This image shows the Norwegian Girls’ Choir at the general rehearsal in the UN hall practicing my piece, – right before the authorities stopped the whole thing.Composer Maja Ratkje said she was shocked that the piece had been struck off the programme in New York. “As far as I’m aware, this is the first time my art has been censored,” she said.
Read the whole article in The Local here.
Link to article in Norwegian at Aftenposten here.
The censored work, “Ro – Uro” is a work I wrote to the Norwegian Girls’ Choir in 2007. This award-winning work has been premiered a lot since. They really love the piece, and they do it on a highly professional level of interpretation! It is about war and peace, order and chaos, and at some point in the piece, the girls are standing with their backs towards the audience and shouting names of self-chosen despots and leaders who have mis-used their power. Because the girls have to chose names for temselves – I would never tell them what to say – they get a very special relationship to the piece and it’s contents. It is a very strong part of the piece, however very brief. The rest of the piece is a sort of collage with historic material and folk music (playful music, dance and lullabies – the children are our hope, our future). A very interesting passage from The Nag Hammadi Library (which I have worked with earlier in the opera No Title And Sparkling Water) tells the story about what happens when an egoistic god takes power. And the appearance of Sophia, the goddess of light is hope-giving and used symbolic in many ways in the visual aspect of the piece. Sadly, I have no video recording of the full staged version, but I am sure the choir will see to that in the future.