Anna Thorvaldsdottir: UR_ Premise


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Anna Thorvaldsdottir in the middle of rehearsals for the world premiere of UR_:

"I am currently in Germany where we are staging the new chamber opera UR_. It is wonderful to have such a substantial rehearsal period, thanks to our premiering Theater Trier and our wonderful project manager and Far North founder Arnbjörg María Daníelsen.

The rehearsals are going well and we are all very excited and looking forward to the premiere in September in Trier and then at the Ultima Contemporary Music Festival in Oslo."



UR_ combines two main narratives, told through an abstract metaphorical persona, the various aspects of which are portrayed by the different elements of a trilogy (the three singers) which together forms a single character in the work. The elements merge and divide throughout the work, but are fundamentally tied together through the presence of a central being (ambiguously portrayed by the actor). The grand piano is a separate character, representing the “Mother” – the protecting element.

One narrative looks backward, the other forward: The first narrative, which is the primary focus, is the story of the human being struggling to find a way back to the UR_ – the perspective of this narrative is primarily that of the trilogy; the other, the secondary focus (more theatrically presented), is the story of how we got here, so far removed from the UR_.

The progression in the voices primarily represents the backward element – the UR_ in the human being waking from hibernation and finding themselves in an unfamiliar environment, struggling to find their voice and to be heard – this is the struggle of the human being rediscovering the UR_ in itself (in its several forms, which – although different – are part of the same), the abstract persona conflicted and confused by its seemingly unheard voice and presence. This struggle is characterized by the struggle of each to find its voice, their struggle to communicate with each other, and their struggle to communicate as a unity with the “other” side of the abstract persona, the one responsible for this alien state. This is all part of the struggle to find a way back to “nature”, which can have many meanings. Once found/heard, it is liberating and beautiful but also difficult in many ways. For all its presence and importance for the human being, however, this wondrous achievement all but disappears as we become aware of the UR_ itself, its vast and massive expanse. The human being, despite its (perhaps inevitable) perception of the significance of its own values, its place in the world, and the impact it has had on it (for good and bad), may “disappear overnight”, its time here “a blink in the eye of evolution”.

The forward element – how the UR_ in the human being was pushed into hibernation – is less represented in the music and more in the theatrical elements. This narrative contains elements of the trajectory of Western culture which got the human being to where it is, for good and bad. This current environment in which the UR_ elements find themselves, and find to be alien to them, is also represented primarily theatrically – it is the “other” side of the modern human being whose UR_ has now woken up, confused and desperate to find its way back, to be heard.

The primary narrative – the search for a way back to the UR_, the struggle to be heard/included – is spoken through sequences of musical imagery and phonetic sound structures where language merges with music in sound and expression. Phonetic patterns become an instrument where elements of various languages are dispersed and recombined, generating a strained and fragmented idiolect. Language – in its familiar form – in part represents the emphasis on human reason which partly underpins the ideology of Western culture that got us to where we are. Language facilitates an important kind of understanding, but there is also a certain kind of understanding that it can limit, be a barrier to. It can mean the difference between “us” and “them”. Being heard, understood, can change these boundaries, redraw the line – being truly heard means being genuinely included, and true inclusion is a kind of freedom or liberation, an elimination of hierarchy.

Communicating through expressive phonetic gestures is a mechanism that allows for important conversations that cannot be had in language, but can still be understood and appreciated – conversations that remain lost until the UR_ elements find a natural way to communicate and a natural voice to speak with.

Without these, they are truly voiceless.



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Far North | Diskotek Sessions for Contemporary Music, Theatre, and Performance - ICE in Greenland from ICE on Vimeo.

Video: Ross Karre


Heiner Goebbels in Greenland


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We are thrilled to announce that Heiner Goebbels will be joining our artist community in the far north for the 2015 WINTER DISKOTEK SESSIONS in Greenland.

681_111116_rt_heinergoebbels019Heiner Goebbels

The composer and director Heiner Goebbels (*1952) belongs to the most important exponents of the contemporary music and theatre scene. His compositions for ensembles and big orchestras published by Ricordi Munich are currently performed worldwide as well as several of his music theatre works and staged concerts, mostly produced by Théâtre Vidy Lausanne and the Ensemble Modern.

Heiner Goebbels works as a professor at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies of the Justus Liebig University in Giessen (Germany) and is President of the Theatre Academy Hessen. From 2012 to 2014 he is the artistic director of the International Festival of the Arts RUHRTRIENNALE.

Upcoming performances can be seen in the Calender.

The Archive offers a large number of articles, reviews, pictures, a catalogue of works, the performance history and discography. Most of his CDs are produced and published by ecm records.

The music theatre productions Max Black, Hashirigaki, Eraritjaritjaka, Stifters Dinge and I went to the house but did not enter are in the repertoire of Théâtre Vidy. Schwarz auf Weiss, Eislermaterial, Landschaft mit entfernten Verwandten are in the repertoire of the Ensemble Modern. The London Sinfonietta and the Orchestra in the Age of Enlightenment performSongs of Wars I have seen and the Ensemble Klang (N) an ensemble version of Walden.

His latest productions John Cage: Europeras 1&2, When the Mountain changed its clothing, Harry Partch: Delusion of the Fury and Louis Andriessen: De Materie are distributed by the Ruhrtriennale.


Extraordinary Erna


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 This force of nature will be joining us for the Far North DISKOTEK Sessions in April.


 ERNA ÒMARSDOTTIR is born in Reykjavik, Iceland. She graduated from PARTS (performing arts research and training studios)1998 under the direction of Anna Teresa de Keersemaeker. Following her graduation she worked with the Belgian theater director Jan Fabre in several creations. She worked also with the Belgian dancecompany Ballet c De la B and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in Foi. She has been one of the founders and a member of two collectives, EKKA from Reykjavik and PONI from Brussels.

The last years she has mainly been creating and touring internationally with her own work. She created IBM 1401 ( a users manual) ,2002 and THE MYSTERIES OF LOVE, 2006 in colloboration with the composer Johann Johannsson. She has created and directed several works for the Icelandic dancecompany. Amongst those are: in collaboration with Emil
Hrvation(Janez Janza) WE ARE ALL MARLENE DIETRICH FOR, 2005 and in collaboration with Damien Jalet and Gabríela Friðriksdóttir TRANSAQUANIA, ( OUT OF THE BLUE) 2009 and TRANSAQUANIA-INTO THIN AIR thin air, 2010. In 2009 she directed and created BLACK MARROW for the Melbourne based company Chunky Move at the Melbourne international Artsfestival as-well in collaboration with Damien Jalet.

Together with Valdimar Jóhannsson she created the company Shalala in 2008. Amongst their most recent works are WE SAW MONSTER, premiered at the National theater of Iceland for the Reykjaviks Artfestival 2011, THE TICKLING DEATH MACHINE , premiered at the Kunstenfestival des Arts Brussels, 2011, TEACH US TO OUTGROW OUR MADNESS, premiered at Les antipodes, Scene nationale des Quartz in Brest 2009 , the theatrical band LAZYBLOOD. She is a member of the trio Skyrleebob together with Gudni Gunnarsson and Lieven Dousselaere.

She has also collaborated several times with the Icelandic visualartist Gabriela Fridriksdottir,(for venice biennale 2005 etc) and the Icelandic musician Bjork. as well as Ólöf Arnalds, Ben Frost etc….In November 2007 she had the honor to be chosen the artist associated at the festival LES GRANDES TRAVERSEES in Bordeaux in France. Curating it and performing all her recent work. She has several times been mentioned in the Ballet Tanz yearly nominations for outstanding dance or promising choreography.


Suzanne Farrin bringing Ondes Martenot to Greenland


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Suzanne Farrin, in collaboration with ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), is bringing  Odes Martenot to Greenland for the first time in history (as far as we know!). Together with, by now DISKOTEK veteran, Ross Karre she will  make the eerie sounds of this peculiar instrument resonate under the Arctic winter skies. Stay tuned!

“Like field recordings from inside the cerebral cortex” (Timeout Chicago)
Suzanne Farrin’s music explores the interior worlds of instruments and the visceral potentialities of sound. Her music has been performed by some of the great musicians of today on stages across Europe and North and South America.
Tim Page, the former classical music critic of the Washington Post wrote: “If you can imagine the dense, perfumed chords of Messiaen’s piano music combined with the clangorous, insistent, near-pictorial tone-clusters of Frederic Rzewski’s Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues, you will have some idea of what Farrin’s work sounds like. Yet it transcends its derivations to leave the distinct impression of its own.”

She has been featured at venues and festivals such as Mostly Mozart, Matrix, Alpenklassik, Music in Würzburg, BAM NextWave, Die Glocke (Bremen), Theaterforum (Bayern), Town Hall Seattle, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Symphony Space, the Walker Art Center, SALT (Victoria, B.C.), Festival Nuevo Mundo (Venezuela) and New York’s The Stone, Spectrum, Joe’s Pub, among many others. She has been supported by organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, Meet The Composer, the Wachovia Foundation, Concert Artists Guild and New Music USA. Some of the musicians and ensembles who have interpreted her work include the American Composers Orchestra, The League of Composers Orchestra, ICE, the Arditti Quartet, the Spektral Quartet, So Percussion, Antoine Tamestit, Leonard Elschenbroich, Anthony Roth Costanzo,Ksenija SidorovaJoshua Rubin, Nuiko Wadden and Ben Melsky. She has been a guest at the MATRIX Festival at the SWR in Freiburg, Germany (2013) and the Harvard Summer Composition Institute (2012, 2014). In addition to composing, she is a regular host on Q2, the New York City-based new music radio station.Upcoming commissions for 2014-15 include new works for countertenor and ensemble for the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) with Anthony Roth Costanzo and a work for cello and accordion for The Philharmonic Society of Bremen.Suzanne Farrin is Associate Professor and Chair of Composition at the State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase. She holds a doctorate in composition from Yale University. "Corpo di Terra," released on New Focus Recordings, is devoted entirely to her music, which may also be heard on the VAI, Signum Classics, Albany Records and Tundra labels.

Throat Singing Goddess Sylvia Cloutier


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We are positively ecstatic that Sylvia Cloutier will be with us at the DISKOTEK in April.


SYLVIA CLOUTIER originally from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (Northern Quebec) presently based in Montreal is a mother, performing artist, producer, director, well known for Inuit throat singing and drum dancing and has collaborated with artists all over the world including Think of One from Belgium; Tafelmusik, a Toronto based baroque orchestra; Montréal based DJ Madeskimo. Ms. Cloutier is also the co-founder of a performance company Aqsarniit producing shows that promote Inuit culture for special events such as Nunavut Celebration at the Museum of civilization in April 1999, Toonik Tyme and Alianait festival in Iqaluit, Canadian North Airlines 2007 Nunavut Day Gala and directing fashion shows with the Government of Nunavut promoting the high fashion industry of seal skin products in Canadian arctic for various events. Ms. Cloutier is also involved as a motivational speaker for youth events with organizations like the National Aboriginal Achievement foundation. She has helped train youth in video production, throat singing, theatre, dance, cultural and artistic activities while addressing social issues through working with Qaggiq theatre, the Northern village of Kuujjuaq and has worked with Social work through Hip Hop projects with the Blueprints for life team traveling to communities in Nunavik and Nunavut. She also worked with visual artists such as Jonathan Cruz in training youth to build murals in the north. She joined her Excellency Governor General Michaelle Jean on the state visit to Norway and Ukraine in 2009 and was named “Woman of the Year” by Pauktutiit, a national Inuit women’s organization and recently received an award for “Outstanding young woman of the year” by Qullit Nunavut women’s organization. Ms.Cloutier recent work was based at the Kativik Regional Government in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil running the Circus program CIRQINIQ for youth in Nunavik. Sylvia is the Producer and co-director of TULUGAK uniting performing artists from Nunavik, Nunavut and Greenland performed in Iqaluit, Nuuk, Banff and Ottawa since 2011.










The Sound Magician Jacob Kirkegaard


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The extraordinary Jacob Kirkegaard will take part in the DISKOTEK Sessions this April.

Not just a wonderful artist, he is also a whole lot of fun!


Jacob Kirkegaard is an artist and composer who works in carefully selected environments to generate recordings that are used
in compositions, or combined with video imagery in visual, spatial installations. His works reveal unheard sonic phenomena and present listening as a means of experiencing the world. Kirkegaard has recorded sonic environments as different as subterranean geyser vibrations, empty rooms in Chernobyl, Arctic calving glaciers and tones generated by the human inner ear itself.

Based in Berlin Kirkegaard has presented his works at galleries, museums and concert spaces throughout the world, including MoMA in New York, LOUISIANA in Denmark, KW in Berlin, The Menil Collection & at the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Aichi Triennale in Nagoya,  Japan and most recently with a solo exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan. His sound works
are released on the TOUCH, Important Records, VON Archives & Posh Isolation labels.

"For all the scientific rigour to Kirkegaard's research into the sonic possibilities of various materials, his work reveals an underlying fascinationfor the mysteries and myths embedded in them. His work channels an access to an inner world." A.H. Neset, The Wire, 07/09earside_out-drawing-800

Amazing Anna Lindal


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We are thrilled to have the Swedish queen of contemporary cool with us in the DISKOTEK this coming April

anna kopia

Violinist Anna Lindal studied in Sweden and Switzerland. Lived and performed in Switzerland and France for many years, played in the string Trio des Lyres specialized in mixed programs with barock and classical music on original instruments and contemporary works. During this time the film "Livsstråk" was made which is a musical portrait of Anna Lindal.

From 1983 to 2001 concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Stockholm and from 2002 Professor of violin at the Royal college of Music in Stockholm.

Anna Lindal performs regularly as soloist with orchestras, as a chamber musician, in experimental theatre and in different groups for free improvisation. She collaborates with a large number of contemporary composers and has had many new compositions dedicated to her and made several recordings, amongst other two solo recordings with works by John Cage and Christian Wolff paired withlike minded composers. Anna Lindal has also performed instrumental Argentine Tango in the quintet Tango Libre for several years and is a core member of several ensembles:




Anna Lindal is also involved in leadership in higher education and artistic research and holds a part time position at Stockholm University of the Arts.





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