Morten Qvenild: Personal Piano 2.0
Live for the first time – Morten Qvenild presents his solo project – Personal Piano 2.0
There aren’t many musicians who can say that they are on tour with a-Ha the one week, improvising with Gard Nilssen or with the improvising computer KimAuto the next, and playing in the studio for Frode Grytten or Marit Larsen the week after that. And pretty much everything in between. Morten Qvenild is one such musician – and his versatility makes him a constant presence in Norway’s musical life.
Morten Qvenild’s record Personal Piano was released in 2016, since when he has toured Norway and Europe with material from the project. Personal Piano was the result of Qvenild’s groundbreaking doctorate in artistic research at the Norwegian Academy of Music, where he stretched the possibilities of the acoustic piano with various electronic and vocal extensions.
While the pandemic put a damper on physical journeys, Qvenild continued his work in his own studio on Nesodden, Ugla Lyd. To keep his belief in musical questing alive, he started to create material for Personal Piano 2.0 – and has released this new music, track by track, through his own BandCamp site.
Now he’s made a concert version of the new music, and we can for the first time hear it live. Swinging between post-corona letting-off of steam and meditation, the material forms a grounded yet complex concert in which Morten’s songs and texts intertwine in a landscape of improvised pathways. Perhaps you might recognize a pop-tune or two as well.
The music is a blend of Qvenild’s personal voice and a hugely complex organic–technical instrument. Together they cry out:
We want pop music!
We want tunes!
We want resistance!
We want noise!
We want the birch trees, the restlessness, the snow, the words, the fir trees, the melancholy, the cabin, the ash, the unknown, the metal, the electrons, the euphoria, the worrying, the skis, the underground, the surface water, the kayak, country music, the countryside, the dark chords and the glimmering light.
Morten Qvenild has played on around 100 recordings of jazz and related sounds. In the Country, The National Bank, Solveig Slettahjell, Slomo Quintet, Susanne Sundfør, Arve Henriksen, Thomas Dybdahl, Martin Hagfors, Marit Larsen, Nils Petter Molvær, Shining, Jaga Jazzist, Trinity and Susanna and the Magical Orchestra are just some of the musicians with whom he has collaborated over two decades of performing, composing and producing.
Morten Qvenild – piano, vocals and electronics, Stig Gunnar Ringen – sound, TBA – Lighting/video