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Jazzland Recordings Presents: Mari Kvien Brunvoll

By Tomas Lauvland Pettersen Posted: 24. Feb, 2015

The Jazzland Recordings Presents concert series at London’s Kings Place kick off next week. We’ve talked to vocalist, composer and solo-performer par extraordinaire Mari Kvien Brunvoll ahead of the series inaugural concert.

March 4th marks the start of a new concert series at London’s Kings Place: The Jazzland Recordings Presents series showcases the fine Norwegian jazz label’s top tier roster. The series inaugural concert features Mari Kvien Brunvoll, a distinct vocalist and composer who operates within her own distinct soundworld, at once strange and familiar, using 21st century technology to create music that has flavours of traditional blues and jazz, world music and elements of pop.The unique results of her live-on-stage experimentations can range from the densely melodic to the avant garde, the curiously whimsical to the edges of lament, the languid flow to the locomotive drive.

We have talked to Brunvoll ahead of her Kings Place live appearance in early March on what she has planned for her London solo-show as well as plans for 2015:

From M.I.A to Madvillain
As a listener one gets the impression that you draw inspiration from a wide range influences – from folkesque vocal phrases to electronica-loops. Are there some inspirational sources that you want to highlight as being instrumental in your own development as an artist?

– Yes, I’m particularly fond of folk music from around the globe as well as hip hop and electronica. Over the last few years, I’ve listened a lot to acts such as M.I.A., Kim Hiorthøy, Hans Applequist, Madvillain, Four Tet and various Indian folk music styles. Listening to old recordings of Norwegian folk music has also given me much inspiration with its lovely and quirky yet beautiful melodies. Lately, I’ve spent much time getting into Norwegian outfit Moskus and (percussionist) Håkon Stene’s new albums that are both incredibly beautiful outings. Not to mention Jim O’Rourke – I listen to a wide range of music, mostly what’s hits a nerve and produces an instant physical reaction with my body. That’s what inspires me.

What can the audience expect to hear from the Kings Place stage next week? Will you debut new material in London and how will you balance the improvised with the composed repertoire?

– The gig will be a concoction of new and old repertoire – I find it rewarding to fuse the composed passages with improvised parts. The length of each improv stretch is not something that is predetermined. On the spur of the moment, I might leave out a song or add another. On some occasions, I´ll include a sketch of a song on the setlist and improvise its form and compositional color there and then. I´ve yet to pin down a setlist for the Kings Place concert – I like to keep my options open right up until showtime. I´ve never performed in London before, so this is a debut for a new audience.

Do you see that your own music finds its way to niche audiences abroad – and if so, are there any territories that stand out as receptive for your form of expression?

– I don’t really have a favourite country to tour in. I feel that it is rewarding to perform wherever I go, but I’ve done quite a lot of gigs in Germany and Italy and find the audiences there are open-minded and listen deeply to what I bring forward. That’s awesome.

‘Everywhere You Go’

Last year’s Ricardo Villalobos-remix of your track ‘Everywhere You Go’ generated a lot of buzz internationally. Do you find that you’ve reached out to a new and wider audience as a result of the remix?

– Yes, definitely. In the wake of Ricardo’s remix, a lot of people have gotten into my music – I think it has really struck a chord with those who are into various strands of electronica. For me, it has been exciting to reach out to new fans.

Has the Villalobos-remix generated more international demand – do you get more requests for co-lab projects or gigs abroad these days?

– Yes, I’ve gotten quite a few requests for co-labs from the EDM-scene – both remix-requests and producers that want to feature me as a co-musician for their projects. At least one of my live appearances over the last year, a gig at a EDM/house club in Kiev, came as a result of the promoters hearing the Villalobos-remix.

What are your own plans for the rest of 2015? What tours, releases and collabs can we look forward to?

– 2015 will be a banner year, for sure. I’ll be focusing on new material for my solo project and I’ll be playing a string of solo concerts. After the London performance, I’ll do three days of solo performances in Germany. Next on the agenda is a new album together with Stein Urheim which is slated for release this autumn. I have also received a commission for a new work written for the Bergen Public Library and I’ll also focus on a new choir project. Recently, I’ve gone into a collab with the amazing Espen Sommer Eide (Alog) – we’ll probably perform together in 2015. There are also possibly some more exciting remix-collabs down the pipeline.

Jazzland Recordings Presents: Mari Kvien Brunvoll

Mari Kvien Brunvoll vocals, live sampling, electronics, percussion, zither, kalimba
When: Wednesday, 4 March 2015 – 8:00pm
Where: Kings Place – Hall Two

Jazzland Recordings was founded by pianist/keyboardist/producer/composer Bugge Wesseltoft in 1996 and has since established itself as a key outlet for Norwegian jazz and improvised music. It is currently a subsidiary of Universal Music Group and operated as a standalone label. Key acts include Sidsel Endresen, Bugge Wesseltoft, Beady Belle, Atomic, Håkon Kornstad and Ola Kvernberg.

The Jazzland Recordings Presents series is supported financially by Music Norway.

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