Home of Nils Henrik Asheim, composer/organist/pianist.
To see/hear/buy CDs and audio tracks go to the CDs page
To hear a random selection of sounds go to the Sounds page
For live projects (piano, organ, collaborations) go to the Projects page
For list of works and info on compositions go to the Works page
Release og minikonsert: "Mazurka - reseaching Chopin"
Chopins Mazurkaer spilt på et nyrestaurert Pleyel taffelpiano fra ca.1830. Hør denne henrivende musikken i et intimt format som er nærmere slik den opprinnelig ble skapt. Nils Henrik Asheim presenterer og signerer sin nye CD "Mazurka - researching Chopin" (en oppfølger av den tidligere Spellemannsprisvinner-platen han utga i 2010)
Organ improvisations on Soundcloud
Tuesday, 24 September 2013A growing compilation of episodes from my past live concerts.
soon to be released: Mazurka - researching Chopin
Friday, 20 September 2013
This recording is a by-product of Mazurka – Remaking Chopin, my collaborative project with Gjertrud’s Gypsy Orchestra, which was released as a CD in 2010. On it we explored Frédéric Chopin’s Mazurkas and created new versions with traditional dance music from Central Europe as our most important point of reference.
We used a Collard & Collard square piano from the 1830s, which we found at Ulefos Hovedgård in Telemark. This instrument gave a lot of input to the very playing of Chopin's music.
With that arose the idea of recording the Mazurkas in their original editions — on the square piano. Release: October 2013. Lawo Classics.
Here is a preview where you can compare the solo version (from the new release) with the "remake" version.
Autumn: working on two large commissions
Saturday, 17 August 2013
I'm back from long and sunny summer's stay in the Valdres valley, where I combined mountain walks with working sessions. The project on my desk is "Stormen" - the Tempest - a children's opera commissioned by the Norwegian Opera and Ballet, due to be performed in June 2014. Rune Belsvik wrote the libretto, with a loose connection to Shakespeare's drama.
There are a couple of deadlines this autumn - the first one being a meeting and try-out with the choir on September 7. I have already said hello to these kids and heard them perform, and I am really thrilled, they are very talented and well trained.
The other project I am doing in parallel is writing my new Organ concerto, for the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra March 20 next year.
Two organ performances I am doing myself in Stavanger Concert Hall this Autumn: Faust, improvisation to a silent movie, Sept.1, and Orgelnatt, Oct.25. The new organ works very well, its colors are rich and warm, the touch is very much to my taste. Already now we notice that the instrument sounds louder and fuller than at the opening in February. It's a magnificent 65-stop organ by Ryde & Berg that matches the sound of the orchestra very successfully.
I am curating and presenting the organ's concert series. It's a great pleasure to welcome the world's finest artists here. Jean Guillou is coming this October - Thomas Trotter, Kevin Bowyer and Wayne Marshall already played here in Spring. And the instrument has been heard by more than 10.000 people. I feel I am holding a privileged position.
A different event this Autumn will be the release of "Mazurka - researching Chopin". A spinoff-project of my former Mazurka-project (the one labeled "remaking"). Why I choose to do a plain classical piano CD? I hope the recording, made on a 1830 square piano, will answer.
Happy 2013 ! and looking back.
Monday, 31 December 2012
One of my best memories from 2012 is the trip to Arkhangelsk and Naryan Mar, Russia, to perform "Travelling Songs". And this takes me right to the saddest memory - the loss of my close collaborator through almost 20 years, singer Anne-Lise Berntsen. She was the mastermind of this project, so typical for her, that created a meeting between singers and musicians from two countries. Anne-Lise passed away on November 3rd. We managed to record three CDs together: Engleskyts, Kom Regn and Orkan. Anne-Lise has been such an important catalyst for my creative work, and a rare friend. Rest in peace, beloved voice.
Back home, 2012 saw the grand opening of Stavanger Konserthus. So far, the new house is a success and attracts lots of audience, projects and collaborations. Myself I have been appointed Concert Hall Organist, a position that involves curating the programme for the 65-stop instrument, and taking care of its basic maintenance. Become a friend of the organ on facebook! We are creating a three-day opening festival, ORGELFEST, for 22-24 February 2013. Some informal concerts for limited audiences have already taken place, the most special one being Nautofon - an "inside organ" event where my performance on valves and pipe-tuning was streamed to the concert venue a the lighthouse of Tungenes where Lasse Marhaug played along with it.
Other organ appearances of mine during 2012 have been:
- Nordisk Nushü, a spectacular project in Esbjerg and Sønderborg, Denmark, Oct 6 and 7. A girls' choir, a butoh dancer, singing actress, 3-D sound installation, and of course a pipe organ. The author is Trine Louise Kortermand, and next performance will be in Odense, April 20. 2013.
- Duo with Daniel Buner Formo on the Hammond organ, myself on the pipe organ of Vor Frue Kirke, Trondheim, Jan 25.
- Silent movie improvisation to Faust (Murnau), April 28 at the Bodø international organ festival. In the same festival I appeared at the opening concert together with Susanne Lundeng, and gave workshops.
- The 200 years celebration of Norwegian organ "father" Ludvig Mathias Lindeman gave me the opportunity to play two improvisation concert inspired by his legendary Royal Albert Hall performances: At Stavanger Organ Festival, Sept 11, and Oslo Cathedral Nov 17.
- Collaboration with Oslo Chamber Choir, Fagerborg Church, Oslo, Nov 7
As a composer, my main project for 2012/13 is to write the music to Miranda and Ferdinand, a childrens' opera for The Norwegian Opera and Ballet. The libretto is by Rune Belsvik. Premiere: June 2014.
My "remakes" of classical repertoire are moving on. We performed Mazurka with Gjertruds Gypsy Orchestra in Hamar Nov 15, and Crossing Grieg with my brother Håkon Asheim in Flekkefjord and Østerås Oct 31 and Nov 1. The sequel solo CD "Mazurka - researching Chopin" is still in the editing and can be expected before summer 2013. A demo of the raw material for next project (Schubert waltzes and dances) is now recorded.
I took part in a few of Kitchen Orchestras projects in 2012, the biggest one being the "pre-opening" of Stavanger Concert Hall on Sept 14. Sound Safari was my idea, and here we lead about 600 people through the new premises with musicians popping up all over the place in different roles, the whole thing topped by visual arts of Andreas Paleologos (featuring a concert hall built of Lego and immersed in milk!).
Kitchen Orchestra's residency at SuperDeluxe, Tokyo, five nights of improvisations, collaborations, turned out very nicely And our (un)traditional mid-December craze at Tou Scene this year broke a top review in the local newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad as "The ultimate Christmas Concert".
Young Pianist Øyvind Dale and myself launched our new piano duo May 13 at Maijazz festival.
And let's not forget the audience-participation installation "Organ Machine" in Stavanger May 4-5 and at Tou Camp across the whole month of June.
Speaking of: My organizational and programming work at Tou Scene has come to a pause after Tou Camp 2012. This second edition of the festival, that boasted a 100 events and gathered 7.500 people, included dance, theatre, visual arts, interactive installations, workshops, kids' programme, seminars and of course a great number of excellent concerts by local, national and international artists. The main project ID-Camp was based on interviews with 30 Stavanger residents and evolved on the theme of identity. I am still on the board of Tou Scene, but not active at a daily basis.
Besides, I am still organizing concerts for Ny Musikk Stavanger, slowly planning to hand over the responsibility to some of the other good guys.
Thanks to all of you that I have had the pleasure to work with - welcome to all new friends, and hope to see you in 2013!
Best wishes, yours
... and this was Sound Safari
Monday, 24 September 2012
September 14, Kitchen Orchestra teamed up with video wizard Andreas Paleologos, under the artistic direction of Nils Henrik Asheim, to inaugurate Stavanger Concert Hall 1 day before the official gala - opening the spaces for the public with gags, sounds, performances, 31 musicians continuously swapping roles and instruments, all in a 40 minutes guided walk. LYDSAFARI. Thanks to Stavanger Konserthus for giving us the opportunity!
Monday, 03 September 2012
Organist of Stavanger Concert Hall
Monday, 20 August 2012
I have the enormous honour to be appointed as the organist of Stavanger Concert Hall. The new Stavanger Konserthus will open mid-September, after which the organ needs to go through a period of intonation, tuning and adjustments before its inauguration - probably early 2013. My job starts September 1st and includes taking care of the instrument, playing it, and curating the programme.
The instrument itself is a magnificent 65-voice thing by Ryde & Berg manufacturers. I can state that this will be both a symphonic instrument and at the same time very versatile. And it's definitely not a factory clone, but a unique instrument with its own personal characteristics. Suited both for Baroque, romantic and contemporary repertoire - and not the least for creating completely new music and new explorations into the arts.
I look forward to share the instrument with you all!
Tou Camp 2012
Friday, 20 July 2012
Tou Camp 2012 was the second issue of a festival spanning a whole month, at Tou Scene, Stavanger. Nils Henrik Asheim who initiated the festival was once again the artistic director. The programme, that boasted a 100 events and gathered 7.500 people, included dance, theatre, visual arts, interactive installations, workshops, kids' programme, seminars and of course a great number of excellent concerts by local, national and international artists. The main project ID-Camp was based on interviews with 30 Stavanger residents and evolved on the theme of identity, into several directions. Tuvan throatsinger Sainkho Namtchylak headlined the opening night, an event that explored almost all available spaces at Tou and started with an outdoor performance where the public was surrounded by singers, from rooftops, stairs and windows. Read also the Tou Camp blog. Next Tou Camp is scheduled for 2014.
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