Seminars and talks: The potentiality of music, new learning processes and Nordic careers in Buenos Aires

Seminars and talks: The potentiality of music, new learning processes and Nordic careers in Buenos Aires

The Nordic week in Buenos Aires in connection with the Días Nórdicos festival also features three interesting seminar meetings, which touch upon a wide range of issues in relation to the Nordic-Latin American collaboration.

Tools for shaping the music industry of the future
This seminar and debate meeting will address the new technologies, the increasing significance of the festivals and possible new forms of collaboration in the music industry – including new perspectives when it comes to promotion and artistic development. The panelists will share their experiences from their own work and take a close look at the future of the music business – including the music that is not high in the charts.

Panelists: Gunnar Madsen (ROSA / SPOT Festival, DK), Diego Boris (INAMU, The National Institute of Music, AR), Jacob Mangwana Haagendal (The Nordic Institute on Åland – AX), Nicolas Madoery (Record company boss ConceptoO /producer 432 Hertzios / member of AsiAr, Argentina), Henriette Heimdal (WIN – Worldwide Independent Network, NO). Moderator: Nicolás Wainszelbaum (Días Nórdicos, AR).

Wednesday 5th December, at 5.30 pm, at Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, AR

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Experimental educational projects – experiences from architecture, design and technology.
Experts from Nordic and Argentine institutions will present experimental educational projects that develop learning processes and think “outside the box”. This seminar is to take place as part of the exhibition “Welcome Home” – the exhibition from Åland about sustainable architecture.

Panelists: Charlotte Carstensen and Gitte Mathiasen (All About A – Co-lab of Copenhagen architects and designers specializing in children and architecture, DK), Hanne Pedersen (head of Animation Learning Lab, Via University College, DK), Jorge Calzoni (UNDAV – technical youth education project, AR), Mariela Yeregui, José María d’Angelo and Sebastían Pasquel (Mala Praxis Project – interdisciplinary tool for enhanced dialogue between art and science and technology / UNTREF, Argentina). Moderator: Horacio Wainhaus.

Friday 7th December at 6:00 pm, at National Bicentennial House, Riobamba 985, Buenos Aires, AR

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Nordic Stories in Buenos Aires
What is it like for people from the Nordic countries to live among the Argentines? What is the potential for people from the Nordic countries to develop their careers in Argentina – personally and professionally/ artistically? First-hand accounts delivered by people from the Nordic countries now residing in Argentina.

Panelists: Henrik Malmström (photographer, FI), Mats Gunnarson (Scania Group – Senior Vice President Americas, Commercial Operations, SE), Henrik Lundorff Kristensen (entrepreneur, coordinator and planning advisor concerning pedestrian zones for the Buenos Aires City Council, DK)

Moderator: Andrés Kilstein (sociologist and debater, AR)

Sunday 9th December, at 5.30 pm, at Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, AR

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is supported by Statens Kunstfond, The Nordics, Instituto Ibero Americano de Finlandia, Nordens Hus in the Faroe Islands, FFT – Den Færøske Sangskriverforening, and Atlantic Airways.

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is arranged by ROSA and Zona de Obras in collaboration with Nordens Institut på Åland, Nordens Institut in Greenland, The Animation Workshop, Centro Cultural Recoleta (AR), Sesc (BR), Difusa Fronteira (BR), Plastilina (PE), and Contrapedal (UY).

Danish Mette had to dig deep into her musical toolbox for her collaboration with Argentine Lucio Mantel

Danish Mette had to dig deep into her musical toolbox for her collaboration with Argentine Lucio Mantel

Danish arranger Mette Dahl Kristensen were on a different but also very exciting assignment when working with singer/songwriter Lucio Mantel’s music.

A lot of emails cross the Atlantic these days: In Denmark Mette Dahl Kristensen is working on songs by the Argentine composer and singer/ songwriter Lucio Mantel to give them completely new musical arrangements. And on the other end of the line in Buenos Aires Mantel is looking at Mette Dahl Kristensen’s arrangements and now and then he may suggest some slight adjustments before she finishes the arrangements, which are eventually going to be shipped to a (high-profile) Argentine string quartet.

It will go on this way until the three parties meet in Buenos Aires for a three-day workshop in early December to prepare for a concert performance in the chapel of Centro Cultural Recoleta on Saturday 8th December.

“It’s different for me. VERY different”, says Mette Dahl Kristensen with a smile.

She is used to rearranging music by Danish and Nordic singers and has a lot of experience of doing that. But Lucio Mantel’s way of writing songs is quite different from what she is used to.

“Normally I have some approaches I can use when I’m arranging music which I know will yield particular results. But here I really have to dig deep into the tool box because Lucio uses completely different chords, and his expression is different and that calls for other solutions. It’s certainly fun to take on something so different. He uses other harmonies than those we usually do in the Nordic countries and some expanded chords – and other progressions and those elements produce a completely different feeling and vibe”, she says and adds that she had to decline a couple of songs that she didn’t think she could transform because the music she rearranges must somehow be compatible with her own sound and aesthetic.

“There has also been a minor language barrier”, she smiles and continues, “In the sense that with some of the songs I didn’t quite grasp the essence of the lyrics, and in those case I have had to rely on the language of the music: its chords, harmonies, and moods.” Needless to say, she is curious to see how it is going to work.

In the process Lucio Mantel has sent Mette Dahl Kristensen a number of songs – both recent material and older stuff, and so far six of them are ready. They need two more – just in case – so there are enough songs for the concert, which also includes music performed by the string quartet alone as well as by Lucio Mantel solo, before the three parties team up on stage.

In the first week of December Mette Dahl Kristensen is going to Buenos Aires with her viola and scores to meet Lucio Mantel and the Argentine string quartet.

The quartet consists of Spanish-born Marta Roca (among other things known from the internationally touring chamber music ensemble Camerata Bariloche), award-winning Serbian-born Karmen Rencar (whose merits include playing with Michael Bublé) Mariano Malamud on the viola (the opera house Colon among other things), and violinist Julio Dominguez (among other things 1st violinist at Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires). All of them top-class musicians who often cross over from classical music to popular music.

The three-day workshop for the Danish arranger, the Argentine singer and the string quartet will reach its conclusion on the 8th of December with a concert  at the chapel in the cultural centre Centro Cultural Recoleta in the heart of Buenos Aires.

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is supported by Statens Kunstfond, The Nordics, Instituto Ibero Americano de Finlandia, Nordens Hus in the Faroe Islands, FFT – Den Færøske Sangskriverforening, and Atlantic Airways.

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is arranged by ROSA and Zona de Obras in collaboration with Nordens Institut på Åland, Nordens Institut in Greenland, The Animation Workshop, Centro Cultural Recoleta (AR), Sesc (BR), Difusa Fronteira (BR), Plastilina (PE), and Contrapedal (UY).

Electronics and Old Myths from the Faroe Islands

Electronics and Old Myths from the Faroe Islands

Text: Kasper Marius Nørmark / Photo: Miriam and Janus Photography

In early December, Faroese HULDA will be taking part in the cultural festival Días Nórdicos, which this year will take manifestations of Nordic culture to Peru, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.

Looking forward to Días Nórdicos female electronic musician and singer HULDA talked to ROSA – the Danish Rock Council about her music, the Faroese music tradition and the huldu people, and about her expectations for the trip to Latin America.

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You have named your music project after the Faroese myths about the huldu people, who are said to hide on the islands – living in the stones and rocks. Have such myths and superstitious beliefs influenced your worldview, and at a more general level how does Faroese folklore seep into your music?

On the Faroe Islands people have been very cautious about where to settle down in order not to disturb the huldo people. In fact many roads are made with small detours around “inhabited” stones because people have been afraid of moving them. For me personally I don’t think the myths have influenced my music or my world view. And in general superstition no longer plays a large role on the Faroe Islands, but I find the stories fascinating, and I don’t want us to forget the myths, which were so important in the lives of our ancestors.

I know of several cases, where people still believe in huldu people. For instance I heard a man tell a story of how he was to erect a line pole on one of the smaller islands when he was working for the biggest Faroese power company SEV. On the island there is a rock which is said to be inhabited by huldu people. When his crew were to drill through the rock, the drill no longer worked – and it was actually one of these huge powerful augers. They kept trying for a long time, but eventually they gave up and decided to drill through another rock. When they started drilling there, it suddenly worked again. They were convinced that it was because the first rock was inhabited by huldu people. And I have heard several – especially elderly people – say they have seen huldu people – and they say so with great conviction.

What were your thoughts about naming the project HULDA, which combines ancient myths with your modern electronic universe?

When I started out as HULDA, I decided to be anonymous. I released a couple of singles under this alias but without revealing who I was. However, on the Faroe Islands, which is obviously a very small community, it is hard to remain anonymous. And after a couple of months people found out who HULDA was. Still, as such the name HULDA – this mythical creature no one could identify – was perfect for the project.

How would you describe the Faroese song culture? And is it part of the reason you have become a singer and a songwriter?
The song culture on the Faroe Islands is very strong. We have all grown up with music and singing as part of our childhoods. In kindergartens they sing a lot, and in school you have to learn old songs with more than 100 stanzas! Practically everyone sings or plays an instrument, and if you are at a dinner party, it’s not unusual that someone grabs his or her guitar and people sing along – and often polyphonically! People who visit the Faroe Islands are often surprised by the solid song and music tradition that we have.

You have worked with producer Jens L. Thomsen from the band ORKA and co-producer Sakaris E. Joensen amongst others. Are you recording new material and what artistic direction is HULDA moving right now?

Right now there is no new material in the pipeline as I am focusing one hundred percent on my one-woman show. Normally Sakaris is there with me on stage when I’m playing live, but now I’ll have to press all the buttons on my own. It’s a bit of challenge so I have spent a lot lot of time on for instance how a sampler works and on the arrangement of this one-woman show.
But my head is full of music, which hopefully I will soon get to share with the rest of the world. As for the new artistic direction, people will have to wait a bit, but I have some interesting ideas coming up.

Soon you will be playing at Días Nórdicos in Peru, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. What would be the best possible payoffs from the trip for you?

Well… big question…. First of all I’m really grateful to be part of this tour and to get the chance to play in these countries. It would be amazing if Latin Americans discovered my music. And then I am also really looking forward to the workshop in Buenos Aires where I’m going to get to meet and play with local musicians. What is more the trip is an excellent opportunity for networking.
All in all, I think it’s going to be a tremendous experience, and I expect it will be a stronger HULDA, who can go back to the Faroe Islands with new inspiration, new cool music, more open doors, and perhaps a tan even.

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is supported by Statens Kunstfond, The Nordics, Instituto Ibero Americano de Finlandia, Nordens Hus in the Faroe Islands, FFT – Den Færøske Sangskriverforening, and Atlantic Airways.

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is arranged by ROSA and Zona de Obras in collaboration with Nordens Institut på Åland, Nordens Institut in Greenland, The Animation Workshop, Centro Cultural Recoleta (AR), Sesc (BR), Difusa Fronteira (BR), Plastilina (PE), and Contrapedal (UY).

Looking towards new horizons and venues with his music

Looking towards new horizons and venues with his music

Text: Kasper Marius Nørmark / Photo: Luna Wright

The singer and songwriter Peter Wangel will soon be on his way to Peru, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil with his brand new solo project.

When the cultural festival Días Nórdicos once again showcases Nordic culture in Latin America in December, Peter Wangel will be part of the line-up. Until recently he was the singer and frontman of electronic duo Wangel, who played their farewell concert in the church Timotheus Kirke in Valby (a Copenhagen suburb) in late October this year. We talked to Peter Wangel about what is going to happen now.

The duo Wangel has become the solo artist Peter Wangel, and new possibilities arise. Where do you see yourself right now and in what directions do you wanna take your music?

Over the last year and a half I have been writing songs for what I thought would be a side project of mine besides Wangel. When Kasper and I decided to split up and explore new directions, the side project quite naturally became my main project, and that is why I don’t start from scratch. I have approximately five songs that all point back to where I originally come from as a musician.

I have written the new songs on the guitar, and they are built around my voice – in that respect they are obviously rooted in the singer/songwriter tradition. It is my ambition to write songs that can carry themselves, also because I would like to go on tour and play them on my own.

My plan is to go on tour and play in many new and intimate venues – and I won’t mind if some of those venues are unconventional places,not unlike for instance the places the Danish trio Folkeklubben played on their early tours. It’s inspiring to see how they reached audiences by playing so many places where you haven’t normally got live music and for me that would be a great way to connect with an audience who normally wouldn’t hear my music.

Before long the cultural festival Días Nórdicos will take you to several Latin American countries. What do you hope to get out of being a part of Días Nórdicos?

Well, I obviously hope that they are going to like my music. It is hard to imagine me becoming huge abroad, and I am not going there expecting to meet some influential booker or anything. But I hope people are going to react positively, and if the trip is somehow going to open some doors and give me the chance to release music or play more gigs over there, it would just be icing on the cake.
And then it is just a super cool chance to go to South America, where I have never been before. It is going to be a tremendous experience

In Argentina you are also going to take part in a workshop with Argentine musicians, which is to culminate with a concert. What are your expectations for that project?

I actually don’t know very much about who the musicians are and what instruments they play, but I’m definitely game when it it comes to the collaboration, which I think can turn out to be extremely inspiring. The year before last, Teitur and Liima amongst others were involved in a similar project, and it was a great success and also produced concrete results – among other things Teitur finished the song “I Have Found My Happiness” together with Argentine Lucio Mantel. And that song has since been recorded and released by Homeland star Mandy Patinkin and by Teitur on his latest album of course.

Travelling to new places and other cultures often gives you new ideas. In fact it was in South Korea that we wrote Wangel’s biggest hit, which we actually named “Seoul” because we wrote it there. A lot of my new songs have not been recorded yet, and the workshop with the Argentine musicians may colour them as the songs are still finding their final shape. Let’s say I get the opportunity to play with a great percussionist who has a great idea for a rhythm – well, then we’d better record it! It’s also quite possible that I am going to write new songs when I am there.

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is supported by Statens Kunstfond, The Nordics, Instituto Ibero Americano de Finlandia, Nordens Hus in the Faroe Islands, FFT – Den Færøske Sangskriverforening, and Atlantic Airways.

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is arranged by ROSA and Zona de Obras in collaboration with Nordens Institut på Åland, Nordens Institut in Greenland, The Animation Workshop, Centro Cultural Recoleta (AR), Sesc (BR), Difusa Fronteira (BR), Plastilina (PE), and Contrapedal (UY).

We see the sea as an ocean of opportunities – not as a restraint

We see the sea as an ocean of opportunities – not as a restraint

Birdpeople’s background in the small community on Åland is everywhere to be found in the trios electronically oriented music even if they have all left the islands.

Birdpeople are a trio that rose from the ashes of a more conventional rock project, whose relevance seemed to be dwindling. Instead, the group invested in an MS-20 synthesizer and began improvising, sampling and looking for a new artistic direction, where the sounds and moods they wanted became the overriding objective. And on this quest they would no longer be limited by the sonic straightjackets of the traditional rock line-up.

“That is why we bring so much gear along”, says guitarist Jacob Lavonius when we talk to Cecilia Wikström (electronics) in connection with Días Nórdicos in Madrid in October. Because if there are new sounds we want to create, and it turns out we can’t, well then we have to go out buy new gear that can produce those sounds”, he says, and they are both laughing.

Birdpeople are from Åland – the small island community with 30,000 inhabitants. between Sweden and Finland. Åland is part of Finland, but everyone on the islands speaks Swedish.

Growing up on Åland, the trio have known each other for many years but none of them live there anymore. Typically young people leave Åland when they have to begin their further education. Jacob (30) and Cecilia (31) went to Stockholm to study philosophy and mathematics respectively while the group’s drummer/ percussionist Amanda Blomquist (26) has more ties to Finland and is studying philosophy in Helsinki.

After having finished their studies, many Ålanders return when they are going to settle down and have children. Neither of the three members of Birdpeople is there yet. That does not mean they are disowning their formative years and background though. Quite the contrary, there were decent opportunities for young people to play music there. Jacob and Cecilie were attracted to garage and DIY environment and found a haven at Pub Bastun. Amanda, for her part, went to Åland’s Institute of Music in Mariehamm, which really prepares their students for a classical career. Still, the music world is so small that everybody gets to know each other. And that is part of what makes the Åland music scene so vibrant.

The very diverse backgrounds in the band are also one of Birdpeople’s assets according to Jacob and Cecilia, because the three of them have so “extremely different backgrounds” to draw on.

Bird People on stage at Días Nórdicos in Madrid, 2018.

Long sessions
Due to the great distance between the members of the band, they are obviously not together in the practice room every day:

“Instead we have some long, and intense sessions in the summer when we work and write material together. This summer we were in the studio to record,” they explain.

They do not consider themselves a political band, but they relate to the world around them and concrete political situations. In general they have lots of conversations in the band. All the time. And that is reflected in the music. It is also important for them that there is link between the music and the visual dimension when they are playing live:

“It can be contrasts between the video and the music, or maybe the two things form a whole. When you are working with film and music, you are often looking for a kind of logic – some visual home for the sound. But we don’t have a predetermined, fixed expression – people may create their own images and experience the music their way”, they say and add that they are very focused on making sure that their expression does not become fixed and too obvious and one-dimensional.

Is Åland present in your music? And if so, how?

“Well, in the band we definitely share a heritage and culture as well as the experience we have gathered so far. We are a tight unit both as friends and as a band. And the surroundings are part of it even though we also get our inspiration from other things”, says Cecilie. Jacob takes over, “It’s also this thing about living on an island and being surrounded by the sea. I know that when they just think about islands, many of my friends in Stockholm feel trapped… just from thinking of islands! But the thing is, we grew up on the sea. It’s an infinite horizon. All the seas are connected to ours – the entire world is out there. So the sea is not a restraint – on the contrary it’s an ocean of opportunities! In fact for us it’s a bit claustrophobic to be far from the sea – like now in Madrid”, says Jacob and is all smiles. Cecilia rounds it off, “It gives our music a certain mood – On the one hand it is a sort of peace of mind – it’s a world we feel safe in, and a world we are in tune with. Yet, on the other hand it is also unpredictable. The sea can turn against you, at any moment. There are many Åland families who have lost loved ones to the sea and have stood there waiting for someone who never came back.”

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is supported by Statens Kunstfond, The Nordics, Instituto Ibero Americano de Finlandia, Nordens Hus in the Faroe Islands, FFT – Den Færøske Sangskriverforening, and Atlantic Airways.

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is arranged by ROSA and Zona de Obras in collaboration with Nordens Institut på Åland, Nordens Institut in Greenland, The Animation Workshop, Centro Cultural Recoleta (AR), Sesc (BR), Difusa Fronteira (BR), Plastilina (PE), and Contrapedal (UY).

Da Bartali Crew – part of a vibrant Greenlandic music scene

Da Bartali Crew – part of a vibrant Greenlandic music scene

Hans-Ole Amossen is the leader of Da Bartali Crew – but he is involved in numerous projects on a music scene where there is a lot of activity just below the surface.

It is little wonder that Hans-Ole Amossen has taken a fancy to music. The 33-year-old electronic musician was born in the town of Sisimut on the Greenlandic west coast but grew up in the capital Nuuk, where there was lots of music and culture. His father played the guitar and accordion while his mother and his three sisters are all singers. Two of his sisters were actually part of the setup for Björk’s “Vespertime” tour.

“My entire family were always musical”, says Hans-Ole, who is the founder and driving force of Da Bartali Crew. “In general there is a lot happening in music in Greenland. Practically everyone can play the guitar”, he says and expands, “In addition to the original, traditional Inuit throat singing and drum dance, Greenland has had an actual rock scene since the 70s, and nowadays a lot of young people make hip hop.”

However, not a lot of Greenlanders have chosen Hans’Ole’s path making electronic music, but he also has very particular background. For one thing he is an event technician with sound and light studios as part of his training, and his graduation project focused on MIDI control. He served his apprenticeship in NUUK’s arts centre Katuaq, where he graduated in 2016 becoming the first event technician in Greenland, after which he worked as an event technician at the arts centre for a year. Since then he has been able to work as a freelance event technician, but he also uses his training when it comes to his own music.

“I have always written songs, but I actually started as a DJ, before changing tracks and began playing the synthesizer”, says Hans-Ole, who is also the founder, songwriter and band member of experimental rock band Torluut.

“I founded Da Bartali Crew in 2012 and it was at a concert in Nuuk’s arts centre in 2016 that we got our breakthrough. It was a very popular concert”, he says about the group’s fusion of Greenlandic and Western inspirations. Da Bartali have played in practically all arts centre in Greenland – and over the last couple of years also in Iceland and Denmark and in October this year also in Madrid as part of the Días Nórdicos festival.

Festivals and workshops
In addition to his two bands and his continued work as a DJ, Hans Ole Amossen is also involved in music in a lot of other ways. He has been very committed to the Naqqarmiut festival, which premiered in 2013. “We wanted to make a festival for electronic music, and the interest in the festival was so great that it has been running for five years now”, he explains.

“There are also a lot of young people who send me music – for instance hip hop beats. And then I host workshops for young people in electronic music and hip hop – or people who work with electronic throat singing”, he says and stresses how fond he is of spontaneous collaboration.

And we must not forget that he has worked with Swedish music cirkus The Burnt Out Punks, who invited him along for their shows as composer and DJ. It included among other things gigs in Stockholm and Prague.

Hoping for freestyle rap collaborations in Latin America
His fondness of spontaneous collaboration makes him enthusiastic about the trip to Latin America. He hopes that there will be local rappers and hip hoppers in Lima, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Sao Paulo, who feel like joining him and the other member of Da Bartali Crew, Kasper Mathiesen on stage at the concerts in Latin America for some freestyle rap for Da Bartali Crew’s electro house and hip hop. And not least he is looking forward to the week of workshop collaboration with Argentine musicians in Buenos Aires:

“First of all it’s fun. What is more I learn something every time”, he says

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is supported by Statens Kunstfond, The Nordics, Instituto Ibero Americano de Finlandia, Nordens Hus in the Faroe Islands, FFT – Den Færøske Sangskriverforening, and Atlantic Airways.

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is arranged by ROSA and Zona de Obras in collaboration with Nordens Institut på Åland, Nordens Institut in Greenland, The Animation Workshop, Centro Cultural Recoleta (AR), Sesc (BR), Difusa Fronteira (BR), Plastilina (PE), and Contrapedal (UY).