An energizing, trail-blazing figure in contemporary music, Norwegian composer, vocalist and instrumentalist, Maja Ratkje consistently pushes the boundaries of our understanding of music, methodically threading together a musical language spun from the fundamentals of sound and the results are inevitably stirring. On May 20th at the National Arts Centre, see Ratkje perform in a concert combining cutting-edge vocals with live electronics!
“Ratkje’s vibrant vocal fluctuations can make Bjork sound like an “American Idol” candidate.” Christopher Porter - Washington Post Express
Maja Ratkje has been leading an impressive career as an improviser and a composer since the late 1990s. Her work ranges from raw noise to delicate chamber music. She is best known for her powerful and highly expressive voice, which she first put to use in the group SPUNK and the duo Fe-Mail.
Ratkje released her solo debut in 2002 on Rune Grammofon. It revealed a versatile voice augmented by real-time electronic operations. Since then, the vocalist has released four more solo records (one on Tzadik) and given dozens of solo performances. Her latest recordings demonstrate an artistic maturation, all the while maintaining the frenzied impulse that pushed her early career forward. A riveting display of cutting-edge vocals and live electronics make Ratkje’s solo concerts anything but predictable.
Launched in 2007, A B Series has quickly established itself as a dynamic presenter of the performing arts. Specialized in presenting innovative musical and literary events, it has drawn large audiences and created new energy in Ottawa's cultural life. A B Series serves the greater Ottawa community by presenting a carefully curated program of performances. In addition to presenting cutting-edge musical performances, it programs readings of fiction, poetry and has a rich tradition of producing multi-disciplinary events combining music, visual arts and theatre.
This concert is produced by A B Series in partnership with Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville and with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy.
For more informatiom on AB Series, please visit http://abseries.org/
With an introductory set by LINSEY WELLMAN!
An active member of the Ottawa music scene, Linsey Wellman is known as a creative and spontaneous improviser on the alto and soprano saxophones, the alto and standard flutes, and the bass clarinet. His latest release - Ephemera: for solo saxophone, is a suite of guided improvisations for which he received grants from the City of Ottawa and from the Canada Council for the Arts. He is also co-founder and co-curator of the Improvising Musicians of Ottawa/Outaouais (IMOO) concert series, as well as IMOOFest: an annual improvised music festival in Ottawa.
“Unadorned except for his saxophone, Wellman uses repeated and carefully divided lines to vibrate split tones which are somehow both polyphonic and tonic. Using circular breathing he produces equivalent note clusters and glissandi that unroll as if his saxophone is a perpetual motion machine yet subtly vary in pitch, shading and emphasis.” – Ken Waxman (the Whole Note)