by:Larm is the Norwegian showcase festival that started in 1998, meaning this year’s edition is the 18th. I have attended all of these, the first 10 years in different cities in Norway, but from 2008 the festival has been held in Oslo. Like other showcase festivals, there is a conference and a music showcase part, and the last few years they have also started an interactive part, like at SXSW. I started out yesterday at the concerts, and here are my best pictures of the four concerts I saw and heard. (Picture above: Karin Park)
Also like many showcase festivals, aiming to show the new talents for the music business people, by:Larm has several bigger names playing. This mix of new and well known artists is a good mix, also for the general fans who don’t work in the music business. Last night I saw two of these, marit Larsen and Karin Park, plus the established jazz artist Møster (Kjetil Møster) and new band Lugn.
I started with Lugn, who surprised me with some really sophisticated harmonies which reminded me of a mix of The Beach Boys and newer The Thrills. A real happy sound, god lead vocals, and good songs make me want to see more of them.
My next artist is a contrast to most of what is presented at by:Larm. Kjetil Møster is a saxophonist and composer in the landscape between experimental jazz with some free bag, plus rock. His band consists of some of the most interesting musicians in these styles, Nicolai Hængsle EIlertsen on bass, Hans Magnus Ryan (Snah) on guitar and Kenneth Kapstad on drums. Møster’s music is part experimental, part melodic, part grooves, and lots of improvisations. It works for me!
Karin Park has been around for many years, quite visible some years ago when she had success with her solo work, then more in the background as a composer, and also as a model. Later she has got a lot of recognition for her compositions, and next Saturday she is one of the contestants to represent Norway at the Eurovison Song Contest. Karin Park’s music is pop with a heavy synth pop sound. Visually on stage she is more interesting than many other artists, and together this results in one of the most professional and interesting pop artists in Norway (and Sweden, where she lives).
Marit Larsen has been the queen of singer songwriter oriented pop music in Norway for many years. She is also one of our most internationally successful artists, with number one songs in several European countries. Her songs are easy to remember with strong durability, and her nice girl image makes her easy to like. It is always a pleasure to see her live, and last night was one of the better performances I have seen, with a mix of some new songs and her biggest hits.
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.