary (as on the final track "While You Can"). The three songs featured on 'No One' EP are each a meditation on the urgent need to be someone, for someone.
Marte Røyeng’s debut EP 'No One' is produced by acclaimed artist, musician and producer Thom Hell. It was recorded winter 2015 and spring 2016 in Fersk Lyd Studio with Giert Clausen.