10/1/12

Live: Ulver and the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra

Kulturhuset, Tromsø, 21.9.2012

This was my first real encounter with Ulver. I'm very happy it turned out this way. Because I don't have a past with Ulver I didn't have very specific expectations for the concert, and I think this is why I was able to enjoy the show completely. Unprejudiced. I heard some people were slightly disappointed, but from my own experience and my personal point of view I cannot understand why. Building up huge expectations, maybe.

Well, if someone was expecting anything related to rock or metal, they did not get it. Musically the concert was an intoxicating mixture of orchestral, ambient, and electro sounds. It was very instrumental, and Kristoffer Rygg's vocals did not play a major role in there - but when he did sing, it was amazing.
Here is a clip of a song that included the vocals. Unfortunately you can't see Mr. Rygg on the video (apart from his hand.. at some point..).. because he is behind the piano.
Yes, I should've maybe chosen a more central seat..



The video does not really do justice for the visuality of the show, but maybe you get some sort of an image of how it was like. Basically, the stage was covered in some sort of light smoke, into which lights, images, and videos were reflected. I remember the show beginning with crosses flying around in the smoke. The smoke made the human figures on the videos seem like ghosts, which was at times very eery but very impressive too. Eery in a good way. It included, for instance, creepy little girls with their mouths open... spinning around?... and a mother-like figure, Virgin Mary perhaps, which maybe can be seen in the video. At times I felt like I was in a horror movie.
From what I could gather, the theme of the songs as well as the visuals revolved around motherhood.

For me this was one of the best, if not the best concert I've ever experienced because it wasn't just music. It was a story told by the chamber orchestra, Ulver, the lights, and the visuals. I was completely drawn into the atmosphere, in a way that left me strangely emotional afterwards.

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