The Punkt 2020 Artist in Residence is pianist, keyboardist and composer Anja Lauvdal.
Like many musicians in her generation, Anja Lauvdal continuously pushes boundaries, combining stylistic understanding and impressive craftsmanship with musical innovation and ambition.
Lauvdal has already made a clear mark on Norwegian music through the bands Broen, Skadedyr, Torg, Finity and the four times «Norwegian Grammy»-nominated trio Moskus, and through collaboration with artists like Trondheim Jazzorkester, Nils Bech, Sverre Knudsen, Ståle Storløkken, Laura Jurd, Jenny Hval, Ola Kvernberg, Christian Wallumrød, Tony Buck, and Nils Økland.
At Punkt 2020, she will premiere a new commissioned work, in addition to performing with Finity and Moskus.
The School of Lost Borders
On Friday 4 September, we present Artist in Residence Anja Lauvdal’s commissioned work The School of Lost Borders. This is what Anja says about the project, and what hides behind the intriguing title:
«The School of Lost Borders began with me wanting to try to write a "piano concerto", and to create a work that included a string quartet. Previously, I had collaborated with violinist Sara Övinge on a project with Nils Bech, and on Kjetil Bjerkestrand's Stabat Mater, with Arve Tellefsen. We discovered a common openness to different types of music, focusing on having fun, on playfulness, and on the imperfect.
For this project, Sara put together a string quartet with some of her favourite musicians, and we agreed to use two cellos instead of two violins. We rehearsed for the first time in June, and the sound of the ensemble was simply awesome. For me, who works mostly in jazz/contemporary or pop music, it has been exciting to collaborate with musicians who are classically trained and usually work in classical ensembles – discovering musical areas where we speak the same language, and investigating how much or how little needs to be written.
Eventually, the "piano concerto" became a piano and synth concerto, and I also recruited Veslemøy Narvesen from Kristiansand on drums and percussion, and Ole Morten Vågan on double bass. To some extent, the music is inspired by a Tor Ulven poem called Mosegrodd strykekvartett (Mossy string quartet).
The title The School of Lost Borders alludes to starting all over again. Travelling in a circle, returning to the starting point, which has now been changed by everything you have experienced. For me, it was important to create a new context for myself, a place where the previously known boundaries have disappeared or changed. Seeing the framework with new eyes. When boundaries disappear, what is left? Boundaries between countries, between people, between music and art forms.
I also imagine that we reach many borders in our lives, we’re restricted by walls and reach a kind of borderland, a place of transition. So the boundaries are not really gone, they have become passages to other places. In one of his poems, Tor Ulven talks about "not the first, not the second, but the third", which to me means looking for other possibilities than those that are visible at first glance. The way we gradually "school” ourselves during our search, through small and large experiences and discoveries.»
The School of Lost Borders:
Anja Lauvdal - piano and synthesizer
Sara Övinge - violin
Bendik Foss - viola
Erlend Habbestad - cello
Gregor Riddell - cello
Veslemøy Narvesen – drums and percussion
Ole Morten Vågan - double bass
Photo: Anne Valeur