Días Nórdicos: Five Nordic Acts on Tour in Latin America

Días Nórdicos: Five Nordic Acts on Tour in Latin America

Five different shades of new Nordic music are among the highlights when in the beginning of December, the Días Nórdicos festival is on a 13-day festival in Latin America.

Danish Peter Wangel, Finish The Hearing, Åland’s Birdpeople, Faroese Hulda og Greenlandic Da Bartali Crew make up the team in 2018 – which is the fourth time that the festival will go to Latin America. In other words, a line-up that both presents music from the “major” Nordic countries and showcases significant voices from the smaller Nordic societies.

The main event will be a week-long workshop at Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires, which is Días Nórdicos’s main collaborator in Argentina. Here the Nordic musicians are going to enter into various constellations with Argentinian colleagues for an open-air concert on Sunday the 9th of December. However, in the course of the week the five Nordic acts will also play concerts on their own at Centro Cultural Recoleta, and at Centro Cultural de Espana in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo.

On the most recent Días Nórdicos tour Danish/Finnish Lima and Faroese Teitur entered into rewarding musical dialogues with Argentinian colleagues – among other things Teitur’s collaboration with Argentinian Lucio Mantel led to the song “I Have Found My Happiness, which a few months ago was also released by the American singer and actor Mandy Patinkin (perhaps best known for his role as CIA boss Saul Berenson in the Showtime drama series “Homeland”).

Before the week in Buenos Aires, the Nordic acts are to play in Lima, Peru at Centro Cultutal de Espana on the 1st of December and the tour will end in Sau Paulo, Brazil, where the sociocultural organization Sesc will host two nights of concerts on the 12th and 13th of December.

The Tour:

1st December: Lima (Peru), Centro Cultural de Espana
3rd – 9th December: Workshop, Buenos Aires (Argentina) including:
6th December: Solo concerts, Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires
7th December: Solo concerts, Montevideo (Uruguay), Centro Cultural de Espana
9th December: Workshop concert, Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires
12th – 13th December: Sao Paulo (Brasilien), Sesc Avenida Paulista.

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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).

Lucio Mantel’s fine songs are rearranged by Mette Dahl Kristensen for a concert with an Argentinian string quartet

Lucio Mantel’s fine songs are rearranged by Mette Dahl Kristensen for a concert with an Argentinian string quartet

Danish-Argentinian workshop to culminate in newly arranged music for popular Argentine singer and string quartet

Mette Dahl Kristensen is a young, yet seasoned Danish composer and arranger, whose work includes reinterpreting music by well-known Danish artists like Thomas Dybdahl, Teitur, Ane Brun, Alice Boman, Steffen Brandt, Eivør, etc. and in many cases performing the music with her own string ensemble Who Killed Bambi.

However, this new project brings her across the Atlantic. Now Mette Dahl Kristensen is to rearrange music by Argentine Lucio Mantel.

Lucio Mantel is a singer / songwriter with an already sizeable production to his name, whose beautiful voice and original lyrical/melodious compositions make him a unique artist. Lucio Mantel is not averse to collaboration or experiments. One of the times this has been evident was at a Días Nórdicos workshop in Buenos Aires in 2016, where he helped Faroese Teitur finding the melody for “I Have Found My Happiness, which incidentally Mandy Patinkin (known for playing CIA boss Saul Berenson in “Homeland”) has made a cover of on his latest album.

For this occasion, Lucio Mantel has assembled an Argentinian string quartet consisting of Spanish born violinist Marta Roca (among other things know from the internationally touring chamber ensemble Camerata Bariloche), the pricewinning serbian born cello player Karmen Rencar (has been performing with Michael Bublé), Mariano Malamud, viola (from Opera House Colón) and violin player Julio Dominguez (from the row of first violins of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires, Colón). All of them high class musicians, who has great experience from both the classical music and popular music.

The three-day workshop will conclude with a concert on the 8th of December in the Chapel situated in connection with 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).

 

Animation as a natural tool in the daily school work

Animation as a natural tool in the daily school work

Días Nórdicos: The Animation Workshop will introduce teachers and pupils to animation in all-day workshops on the 3rd and the 4th in Montevideo and from the 5th to 7th December in Buenos Aires.

Animation can be used in the daily school work. By teachers in the classes, but also by the pupils for their assignments and as part of their homework. This is the point of departure when as part of the Nordic culture festival Días Nórdicos, Hanne Petersen from Danish The Animation Workshop will teach teachers and pupils respectively in all-day workshops. First in Montevideo, Uruguay and then in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Animation Workshop (TAW) – at Via University College – is a bachelor degree’s programme based in Viborg, Denmark. Expanding on that work TAW has created Animated Learning Lab (ALL), which has Hanne Pedersen as its head. ALL organizes workshops and courses to draw attention to the potential of animation as a tool of communication and cognition in primary and lower secondary school with the grand vision that animation will eventually be used on a par with written text and speech and white or blackboards.

Today we actually possess the technology to employ animation in primary and lower secondary school. Animations may be produced on smartphones or tablets. Extremely intuitive, free animation apps that require little or no instruction are available. The only real obstacle is lack of knowledge that animation is in fact so easy to produce.

ALL attaches great importance to the creative process which may unfold during the production and to the respect for the children’s reflections and creations.

ALL visits Danish and foreign schools on a project basis, and with 25 years of experience in Denmark ALL feels safe in concluding that both the medium and the process when working with animation stimulate the students’ motivation and boost their capacity for reflection. Very often animation helps children who have trouble expressing themselves in writing. Finally, animation sometimes proves to communicate more clearly than video recordings.

The didactic approach is founded on a Scandinavian view on children and is informed by Danish author, philosopher teacher, etc. N.F.S. Grundtvig’s thoughts on lively and dialectical teaching that leaves room for reflection and strong sense of ownership for the students.

“We would like to share the positive results we have seen with the rest of the world and help schools take the step into the 21st century and focus on the skills that are also necessary in today’s world”, says Hanne Pedersen, who sees Días Nórdicos as a rendezvous point for different cultures to exchange ideas and methods and be innovative.

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).

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).

Lucio Mantel’s fine songs are rearranged by Mette Dahl Kristensen for a concert with an Argentinian string quartet

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).