7 August 2016

Svein Finnerud Trio - from the NRK archives

Following up the earlier posting of Min Bul, here is a 25 - minute clip from Norwegian TV archives. It was shown om 27 February 1970 and is divided into two parts. First is an introduction by composer Kåre Kolberg and Svein Finnerud himself and then there is a twenty-minute clip from a performance at Centralteateret in Oslo on 14 November 1969.

Bjørnar Andresen (bass) and Espen Rud (drums) made up two-thirds of Min Bul and the Svein Finnerud Trio continued in this form until the mid-70s. The trio was resurrected in the early 90s, but with new drummers replacing Espen Rud. Svein Finnerud died in 2000 and Bjørnar Andresen in 2004. Finnerud and Andresen had known each other since childhood days and they cooperated right until the end. While Jan Garbarek and Terje Rypdal launched international careers through their association with the ECM label, the Finnerud Trio reamined fairly unknown despite being very much part of the scene in the late 60s.

I have transcribed the introductions, which are in Norwegian, for the benefit of non-Scandinavian speakers. This is what's said, translated into passable English, I hope.

Kåre Kolberg:

Ten to fifteen years ago one started thinking again that music is also visual and not only audible. Out of that came a new hybrid form which in want of a better term was called instrumental theatre - music that not only wanted musicians to be visible, but to draw their actions into the composition itself. There could be many reasons why this hybrid form emerged at the time, but one reason could be tape music where well-dressed, experienced stage musicians were replaced by loudspeakers, not a very exciting sight. TV forced one to rethink how the doings of musicians could be transmitted to the eyes. One might have thought that this hybrid form would reach many, also those not very interested in music. As instrumental theatre came out of an exclusive, even excluding, modernist way of theought, it did not win many friends. Pretentiousness and the absence of humour did not make things better. If it could not be perceived as play, then many thought it came from a confused mind. Last autumn at the Munch museum a group with a different point of departure made their contribution - Svein Finnerud Trio. Coming from jazz, they have a quite different, friendly attitude towards the audience. What they did had humour which felt good and made one think of their performance as a sort of play, a play from people used to play with sounds. Splashing water can sound good, not to speak of fighting on a steel plate. Then one might ask what made these musicians enter the borderland between art for the eyes and art for the ears.

Svein Finnerud:

It was no longer enough for us to express ourselves through this and that instrument. For us it became natural to start to use other means of expression and we include the smallest things, anything that has musical value and then we individually think about what we associate with that sound. We think about how to create the best setting for that sound. I am inclined towards the word sound, because music is nothing but organised sound. The point of musical theatre is to emphasize and amplify these sounds and often we choose a movement that does not match the sound at all and thereby create a tension between movement and music. It can be a grotesque moment or something funny, clown-like. With instrumental theatre one is more aware of things that one usually does not notice. I think that we walk around sleeping with open eyes and ears. We have discovered a new sound, a new realm of experience in familiar things and sounds. Our present time alienates man from himself and by perceiving these familiar sounds and things, we are brought closer to ourselves.

After the introductions we will see a passage of musical theatre and after that they seque into Plastic Sun, the title tune of their second album.

This was taken from a series of programmes titled "Musikk utenfor alfarvei" (literally Music outside the main road) and we will have more programmes posted here in the time to come.


kinabalu said...



Anonymous said...

How does one go about capturing these NRK archives as video? mp4? Any available technology out there to do such?

kinabalu said...

I have been using a programme called Replay Media Catcher for this particular capture (and the Mingus posted here before), but there are others recommended in the Min Bul thread which may work just as well. The one I used also does audio capture.

johanni said...

You can use svtplay-dl to download the mp4. I tested it and was able to download this video without any problems (it seems to available worldwide).