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Skivrecension: Maja Ratkje tonsätter the desperate hunger

Few books have such an aptly inledningsmening as Knut hamsun's genombrottsroman ”Hunger” (Norwegian: ”Sult”) from 1890: ”It was at the time I went around and starved in Christiania, that strange city which no one leaves without having received the brands of the”. And get romanmästerverk had been waiting so eagerly for a Swedish re-release when the publisher Modernista 2016, and released it in a wonderfully raw and pure glimmering translation of Henrik Petersen. It had long since been almost impossible to get hold of.

hamsun's ”Hunger” is about a young and penniless nameless man with författardrömmar who roam the streets of Christiania (older name for Oslo). And whose body and psyche are increasingly ruled by the mad impulses that hunger leads to: ”the Madness raging through the brain and I let it crumble; I am fully aware that I succumb to influences, I am not lord over.” Impulses that also can be of a more cheerful kind: ”I was seized by a desire to joke a little, find weird things, make the environment uncertain.” But ”Starvation” is also full of movement and sound.

the a own piece of dance art at The Norwegian national Opera in a choreography by Jo Strömgren and with the music of the composer and röstkonstnären Maja S K Ratkje. The show had Ratkje made a singular tramporgel, with tubes in plastic and metal, guitar strings, percussion, etc., which she regaled herself on the stage. Now there is this incidental music on an album, which shows that it is capable pure radiant on its own.

The physical sensation of bodies in movement is highly present in the music, as well as the ljudandes significant importance in hamsun's text. As in the passage when the romanjaget sitting on a bench in the city and hear ”a harsh, metallic music” from a positive to which ”a little girl sings a sad show”. And trembling in his nerves that he falls backwards on the bench and moans could hum along with, ”I feel fused with these tones, dissolved in the toner, I currents, floating high above the mountains, dancing over the bright zones...”

in this positive as Ratkje found the model for his tramporgel. A street instrument, simple and ruffigt but also enough mångröstat and the demonic to create sudden cracks and slippage in the realistic. When Ratkje lets loose a feral whistle to dry off the button sound, sounding as if it came from someone who chews on a piece of wood. One of her brilliant portrayals of the locations in the novel when an experience becomes so much incomprehensible that something burst ”apart in the pan”, as Hamsun describes it.

But what surprises most in the Ratkjes setting of the lawsuits in Hamsun is it simple, naked, and soothe the allocation in the orgelklangerna and in her voice. For in the midst of madness summons she, with the help of a playing folkmusic or a lovely popballad, a ömsinthet which penetrates straight through the madness. That she wanted to be enough hamsun's young man hand over his lonely omkringstrykande on Kristianias streets.

Best tracks: All

Read more music reviews by Martin Nyström, for example, björk's ”Vespertine” was probably destined to become the opera.

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