Summer 2017, we flew to Lofoten together with video artist André Løyning to create a few spectacular live videos. These are made entirely on site, with actual sound recording (6 channels only), piano tuning at location (a bit short on time, bare with me on that), and with some amazing drone footage as well.
We only had ONE SHOT, one take, before the sun set. The weather on this side of Lofoten was perfect – no wind and totally clear. A long working day had come to an end, and we were really happy with the recording outside Henningsvær, but I had this location in mind for days and it would be silly to drive just past it on the way back to Leknes. I’m very happy we went there!
The sun was hanging low, shining directly into the valley nearby Unstad. We went up on this old carriage road, high above the tunnel leading to the beach further down. The clock was well beyond 11 PM and we only had a few minutes until darkness. In only a couple of minutes we were ready to roll. We had to hold back when playing this quite mellow tune, because the kick of doing this upon a mountain in Lofoten, in near-midnight-sun, amongst sheep was nearly overwhelming. After this one take happening, André Løyning managed to get some nice drone footage as well, and we could call it a day. BIG THANKS to Arts Council Norway for making this possible, and to Åse Andreassen and Knut Abrahamsen for helping us out big time.
ENJOY our new video from Ballstad, Lofoten. Big thanks to one-man-movie-maker André Løyning. This song, “MAETRIX”, is originally a part of my commissioned work to the fabulous Trondheim Jazz Orchestra – which will be touring Norway next week!
As the first in a series of videos, here’s “XIII” from our upcoming album as a live recording from the beautiful islands Lofoten in Norway:
We have also made a brand new Facebook page for the trio: www.facebook.com/espenbergtrio. Please like and share!
A few days ago I had the honor of playing a duo concert with the fantastic musician and good friend Seamus Blake. Here’s a short clip:
I really hope we can do this again sometime, and I look forward to continue playing with Seamus in the quintet BRIDGES going on a European tour in two weeks:
Sept 6: Urijazz, Tønsberg (NO)
Sept 8: Bergen Jazzforum (NO)
Sept 9: Voss (NO)
Sept 11: The Vortex, London (UK)
Sept 12: Ronnie Scotts, London (UK)
Sept 13: Jazz Evidence, Kongsberg (NO)
Sept 14: Nasjonal Jazzscene, Oslo (NO)
Sept 15: Jazz Colmar (FR)
I had a fantastic week at Molde Jazz Festival, working with some of the greatest musicians from this part of the world – absolutely nailing my music, in addition to being awesome persons. The premiere of “MAETRIX” was a huge success, described as “a work for the eternity” and receiving overwhelming reviews. More importantly, the atmosphere in the concert hall was crazy: totally packed, both listening intensely and celebrating vocally together with us on stage. What a joy it was, and I REALLY look forward to touring with this extremely expensive and superb band in October!
Photo and videos by André Løyning
I september slipper Espen Berg Trio sin andre plate, «Bølge», på det japanske plateselskapet Blue Gleam. Plateslippet markeres med en lanseringsturné i Japan i november, der låtskriver og vokalist Silje Nergaard er med som gjesteartist. Sammen gjør de seks konserter på denne turneen:
22. nov TAMA CITY COMBINED CULTURAL CENTER, TOKYO
23. nov SAMMU CITY NARUTO CULTURAL CENTER, CHIBA
24. nov SUZAKA CITY CULTURAL HALL, NAGANO
25. nov SAKAE WARD CULTURAL CENTER – LILIS HALL, KANAGAWA
26. nov JOYO CITY CULTURAL CENTER, KYOTO
27. nov AMUSER KASHIWA CRYSTAL HALL, CHIBA
Konsertene vil by på musikk signert både Espen og Silje. Trioen spiller Espens rytmisk intrikate komposisjoner med overskudd, temperament og eleganse. Dette kommer også til syne i møte med Silje og hennes sterke og tidløse melodier, som vil gjendiktes i friske nye versjoner når kvartetten står på scenen i Japan.
EBT består av Espen Berg (piano, komposisjoner), Bárður Reinert Poulsen (bass) og Simon Albertsen (trommer). Trioen ga ut albumet «Mønster» på Blue Gleam i 2015, og JAZZ JAPAN beskrev EBT som «den beste og viktigste musikkoppdagelsen i første halvdel av 2016». Silje Nergaard toppet de japanske hitlistene med debutalbumet «Tell Me Where You’re Going» – en bragd som har ført til jevnlig turnering i Japan, og som nå tar form i et nytt samarbeid med en ung, innovativ og uredd trio.
// ENGLISH //
In September Espen Berg Trio will release their second album, «Bølge», on the Japanese label Blue Gleam. To promote this new album the trio will do a release tour in November, and the Norwegian singer and composer Silje Nergaard will join them as a guest artist. Together they will do six concerts in Japan.
The concerts will consist of music written by both Espen and Silje. The trio plays Espen’s rhythmically intricate compositions with surplus energy, temper and elegance. This will also be apparent when teaming up with Silje in Japan to play her strong and well known melodies, rearranged in fresh new versions.
So, it’s done. Eight compositions, 198 pages of music, written for 14 excellent musicians. Premiering at Molde Int’l Jazz Festival July 17th 20.00.
I’ve been working on this since August 2016, and it’s a relief to be ready for rehearsals – ONE day short of my deadline.
See you in Molde!!
I just finished recording a new album with my trio in the legendary Rainbow Studio in Oslo. Jan Erik Kongshaug did his magic as usual, and captured every tiny detail of our playing with sonic perfection.
This album will be released later this year, but in the meantime we’ll have teasers and videos up and running shortly. Enjoy the photos taken by André Løyning (saftflaske.no).
Yeah, so it’s been a few months since I wrote anything on this page. There’s a good reason for that. I started composing the music for Trondheim Jazz Orchestra commissioned by Molde Jazz Festival in August 2016, and it’s still an ongoing process. Writing an hour long concert for 14 exceptional musicians means lots of work, but it’s really an amazing privilege to be in this situation.
It’s all en route, and I just returned from Oslo where the rhythm section met for the very first rehearsals. I wasn’t sure that some of the music would even be playable, but now I’m 100% sure I picked the right musicians for this project! They nailed it all, and it sounds really good already. I’m extremely inspired and motivated to write the rest of the music, and in May we will have the first tutti rehearsals. EXCITING!!
In addition to composing music, I will also do a lot of touring this spring. With Hildegunn Øiseth Quartet, Andreas Håkestad and MiNensemblet – “Himmellys”, with Espen Berg Trio and with Marja Mortensson/Katarina Barruk/Daniel Herskedal/Stian Lundberg. We’re recording our second album with Espen Berg Trio in April, and there’s some really great news for autumn 2017 coming up soon!