15. mars 2024

Stian Westerhus & Maja S. K. Ratkje
All Losses Are Restored

Om utgivelsen

To many of their followers’ big surprise, Stian Westerhus and Maja S. K. Ratkje, who are usually associated with effect pedals, samplers, amplifiers and computers at three digit decibel levels, put aside all things electric and performed an acoustic set at Oslo Jazz Festival in 2019.

Ratkje and Westerhus, now armed with a 19th century pump organ, fiddle, acoustic guitar, some metal scrap and their voices, have gradually composed, developed and expanded their new and unique repertoire, performing at concerts, for Norwegian national broadcasting (NRK), and are now releasing this album – All Losses Are Restored.

A Shakespearian wind hit the two as they were looking for inspiration moving on from their first live appearance in 2019. Would it make sense to combine their new musical expression with the mystical, brutal and flowery universe of William Shakespeare’s words? So many songs have already been made, so much music, from large staged works and inspired instrumental works to miniatures. A never-ending textual source. The task seemed both challenging and enticing.

All Losses Are Restored is an album consisting of six new songs (although Verona is previously recorded by Westerhus), all composed by Ratkje and Westerhus and with lyrics solely built upon Shakespeare’s body of work. Most obviously some of the Sonnets, such as number 30, which also contains the albums title. Other Sonnets used are number 73 (That time of year…), 137 (Though blind fool…) and 46 (Mine eye and heart…). Apart from these, a sidekick is given to no less that Hamlet, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, with various contextualisations.

In the few occasions where Ratkje and Westerhus have performed live the response has been nothing short of overwhelming. Critics have used terms such as “One of the decidedly strongest musical moments of the year”!

Their musical expression give associations to both the old Kristiania in the 1890’s, as well as emigrated Norwegians in the Midwest – reciting Shakespeare whilst loading their guns underneath the table of the saloon!

Musikere

Maja S. K. Ratkje - Vocals, pump organ, violin, percussion
Stian Westerhus - Vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion

Lenker

Fra forsiden

The Core - Victoria, Nasjonal jazzscene - fredag 12. april 2024

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